Issue 01/17                                                                                27 th  January 2017

BAFRA Newsflash


Current prepaid teams are:

ARU, Bath, Bath Spa, Bangor, Birmingham, Bradford, Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, Derby, Edge Hill, Gloucester, Greenwich, Heriot Watt, KCL, Keele, Kingston, Leeds Beckett, Loughborough, Liverpool, Nottingham, Nottingham Trent, Northampton, Northumberland, OBU, Oxford, QMUL, Royal Holloway, Solent, Southampton, Staffordshire, Stirling, Sussex, UCLAN, UCL, UWS, Warwick, Worcester.

Any payments to BAFRA should now be sent to:

25 Daffodil Close




I have redirected mail but please use the new address, and let teams know if possible.  A few senior sides owe BAFRA money and they will not be covered until payment is received.  This may result in games being uncovered at short notice.  I hope all will understand, as this is the one method we have of ensuring members are protected.

We are currently looking for one or two people to help the finance team.  This could be anything from an hour a week to becoming an assistant director and being involved with the accounts system.  If anyone is interested please get in contact with either myself or Roger Brown.

Charlie Dean Young 


As per our Regulations, four Directors are due to stand down at this year’s AGM. They are: the Director of Finance, the Director of Operations, the Director of Recruitment and the Director without Portfolio #2. Two of these have indicated that they will be seeking re-election at the AGM. These are the Director of Operations and the Director without Portfolio #2. The other two, the Directors of Finance and Recruitment, have indicated that they will be standing down at the expiry of their terms of office.

Formal requests for nominations for all four posts will be circulated by 11 th February. The purpose of this notification is to ask all qualified members to consider if they wish to apply for one of the four posts. It is particularly important that we receive nominations for the two posts that will otherwise fall vacant at the conclusion of the AGM.

If members require details of any of the four posts, or wish to discuss anything about the responsibilities involved, they should feel free to contact me or, if they prefer, another Director for further information.

Paul Sutton 


Nominations are invited for the Official of the Year award for 2016. Any BAFRA member may nominate any fellow BAFRA official for this award. The criteria for the award are as follows:

1) The official should have demonstrated that they are actively working to improve their officiating to (or maintain their officiating at) the highest level that their ability and experience allows.

2) The official will have made off field contributions to BAFRA in particular or the sport of American football in Britain in general. Examples would be (but not limited to): serving on BAFRA or BAFA committees or working groups; being involved in the training or development of others; having a flexible attitude to assisting the Director of Operations with his duties; representing BAFRA in the wider football or sports communities.

3) The award shall be open to any person who has been a BAFRA member for the whole of the year excepting that no member may win the award in two consecutive years.

4) The General Secretary will request nominations in the first Newsflash of the New Year. Any BAFRA member may make a nomination for this award; the nomination shall relate to the previous calendar year.

5) The Selection Committee will make the award from the list of members nominated.

Please send your nominations to me (by e-mail) with a short report on why you think the person you nominate should receive the award. The closing date for nominations is 5:00pm on Wednesday 8th February.

Paul Sutton 


The all-time list of members has been updated and is available in the member’s section of the website at: We are always looking to fill in some of the historical gaps so if you have any details about former members who are missing from the list or if you know the full names or numbers of those with partial records, please send them to me for inclusion in the next update.

Paul Sutton 



Work on the 201​7 edition of the Manual of Football Officiating is progressing well and we are looking for a group of people to proof-read it.

If you would be willing to proof-read some sections, please let me know. The more people who volunteer, the less each person needs to do. You don't have to be a mechanics expert to do this - just able to spot spelling and grammar errors and to spot inconsistencies between different sections. However, it is a good way to learn the mechanics at a very detailed level, so even rookie officials would be able to do it. Full instructions are provided.

Jim Briggs

Mechanics Manual Editor


Liam Hulse of the LJMU Fury was recently disqualified for targeting. An appeal against the disqualification provided video evidence which claimed to show the hit was not targeting. After an in-depth appeal hearing, the panel determined that the evidence provided did not show conclusively that the hit was not targeting and have therefore denied the appeal. Liam is therefore required to serve the original suspension in the team’s next game. I understand this to be on the 29th of January against the Warwick Wolves.

On the 11th of December Jack Rice of the NTU Renegades was disqualified from the game against Stirling Clansmen.  The NTU Renegades on behalf of Jack Rice appealed the disqualification and the case was put to an appeals panel. After lengthy deliberation the appeal was denied and the disqualification stood.  Mr Rice’s suspension was due to be served on the 22nd of January against the Derby Braves.

David Knight 


For personal reasons I have decided to retire from most active refereeing. As a result of my retirement I have a complete "Instant Referee" kit available as defined below.  A donation to the current BAFRA charity secures this “Instant Referee” kit.  Anyone who wants any of this kit should contact me and be prepared to come and collect it.


