Issue 43/17                                                                                30th November 2017

BAFRA Newsflash


Congratulations to Leanne Spencer on completing all of the requirements necessary to become Qualified.

Thanks to John Roberts and all those who are helping with Leanne’s training.

Pete Thom 









New this week

Grant Uka


Kingston Cougars



Taunted an opponent in the 3rd quarter, then in the 4th quarter kicked a ball away in frustration - ball narrowly missed opposition players and an official.

Previous weeks - none





New this week

Leicester Longhorns

Field is well marked apart from the hashmarks which are NFL style.

28/01/18 v Warwick Wolves

Bath Spa Bulldogs

Very sideways sloped 90 yard field. Field markings in blue and most lines crooked. Distance between lines inconsistent. Short yard-line extensions extended out of bounds on one sideline. No 9 yard marks. Team areas marked out with cones.

Euan Paterson #165


Kingston Cougars

Field is a very long way from the changing rooms. Down box was very short. Cones were used in place of lines for the coaching and players boxes.

Dean Wright #553

04/02/18 v Reading Knights

UEL Phoenix

Field markings in a faint blue, hard to see. Hash marks in the wrong place with one side almost down the middle of the pitch. Some main yard lines at a very poor angle

John Griffin #598

04/02/18 v ARU Rhinos

Liverpool Raptors

All markings were faint before the game started and were difficult to see by the end of the game. Game was suspended with approximately 8 minutes remaining in the first quarter for a serious injury. Game resumed with quarters reduced to 8 minutes with the agreement of both head coaches.

John Roberts #145

04/02/18 v Chester Legion

City Wolfpack

This game was the second of double header and kicked off at 13:30. Due to sunset at 15:58, both coaches were informed that under rule 3.2.1e we would be playing 10 minute quarters. The game was completed just before 16:00. Field markings in a faint blue, hard to see. Hash marks in the wrong place with one side almost down the middle of the pitch. Some main yard lines at a very poor angle. A Bucs player wore 06 and have been informed to change this shirt as it is illegal.

John Griffin #598

18/02/18 v Chichester Spitfires

Leeds Beckett Carnegie

80 yard field. No 3 yard marks. Sideline hashes were absent and game management were once again asked to sort the problem before the next game. Team areas were also absent and had to be marked with cones.

David Hewitt #607

28/01/18 v Durham Saints

Imperial Immortals

Well marked 90-yard field except for end lines which were very faint. Inbounds lines at incorrect depth. No limit lines, numbers or 9-yard marks and team areas marked out with cones. Changing rooms good but not locked during game.

04/02/18 v Kent Falcons

UCL Emperors

As previously noted, the site is not available until 1pm so officials will need to come pre-changed and prepared for minimal pregame. Struggled to find a chain crew and ball persons, so game actually kicked off 15 minutes late at 2pm with 10 minute quarters due to sunset at 4pm. Down box operator had to be changed following several complaints regarding his behaviour and lack of neutrality. Field is generally very well marked, apart from team areas stop at the 30 yard line. Brighton play in black jerseys with purple numbers which are not as distinctive as they could be. The access issue will remain for the rest of the season, so future officials should be prepared for this.

Andrew Murrell #608

04/02/18 v Chichester Spitfires

Coventry Uni Jets

Field marked in dark red with narrow hashes. No team areas.

Jed Brookes-Lewis #395

04/02/18 v Lincoln Colonials

MMU Eagles

The majority of the field was marked in faint blue, with some field lines marked in bright white. The field will need remarking before the next game at this venue. No numbers or nine yard marks. Team areas and coaching line not marked. The down marker and stakes were only approximately 3 feet high and had to be taped to other poles to raise them to a sufficient height. The stakes and down maker were provide 60 minutes provided to the scheduled kick-off, the actual chain was not provided until after the scheduled kick-off time. The final two officials assistants were only provided after the scheduled kick-off time. The home team did not provide a roster until after the scheduled kick off time. The home team were assessed a game management delay of game penalty. Two of the chain crew did not re-appear for the start of the second, the home team were assessed second game management delay of game penalty. In the third quarter, midway through a visiting team drive, the down-box operator decided he no longer wanted to be a member of the chain crew and wanted to return to his own sideline and become a coach. The home team were assessed third game management delay of game penalty No towels were provided for the ball persons despite the rain.

Ben Griffiths #228

25/02/18 v Huddersfield Hawks

Portsmouth Destroyers

On arriving at the venue the crew were met by the home team head coach to explain that the field was incorrectly marked. The university had marked the field to the full width of a rugby field. The team were painting the field to ensure that the width of the field was correct by painting new sidelines. The goals were also on the goal line so the field was shorten to 80 yards and the goal lines moved to the 10 yards lines. The field was also marked with NFL hashes in the middle of the field. The away team also complained about the amount of goose poo was present on the field (there was an ample coverage). The repainting delayed the KO until 13.20. At this point (20 minutes late) the home team failed to provide the game balls and the home team were penalised a game management delay.

10/12/17 v Swansea Titans

Bangor Muddogs

The field at Burnage Rugby Club was well marked, however due to the wet weather and flood lights in use for the late kick off they were difficult to see. In order for the game to proceed we set up low level training cones at regular intervals on each sideline.

