Issue 01/18                                                                                13th January 2018

BAFRA Newsflash


The BUCS league re-commences on 21st January with around 10 games. The following week and throughout February there will be at least 30 games each weekend.

We need everyone to update their availability on Arbiter as soon as possible as we want to assign officials to these games shortly.  Please ensure your availability update covers this period. We may also have some women’s tournaments/pre season games that we will be assigning through February and March.

If you go into Arbiter to make yourself unavailable and you notice you have a game pending you must contact us immediately as Blocking Out for that date will not change your original status.  There may also be some midweek games as teams try to catch up on their fixtures.

Please try to make every effort to be available to work some games over this busy period. Your assistance is much appreciated. If you have specific questions regarding this please leave a message on 

Richard Vernon 


Nominations are invited for the Official of the Year award for 2017. The criteria for the award may be found on our website at: Nominations should be with me by 5:00pm on Friday 9th February 2018. Any member may nominate another member. If you have any queries about this, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Paul Sutton 


As per our Regulations, four Directors are due to stand down at this year’s AGM. They are the President, the General Secretary, the Director of Training and the Director without Portfolio #1. Three of these have

indicated that they will be seeking re-election at the AGM. These are President, the General Secretary and

the Director without Portfolio #1.  However, the Director of Training has indicated that he will be standing down at the conclusion of the AGM.

Formal requests for nominations for all four posts will be circulated by 10th February to all qualified

members. The purpose of this notification is to ask all qualified members to consider if they wish to apply

for one of the four posts. It is particularly important that we receive nominations for the Director of Training post that will otherwise fall vacant at the conclusion of the AGM.

The directors encourage qualified members to stand for election to all of the above roles but, in particular, to the Director of Training post. If members require details of any of the four posts, or wish to discuss anything about the responsibilities involved, they should feel free to contact me or, if they prefer, another director for further information.

Paul Sutton 


This year's Sapphire Series will again be played with a mixture of both 7v7 and 5v5 format rules. However, the major development is the increase in the number of teams now playing  7v7 and the introduction of Division 2A to accommodate  6 developing programmes.

Sapphire Division 1 will again feature the 8 teams from last year's Division 1, playing 7v7 football.

Division 2 splits in two with six teams stepping-up to the 7v7 format playing in Division 2A and four teams now competing at 5v5 format in Div 2B.

BAFA's development plan for women's football is for Sapphire Series to move all teams up to the 7v7 format by next season, with 5v5 being just for new teams.

All Sapphire Series Tournaments will be played on Saturdays.  The series kicks-off on Saturday 3rd February and concludes on Saturday March 17th: Although this is a very short competition it is an expansion of the Sapphire Series and provides a increasing challenge for BAFRA to cover these tournaments.  However please note that each round of the 7v7 format will comprise of only two games on each of two fields


I will publish more information regarding specific rules for these events in a later Newsflash but I wanted initially to give details about the number of officials needed and the locations for the tournaments.  They are as follows:

Tournament Dates  


Number of officials required

3rd Feb

East Kilbride and Herts (Div 1 only)

8-12 Officials

10th Feb

Leeds, Birmingham, Chester, Portsmouth and Peterborough

14-16 Officials

24th Feb

Derby, Sandwell and Kent  

16-18 Officials

3rd Mar

Edinburgh, London, Teeside, Wembley, Stafford

14-16 Officials

17th Mar  (Finals)      

Manchester (Div1), Sandwell (Div 2A), Oxford (Div 2B)      

18-20 Officials

As you will all realise, the number of officials needed for these events is considerable, especially as there will definitely be a large number of university fixtures every Sunday after these tournaments.  Operations will assign officials based on their availability according to Arbiter and assign as for a regular BUCS or BAFA league game.  In addition there will be a few BUCS games being played Saturdays in February.

Can I take this opportunity to ask every active official to make every effort to be available for at least one of these tournaments. I also strongly recommend that every new or recently qualified official takes advantage of gaining valuable experience by working as many of these events as possible.

Your support is vital for developing the sport and providing an excellent professional service to the teams is much appreciated and valued.

If you have specific questions please contact us at

Richard Vernon 


Congratulations to Paul Lowe on completing all of the requirements necessary to become Qualified.

Thanks to Mark Burrows and all those who are helping with Paul's training.

Pete Thom 









New this week

James Watson


Loughborough Students



With seconds left in the second quarter the player was flagged for an unsportsmanlike foul. He the left the field but on approaching the sideline was flagged for a second, separate unsportsmanlike foul.

04/02/18 v Durham Saints

Previous weeks

Samuel Calvert


Sheffield Hallam Warriors



Following a punt, there was a pile up of bodies. #27 grabbed a prone player on the floor by the facemask and pulled him along the ground from the pile.

28/01/18 v Leeds Gryphons

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.

21/01/18 v Reading Knights?





