Issue 23/17                                                                                        30th June 2017

BAFRA Newsflash


Just a reminder that the BAFRA Charity Weekend for Cancer Research UK is scheduled as the 8th and 9th of July. All officials are requested to donate some or all of their match fee to this worthy cause. Full details will appear in next week’s Newsflash.

Paul Sutton


Berkshire, Birmingham, Bristol Apache, Chester, Chorley, Cobham, Crewe, East Kilbride, Essex, Hastings, Jurrasic Coast, Lancashire, London Blitz, Manchester, Oxford, Shropshire, Solent, Sussex, Swindon, Tamworth, Wembley, Worcester

West Coast are category C and must pay in advance so you will be paid by BAFRA,

Charlie Dean Young 









New this week

John Pedan


Maidstone Pumas



Away from the rest of the play and after the action had finished, player swung a punch at an opponent. Was wearing No. 10 at the time.

09/07/17 v Hertfordshire Cheetahs

Sean Lewis


Kent Exiles Junior



Player threw a punch at an opponent.

09/07/17 v Black Country Vipers

Matthew Hyndman


Chester Romans



Player made a comment to the referee which drew a second USC for the game.

16/07/17 v Shropshire Revolution

Andrew Walker


Leeds Bobcats



Player was seen to kick a player on the ground in the stomach.

16/07/17 v Morecambe Bay Storm

Previous weeks

Henry Jacob


Hertfordshire Cheetahs



Player hit the quarterback in the head just after the ball was thrown.

09/07/17 v Maidstone Pumas

Sean Austin


Shropshire Revolution



Player head butted an opponent.

02/07/17 v Staffordshire Surge





New this week

Worcestershire Black Knights

The field had been marked as 90 yards with two 5 yard end zones. Adjusted before kick off to 80 yards. NFL style hash marks but the ball was spotted where the correct markings would have been.

Euan Paterson #165


Sheffield Giants

80 yard field though very well marked.

Brian Yates #29

02/07/17 v Merseyside Nighthawks

East Kilbride Pirates

No limit line.  No numbers or marks at 9 yards

Henry Richardson #25

09/07/17 v Tamworth Phoenix

Crewe Railroaders

The crossbar on one of the goals had one end slightly higher than the other.

Paul Todd #289

09/07/17 v Staffordshire Surge

Hastings Conquerors

Field only 80 yards long. In general the field was well marked.  Team areas from the 20 yard lines. Chains broke on several occasions. With a little over 11 minutes left in the 3rd quarter game went to a running clock by rule. Chaining room too small and not lockable - changed in one of the teams changing room once they left for the game and place bags in car

David Knight #135

02/07/17 v Berkshire Renegades

Swindon Storm

Field markings have faded due to hot weather. Goal-line & other solid lines need refreshing. 9 yard marks are actually at 11 yards. Team areas marked to 20 yard line.

Simon Ryan #408

16/07/17 v Worcestershire Black Knights

Colchester Gladiators

Changing rooms not lockable, considerable distance from changing facilities to the ground. Best advice is to park as near to the back entrance of the changing facility as the front entrances close before the game finishes but the back entrance is open at all times. Only one ball person provided and the game was suspended when the chain set was completely severed in two - repair was not possible but fortunately Colchester had a complete spare set of chains.

Phil Clarke #262

23/07/17 v London Hornets

Chester Romans

Well marked 90 yard field although marked in red. This did not pose any impairment for any of the officials on the day.

Lee Taylor #183

13/08/17 v Lincolnshire Bombers

Essex Spartans

Played at Thames RFC. Field had been marked as 100-yard field with 6-yard end zones so goal lines were moved to the marked 5-yard lines and the field length reduced to 90 yards. Field was very well marked, especially considering the short notice, missing only limit lines. Team area markings would have been perfect for a 100-yard field but were 10 yards too big for a 90-yard field. One game ball was under-inflated. This was rectified by Game Management prior to kickoff. One official's assistant was changed at half time. Changing rooms spacious but not lockable.

Tim Ockendon #481

16/07/17 v Wembley Stallions

Birmingham Bulls

Only one set of goal posts so game played "one-way".

Richard Whitby #136

02/07/17 v Leicester Falcons

Maidstone Pumas

Ball person was dismissed after a disagreement with the HL. Goals were soccer goals with metal extensions. Changing room long way from field.

Ellis Bowyer #502

06/08/17 v Bournemouth Bobcats

Outstanding items from previous weeks

Clyde Valley Blackhawks

With just over 1 minute remaining in the third quarter one of the Tigers players suffered a possible fractured ankle and could not be moved until the ambulance personnel took over. The game had to be suspended for 50 minutes whilst awaiting the ambulance. Both teams players and coaches were very helpful and supportive during this time.

Ian Sneddon #427

02/07/17 v Glasgow Tigers

Manchester Titans

80 yard field with other sports markings present. Football markings quite faded.

Jed Brookes-Lewis #395

16/07/17 v Yorkshire Rams

Farnham Knights

The chain was not exactly 10 yards (or the field was not exactly 10 yards), so we had to avoid measurements. Apart from that, nicely painted field.

Viktor Janvari #63

02/07/17 v Bristol Aztecs

Portsmouth Dreadnoughts

90 yard field marked very well with just a few minor issues. No 3 yard marks, goals approximately half a yard behind the endline at both ends and a 5 yard line across both endzones. Very good game management at this venue

David Knight #135

02/07/17 v Bournemouth Bobcats

East Kent Mavericks

Well marked 90 yard 4G field, all lines in blue apart from shared midfield line with other sport that is white. All other sport markings are contrasting colours. Changing rooms not lockable.