Kevin Stanton #157

04/02/18 v Edge Hill Vikings

Somerset Wyverns

Field was full size, with proper slingshot goal posts, and excellently marked out - the only thing that was missing were the.limit lines, although the spectator areas were roped off on both sides of the field. Kick-off was delayed by around 20 minutes due to the late arrival of the visiting team.

Amir Brooks #593


Plymouth Blitz

Down box offered was very short (approx 3 foot in height). This little problem was remedied with the rather imaginative use of somebody's crutch!

03/12/17 v UWE Bullets

Durham Saints

Well marked 100 yard field with other sports markings, gooseneck goal posts are 2 yards off the end line with the base of the posts being outside the playing enclosure, the uprights are about a yard inside the perimeter fence, making it very difficult for a 4 man crew to get a view on PATs. Old rugby post holes are inside each endzone, these are covered by a metal plate, extra turf is usually available to cover these, but this couldn’t be sourced for the game, these were filled in with green bibs. Assistants weren’t available until the coin toss, second half kick off was also delayed waiting on assistants, chain set broke several times throughout the game, home team could only provide 2 footballs, of which one was worn out and both needed inflating, away team provided one.

Liam Wooton #478

10/12/17 v Leeds Beckett Carnegie

LJM Fury

Field quite well marked but done in faint yellow paint which was difficult to see in sunlight and almost invisible when wet and under floodlights. Otherwise, good.

Stuart Young #33

28/01/18 v UCL Rams

Outstanding items from previous weeks

Leeds Gryphons

80 yard field. No 3 yard marks or hashes at the sideline. One of the game balls kept losing pressure and needed to be replaced. Team areas not marked out but other sports lines and discipline by the teams helped solve the problem.

David Hewitt #607

10/12/17 v Sheffield Sabres

Birmingham Lions

No team area markings or numbers/9 yard marks. Multi-sport 3G field with American Football markings in black and of low contrast to the playing surface.

Euan Paterson #165

02/12/17 v Hertfordshire Hurricanes

Huddersfield Hawks

One endzone was 6 yards and the other was approximately 8 yards. Upon request the home team extended the shorter end zone to 8 yards. The home team were advised in future that they should mark a 90 yard field with two ten yard end zones rather than a 95 yard field with shorter end zones. The numbers were marked outside the field rather than 9 yards from the sideline. The Team areas were not marked. There were no goals, the coaches agreed to play without goals. The 5 yard lines were not always 5 yards apart. The short yard extension lines were not always 1 yard apart. While there was always a minimum of 4 short yard extension lines between the 5 yard lines, sometimes there were more. At one point the Referee counted 8! The 5 yard lines and short yard extension lines were not always straight. The crew were not paid and should’ve been.

Ben Griffiths #228

03/12/17 v Worcester Royals

UCLan Rams

Well marked 100 yard field. Team areas and coaching boxes not marked but the teams were disciplined in keeping to the correct areas. The posts are new 'goose neck' type, the base of the posts being 2 yards behind the end line. There are gaps around the base just about wide enough to get a foot into and while not presenting a trip hazard game management were informed it might be better if the gap was filled in. Plaudits to Liam Wooton who worked the game at umpire despite being extremely sick.

David Hewitt #607

03/12/17 v Leeds Gryphons

Brunel Burners

The field had some distances which looked to have been marked in metres rather than yards (e.g. the inbounds lines were marked at 20 metres from the sidelines rather than 20 yards). The team areas were marked to the 20 yard lines. No limit lines. Brunel have new game jerseys which are dark blue with white numbers and thus were very similar to Reading's black shirts with white numbers. Brunel changed to their previous white jerseys prior to the game to avoid a clash. Changing rooms not lockable.

Peter Parsons #321

10/12/17 v Sussex Saxons

Glasgow University Tigers

No limit lines, no marks at 3 yards, no numbers or marks at 9 yards.  No hash marks on the field.

Henry Richardson #25

10/12/17 v Northumbria Mustangs

Cardiff Cobras

Field markings were faint, and were especially difficult to see when facing in the general direction of the sun. The down box was very short.

Amir Brooks #593

03/12/17 v Solent Redhawks

Sheffield Sabres

The field is marked in red along with a variety of other sports markings makes it very difficult to see. Team areas not marked.

Ian Wainwright #567

03/12/17 v Sheffield Hallam Warriors

UCH Sharks

Well marked 100 yard field, just missing 3 and 9 yard marks and limit lines. Changing facilities are a hike away from the field but decent.

David Hewitt #607

03/12/17 v Glasgow Tigers

Canterbury Chargers

Well marked 90-yard field marked in blue with other sport markings in white & yellow. No limit lines, numbers or 9-yard marks. 8-yard end zones and coaching line at incorrect depth. Game balls provided were under inflated and despite this being rectified prior to KO, one game ball continued to deflate over the course of the game and was replaced. Chain set had been repaired multiple times with limited effectiveness prior to KO and subsequent breakages caused two significant delays during the game. Well appointed changing room but not lockable.

