BAFRA Newsflash

Issue: 30/16

28th July 2016


At the Convention this year, you again voted for Cancer Research UK to be the BAFRA Charity for 2016. Firstly, thank you to all who have made donations to of all or part of your game fee to this worthy cause.

Donations are still arriving. The appeal is due to close in early August and the money collected will then be forwarded to Cancer Research UK. This is a final appeal to any members who still wish to contribute to this worthy cause to let finance know by 6th August. There are a number of ways in which you can make your donation:

BAFRA finance may be contacted on If sending cheques, please send to:

BAFRA Finance

18 Southgate



OL12 8UQ

If you have any queries, please contact either me or BAFRA finance directly. Thank you again for your support of this initiative.

Paul Sutton


Historically, the old paper forms had guidance about the crew grades awarded to officials at games. The object was to ensure consistency in the marks awarded as these form a small part of the overall rating used by the Selection Committee. Since we moved to electronic returns that guidance has not been available and this seems to have been reflected in recent returns. Therefore, the webmaster has been asked to amend the appropriate page to add guidance for scores awarded. There will also be the opportunity to add comments to the scores if desired. These fields are usually optional but it is intended to make then mandatory for very high or very low scores. It is hoped that these changes will be available from this coming weekend onwards.

Paul Sutton


The BAFRA Selection Committee is pleased to announce the following crews for the 2016 BAFANL Bowl Games.


Div 1


Div 2 North

Div 2 South


Jim Briggs

Brian Yates

Tim Ockendon

Mike Cavanagh

Amir Brooks


David Parsons

Graham Hedges

Stuart Alger

Henry Richardson

Mark Wilson

Head Linesman

Pete Thom

Shawn Sombati

Paul Todd

Roger Brown

Ben Griffiths


Stuart Young

Russell Newton

Liam Wooten

Ellis Bowyer

Richard Whitby


Keith Wickham

Henry Richardson

Steve Leonard

David Knight

Richard Prattley


Aminul Hassan

Amir Brooks

Euan Paterson

Ian Wainwright


Dean Wright

Dan Holt

Alan Christopher

Philip Hume


Tim Ockendon

Ian Wainwright

Please join with the selection committee in congratulating the crews, particularly all those officials having their first Bowl Game, on their appointments.

NOTE: In addition there will be a Under 19 Plate Game, which will precede the Division 1 Bowl Game. This high-profile game will not have Bowl status but is seen by the Selection Committee as a development opportunity for newer BAFRA officials. It will be assigned via Arbiter in the usual way.

Richard Vernon


We are likely to have at least 24 games to cover over this weekend. This includes the final series of regular season games for Division 2 as well as the first round of play-off games for Premier Division, Division 1 and Junior kitted . In addition there are the Northern and Southern Area Flag Finals. Plus at least one planned Associate Game.

It is therefore most important that everyone makes a real effort to be available to enable BAFRA to cover all these games, over what will be a very busy and important weekend of football.

Your continued cooperation and support is much appreciated.

Richard Vernon


As in previous years, you will receive assignments later than usual for this weekend (first round of play-offs). This is due to the play-off fixtures not being finalised until the final week of the season has be played (6th/7th August).

Richard Vernon


A member has had his e-mail hacked and many BAFRA members have received an e-mail from the hackers, purporting to be in his name, giving the impression he is stranded in the Ukraine (or somewhere similar) and needs funds to get home. Should you receive an e-mail like this you should not respond and certainly should not send money. It is a well-documented scam.

Paul Sutton


Congratulations to Malcolm Turnbull on completing all of the requirements necessary to become Qualified. Thanks to Liam Wooton and all those who are helping with Malcolm‘s training.

Pete Thom









New this week

Conley Ross


Northumberland Lightening



Player after being legally blocked below the waist, got up and confronted blocker. He then violently and deliberately headbutted blocker/opponent with helmet.

07/08/16 v Newcastle Vikings

Previous weeks

Richard Kier


Merseyside Nighthawks



Towards the end of a punt play, players were jogging downfield when the player flagrantly and viciously blocked an opponent who was well out of the play. This triggered a fight.

31/07/16 v Coventry Jets

Christian Holmes


Tamworth Phoenix



Following the action above, the player reacted by confronting several opponents very aggressively which sparked a fight between a number of players, coaches and spectators near the home-team sideline.

31/07/16 v Sheffield Predators

Stephen Donaldson-Ellison


Lancashire Wolverines



Player was seen to kick an opposition team member while on the floor.

07/08/16 v Coventry Jets

Nicholas Smith


Birmingham Bulls



The player disqualified committed two Unsportsmanlike fouls both in the 3rd quarter within five minutes of each other.

31/07/16 v Ouse Valley Eagles

Niall Scott-Grant


London Warriors



In an attempt to get to the dead ball pile, deliberately went through the game official making forcible contact with them.

07/08/16 v London Blitz





New this week

London Blitz B

Hash marks were only 9 inches long, no team areas, some field markings in blue and some in yellow.

Pete Thom #200


Cornish Sharks

Goals were soccer goals with timber uprights attached.

Julian Mallia #336


Leeds Bobcats

80 yard field with blue markings. Lines not wholly straight, sideline has marks did not always line up with middle hash marks.

Mike Cavanagh #465


Lincolnshire Bombers

90 yard field. No limit lines or 9 yard marks. Goal posts at one end of the field were tied to a set of football goals meaning the cross bar was too low. Team areas were not correctly marked out but lines from other sports were used for coaching box lines and player areas.

