Issue 27/17                                                                                        28th July 2017

BAFRA Newsflash


Next week will see the beginning of play-off games for some Divisions as well as the end of the regular season for others.

Can officials ensure their availability is up to date and understand that assignments will be given out later due to fixtures not being confirmed until play-off games are completed.

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.

Thank you to all who have already donated. If you still wish to donate, please do so by 9th August.  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 on the above e-mail.

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 


Congratulations to both James Statham and Neil Birmingham on completing all of the requirements necessary to become Qualified.  Thanks to Ian Wainwright and Stuart Alger and all those who are helping with Neil and James's training.

Pete Thom


Scoring top marks in an assessment is no easy task so please join me in saying congratulations to Graham Coleman who had a flawless performance in a recent game and scored 100% in his assessment.

Pete Thom 









New this week - none

Dan Burt


Hastings Conquerors



Play was stopped for a false start and players came together.  No 71 for Hastings took exception to something done or said by a Bournemouth player and started to repeatedly punch him in the back of the head (helmet).

30/07/17 v Portsmouth Dreadnoughts

Richard Penwright


Birmingham Bulls Youth


After disagreeing with a call, the coach protested by shouting at the official. He then proceeded to walk onto the field of play an aggressive manner after the ball had been made ready for play, and began shouting at both officials.  This eventually resulted in two unsportsmanlike conduct fouls being called against the coach.

Next Tournament

Kian Highfield


Sandwell Steelers Youth


After touchdown, the player punched an opponent in the facemask and had to be restrained by his teammates. After being restrained the player then removed his helmet on the field of play to continue to attempt to antagonise the opposition.  This led to the second USC against the player.

Next Tournament

John Paul Argyriou


Colchester Gladiators



A non-playing member of the squad ran on to the field of play, he intentionally and forcibly contacted an official.  He then had to be restrained by 5 of his team-mates.  He was then  removed from the playing enclosure.

30/07/17 v London Hornets

Jack Verling


Leicester Falcons



At the end of a the run, ball carrier threw a punch at an opposition player.

30/07/17 v Birmingham Bulls

Ian Coulton


Coventry Jets


Player head butted an opponent after the play was over.


Previous weeks

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

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

06/08/17 v Wembley Stallions

Manchester Titans

Field of play is 80 yards in length. Lots of field markings for multiple sports including some in white that clashed with the American Football markings. Team area marked between 20 yard lines. The game was suspended for approximately 5 minutes while a drone flew overhead the playing enclosure. The chain crew were only provided approximately 5 minutes prior to kick-off.

Ben Griffiths #228


Solent Thrashers

100 yard field clearly marked. 9 yard end zones with plane of goal over hanging by 1 yard.

Philip Hume #52


Northumberland Lightening

90-yard field with no team area markings. At the beginning of the game (dry), the field markings were faint, but after an hour of rain they had completely disappeared. This was unhelpful to say the least.

Adrian Miller #124


Halton Spartans

Plaudits to the game management at Halton for the superb venue, a perfectly marked field and the quality of their gameday administration, all of which are consistently among the best in the league.

Paul Todd #289

30/07/17 v Chester Romans

Hastings Conquerors

80 yard field.  The field markings were very visible but the endzone sidelines and endlines were very faint. Changing room not lockable. What a game - the teams were tied for most of the 4th quarter and the winning TD was scored with 1.33 left in the game

David Knight #135

13/08/17 v Maidstone Pumas

Farnham Knights

90-yard field. Hash marks and extensions faint. Chains corrected to 10 yards before the game but some field markings made them look 9.5 yards. Game stopped in the 2nd quarter for 40 minutes due to serious injury. Q3/4 shorted to 12 minutes by mutual consent.

Euan Paterson #165

06/08/17 v Bristol Aztecs

Bristol Apache

Commencement of the second half was delayed due to the presence of thunder and lightning in the half time interval. The second half finally commenced after the requirements of annex B of the BAFA rulebook were satisfied.

Colin Edwards #76

06/08/17 v Worcestershire Black Knights

Humber Warhawks

No 3 yard, 9 yard marks or limit lines. No coaches boxes or team areas although both teams were disciplined enough in keeping well back from the field. The chains needed attention on 3 occasions due to becoming detached. One member of the chain crew had to be replaced as he was on call to the local hospital and had to leave. One game ball was flat and needed inflating before use. Changing facilities were only available in the main university building which was a good distance from the pitch so the away team and the officials decided to change in the car park next to the field.

David Hewitt #607

06/08/17 v Shropshire Revolution

London Olympians

90 yard astro turf field with faint lines and no hash marks in places (enough markings done to play the game). Game suspended multiple times to ask for small children to be moved from playing just outside the end zones.

Lee Wood #517


Hertfordshire Cheetahs Youth

No limit lines. Changing rooms not lockable.

Pete Parsons #321


Merseyside Nighthawks

Pitch marked with yellow lines, other sports markings of various different colours but do not distract from the football lines. 1 change of ball person at half time.


London Warriors

Very well marked 90-yard field in blue with other sport markings in white, yellow & red. No limit lines or numbers and team areas too big. Changing room not private and not lockable.

Tim Ockendon #481

06/08/17 v London Blitz

Nottingham Caesars

Well marked field, lots of athletic markings.

Ian Wainwright #567


Swindon Storm

Due to nearby Airshow it was anticipated that announcements might be difficult to hear! However, the Red Arrows did not materialise until late in the 4th quarter.

06/08/17 v Cornish Sharks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Leeds Bobcats

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

Dan Holt #371

30/07/17 v Knottingley Raiders

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

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



New this week

Play: Team A's ball, 4th and 5, on the Team B 20 yard  line. On A4's field goal attempt, B57 puts his hands on Guard A66's shoulder and pushes himself high enough to block the kick. B57 blocks the kick and the ball rolls out of bounds on Team B's 26 yard line.


Last 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.

Ruling: The legal forward pass did not cross the neutral zone since the pass was touched in or behind the neutral zone (2-19-3-a). There can be no pass interference. The 10-yard penalty for the holding foul is enforced from the previous spot (9-3-5). There is no automatic first down since the pass did not cross the neutral zone. Team A's ball, 2nd and 2, on the Team A 40 yard line.


New this week

Game Situation: On a 3 man crew, which official should be responsible for timing team timeouts?

Answer next issue...

Last week

Play: 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:  M-11-7-a-1.  The Head Linesman has sole responsibility for ruling on if the ball has crossed the line of scrimmage on a punt play of this kind.  This is the Head Linesman's top priority during the play.




Contact for details


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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