Long sleeve XL, Long sleeve L (with USA flag), Short sleeve L (with USA flag).


Long XL (Honig), Shorts 36” (a bit scruffy!), Thermal long underpants L, Sweater (black – size unknown but has been worn under long sleeve shirt).


Karrimore size 9 (Use on artificial turf), Patrick EU size 44 (Studs), Black and white hats in cages x 2. SIZE 7 ¼.

Kit in case:

Yellow flags x 2, Chain clip, Down counter sweat band x 4, Whistle on lanyard x 3, Cloth bean bag, white x 3, Plastic bean bag x 2, Black belt, Referee gloves.

Rule book 2016

Officiating manual 15th edition.

Flight case with wheels.

Ken Gambrill



Please note that directors have been in discussion with the NFL regarding costs for BAFRA to provide the Chain Crew.  The NFL will cover the overnight charge for one night and the meals which they currently supply.  We will in future be paying the selected members £60 an official for working the game.  No expenses will be paid for working the game.  Please be aware of this when you apply for chain crew.

Roger Brown 









New this week - None

Previous weeks

Liam Hulse


LJM Fury



After an interception, the player delivered a blindside block by launching upwards and forcibly into the head of a member of the passing team who was trailing the returner and did not see this block coming, nor was he in a position to protect himself.

29/01/17 v Warwick Wolves





New this week

Hertfordshire Hurricanes

No medical coverage was forthcoming so game abandoned after waiting 1 hour despite attempts by the home team to secure adequate coverage.

Brian Yates #29

26/02/17 v Birmingham Lions

Oxford Lancers

The field was frozen which in itself would not have stopped the game being played. However the surface was frozen into ridges and holes which could have lead to a serious injury and so the field was deemed unsafe.

Keith Wickham #423

29/01/17 v Cardiff Cobras

Outstanding items from previous weeks

Leicester Longhorns

No team areas marked. Game suspended for 11\4 hours with 9 minutes left in 3rd quarter due to serious neck injury sustained by a DMU player necessitating air ambulance. Game reduced to ten minute quarters.

Brian Yates #29

12/02/17 v Coventry Jets

Chichester Spitfires

Crew was greeted by game management who stated that the medical cover would only be available until 15:15.  Game management then found a registered physio from the opponents who was prepared to take over responsibility once the medical cover left.  Although this did happen at the 2 minute warning, the original medical cover was still at the venue when the game ended. Field was blue markings on a 90 yard field with 7 yard endzones. Chain crew were slow but were sorted by game management.  Crew wishes to stated that game management dealt extremely well with lots of difficult situations and should be applauded.  No team areas marked, no limit lines.

David Knight #135

29/01/17 v Southampton Stags

NTU Renegades

During the run back at the start of the 2nd half, Referee collided with a photographer in the restricted area. The photographer was not aligned to either team. Game Management removed the photographer from the restricted area.

Andrew Lovell #559

29/01/17 v Stirling Clansmen

QMUL Vipers

Well marked 90-yard field in blue with other sport markings in white. No limit lines or numbers but marks at 9-yard depth. No team areas, although another sport line approximated as a team area line. Goal at one end of the field was judged too close to a main road with inadequate fencing protection, so all offensive plays were played toward the opposite goal.

Tim Ockendon #481

19/02/17 v Essex Blades

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

Southampton Stags

No limit lines, the plane of the goal posts is beyond the end line. One ball person changed during the first half.

Peter Parsons #321

12/02/17 v Brunel Burners

Sheffield Sabres

80 yard field, no limit lines, no team areas. Kick off delayed for around 15 minutes as medical cover hadn't arrived. In the end we used a suitably qualified person that was there as a spectator (from Hallam University) until the medic that had been booked finally arrived (at the end of the first quarter). It transpires that no one had informed the medical cover that kick off had been moved from 13:00 to 12:00.

Daniel Holt #371

29/01/17 v UCL Rams

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

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

Huddersfield Hawks

No limit lines, 3 yard marks, 9 yard marks or numbers.  Coaching areas and player boxes were missing but we were able to accommodate these using lines from other sports markings.  This was an 80 yard field with no posts so this was a no post game.  With approx 3 minutes 10 seconds left in the 4th quarter the game was suspended for 10 minutes due to floodlight failure.

David Hewitt #607

29/01/17 v Northampton Nemesis

Edinburgh Predators

No limit line, team box or coaching box marked. No mark for PATs. Edinburgh have about 6 team jerseys which have numbers on the front which are too small by rule, they intend to have these rectified before their next game.