Phil Clarke #262

23/07/17 v London Blitz B

Newcastle Vikings

Inbound hash marks were too narrow and "NFL" style. Also team area was missing coaching box line

Shawn Sombati #15

02/07/17 v Doncaster Mustangs

Northumberland Lightening

No limit lines, team and coaching box marked incorrectly. No marks or numbers at 9 yards

Henry Richardson #25

09/07/17 v Gateshead Senators

Jurassic Coast Raptors

The field was 80 yards and the markings were faint and difficult to see.

Euan Paterson #165

02/07/17 v Cornish Sharks

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

Kent Exiles

No numbers or 9-yard marks. No limit lines. No private toilet or showers for the officials changing room.

Peter Parsons #321

09/07/17 v Colchester Gladiators

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

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

Newcastle Vikings

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

Dan Johnston #347

02/07/17 v Doncaster Mustangs

Bury Saints

Farnham had a medic with them who was not registered with the team and therefore not on the roster, we explained that should they wish to have the medic on their sideline in the team area that they should register the medic with the team. The medic in question works for the same company that Bury used to provide the game medical cover so they were able to assist them when needed.

Phil Clarke #262

09/07/17 v Bristol Aztecs

Essex Spartans

The officials were advised that the field had not been marked by the groundsman. The previously existing markings were barely visible and so faint as to render them unusable. The home team made efforts to gain access to line-marking equipment but Thurrock RFC could not provide it. They considered attempting to mark the field with spray paint, but it was thought unlikely that this could be done effectively due to the extremely long grass. With no prospect of the game being able to begin, it was abandoned approximately one hour prior to kickoff.

Alan Dobson #308

16/07/17 v Wembley Stallions

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

Knottingley Raiders

The field had not been marked using normal field marking paint, rather the markings appeared to have been burnt onto the field killing all the grass. The field surface had numerous cracks, which were deep but not very wide, but did not meet the definition of a trip hazard. However if there is short period of rain followed by another dry spell, the field surface could deteriorate and turn into a trip hazard. Game management were required to mark a number of lines on the field using cans of spray paint. After the game the game management were advised that the pitch would need to be fully remarked before the next game. They were also advised that the cracks in the field surface would need filing prior to their next home game. The team areas were marked between the 30 yard lines. The hashmarks were too narrow (approximately at the position of NFL hashmarks).

The away team were asked if they could present three legal balls as the home team balls were not acceptable. The toilet in the officials changing room would not flush but appeared to have been used several times without cleaning. It is advisable to avoid using this toilet. Other toilet facilities were available. The changing rooms were not lockable. These problems aside, the changing rooms were ideal for a crew of 4. One of the officials assistants provided was aged 12 so he was replaced prior to kickoff.

Ben Griffiths #228

06/08/17 v Morecambe Bay Storm

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

Sussex Thunder

Game kicked off 30 minutes late due to major traffic issues and the late arrival of the visiting team and the referee. Changing rooms were not initially locked - were locked at some point during the first half. Visiting team had a limited squad and discussed at HT about calling the game or having a running clock in the second half - score was only 14-0 at the time. With 3.30 left in the 3rd quarter and the score 21-0 the visiting requested we change to a running clock and the home team agreed. From that point on a running clock was used. Game was played in a great spirit between the two teams in excessive heat

David Knight #135

02/07/17 v Solent Thrashers



New this week

Play:  A's ball on Team B's 22 yard line, 3rd and 10. A37 takes a pitchout pass and runs near the sideline for a touchdown. During the run, when A37 was on Team B's 5 yard line, End A87 held B34 in Team B's end zone.


Last week (issue 09/17)

Play:  1st and 10 at Team A’s 20-yard line. When the snap happens eligible receiver A40 immediately charges off the line and contacts B80 at Team A’s 21-yard line. B80 is knocked over. A40 then catches a forward pass at midfield and is immediately downed in possession of the ball.  Ruling?  This was Q81 in the 2017 BAFRA exam.

Ruling: When, after a snap, a Team A ineligible player immediately charges and contacts an opponent at a point not more than one yard beyond the neutral zone, it is not pass interference (7-3-8-b-1).  A40 is an eligible receiver so his act against B80 should be called as Offensive Pass Interference.  1st and 20 for Team A at their own 10 yard line.


New this week

Game Situation: 1st and 10 for Team A on the Team A 20 yard line, a 4-man crew are covering the game.  Team A run a draw play and catch out the entire defence as well as the two wing officials.  Running back A23 vanishes into the pile, and then emerges from the other side with only Free Safety B20 chasing him down.  A23 runs towards the sideline and the Team B endzone, with the wing official on his side of the field trailing behind.  B20 tackles A23 in the field of play very close to the pylon, and then out of bounds with the pylon being displaced during the action.  It is unclear if a touchdown has been scored.  What should the officials do?

Answer next issue...

Last week   (issue 09/17)

Play: 1st and 10 for Team A at midfield.  There are only 30 seconds left on the clock and Team A are winning by 10 points.  Team B have no timeouts remaining.  Team A declare that they will ‘take a knee’.  However after they snap the ball they throw a quick pass out the the wide receiver, who gains 20 yards before being forced out of bounds.  Ruling?

Answer:  Officials should remind teams who declare that they are going to ‘take a knee’ that doing anything else is considered Unfair Tactics (9-2-2 & MM 3-8-9-c).  Team A should be penalised 15 yards from the previous spot.  Any player from either team who tries to take advantage of the situation to either gain yards (Team A) or punish an opponent (Team B) must be penalised (MM 3-8-9-f).




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.

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Deadline for articles submitted by email ( is midnight Tuesday.

Editor: Dean Wright - Email:

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