Issue 02/17                                                                                3td February 2017

BAFRA Newsflash


There is a very large number of games scheduled throughout February (over 30 games a week). Can I ask that everyone tries to be available for at least one of these games. This will enable us to meet the heavy demand for our services.

It is also likely that some games will be scheduled to be played midweek and possible during the day. If this happens I will contact all local officials by email to see if they can assist.

Your continued co-operation is much appreciated.

Richard Vernon 


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 to all qualified members. 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 









New this week

Tom Fields


MMU Eagles



The first unsportsmanlike foul occurred early in the 3rd quarter for celebrating directly in front of opposing players. The second occurred when the opposing team were taking a knee, where he was flagged for unnecessary roughness having been clearly warned that they were taking a knee and not to contest the play.

05/02/17 v Huddersfield Hawks

Previous weeks - none





New this week

Lancaster Bombers

Pitch only 80 yards long no team area markings.  Pitch marked in blue with other sport marking on the field.

Tony Newsham #302

26/02/17 v York Centurions

Reading Knights

After multiple delays to the arrival of the booked medical cover, the game kicked off late with medical cover sourced through the visiting team's contacts and was shortened to 8 minute quarters. The changing rooms were not lockable.

Peter Parsons #321

19/02/17 v Brighton Tsunami

Sheffield Sabres

80 yard field marked in red. Team areas not marked.

Jed Brookes-Lewis

19/02/17 v Leeds Carnegie

Liverpool Raptors

Field marked with NFL narrow hash-marks, no coaching boxes and team areas.

Richard Whitby #136

12/02/17 v Leeds Gryphons

Royal Holloway Bears

The field is 100 yards long with proper football goalposts, but the field surface is very deep in wet conditions, as we had today. Team area markings were non-existent and we had problems getting enough helpers for the chain crew and ball persons. Changing room is a closable room inside the men's changing rooms, so it may not be fully proper with ladies on the crew.

Viktor Janvari #63

26/02/17 v Imperial Immortals

Portsmouth Destroyers

Barrier prevented access to venue and had to wait for someone to come and let us in. Game kicked off 10 minutes late whilst the crew briefed the chain crew and ball boys.  Field markings poor, no team areas or limit lines. Hash marks in the incorrect place (NFL) although the team did place a reference mark where the hash marks should have been. Box (new) fell apart on several occasions, numbers kept falling off. Field cut up a lot.  Changing rooms not lockable.  Teams played the game in a good spirit in poor weather.

05/02/17 v Reading Knights

Hull Sharks

No limit lines, no nine yard marks, no 3 yard marks. Delay for about 6 minutes in 4th quarter due to injury.

Dan Holt #371

19/02/16 v Newcastle Raiders

LJM Fury

No 3 yard marks. No coaches or players boxes marked, although there are other markings that can be used as approximate lines.

John Roberts #145

19/02/17 v Nottingham Outlaws

MMU Eagles

No team or coach areas marked. Otherwise a very well marked field.

Stuart Alger #179

05/02/17 v Huddersfield Hawks

Swansea Titans

The field was generally well marked out, but heavy rain before and during the game resulted in the lines being rather faint. No 9-yard marks, limit lines or separate player areas.

Amir Brooks #593

19/02/17 v Hertfordshire Hurricanes

Canterbury Chargers

Well marked 90-yard field with 8-yard end zones, marked in blue with other sport markings in yellow & white. Missing limit lines, numbers & 9-yard marks with coaching line at incorrect depth. Game balls presented were all under-inflated but this was rectified by game management prior to kickoff.

Tim Ockendon #481

26/02/17 v UEL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



New this week

Play: 4th and 5 on the Team A 35 yard line. With time running out in the 2nd quarter quarterback A6 scrambles out wide and runs beyond the line of scrimmage to the Team A 38 yard line, where he throws a forward pass which is completed to eligible receiver A81 who is downed on the Team B40 yard line. Time in the first half expires during the play.


Last 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?

Ruling:  A9 is guilty of illegal kicking (9-4-4). The penalty is 10 yards from the basic spot and loss of down. The penalty is enforced using the 3 in 1 principle, i.e. the spot of the foul since this is a team A foul behind the basic spot (10-2-2-c-1). Team B will get the ball, 1st and goal, on the Team A 3 yard line.


New this week

Game Situation:  1st and goal at the B2, team A run a quarterback sneak.  The umpire sees the ball-carrier clearly break the plane of the goal line before falling down, however both wing officials' views are obscured by other players.  How should the umpire communicate that a touchdown has been scored?

Answer next issue...

Last week

Play: 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: M-22-3-8.  The ball persons should be instructed before the game that they may be as ked to retrieve an official's bean bag if it has been dropped some distance from the end of the play.  In this instance the ball boy can retrieve the bean bag that the Linejudge has dropped at the end of the kick. Instruct the ball boy that they must never touch the bean bag without being asked to do so.




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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