Henry Richardson #25

05/02/17 v Edinburgh Knights

Derby Braves

Team areas marked with cones. Only one goal so all drives were toward one end

Brian Yates #29

12/02/17 v Durham Saints

KCL Regents

Pitch had been marked too close to a pair of 5-a-side soccer pitches. Initially game management said that the pitches would not be in use past 11.45am (12pm KO) but this did not prove to be the case, so KO was delayed. Game management were then informed that one of the pitches would cease to be in use from 1.10pm so a temporary solution was devised with the home team area reduced in size to keep them away from the pitch that was still in use. Just prior to KO another game started on the pitch that was supposedly not in use, delaying the earliest safe kickoff to 2.30pm. As available light and medical cover would not allow the completion of the fixture with this KO time, after consultation with both coaches it was agreed that the officials would leave the venue and a scrimmage under the supervision of coaches would take place.

Tim Ockendon #481

29/01/17 v BNU Buccaneers

Liverpool Raptors

With 1.30 left in the 3rd quarter, Chester decided they could not continue following an injury to one of their players due to the risk of further injury to other players. No team areas marked.

Stuart Alger #179

12/02/17 v Leeds Gryphons

Sunderland Spartans

Game played at Druid Park, Abandoned with 10:16 remaining in the 4th quarter, due to lack of lighting/visibility, floodlights were used, but they didn't provide adequate lighting to the field.

Liam Wooton 478

12/02/17 v Newcastle Raiders

Sussex Saxons

No limit lines marked - clash of other field markings also in white - field markings difficult to see on occasions - grass a little long. Changing room too small for 4 people.

12/02/17 v Brighton Tsunami

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

Kingston Cougars

No coaching box, team area or limit lines. One stake required repair after a player collided with it.

Peter Parsons #321

12/02/17 v Hertfordshire Hurricanes

ARU Rhinos

With 07.35 remaining in the 3rd quarter the game was suspended due to a player injury. Upon assessment by the medical cover an ambulance was required and the player could not be moved from the field. After 30 minutes of waiting the ambulance had still not arrived and sunset was approaching. In agreement with both coaches at this point the game was suspended due to failing light.

Lee Wood #517

05/02/17 v Greenwich Mariners

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

Teeside Cougars

No Posts at either end and field markings were not straight.

David Parsons #425

29/01/17 v York Centurians

MMU Eagles

90 yard field marked in blue with rugby markings in white. Extra point marks at 9 yard line.  No coach or team areas marked. Officials' changing room was barely big enough for 2, so pre-game was held in the bar.

Tony Newsham #302

29/01/17 v Leicester Longhorns

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

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

Hull Sharks

No limit lines, no pylons denoting hash marks, no 9 yard marks, irregular yard marks at the 5 yard to Goal Line at one end of the field.

Chris Jarvis #10

29/01/17 v Glasgow Tigers

Cardiff Cobras

Officials' changing room small. Bigger room was supposed to be available but overrunning soccer game meant it was not.

Jed Brookes-Lewis #395

05/02/17 v Exeter Demons

Northumbria Mustangs

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

Henry Richardson #25

05/02/17 v Hull Sharks

LJM Fury

Team areas were not marked. Three changing rooms were provided, however the visiting team required the use of two changing rooms as they had both male and female players. The officials therefore had to “time-share” one of the changing rooms with the visiting team . The changing rooms were not lockable.

Ben Griffiths #228

29/01/17 v Warwick Wolves



New this week

Play:  Team A's ball, 4th and 11, on the Team A 28 yard line. A4's punt is blocked. The ball is rolling at the Team A 6 yard line when A9 kicks the ball over Team A's end line.  Because of the game situation, Team B will decide to decline the safety.  Next play?


Last week

Play:  A's ball, 3rd and 10 on the B30.  Time is starting to run out in the half and team A decide to go for a field goal.  The attempted field goal is blocked by B90 before it crosses the line of scrimmage.  The ball flies back towards midfield and goes out of bounds at team B's 40 yard line.  There are 2 seconds left on the game clock.  Ruling?  Clock?

Ruling:  If a scrimmage kick goes out of bounds between the goal lines, or comes to rest inbounds and no player attempts to secure it, the ball becomes dead and belongs to the receiving team at the dead-ball spot (6-3-7).  Therefore team B will get the ball, 1st and 10 on the B40.  The clock will run on the snap (3-3-2-d).


New this week

Game Situation: On a 4 man crew on a punt play, the Linejudge often ends up a long way from the end of the kick. How

can the ball boy be instructed before the game to help the Linejudge in this regard?

Answer next issue...

Last week

Play: Which official has responsibility for ensuring that the game balls are made available before the game?

Answer:  M-8-2-8.  The Linejudge should ensure that the game balls are available, and make sure not to allow players to practice with them before the game.




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.

All Incident Reports to be submitted via

Deadline for articles submitted by email ( is midnight Tuesday.

Editor: Dean Wright - Email:

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