David Hewitt #607


Newcastle Vikings

Kick off delayed by twenty minutes as medical cover was held up in traffic. One ball boy vanished during the fourth quarter.

Dan Holt #371

14/08/16 v Dundee Hurricanes

Jurassic Coast Raptors

Small issue with separate changing room for female official but was dealt with very quickly by Home Team Management.

Albert Lambert #461

14/08/16 v Torbay Trojans

Dundee Hurricanes

Home team provided NFL Duke balls which visiting team agreed to use.

Shawn Sombati #15

07/08/16 v Aberdeen Roughnecks

Outstanding items from previous weeks

Merseyside Nighthawks

The hash marks were not always in line across the field and some were significantly shorter than 1 yard apart while others were longer. This resulted in first downs being decided based on the chains.

Lee Taylor #183


Portsmouth Dreadnoughts

The 5 yard marks reached the sideline with no gaps - there were no limit lines and no 3 yard marks. With 6 minutes left in the 3rd quarter and the score 22-0 to the home team, the visiting team requested that due to mounting injuries the rest of the game should be under a running clock - the home team agreed to this so the running clock was adopted

David Knight #135

07/08/16 v Hastings Conquerors

Solent Thrashers

Goals beyond end line by about a yard.

Euan Paterson #165

31/07/16 v Kent Exiles

London Warriors

No 9-yard marks or numbers. Hash marks longer than required. No coaching box/team area at all on visiting team sideline; incorrectly marked one on home team sideline. Field uneven and grass needed cutting. Balls very worn.

Jim Briggs #31


Crewe Railroaders

80 yard field only, Crewe had been forced into a late change of field by South Cheshire College although only an 80 yard field plus end zones it was perfectly marked out

Richard Whitby #136

14/08/16 v Leeds Bobcats

Kent Exiles

Well marked 100-yard field just missing limit lines and numbers/9-yard marks. Changing room good size but not lockable and shower and toilet not private.

Tim Ockendon #481


Tamworth Phoenix

Game abandoned with 7 minutes remaining in the 4th quarter due to lack of fit linemen for Coventry. Plaudits and thanks to the Coventry players who changed the referee's tyre after the game when a puncture was discovered.

Jed Brookes-Lewis #395

07/08/16 v Merseyside Nighthawks

Hertfordshire Cheetahs

Plaudits to both teams for a hard fought and well disciplined game

Brian Yates #29

31/07/16 v Bury Saints

Bournemouth Bobcats

The standing water meant one end line was incomplete and the game was played using only one goal

Julian Mallia #336

07/08/16 v Maidstone Pumas

Birmingham Bulls

One set of goalposts were too wide: they were Gaelic football posts.

Darryl Morton #493

31/07/16 v Ouse Valley Eagles

Bristol Apache

No field numbers and coaches and team areas only go to the 35 yard lines.

Mike LeFevre #341

14/08/16 v Cornish Sharks

East Kilbride Pirates

Pitch was found to have numerous lines cut into the pitch for a reason which was unclear. Some of these cuts were deeper than 1 inch and stretched the length of the field the pitch – was deemed unplayable. Fortunately a second pitch at the rugby club was able to be used . So after a delay while this second pitch was marked out to meet minimum requirements the game was able to proceed, but kickoff was delayed by 45 minutes. Credit should be given to the EK Pirates organisation for they way there were able to reline a second pitch in such a short period of time

Henry Richardson #25




New this week

Play: A's ball, 4th and 16, on B's 49. A9's punt is blocked and rolls toward A's goal line. A9 accidentally kicks the ball on A's 26. The ball rolls to A's 6 where B82 bats the ball forward and out of bounds in A's end zone.

Last week

Play: Team A punt. B23 is in a position to catch the kick in flight. B23 makes a legal fair catch signal and the ball then bounces on the ground. The ball bounces up into the air and B23 attempts to recover it. He muffs the ball at the Team B 30 yard line and the ball flies forwards to the Team B 35 yard line where B23 recovers it on the ground. Ruling?

Ruling: When a player who has made a valid fair catch signal tries to catch a kick in flight and muffs the ball, then subsequently catches the ball at a spot in advance of the first touching, the ball is returned to the spot of the first touch (6-5-1-b). In this instance though, since the ball has bounced off the ground it is no longer possible for a player to catch the ball, only recover it (2-4-3-d). Therefore the ball belongs to Team B at the spot of the recovery, the Team B 35 yard line. Remember that since the protection associated with a valid fair catch signal ends after the ball touches the ground, so does the requirement that a muffed recovery be returned to the spot of the first touch.


New this week

Game Situation: On a 7 man crew, when covering a goal line play near the Team A goal line, under what circumstances do the wing men have primary responsibility for the goal line?
Answer next issue...

Last week

Play: On a 4th down play, in which situations will the clock not stop at the end of the play?
Answer: M-6-2-20. At the end of a 4th down, there will either be a turnover, team A will get a new first down, there will be a score or a quarter will end. Therefore the clock will always stop at the end of a 4th down.




Contact for details


July 30th (Sat)

BAFRA Elite Training Day

August 27th (Sat)


19th November (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

BAFRA Directors


David Parsons

General Secretary

Paul Sutton


Charlie Dean Young


Richard Vernon


James Meredith


Pete Thom

Director without Portfolio #1

Peter Parsons

Director without Portfolio #2

Steve Tonkinson

The opinions expressed in this Newsflash are those of the contributors, and not necessarily of BAFRA or its Directors.

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Deadline for articles submitted by email ( is midnight Tuesday.

Editor: Dean Wright - Email: