Issue 25/17                                                                                        14th 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 


The BAFRA Selection Panel is pleased to announce that the following officials have been selected to serve for the next year on the BAFRA Elite Programme:

Please join with the Panel and Directors in congratulating these officials on their appointment to the BAFRA Elite Programme.  In particular to the six officials who are new to being on the BAFRA Elite Panel in its current format.

Richard Vernon 


A reminder to officials to complete the tracking form at after a game where someone has served a suspension.  Officials should report disqualifications as soon after a game as they can so that all relevant paperwork can be completed.  We had a report sent 5 days after the disqualification took place last week which has led to complications.

Phil Clarke 


Congratulations to Graham Smith on completing all of the requirements necessary to become Qualified.

Thanks to Steve Tonkinson and all those who are helping with Graham's training.

Pete Thom 









New this week

Kirk Beacham


East Essex Sabres



Having been verbally abusive to official and receiving first USC penalty, he repeated the act to receive a second USC.

30/07/17 v London Blitz B

Alfred Mzengereza


Manchester Titans



This was the third of three personal fouls by the player. The third one was low and below the passers knees.

16/07/17 v Yorkshire Rams

Previous weeks

Sean Lewis


Kent Exiles Junior



Player threw a punch at an opponent.

23/07/17 v Farnham Knights Junior

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

Wembley Stallions

100 yard field, superb organising.

Viktor Janvari #63


London Blitz B

Chain needed to be repaired during game, officials changing room is the disabled toilet facility that also doubles up as a storage area, a few holes in the field surface had been filled in using grass seed so footing was quite slippery in these patches [one is dead centre on the 20 yard line, so we relocated ball when needed] this will probably need some sand/soil to make a more substantial repair.

Phil Clarke #262

06/08/17 v East Essex Sabres

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.

Philip Hume #52

23/07/17 v Kent Exiles

Bournemouth Bobcats

There were five areas of 5 yards where there were only 3 hash marks rather than 4.

Julian Mallia #336


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.

Murray Gibson #268


Carlisle Sentinels

90 yard field, well marked. Holes in both end lines from soccer goals were all filled in with sand before kick off. Goals were about 2 feet back from the end line. 1 assistant changed at half time.

16/07/17 v Knottingley Raiders

Kent Exiles

Well marked 100-yard field in white missing only limit lines, numbers & 9-yard marks. Good size changing room for a 5-man crew but with no private shower or toilet.

Tim Ockendon #481

30/07/17 v Cambridgeshire Cats

Outstanding items from previous weeks

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

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

Sheffield Giants

Field is 80 yards, very well marked

Ian Wainwright #567

30/07/17 v Tamworth Phoenix

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

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

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

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

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

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: 4th and goal on the Team B 5 yard line.  Team A are going for a Field Goal.  The ball is snapped to holder A4 who is holding the ball on the ground with A10 in position to take the kick.  B21 rushes through the line of scrimmage and dives at the ball, batting it out of A4’s hands.  The ball then bounces up and it caught by A10, who runs into the Team B end zone.


Last 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.

Ruling: A forward pass is determined by the point where the ball first strikes the ground, a player, an official or anything beyond the spot of the pass. When a Team A player is holding the ball to pass it forward toward the neutral zone, any intentional forward movement of his arm starts the forward pass. If a Team B player contacts the passer or ball after forward movement begins and the ball leaves the passer's hand, a forward pass is ruled regardless of where the ball strikes the ground or a player. Incomplete legal forward pass. A's ball on A's 27, 3rd and 8. (2-19-2).


New this week

Game Situation: Name 4 game situations in which it is reasonable for none of the officials on the crew to be looking at the position of the ball.  Note that these are all stated in one location in the Mechanics Manual.

Answer next issue...

Last week

Play: 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:  Team B shall defend the end where the goal is on all lays from scrimmage.  On all free kick plays, Team A shall defend the end of the field where the goal is situated.  At the end of the 1st and 3rd quarters, there shall be no changes of ends.  (1-2-5-f)




Contact for details


July 22nd (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

August 26th (Sat)


August 27th (Sun)

Div 1 Final

September 10th (Sun)

Div 2 Final

September 24th (Sun)

Ravens v Jaguars (Wembley)

October 1st (Sun)

Saints v Dolphins (Wembley)

October 22nd (Sun)

Cardinals v Rams (Twickenham)

October 29th (Sun)

Vikings v Browns (Twickenham)

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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