Issue 18/17                                                                                25th May 2017

BAFRA Newsflash


I’d like to draw a formal end to the examination period for 2017 by sharing some data one how well members fared and also some observations we made.

142 members (a record number!) took the exam with an average (mean) score of 77.3%. For reference, the average scores for the last two years were 75.4% (2016) and 76.8% (2015). The overall average score for the last 10 years is 77.2%.  The highest score this year was 97% (by 3 members) and one official who was sitting the exam for the first time scored 95%, a great effort!

By now all members should have received the memo containing the three clarifications and all other queries have now been responded to personally. As mentioned, we take members’ views on board during the process of producing and returning the exam and continually try to improve the exam to be a fair and honest test of rules and mechanics knowledge. If anyone is still awaiting a response please contact ASAP.

For training purposes or local discussion, here are a few other questions which were answered poorly: 13, 18, 29, 31, 41, 42, 56, 67, 77, 79, 81.  A selection of these questions will appear as the ‘Play of the week’ in Newsflash over the coming weeks.

Finally, a great deal of time and effort goes into the process and I’d like to thank all contributors for setting questions, testing the paper, IT support and feedback.


Stuart Young


Now that the Annual Examination is complete the process of selecting the 21 members of the BEP can commence. Should you wish to be considered then you must apply in writing to the Director of Operations at Applications will be accepted immediately and the closing date is Friday 17th June 2017.

Applications will only be considered from Qualified BAFRA members who meet specific criteria. Full details of the criteria can be found in the Elite Programme Policy in Section 7 of the Members Handbook.

Also, as part of the criteria includes your rating on the Selection Spreadsheet, which must be 80% or above, I would also recommend you read the Scheduling and Selection Policy which can be found in Section 6 of the Members Handbook. If you wish to know your current rating on the Selection Spreadsheet before making your decision on whether or not to apply, please send an email to and I will come back to you in early June with a detailed breakdown of your scores.

If it is your intention to apply then I would recommend that you read the document in full. If you are considering applying and would like an informal discussion please contact either me or Ben Griffiths who is the BEP co-ordinator.

Richard Vernon 


Please note we are now in a position to fully use the online Coaches Card system. In order for a coach to use this they will need to have an account set up. To do this if you are the referee please either ask the coach to email with their email address, name and name of club, or collect the information and then pass this through to the same email address. We will then set up their account and email out the information to log in to the coach.

Please note if asked we are only using this information for use with the online coaches card system.

Lee Wood 


The minutes of the May Board Meeting are now available in the member’s area of the BAFRA website at 

Paul Sutton 


An updated version of this list has been uploaded to the member’s area of the BAFRA website at  If anyone has any information that would allow us to get this list more accurate – perhaps someone missing from the list, a first name where we only have an initial, a number where we only have a name etc.), please send the details to me so that I may update the data for the future. People, especially our longer-serving members, have been very helpful in trawling their records for information but there may still be more to be uncovered. Thank you.

Paul Sutton 









New this week

Luke Prendergast


London Blitz



Punched an opponent after being taunted.

11/06/17 v Bristol Aztecs

Anthony Amissah


Cambridgeshire Cats



After having received a penalty for dead ball taunting, player continued to be abusive towards the officials.  He was dragged away by teammates twice but continued the abuse and was penalised a second time.

11/06/17 v London Hornets

Simon  McHardy


Manchester Titans



Whilst engaged with an opponent and on the ground, the player punched his opponent.

04/06/17 v Doncaster Mustangs

Previous weeks

Alasdair Jarvis


Shropshire Revolution



During the first half, the player shoved an opponent clearly after the play was dead. In the fourth quarter, the player shoved another opponent clearly after the play had been blown dead due to a false start.

04/06/17 v Humber Warhawks





New this week

Knottingley Raiders

90 yard field. No limit lines, 9 yard marks or numbers. Team areas marked between the 30 yard lines. One of the balls was extremely worn and resembled a dinosaur egg.  One change of chain crew at half time but the chain crew overall were abysmal, the worst I have seen in over 2 years.  This was despite a thorough briefing by the head linesman.