Tim Ockendon #481

10/12/17 v Kent Falcons

KCL Regents

90-yard field with 8-yard end zones, very well marked in blue with other sport markings in white, yellow & red. No limit lines, numbers or 9-yard marks and team areas too big. Changing room not private and not lockable.

Tim Ockendon #481

03/12/17 v Brighton Panthers

Sussex Saxons

The KO that was scheduled to 12.00 did not KO until 12.50 because the medical cover did not turn up. The was a miscommunication between the team and the medical cover but the team did all they could to sort the issue out. We also had a replacement ball boy at half time when the person in the first half was told by his girlfriend he was not allowed to do it anymore

David Knight #135

11/02/17 v Brunel Burners

Lancaster Bombers

80 yard field reasonably well marked in blue. Both ball persons changed at halftime.

Lee Taylor #183

03/12/17 v Newcastle Raiders

Bath Killer Bees

Kickoff delayed 15 minutes while we awaited the arrival of the required medical cover. Changing room shared with other officials. One ball person changed at half time. Chain set required two repairs during the game. Field marked mostly in blue and markings became increasingly faint during the game.

Peter Parsons #321

10/12/17 v Birmingham Lions

Hallam Warriors

80 yard field, marked in dark red, various other sports marked in other colours on same field. No three yard mark, no nine yard marks, no limit lines or team areas. Changing room not lockable

04/02/18 v LJM Fury

Bradford Bears

Pitch marked as 100 yd with no endzones, shortened to 80 yd with 10 yd end zones. Solid lines at 10 yard intervals. Agreed with HC that kick offs would be from the 20 yard line to allow restraining lines. NFL hash marks. No coach/player box. NFL hash marks. Other markings same colour as field markings. Changing room was an accessible toilet. Game called by Bradford at HT.

Daniel Johnston #347

10/12/17 v Liverpool Raptors

QMBL Vipers

Field marked in metres rather than yards. Goal line was taken to be the 5m line, resulting in 80m between the goal lines. Chains dictated 10 yards. Penalties were estimated at the correct yardage. Solid lines were used for things like touchbacks, and restraining lines for free kicks. Changing room was lockable, but the lock was a bit fiddly.

Steve Leonard #370

10/12/17 v UEL Phoenix

Bristol Barracuda

100 yard field excellently marked apart from team-area markings which are non-existent, so yardage markers were used as a coaching box. Down-box was missing its base-pole so Home team was advised to tie the down-box to another pole, so a soccer corner-flag was used! Older balls were used for the 1st half as the new ones were presented under-inflated too close to kickoff time.

Simon Ryan #408

10/12/17 v Southampton Stags

ARU Rhinos

Both teams wearing blue jerseys and pants with white numbers, just about enough difference on a good day to tell teams apart. UEL coach mentioned all teams in this league play in blue. ARU said they have no second kit

Lee Wood #517

03/12/17 v QMBL Vipers

Swansea Titans

American football and Rugby markings both in white. No 9 yard marks

Euan Paterson #165

03/12/17 v Bath Killer Bees

Staffordshire Stallions

Kickoff was delayed for around 30 minutes due to the late arrival of medical cover. The field was very well marked.

Paul Todd #289

04/02/18 v Leicester Longhorns



New this week

Play: 4th and 8 on A's 21.  A12's punt is blocked.  The ball is rolling around at A's 10 when B75 – reaching down in an attempt to recover the ball – unintentionally kicks the ball into A's endzone where A77 recovers.


Last week

Play:  Free kick on Team A's 35. With the score tied and one second remaining in the fourth quarter, A4's free kick lands on Team B's 25 yard line where B33 recovers and runs to Team A's 40 yard line.  A32 tackles him and is called for a face mask foul during the tackle. During B33's run, B54 blocked A64 below the waist on Team A's 41 yard line. Time expires during the down.

Ruling: Team A and Team B commit live ball fouls during the free kick down. Team B's foul occurs after a change of team possession and Team B is in possession when the down ends, therefore Team B could decline offsetting fouls. There are three possibilities (1) Team B could decline offsetting fouls. Team A could then accept the penalty for Team B's foul and the period would be extended with an untimed down by Team B, (2) Team B could decline offsetting fouls. Team A could decline the penalty for Team B's foul and the game would go into an extra period. (3) Team B could accept offsetting fouls, the down would then be replayed.  Team B will almost certainly take option 3, allowing them to have a second chance at running the kick-off back for a score before going into an extra period.  However Team A would only have to kick (tap) the ball off the tee and recover immediately to send the game into an extra period.


New this week

Game Situation: On a 3 man crew, which officials have the forward progress of the kick returner?

Answer next issue...

Last week

Play: Which official is responsible for informing coaches of the exact time when the two minute warning is called?

Answer:  M-20-2.  The Referee must ensure that the captain and Head Coach of each team have been informed of exactly how much time remains in the half, not just that it is the two-minute warning.




Contact for details


February 17th (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

April 7th (Sat)


April 7th - 8th (Sat - Sun)

BAFRA Annual Convention

May 12th (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

July 21st (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

November 17th (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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