Issue 26/17                                                                                        21st 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 over-subscribed. 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 via  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.  NOTE:  Game 3 of this series at Twickenham on 22nd October has a 6pm start time. Therefore the game will not finish before 9pm.

Richard Vernon 


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

Richard Vernon 









New this week - none

Previous weeks

Sean Lewis


Kent Exiles Junior



Player threw a punch at an opponent.

23/07/17 v Farnham Knights Junior

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





New this week

Manchester Titans

Generally excellent venue. Lots of field marking in various colours including other white markings. 80yd field with fairly short end-zones. Team areas marked to 20 yard lines. Changing room was so hot/small that we conducted pregame outdoors.

Stuart Young #33

23/07/17 v Newcastle Vikings

Carlisle Sentinels

90 yard field, goal posts are about 2 yards behind the end lines at each end zone. There are 2 holes at each end where soccer posts have been removed but these were filled with sandbags prior to arrival.

Lee Taylor #183

13/08/17 v Northumberland Lightning

Essex Spartans

Field markings have become quite faint and very hard to see in some places - team advise that it will be completely repainted before their next home games on 30th July. Changing rooms are not lockable.

Phil Clarke #262

30/07/17 v East Kent Mavericks

West Coast Trojans

No limit line, no marks or numbers at 9 yards,

Henry Richardson #25

23/07/17 v Yorkshire Rams

London Blitz

Well marked 100-yard field in white. No team area boundary line and tarpaulin approximated for player line. Limit lines at incorrect depth. Several trip hazards repaired by game management prior to KO. Changing rooms cramped due to equipment stored within. Lockable but also accessed by other parties during pre-game. One game ball provided was significantly under-inflated.

Tim Ockendon #481


Leeds Bobcats

80 yard field, well marked although all lines are in blue.

Dan Holt #371

30/07/17 v Knottingley Raiders

London Blitz Youth

Arrived to find that the goals were English football goals with extended posts. Both teams agreed to not kick extra points and FGs so the goals were removed before KO. Field lines were faint but except for that a well marked field.

David Knight #135

06/08/174 v Kent Exiles

Outstanding items from previous weeks

Newcastle Vikings

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

Daniel Johnston #347

30/07/17 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

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

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

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

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, 2nd and 12, on the Team A 30 yard line. B67 holds eligible A81 beyond the line of scrimmage at the Team A 44 yard line. The pass from the quarterback towards A81 is deflected by a Team B lineman behind the neutral zone. The pass is close enough to A81 that is would have been catchable if not for the hold by B67.


Last 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.

Ruling: The bat by Team B is legal, the status of the ball after the bat is a fumble by A4 (AR 4-1-3-I).  Since this is a 4th down play, the ball is dead as soon as it is recovered by A10 (7-2-2-a ex 2).  Team B will take the ball at the spot where A10 caught it.  There is no score by Team A.


New this week

Game Situation: On punt play covered by a 5 man crew, which official(s) must know if the ball has crossed the line of scrimmage by knowing what the ball first touched beyond the neutral zone?

Answer next issue...

Last week

Play: 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:  M-5-4-4.  1) The ball while it is in the air (other than a glance to ascertain its direction if it may be coming towards you).  2) The ball after a pass is incomplete.  3) The ball at the succeeding spot until the snapper is about to touch it (Exception: if the wind is strong enough to move the ball).  4) The ball after a field goal is scored or missed.  I'm sure there are plenty of other potential answers to this questions.  A point to ponder: the ball will never commit a foul.




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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