New this week

Newcastle Raiders

Groundsmen were on hand to assist with clearing the 4G surface of frost which formed in shaded sections of the field. sections that were clear were faded yellow and very hard to see with the low sunlight.

Daniel Johnston #347

04/02/18 v Teesside Cougars

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 all significantly under-inflated and game management could not rectify the issue so the officials rectified it on their behalf. Chain set had been repaired multiple times to the point where one of the stakes is barely fit for purpose, but only one relatively short delay during the game. Well appointed changing room but not lockable.

28/01/18 v UEA Pirates

UCLan Rams

At 11.00 on the day of the game Lee Taylor informed the crew and Operations that the game had been called off, he discovered this on Facebook. The team had not informed Bafra or responded to the Referee Confirmation email during the week.

Chris Jarvis #10

04/02/18 v Sheffield Sabres

Bristol Barracuda

100 yard field well marked except for lack of 9 marks and team areas. Down box tied to soccer corner flag due to missing base pole

Euan Paterson #165

11/02/18 v Bath Spa Bulldogs

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. 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.

04/02/18 v Loughborough Students

Outstanding items from previous weeks

NTU Renegades

The game was delayed 30 minutes due to the late arrival of the medical crew. After consultation with both head coaches, it was agreed to reduce the quarters to 10 minutes.

Murray Gibson #268

11/02/18 v Nottingham University

Sheffield Sabres

80 yard field with blue markings, posts fell over before the start of the game but were repaired before kick off.

Ian Wainwright #567

11/02/18 v Leeds Gryphons

Hull Sharks

Well marked 100 yard field. No limit lines, 3 yard marks, 9 yard marks or numbers. Line marking was a little faint but didn't cause a problem.

David Hewitt #607

10/12/17 v Napier Knights

Swansea Titans

The field had been fully marked out. However, persistent Welsh weather (i.e. rain) left these lines very faint.

Amir Brooks #593

11/02/18 v Hertfordshire Hurricanes

Inverclyde Goliaths

The referee and umpire were informed of a potential problem 1 hour before kick off when we went to meet the coaches. No UWS players, apart from 5 local players, had turned up for the game.  They had been informed on the Saturday night that the game was cancelled, this was confirmed to the officials 30 mins prior to kick off. Despite the efforts of the Inverclyde coaches to try and contact the UWS players, we then took the decision to abandon the game.

Gordon Galloway #7


Huddersfield Hawks

Upon arrival coin toss was conducted away from the field as Huddersfield were not certain that we could stay later than 4:30pm due to complications with venue management. Chain crew and ball persons were not available at the scheduled kick off time, medical cover was also not present. Huddersfield had assumed it had been arranged through the Student Union however this was not the case. Despite Huddersfield’s best efforts to try and arrange medical cover and after waiting an hour the game was abandoned at the agreement of both Head Coaches

Kevin Stanton #157

11/02/18 v Northampton Nemesis

Chester Legion

The field had been marked in metres as an 80 metre field. Five metre lines were not present (though ten metre lines were). The hashmarks continued through the endzone, and in some places were unevenly spaced. Changing facilities are very distant from the field, so officials are advised to arrive dressed for the game.

Paul Todd #289

28/01/18 v Bangor MudDogs

Lancaster Bombers

80 yard pitch. No limit line . Field numbers too small

Henry Richardson #25

11/02/18 v UWS Pyros

Leicester Longhorns

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

28/01/18 v Warwick Wolves

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

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

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

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

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

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: Team A's ball, 2nd and 4, on Team B's 44. Running back A33 takes the hand off and runs beyond the line of scrimmage; he extends his left hand against the face mask (no grasp) of potential tackler B66 who is "head on" with him on Team B's 42 yard line. Maintaining continuous contact to the head, A33 advances to Team B's 37 yard line before he is downed.


Last week

Play:  B22 intercepts a pass in Team B's end zone and fumbles while still in the end zone. B76 recovers on Team B's 4 yard line. B34 clips on Team B's 6 yard line during B22's run.  Ruling?

Ruling: The touchback rule (8-6-1-a) is not applicable since the ball did not become dead in possession of a Team B player in Team B's end zone or becomes dead out of bounds behind Team B's goal line. The enforcement spot is Team B's goal line since B22's run ended in his own end zone. Acceptance of the penalty results in a safety.  Team A scores two points. B's ball, free kick, on Team B's 20


New this week

Game Situation: Just before making the announcement for a penalty, if the Referee is unsure if the penalty will result in a first down, how can he quickly signal to the Linesman for information.

Answer next issue...

Last week

Play: On a free kick play, at the moment of the kick A89 player is leaning across the team A restraining line at the A30.  A89's feet are firmly behind the A30.  The kick off goes deep.  Ruling?

Answer:  Although officials should treat the restraining line at a free kick as a plane (M-3-6-5-a), there is no need to be too technical about calling offsides when the kick goes deep (M-3-6-5-c).  No foul.




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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