Issue 04/17                                                                                16th February 2017

BAFRA Newsflash


It is with great sadness that I have to report the passing of Willie Price, Willie was BAFRA member No. 43 during the eighties and early nineties, an American Airman based in Suffolk, he continued to officiate high school football and other sports until 2015. Those of us who knew Willie remember him as someone who did not suffer fools gladly but had a wicked sense of humour. He passed away on Sunday 29th January after a long illness, our thoughts are with his family.

Willie's funeral service will be on 21st Feb at the West Suffolk Crematorium in Bury St. Edmunds at 3:45pm.

Pete Thom



I can now confirm our Annual Convention and Training weekend will take place on the above dates.  As such there will be plenty of details and information appearing in Newsflash over the coming weeks. Every year our attendance numbers have grown and I’m positive this year will be no exception. Let’s keep the momentum going and make sure you keep up to date via Newsflash.

Once again the BAFRA Board have put together a fantastic accommodation package as you will see below.  We also intend providing lunch and an evening meal on the Saturday at no additional cost to our members.

Administering the registration process and payments is quite time consuming now given our high attendance figures.  As such I would request you register and make your room payments as early as possible

Guest Speaker

I am delighted to announce that Jim Farmer will be our Guest of Honour and main speaker at the Convention.  As you will see from the attached CV, Jim is an experienced Official and a veteran of many Officiating Clinics and Conventions. We are thrilled he has accepted our invitation and I’m sure our members will benefit greatly from his attendance. I’m also certain that like all our previous guests he will make many new friends and will leave with lots of fond memories.


The Convention will be held at Yarnfield Park Training & Conference Centre, Yarnfield Lane, Yarnfield, Staffordshire, ST15 0NL.  Yarnfield Park is a leading Training and Conference centre in the heart of the UK.  I would recommend that you look over the facility on their website where you can also find details of the location and directions:


To register to attend the Convention, you need to send an email to Sean Welsh at  Again we will be making up personalised Convention Packs, Presentation handouts, Game Film DVD, Programme of Events, Game Day Paperwork, etc.  As such you do need to pre-register.


As mentioned above we are trying to make the Convention more accessible to everyone.  This year we have again negotiated excellent rates for accommodation which are detailed below.  In addition, the BAFRA Board has also agreed to provide some funding to keep down the costs.  The rates indicated are per room and include all discounts and a full breakfast. 

Twin Room:        £40.00 per night (So if you share with someone it will only cost you £20.00 per night)

Single Room:        £40.00 per night

Remember, to take advantage of the above rates you must book your room with Sean at 


Payment for Convention rooms are due by 19th March and payment can be made electronically or by cheque.

By cheques; with full payment included, should be made payable to BAFRA Ltd and sent to Charles Young at 25 Daffodil Close Haslingden Rossendale BB4 6NG.  Cheques may not be cashed till this date.


By electronic payment; please ensure your payment reference is your full name and BAFRA number e.g.  “Roger Brown 469” and use the account number 10255350, sort code 16-16-11, BAFRA Ltd, RBS, Cheetham Hill, Manchester.

By electronic payment plan; It is appreciated that some people may wish to spread the cost and make multiple payments over the weeks leading up to 19th March.  Please use the same instructions as above.  If you wish to make multiple payments, then you must make the payments electronically and not by cheque.

Please let us know how you wish to pay by including this information in your email to Sean Welsh at when you register.

Game Fees

Unfortunately, payment for the Convention cannot be taken from Game Fees.  The administration work involved is far too time consuming and does not fit well with our newly introduced process of paying games Fees by direct transfer to your bank account.

Friday Night

Last year 85 people stayed on the Friday night to save an early rise and travel on the Saturday morning.  As such the above rates are available again for both the Friday and Saturday nights.

As the event promises to be our biggest and best for a while I would recommend booking your room as early as possible.  You can do this at the same time you register to attend.

Davie Parsons


Can all qualified officials ensure that they update Arbiter to cover the play-offs which take place next month. Also please remember you will receive assignments later than normal due to the fixtures being dependent on the result of the previous weekend.

Note that the BUCS Bowl and Tier 1 Finals are taking place over the weekend 25th/26th March at a venue TBC.  The Tier 2 Northern and Southern Finals will be on 19th March.

In addition several Associate and Pre-Season games will be scheduled for 19th March.

Richard Vernon 


The regular season provisional schedule has been circulated with sixty eight teams playing in 3 Divisions and 12 Conferences. Six first season teams will join the league in 2017.

The new teams are:

The regular season commences the week after the BAFRA Convention, on 9th April and is completed on 13th August. There is only one vacant weekend (27th/28th May).

Based on the provisional fixture list it appears that unlike recent seasons the league immediately starts with a full set of fixtures (20). The busiest week of senior football has 23 games due to be played although on average there will be 20 games a week.

In addition several Associate Teams (Teams working towards full league status) have full fixture lists which will require BAFRA coverage.

Note that the Youth/Junior Fixture has not been published so there will be even more games/tournaments than this to be covered

Please ensure you update Arbiter so we have the maximum number of available officials to work games.  If anyone has specific questions regarding any aspect of this please contact

If you become unavailable after accepting an assignment you are welcome to use my personal email address but please always copy operations into all issues relating to game availability to ensure the matter receives immediate attention.

Richard Vernon 


The Sapphire Series is the national championship for women’s contact football. The series, which runs from February to April, sees teams compete across a number of tournaments in both 5 v 5 and 7 v 7 formats. The series runs with tournament-style game days at which 4 -5 teams will be present.

It is important that officials realise that if you are shown available on these dates you will be considered for one of the tournaments. If you do not wish to be considered then you must update Arbiter accordingly.  We will put all these events onto Arbiter and assign officials based on their availability and proximity to an event.  The first series of events is on 25th February and officials who have worked this format in 2016 are welcome to contact us if they wish to work at a specific tournament. Officials will be paid a game fee for these assignments direct through BAFA/BAFRA. However if you do not wish to be considered for this format of the game then let us know.  It is hoped that mentors will be available at some of these events to advise and assist official who are new to this form of the sport.

There is very likely to be an event near you so please try to cover at least one of them. It will be a great learning experience for newer officials and a valuable contribution by all BAFRA officials to the development of BAFA's women's football programme.

Richard Vernon 


The nomination papers have been sent to all qualified members and nominations for the four director post due for election at the AGM must be received by 5:00pm on Saturday 4th March. As always, I will publish a list of the nominations received to date in Newsflash each week. By 2:00pm on Wednesday 15th February, the following had been received:

The Directors encourage members to put themselves forward for all of the above posts. 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 


Congratulations to Steve Hall on completing all of the requirements necessary to become Qualified.  Thanks to John Roberts and all those who are helping with Steve‘s training.

Pete Thom









New this week

Laurynas Orlovicius


Sheffield Hallam Warriors



The player - who was on the ground following a legal contact - sat up and lashed out at his opponent making forcible contact to the head.

19/02/17 v Manchester Tyrants

Callum Redding


Northumbria Mustangs



Player has led with crown of helmet towards a defenceless clearly going to ground. Contact was made with head of opponent.

19/02/17 v Sunderland Spartans

Previous weeks - none





New this week

Northumbria Mustangs

NFL hash marks. Small changing room with no private shower. 2nd half KO delayed due to lack of assistants.

Daniel Johnston #347

19/02/17 v Sunderland Spartans

Portsmouth Destroyers

The game was played on an extremely muddy field, with "extra" narrow NFL type hashes on the field in addition to the wider markings. No 9 yard marks, and parts of the field were so muddy that the markings disappeared.

Viktor Janvari #63

19/02/17 v Sussex Saxons

Southampton Stags

Team areas not correctly marked and goals attached to fence approximately a yard behind the endline

David Knight #135


Exeter Demons

To avoid a jersey colour clash, Exeter played in a mixture of white and green jerseys. There were no on-field number clashes between colours. No nine yard marks or on field numbers. Numbers were marked out of bounds on one side. Team areas marked with cones.

Euan Paterson #165

19/02/17 v Solent Redhawks

Sussex Saxons

Game was suspended with 1 minute remaining in the 2nd quarter due to a serious injury. Both coaches agreed to forgo the remainder of the quarter. The game was resumed 95 mins later once the injured player had been removed by ambulance.

Simon Ryan #408

26/02/17 v Reading Knights

Gloucester Gladiators

Away team coach was 2 hours delayed. KO was moved to 2pm at the agreement of everyone involved. With 4 minutes left in the 1st quarter one of Bath Spa players had a head/neck injury and an ambulance was needed, the player was left waiting for an ambulance for 2 hours. Game abandoned at Half time due to bad light at 5.10pm both coaches agreed.

Sean Welsh #458


Derby Braves

One set of goals so one way mechanics used. Team areas marked with cones.

