Issue 24/17                                                                                        7th July 2017

BAFRA Newsflash


In previous years BAFRA has supplied officials for the Chain Crew for these games (eight officials at each game). I am pleased to report that we have been asked by the NFL to provide Chain Crews for all FOUR games this year. The game details are as follows:

Please note the start times for each game. One night’s accommodation will be provided near the stadium but details have yet to be confirmed. It should also be noted that each official will receive a game fee for performing this duty although travel expenses are not payable.

Expressions of Interest to be part of the Chain Crews for these games are now invited from all eligible officials. This includes BAFRA members who have either never worked on an NFL Game Chain Crew, or have only done so between 2007-2013, on no more than two occasions. The only exception is for officials who worked one game in 2016, they can apply as they will provide crew continuity which is an NFL requisite.

Please clearly state for which games you will be available. Note: Ideally we need to schedule officials for two games in a row to ensure the above mentioned crew continuity. The selection criteria is clearly explained in the members area of the BAFRA website and I would encourage all eligible officials to consider applying. However please be aware that we are always heavily oversubscribed. I want to reassure all officials who have never worked at an NFL game that they will be given an equal chance to be selected as the Selection Committee wants to give as many dedicated officials as possible an opportunity to work at these major events.

If you require further information about any aspect of this important role please contact me directly for an informal discussion.

The closing date to inform me of your interest will be Wednesday 26th July 2017. On submission of your Expression of Interest you will receive an acknowledgement from me. If you do not receive a reply then contact me to ensure your application has been received.

Richard Vernon 


At the Convention, BAFRA members again voted for Cancer Research UK as their charity to support in 2017. As in previous years members are being asked to donate some or all of their match fees from games to this worthy cause.

There are a number of ways in which you may donate.

If none of the above are available to you, please contact BAFRA Finance for advice.  Each year since we started the BAFRA Charity Weekend the amount raised has increased. Last year we raised nearly £1800. Let’s see if we can beat that total this year.

Paul Sutton


Can all officials wishing to be considered for these events please ensure their Arbiter availability is fully updated, as the Selection Committee is meeting at the end of  July.

Bowl Games will be played as follows:

Saturday 26th August – ADULT & JUNIOR BRITBOWL

Sixways Stadium, Warriors Way, Worcester, WR3 8ZE



Sunday 27th August – ADULT DIV 1 (Bowl Game) & JUNIOR PLATE FINAL (Non Bowl Game)

John Charles Centre for Sports, Leeds, LS11 5DJ



Sunday 10th Sept – ADULT DIV 2 NORTH & SOUTH FINALS (both Bowl Games)

John Charles Centre for Sports, Leeds, LS11 5DJ

SFC2 FINAL – 12noon KO


Youth and Flag tournament Finals will be played as follows:

Saturday 12th August – YOUTH CONTACT BRITBOWL (Britbowl & Plate)

Sheffield Hallam University Sports Park, Bawtry Rd, Sheffield, S9 1UA


Sheffield Hallam University Sports Park, Bawtry Rd, Sheffield S9 1UA

Sunday 20th August – Juniors North & South Trophy game

Home team ranked third to host.

Saturday 2nd Sept – CADET & YOUTH FLAG FINALS

Sheffield Hallam University Sports Park, Bawtry Rd, Sheffield S9 1UA


On a different subject can I thank all the members (too many to mention) who contacted me concerning my decision to temporarily stand down from an active role as Director of Operations with immediate effect.  Your kind thoughts and messages of support are very much appreciated.

Richard Vernon 









New this week

Elliot Yates


Lancashire Wolverines



Player blocked an opponent clearly out of the play in the back, and then proceeded to dive on top of him whilst he was prone on the floor causing a serious injury.

09/07/17 v Sheffield Giants

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

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





New this week

Yorkshire Rams

Hash marks were faint in the middle of the field. No 3 yard marks, 9 yard marks or numbers, otherwise a well marked 100 yard field.

David Hewitt #607


Birmingham Bulls

Kickoff delayed for 45 minutes due to lack arrival of medical provision. Plaudits to the home team for sourcing a replacement at short notice.

Jed Brookes-Lewis #395

16/07/17 v Sandwell Steelers

Newcastle Vikings

NFL Hash marks. No player area. Coaches box at 25 yd lines.

Daniel Johnston #347

30/07/17 v Yorkshire Rams

Sheffield Giants

Field is 80 yards, very well marked

Ian Wainwright #567

30/07/17 v Tamworth Phoenix

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

09/07/17 v Cambridgeshire Cats

Sussex Thunder

Field is clearly marked although several bare patches.

Simon Ryan #408


Hastings Conquerors

80 yard field, markings were faint and some lines were 6-8 inches wide.

Viktor Janvari #63

23/07/17 v Bournemouth Bobcats

Lincolnshire Bombers

Only 1 set of goal posts so all drives were towards that goal

Brian Yates #29

16/07/17 v Humber Warhawks

Staffordshire Surge

The gameday management was excellent. The field is generally well marked out but the team areas are too long, stretching out to the 15 yard lines.

06/08/17 v Halton Spartans

Outstanding items from previous weeks

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

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

Manchester Titans

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

Jed Brookes-Lewis #395

16/07/17 v Yorkshire Rams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



New this week

Play: A's ball on the Team A 27 yard line, 2nd and 8. QB A16 takes the snap and attempts a quick pass to A83 who is just beyond the neutral zone. A16 is hit as he throws and the ball lands behind him on Team A's 23 yard line. B72 recovers and advances across Team A's goal line.


Last 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.

Ruling: The clock was stopped for the touchdown. The end of the run and the basic enforcement spot is B's goal line.  The location of A37 at the time of the foul is not relevant, it is the basic spot (the end of the related run) that matters.  The spot of the foul (in Team B’s end zone) is in advance of the basic enforcement spot (10-2-2-d-1). The 10-yard penalty is enforced from B's goal line (10-2-2-c). A's ball on the Team B 10 yard line, 1st and 10. The clock starts on the snap.


New this week

Game Situation: Upon arrival at the ground, the officials note that there are only goal posts at one end of the field.  How should the game proceed?

Answer next issue...

Last week

Play: 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:  Although as officials we strive to always make the right call, there are times when on a 4-man crew it is impossible to have all angles covered.  The wing official covering that goal line should confer with other officials to determine if anyone has positive knowledge as to the result of the play, and if none is coming then the officials should make use of the When in Doubt principles.  When in doubt, the ball is dead in the field rather than a touchdown (MM 6-1-23), therefore the ball should be spotted on in the field of play, Team A will have 1st and goal.  Remember: “No cheap Touchdowns”.




Contact for details


July 22nd (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

August 26th (Sat)


August 27th (Sun)

Div 1 Final

September 10th (Sun)

Div 2 Final

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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