David Hewitt #607

04/06/17 v Northumberland Lightning

Glasgow Tigers

Team and Coaching areas were marked between the 30 yard lines, but game management extended them to the 25 yard lines with cones.

Ian Sneddon #427

06/08/17 v Dumfries Hunters

Humber Warhawks

Due to major building works the only changing rooms were in the main sports centre, with the field a 5 minute drive on the other side of the campus. On arrival away team were having to change in the carpark next to the field.

John Roberts #145

23/07/17 v Chester Romans

Sandwell Steelers

Game was played at Wolverhampton RFC. The facilities and gameday management were excellent, but the field was marked out in faint yellow lines which were often difficult to see.

Amir Brooks #593

30/07/17 v Nottingham Caesars

London Blitz B

Most of the main lines were very faint. No coaching box or team area. Faint limit lines marked at 6'. The down box does not display all of the down numbers clearly. There were several trip hazards in the field surface which required rectifying prior to kickoff. Multiple officials assistants were changed at half time.

Peter Parsons #321

11/06/17 v Wembley Stallions

Manchester Titans

Pitch was 80 yards long with several colours of marking for other sports aslo on the pitch.

Tony Newsham #302

11/06/17 v Yorkshire Rams

Portsmouth Dreadnoughts

90 yard field well marked. 2 changes of ball person during the game.

Phil Hume #52

11/06/17 v Berkshire Renegades

Farnham Knights

Several divots in the field identified by the officials. The problem was rectified by Game Management prior to the coin toss

Euan Paterson #165

11/06/17 v London Warriors

Merseyside Nighthawks

American Football Markings in Yellow, with markings for various other sports in Blue, White & Red. Team areas were marking but there was only one line at approximately 10 feet out of bounds.

Ben Griffiths #228

09/07/17 v Edinburgh Wolves

Edinburgh Wolves

Team and Coaching areas not marked. The team provided cones to mark out perimeters.

Ian Sneddon #427

03/06/17 v Merseyside Nighthawks

Newcastle Vikings

No player limit line. NFL hash marks. No 9 Yd marks.

Dan Johnston #347

02/07/17 v Doncaster Mustangs

Sussex Thunder

Field was a little bare of grass in places - marked well 90 yards.

David Knight #135

04/06/17 v Oxford Saints

Outstanding items from previous weeks

Jurassic Coast Raptors

The field is 80 yards and marked well but some of the lines are very faint and hard to see. There are areas of the field where there is no grass and the lines are painted straight onto the soil. The team areas were marked to the 20 yard lines. Chains broke a couple of times.

David Knight #135

04/06/17 v Worcestershire Black Knights

Essex Spartans

90 yard field, has field numbers present of the correct size but they incorrectly start at the 5-yard line each end [10 on 5, 30 on 25 etc]. Changing rooms not lockable. Several delays during the game requiring suspension to treat injured players.

Phil Clarke #262

04/06/17 v East Essex Sabres

Northumberland Lightening

Changing rooms some distance from field. Major arm injury to Leeds player in 3rd quarter. Game delayed by 35 minutes. Ambulance was called but advised that they would not send ambulance as was not on priority list. Credit to Northumberland player (specialist) who assisted in immediate medical care on field.

Daniel Johnston #347

11/06/17 v Walney Terriers

Shropshire Revolution

Field well marked except for javelin & shot put markings across one half. There is an immovable metal storage unit at one end of the field (~11 feet from the endline) however this was adequately padded by game management.

Jed Brookes-Lewis #395

04/06/17 v Humber Warhawks

Gateshead Senators

Other markings on the field, also in white, no team area marked on one sideline. Down box doesn't show 1&2 correctly, chains broke several times during the game. 1 change of chain crew.

Liam Wooton #478

11/06/17 v Carlisle Sentinels

Swindon Storm

90 yard field. Team areas reached the 20 yardline instead of the 25. Hashmarks were also in a big curve, so the Umpire used the pylons to position himself. Field surface was very dry and hard.

Viktor Janvari #63

25/06/17 v Torbay Trojans

London Warriors

Field marked in blue lines apart from the midfield line and end lines. No numbers, 9-yard marks, coaching boxes, team areas or limit lines. Changing rooms not lockable. Officials assistants and game balls provided less than 10 minutes before scheduled kick off time and there were several changes to the chain crew throughout the game which caused a few tempo issues.

Phil Clarke #262

09/07/17 v London Blitz

Tamworth Phoenix

Field well marked, only small issue is that the team areas only being marked to the 30 yard lines. Chain crew changed at half time. Parking v. limited at the venue.

Jed Brookes-Lewis #395

04/06/17 v Sheffield Giants

Bournemouth Bobcats

Holes from soccer goals had to be covered. NFL hash marks. Top of numbers at 13 yards. Fencing approximately 12 feet from the sideline had to be padded.

Philip Hume #52

11/06/17 v Maidstone Pumas

London Hornets

Field was marked in blue across a rugby field which has white lines. The white lines are vivid, while the blue lines are badly faded in contrast. No team areas or coaches lines marked. Also no limit lines.

Andrew Murrell #608

11/06/17 v Cambridgeshire Cats

Berkshire Renegades

At the end of the half time interval it was agreed by both Head Coaches and the Referee to shorten the 3rd and 4th quarters to zero minutes under Rule 3-2-2-a. Changing rooms not lockable.

Peter Parsons #321

23/07/17 v Maidstone Pumas

Doncaster Mustangs

Team areas marked between 20 yard lines,otherwise an excellently marked field.Field length 90 yards.

David Hewitt #607

04/06/17 v Manchester Titans

Solent Thrashers

Field markings faint - no 3 yards marks - crossbar out of line with the end line.

David Knight #135

18/06/17 v South Wales Warriors

London Olympians

90-yard field with 9-yard end zones marked in white with other sport markings in white and yellow. No limit lines or numbers. No hashmarks at inbounds lines but lateral position marks on every main line. Other sport markings approximated for 9-yard marks and coaching lines. Other team area lines marked with cones.

Tim Ockendon #481

04/06/17 v Colchester Gladiators

Hastings Conquerors

Played at Hastings & Bexhill RFC. Well marked 90-yard field missing only numbers & limit lines. Coaching line depth so bad as to make it unusable. Changing rooms cramped, lacking facilities and not lockable.

Tim Ockendon #481

25/06/17 v Portsmouth Dreadnoughts



New this week

Play: 4th and goal at Team B’s 11-yard line.  A1 receives the snap and runs towards Team B’s goal line. He is hit at Team B’s 8-yard line and fumbles the ball. B70 then bats the loose ball backwards and it goes out of bounds at Team B’s 4-yard line.  Ruling?  This was Q13 in the 2017 BAFRA exam.


Last week (issue 09/17)

Play:  A's ball, 4th and 8, on the Team B 30 yard line. A9's low field goal attempt is blocked by B57 on Team B's 28 yard line. A42 recovers at the Team B 34 yard line and advances to the Team B 21 yard line, where he is downed.

Ruling: A's ball, 1st and 10, on the Team B 21 yard line. The clock starts on the snap. The blocking of a scrimmage kick by an opponent of the kicking team who is no more than three yards beyond the neutral zone is considered to have occurred within or behind that zone. Thus, the kick did not cross the neutral zone. A Team A player may recover and advance.


New this week

Game Situation:  One minute has passed after the try following a Team A touchdown. Team A are in position to kick off at their own 35 yard line. The Team B players are grouped in a huddle on the field near their sideline receiving information from their coach who is in the coaching box. The head coach of the receiving team has been warned about tardiness on a previous kick-off.  How should the officials resolve this situation?  This was Q79 in the 2017 BAFRA exam.

Answer next issue...

Last week   (issue 09/17)

Play: A34 is leaving the field as part of a substitution.  The player is 6 yards from his sideline when he removes his helmet, he then walks slowly into his team area.  Ruling?

Answer: M-5-3-4.  Players who unthinkingly remove their helmets on the field of play should not be penalised unless they are (i) directing anger or criticism at an opponent or an official; or (ii) celebrating. A player removing their helmet in the vicinity of the sideline just prior to entering the team area should be ignored. 




Contact for details


July 22nd (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

August 26th (Sat)


November 18th (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

BAFRA Directors


David Parsons

General Secretary

Paul Sutton


Roger Brown


Richard Vernon


Lee Taylor


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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