Jed Brookes-Lewis #395

26/02/17 v NTU Renegades

UWS Pyros

Coach and player boxes were still not marked while other areas had deteriorated. The down box no longer operates properly, and one of the goal posts was missing, so the game had to be played toward the only goal post. We were reduced to a 3 man crew due to a late call off due to illness, but the game was well managed, and both teams played a spirited and sporting game.

Ian Sneddon #427


Heriot-Watt AFC

90 yard field, no team area marked

Henry Richardson #25

26/02/17 v Napier Knights

Sheffield Hallam Warriors

No limit lines or 3 yard marks.  Field 80 yards long with 10 yard endzones. Team area markings missing but other sports markings were used to solve the problem.

David Hewitt #607

19/02/17 v Manchester Tyrants

Imperial Immortals

The hash marks in the middle of the field were not lined up with each other and as you looked down the field, it created a nice snaking pattern. Also they were too long in length. In addition there were lines from the rugby markings in the same white colour on the field. Changing room is shared with officials from all other sports taking place at the venue, so although it is locked it has other personnel going in and out of it whilst we are officiating.

Andrew Murrell #608


Birmingham Lions

Field markings were in black and very faint. No 9 yard marks, team areas or limit lines.

Amir Brooks #593


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. Inbounds lines at incorrect depth and team areas marked with cones.

Tim Ockendon #481

19/02/17 v UEA Pirates

QMUL Vipers

UEL home game played at QMUL venue. No team areas and only two pylons provided. QMUL provided most of the officials assistants. UEL could also only provide 2 game balls, so 3 QMUL balls were used. Game was played in both directions as the road behind one goal poast was 20+ yards away. One kick did go over the fence, but the ball was retrieved.

Steven Leonard #370

19/02/17 v Essex Blades

Essex Blades

There were no team or coaches area. Lines in blue were visible but became faint by the end of the game.

John Griffin #598

26/02/17 v Greenwich Mariners

Outstanding items from previous weeks

UCLan Rams

Field was marked in yellow and was barely visible by the end of the game. No team or coach areas marked.

Stuart Alger #179


Napier Knights

90 yard field with team area marked out with cones. Game kicked off 10 minutes late while waiting for minimum medical cover to be meet. Cover had been arranged but gone to the wrong venue and then gotten stuck in roadworks

Henry Richardson #25


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

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

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

Plymouth Blitz

Goals were white pipes strapped to soccer goal posts. Field markings faint in sunlight.

Euan Paterson #165

19/02/17 v Tarannau Aberystwyth

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

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

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

Bangor Muddogs

Game played at Liverpool’s home field.No team area or coaches boxes marked, but there are other markings which can be used as a guide. No 3 yard marks.

John Roberts #145

19/02/17 v Bradford Bears

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



New this week

Play: 1st and 10 at Team A’s 4-yard line.  A12, deep in his end zone, throws a forward pass which is muffed by A25 at Team A’s 2-yard line and then caught by A80 at Team A’s 6-yard line. A80 advances to Team A’s 18-yard line. A60 had gone downfield 5 yards before the pass was thrown.  Ruling?


Last week

Play:  1st and 10 at Team B’s 40-yard line.  A12 throws a forward pass to airborne receiver A90 who is at Team B’s 35-yard line. A90 controls the ball and, seeing he is about to land out of bounds, while still airborne he throws the ball forward to A80 who catches the ball at Team B’s 30-yard line where A80 is downed.  Ruling?

Ruling:  1st and 10 for Team A at the Team B 30 yard line.  A catch is not completed until a player returns to the ground holding the ball.  Therefore A90 is not in possession of the ball during this play (2-4-1a).  This means that A90 bats the ball, there is no forward pass (2-11-3).  Since any eligible player can legally bat a forward pass in any direction (9-4-1-a), the action by A90 is legal and A80 is awarded a catch.


New this week

Game Situation: How should a 3 man crew line up for and cover the return on a kick off?

Answer next issue...

Last week

Play: Team A punt from midfield.  Team B line up with two punt returners, B23 is on the the Head Linesman's side of the field while B80 is on the Linejudge's side of the field.  The punted ball is caught by B23 and he begins to run upfield with it.  On a 5 man crew, how should the officials work together to ensure that the forward progress of the punt returner is covered?

Answer: The Backjudge has responsibility for the punt returner and should mark the end of the kick with a bean bag (M-12-7-a-1).  As soon as the punt returner moves upfield though, he becomes the runner on a return and should be covered by the official on that sideline.  In this case, the Head Linesman should be in a position to cover B23 as in a normal running play and mark his forward progress (M-11-7 & M-11-6).




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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Deadline for articles submitted by email ( is midnight Tuesday.

Editor: Dean Wright - Email: