BAFRA Newsflash

Issue: 46/16

24th November 2016


The end of the year may be approaching but we have a full schedule of games for both 3rd/4th December and the 10th/11th December. As a result we require as many officials as possible to cover these games.

I realise many of you have commitments at this time of year but your assistance in helping us to provide officials at all the games and tournaments is much appreciated. If you are currently shown unavailable on Arbiter but do become free to work a game then please get in touch.

Thanks to all everyone for your continued availability and your help, flexibility and ongoing support.

From the BAFRA Operations Team.

Richard Vernon


The Board would like to thank those who expressed an interest in this vacancy. We received a number of high calibre applicants for the vacant position. We offer our congratulations to Shawn Sombati who was the successful applicant and our thanks to all others who applied.

Paul Sutton


The President has received a letter from Cancer Research UK acknowledging receipt of the £1795 raised during our charity weekend this year and thanking all members who generously contributed. The Board also congratulate members for raising this sum, the highest amount raised so far for our annually nominated charity.

Paul Sutton









New this week

Jesse Wireko-Gyami


Hull Sharks



Player was seen to punch an opponent.

27/11/16 v Northumbria Mustangs

David Strachan


West Coast Trojans



Player disqualified himself after committing a 2nd unsportsmanlike penalty


Previous weeks

Alan Delaney-Munn


Greenwich Mariners



Player was seen to throw a punch at an opponent who was legally blocking him.

27/11/16 v QM Vipers

Declan Hutchinson





Player was disqualified as his spikes were all metal rugby style spikes and too long.

27/11/16 v NTU Renegades





New this week

Bath Spa Bulldogs

Field markings were not at their best. We had an 80 yard field but end zones between 10 and 15 yards deep with, at one end, goal posts a further three yards behind the end line. May other line markings were short and crooked, however there was nothing that needed to halt or cancel the game which was a fairly played and competitive contest.

Francis Bevan #474

29/01/17 v Plymouth Blitz

NTU Renegades

Ambulance broke down on the way to venue. Game called at 14:00 when it was apparent there was no solution.

Jed Brookes-Lewis #395

27/11/16 v Loughborough

Chester Legion

There were no changing rooms (nor toilet facilities) of any description available at the game site. Apparently the University had made a changing room available, but this was a 20 minute drive away. The visiting team had therefore dressed prior to travel. A Sunday league soccer match was taking place near-by and the home team for this match allowed us to briefly use their hut so that the officials could dress, but this was locked as soon as we had dressed and no further access was possible. A note to future crews; I’d advise travelling to the game site already dressed. No 9 nine yard marks or numbers, but there were Rugby Union markings in blue at approximately the correct position. The team areas were marked but the coaching line was at approximately 10 feet with the second line at approximately 20 feet. The home team stated that they would initially be able to provide only one ball-person, however when they were reminded they two were required a second was eventually provided 10 minutes prior to kick-off.

Ben Griffiths #228

29/01/17 v Bangor Muddogs

LJM Fury

With 2:24 remaining in the third quarter there was a 45 minute delay due to a significant player injury requiring an ambulance. Game management dealt with delays and other issues very well. Hash marks too wide, PAT line at 2 instead of 3-yd line. No team areas.

Stuart Young #33

27/11/16 v Staffordshire Stallions

Liverpool Raptors

With Liverpool leading 27-0 at the end of the first half, the away head coach informed the crew that they would not be willing to play the second half. The reasons given were that they had a a depleted squad which had been further exacerbated by injuries from the first half, meaning it would be unsafe to continue. Game was abandoned at this point. Hash Marks too wide, PAT line on the 2 instead of the 3-yard line. no team areas marked.

Stuart Young #33

04/12/16 v Chester Legion

Huddersfield Hawks

Field was only 85 yards with 7 yard endzones. No limit lines, 9 yard marks or coaching/players boxes. The lines were in red and very faint in places but this didn't cause too many problems. The game balls provided were all very under-inflated and had to be pumped up. There were no posts so the game was played as a no post game, although Leicester wish it made clear that they were playing under protest as the kicking game was an important part of their gameplan.

David Hewitt #607

04/12/16 v DMU Falcons

UWS Pyros

Although an ambulance was booked it did not arrive on time, and a replacement had to be organised. Although this was expected to delay the game for 1 hour both coaches agreed to go ahead with the game. Unfortunately a few minutes before the ambulance was due to arrive a car crash occurred on the main road outside the venue, which closed the road to all incoming traffic. The game was, therefore, abandoned.

Ian Sneddon #427

05/02/17 v Heriot-Watt

City Sentinels

The game was played in the East London Rugby Club and there were multiple problems. 1st the changing room is very small, suitable for at most 3 officials. 2nd the chain set was not good, as one of the chain ends was just 1 metre tall. 3rd was with the field, it was full of leaves and the field markings were dark blue, which were not really visible. Apart from these we had a nice muddy football match.

Viktor Janvari #63

05/02/17 v UCL Emperors

Dumfries Hunters

Start of game was delayed by 25 minutes due to late arrival of medical staff. Lines were very faint (dark green). Team boxes not marked properly. 2nd half was played with 12 minute quarters agreed upon by both teams.

Shawn Sombati #15


Clyde Valley Blackhawks

Start of game delayed by 15 minutes as teams arrived late to field and card checked delayed kickoff.

Shawn Sombati #15


Lincoln Colonials

Goals were soccer goals with extended uprights. Field markings faint. No team areas marked. Changing room was cramped, dirty and full of old lost property

Brian Yates #29

05/02/17 v DMU Falcons

Reading Knights

Best marked field - worst chain crew. Good game with no major incidents

David Knight #135

27/11/16 v Portsmouth Destroyers

Gloucester Gladiators

Kickoff was delayed by 15 minutes due to late arrival of away team. The field is 80 yards long and generally well marked out, but the inbounds hash marks were approximately 18 yards from the sidelines (2 yards closer than they should be), and the team areas were set back too far from the sidelines. The chain set is poor condition; one of the stakes was found to be broken and required an emergency repair before kickoff. The officials' changing room was spacious, but dirty and cold (the heater was broken!).

Amir Brooks #593

04/12/16 v Bath Spa Bulldogs

Outstanding items from previous weeks

Leeds Carnegie

This is a 80yd field where the yard lines are 12" short of the side line. There are no team or coaches areas marked, these were marked out with low safety cones prior to KO.

Chris Jarvis #10

11/12/16 v Manchester Tyrants

Bangor Muddogs

Upon arrival it was found that an area of the field from the 10 yard line to the goalline in one corner was extremely waterlogged. Despite the efforts of the groundstaff and buckets of sand this area was declared unsafe. To allow the game to proceed, after consulting both coaches, the game was played as a 1 post game with the offences driving away from the area. The rest of the field, although squidgy in places, remained playable for the duration of the game.

John Roberts #145

05/02/17 v Liverpool Raptors

Bradford Bears

Kick off was delayed for 25 mins due to 11 Bradford players not appearing on the BUCS webpage of registered players. This meant players had to verify their registration with the Keele coaching staff by showing email confirmations on their mobile phones. No limit lines,9 yard marks or 3 yard marks. The in field hash marks were marked with blue aerosol and had pretty much disappeared by halftime. The game balls supplied by the home team were of poor quality and soft so keele kindly let us use 3 of their game balls.

David Hewitt #607

11/12/16 v Chester Legion

Durham Saints

On arrival, field was marked as 100 yards but with posts roughly 3 yards inside endzones. Agreed with both coaches to shorten the field to 90 yards and use 5-yard lines as the goal lines and roughly 8-yard endzones. Durham expect this to be rectified "at some point". Balls presented to officials about 10 minutes prior to kick off and were significantly under legal pressure. Line judge had pump and gauge but due to distance to changing rooms this adjustment led to a 10 minute delay in kick off. Second half delayed by 5 minutes due to medical cover leaving the playing area during half-time and being slow to return. No team/coach areas marked.

Stuart Young #33

11/12/16 v Derby Braves

Greenwich Mariners

Played at Orpington RFC. 90-yard field with 9-yard end zones and main lines every 10 yards. No coaching lines, limit lines, numbers or 9-yard marks. inbounds lines only marked on a quarter of the pitch and at incorrect depth so were ignored. KO delayed by 15 minutes due to problems sourcing officials assistants, clearing field of dog excrement and attempts to source an alternative home kit that clashed less with the opponents' kit.

Tim Ockendon #481

11/12/16 v UEL Titans

Royal Holloway Bears

The lines were painted yellow and were very indistinct. When looking towards the end the sun was shining from it was almost impossible to see the lines

Keith Wickham #423

11/12/16 v Kent Falcons

UWE Bullets

Team areas marked between the 35 yard lines with a coaching line but no players' box line. The UWE students union advised that kickoff was scheduled for 1200, but both teams were under the impression that kickoff was at 1300, and arrived on that basis. At about 1250 the crew was advised that the medical cover booked to attend was stuck in traffic related to a Remembrance day event, it's expected ETA was 1400 and the home team were attempting to source medical cover from other sources. At 1330 the crew were advised that the originally scheduled medical cover would not be attending as they had returned to their base and attempts to source alternative cover were not successful, at which point the game was abandoned.

Peter Parsons #321

11/12/16 v Exeter Demons

Birmingham Lions

No coaching box line marked. No limit lines. Team areas marked to beyond the 25 yard lines.

Peter Parsons #321

03/12/16 v Hertfordshire Hurricanes

Newcastle Raiders

90 yard field, no limit lines, one of the stakes was missing the top section.

Daniel Holt #371

11/12/16 v Sunderland Spartans

Cardiff Cobras

Generally well marked out field. Team areas marked well off the sideline (Approx 18ft) and between the 20 yard lines.

Stuart Tabberer #348

27/11/16 v UWE Bullets

UCL Emporers

Excellent facility but as it is Watford FC training facility you cannot gain access to changing room until 1pm. Game kicked off at 1:40 so, as per rule, ran 10 minute quarters.

Brian Yates #29

11/12/16 v Chichester Spitfires

Derby Braves

Field Markings were blue on a green surface. Team Areas marked with temporary barriers and cones. Only one goal post so game played "one-way", Stirling's jersey numbers did not contrast with the background colour however they changed to an alternate jersey to comply.

Richard Whitby #136

04/12/16 v Loughborough

Bath Killer Bees

The field is generally very well marked out (albeit in blue). However, the endlines (which are the rugby goal lines) had not been re-marked and were a rather faint white - this didn't present a problem on the day but may do in the future. The team areas were marked out much too far from the sidelines, so new team areas were marked out in cones. Plaudits must go to the two teams, who played a well-contested good-natured game with no major penalties. The official's assistants were also very good.

Amir Brooks #593

05/02/17 v Swansea Titans

Sunderland Spartans

Kick off delayed by 35 minutes whilst awaiting for medical requirements to be met, apparently Sunderland only asked for first aiders. Home team could only provide 2 footballs, so we asked Glasgow if they had any, which they provided. Padding had to be added to a wall, which is within a couple of yards at one end of the pitch, soccer goal posts had to be moved out of the way and one set of football posts had to be rotated as they were at a 45 degree angle to the sideline. Game suspended early in the 3rd quarter due to an injury to a Sunderland player, then again later in 3rd to deal with a disqualified player.

04/12/16 v Northumbria Mustangs

Leeds Celtics

Game abandoned at end of 3rd Quarter due to injuries with Leeds Celtics Linemen.

Daniel Johnston #347

04/12/16 v Bangor Mudogs

QMUL Vipers

Game kick off delayed due to late arrival of officials. One goal mechanics used due to proximity of one set to main road.

Jeremy Parker #544

27/11/16 v Greenwich Mariners


No team box or coaching boxes marked. No limit line.

Henry Richardson #25

11/12/16 v Teesside Cougars

Kent Falcons

90-yard field marked in red with other sport markings in white, yellow and blue. No limit lines, numbers or 9-yard marks. Team areas marked with cones. Inbounds lines at incorrect depth.

Tim Ockendon #481

12/02/17 v Royal Holloway Bears

Manchester Tyrants

Start of game delayed by slightly over 60 minutes as medical crew forgot the game was on despite being contacted on Friday by the home team. They did arrive approximately 1 hour after the scheduled kickoff time and were briefed. The field is a 90 yard AstroTurf pitch which is reasonably well marked in blue, there are some rugby marks on the field in white but they do not distract from the football markings. There are no coaches or team areas marked

04/12/16 v Sheffield Hallam Warriors

Coventry Jets

80 yard field marked in red. No team areas. Coventry wore blue and pink jerseys, MMU wore blue and orange.

Jed Brookes-Lewis #395

27/11/16 v Huddersfield Hawks

Northumbria Mustangs

No team box marked , no numbers, no limit line.

Henry Richardson #25

05/02/17 v Hull Sharks

Sussex Saxons

Game started 40 minutes late whilst we awaited the arrival of the medical cover. As this was the first game in a doubleheader, which already had a tight timeline, it was agreed to shorten all quarters to 10minutes.

David Knight #135

04/12/16 v Portsmouth Destroyers



New this week

Play: Time is running out towards the end of the 4th quarter. Team A are losing by 1 points and have 3rd and 15 on the Team B 20 yard line, Team A decide to go for a field goal. The kick is blocked by B90 behind the line of scrimmage. The ball bounces backwards and rolls out of bounds on the team B 25 yard line. The ball never crossed the line of scrimmage. There are 3 seconds left on the clock when the ball goes out of bounds. Ruling? Next play? Clock?

Last week

Play: 1st and 10 on the Team A 20 yard line. Running back A34 is running with the ball in the open field at the Team A 30 yard line. Defensive Safety B20 runs quickly to engage A34 in the front, tackling him by launching himself, leaving his feet in an upward direction and making contact with his shoulder against A34's head / neck area. A34 falls to the ground at the Team A 25 yard line. Ruling?

Ruling: B20's action is guilty of targeting A34 under rule 2-35. However this action is not illegal under rule 9-1-4 since A34 is not a defenceless player (rule 2-27-14). There is no foul here. If B20 had lead with the crown of his helmet, then this action would have been illegal under rule 9-1-3.


New this week

Game Situation: What is the “Silent Wind” and when should a Referee be using it?
Answer next issue...

Last week

Play: 1st and 10 on the A30. A89 runs a post pattern on the Linejudge's side of the field and is held by B33 at the A40 yard line. Quarterback A13 then throws a legal forward pass to A82 on the Linesman's side of the field. A82 is downed on the A38. Ruling?
Answer: Downfield on passing plays where a legal forward pass crosses the line of scrimmage, everywhere is the point of attack - a foul on an eligible receiver can occur anywhere. Defensive holding by B33, 10 yards from the previous spot and a first down. A's ball, 1st and 10 on the A40. (M-3-3-2-a, 9-3-4-e)




Contact for details


February 18th (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

April 1st & 2nd (Sat / Sun)

BAFRA Convention Weekend

April 1st (Sat)


May 6th (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

July 22nd (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

November 18th (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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Editor: Dean Wright - Email: