Issue 04/18                                                                                2nd February 2018

BAFRA Newsflash


Week 2 Update

We are still waiting to get names added to the list to show who has registered; and will advise these as soon as possible.  We can announce that Bill LeMonnier will be returning to visit the Convention this year.  Although Bill is currently best known as ESPN Rules Analyst, he previously had a stellar career in the Big Ten Conference, including 17 Post Season Bowl Games. He also has 12 years experience in training and motivational/public speaking, in more than 10 countries; and he received the 2013 Gold Whistle Award recognizing contributions beyond sports officiating.

Guest Speaker

Our guest speaker will be Jeff Dahle. He has excellent experience both as an official, and as an instructor and mentor for PAC-12 officials.


The Convention will be held at Yarnfield Park Training & Conference Centre, Yarnfield Lane, Yarnfield, Staffordshire, ST15 0NL.  Yarnfield Park is a leading Training and Conference centre in the heart of the UK.  I would recommend that you look over the facility on their website where you can also find details of the location and directions:


To register to attend the Convention, you need to send an email to Sean Welsh at  Again we will be making up personalised Convention Packs, ID Badges, Presentation handouts, Programme of Events, Game Day Paperwork, etc. As such you do need to pre-register.


In our efforts to make the Convention more accessible to everyone, this year we have again negotiated excellent rates for accommodation which are detailed below.  In addition, the BAFRA Board has also agreed to provide some funding to keep down the costs. The rates indicated are per room and include all discounts and a full breakfast.

Twin Room:        £44.00 per night (So if you share with someone it will only cost you £22.00

per night)

Single Room:      £44.00 per night

Remember, to take advantage of the above rates you must book your room with Sean at 

When you send your email to Sean please provide the following important information:


Payment for Convention rooms are due by 23rd March and payment can be made electronically or by cheque.

By cheque; with full payment included, should be made payable to BAFRA Ltd and sent to Charles Young at 25 Daffodil Close Haslingden Rossendale BB4 6NG.

By electronic payment; please ensure your payment reference is your full name and BAFRA number e.g.  “Roger Brown 469” and use the account number 10255350, sort code 16-16-11, BAFRA Ltd, RBS, Cheetham Hill, Manchester.

By electronic payment plan; It is appreciated that some people may wish to spread the cost and make multiple payments over the weeks leading up to 23 rd March.  Please use the same instructions as above.  If you wish to make multiple payments, then you must make the payments electronically and not by cheque.

Please let us know how you wish to pay by including this information in your email to Sean Welsh at when you register.

Game Fees

Unfortunately, payment for the Convention cannot be taken from Game Fees.  The administration work involved is far too time consuming and does not fit well with our electronic process of paying Games Fees by direct transfer to your bank account.

Friday Night

Again, last year many attendees stayed on the Friday night to save an early rise and travel on the Saturday morning.  As such the above rates are available again for both the Friday and Saturday nights. As the event promises to be our biggest and best for a while I would recommend booking your room as early as possible.  You can do this at the same time you register to attend.

Ian Sneddon & Susannah Taylor

Convention Delivery Team


If teams are not prepaid and ask how they should pay you, please do not ask them to pay electronically over the next few days. Under BAFRA Terms and Condition there is a financial penalty for non-payment of officials.

A Team can pay Officials in cash or individual cheques on the day. If the Team are not prepaid and do not have the cash or cheques for the Officials, then the Referee should provide the team with an Invoice and explain that a £25 late payment fee is also due. This late payment fee must be included on the invoice provided.

Roger Brown 


As always, the Annual General Meeting of BAFRA Limited will be held at 5:00pm on the Saturday of the Convention, 7th April. It is open to all members. A full agenda will be circulated to members nearer the time.  Part of the AGM is the election of directors for the Company. This year, four directors are standing down having completed their term of office: President, General Secretary, Director of Training and Director without Portfolio #1.  These positions are open to all qualified members and nomination forms will be circulated to qualified members on or before 17th February. As previously notified, the present incumbents will be seeking re-election for the positions of President, General Secretary and Director without Portfolio #1 but the Director of Training will be standing down when his term of office expires at the end of the AGM.

The Directors encourage all qualified members to consider applying for one of the above positions. If you are considering standing and would like more information, please contact me or, if you prefer, another director for more details.

Paul Sutton 


A further reminder that 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.

The Selection Committee will make the award from the nominations received. The only way a member may be considered for this award is if another member nominated him or her so I look forward to receiving your nominations.

There will be a presentation at an awards dinner on the Saturday evening of the Convention.

Paul Sutton 









New this week

Patrick Wilson


Plymouth Blitz



After the play way over #85 threw a punch at the chest of an opponent.

04/02/18 v Exeter Demons

Previous weeks

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





New this week

Nottingham Outlaws

90 yard field. Coaching boxes were not the correct distance from the sidelines and this led to a dispute with the home coach after the wing official on his sideline collided with one of the assistant coaches and was subsequently flagged. The goal posts are tied to the exterior fence and are very short which causes problems for the officials trying to judge kicks.

David Hewitt #607

24/02/18 v Warwick Wolves

Leeds Gryphons

80 yard field. No limit lines, no team areas, no hash marks on either sideline. One ballboy changed at halftime.

Daniel Holt #371

25/02/18 v UCLan Ram

York St. John Jaguars

When we arrived at the field, the Home team’s head coach pointed out the following: The field had been marked to the width of a rugby union pitch, the hashmarks were ‘NFL style’ and the end zones were only four yards deep. We moved the goal lines to the 5 yard lines, which gave us a 90 yard field with 9 yard end zones (but all the field numbers were now incorrect). In addition to this, there were no team areas, no limit lines & no three yard marks. None of the game balls we were presented with were at the legal pressure.

Daniel Holt #371


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. One of the Chain Set stakes was below regulation height due to previous repair. Entire chain crew changed at half-time. Well appointed changing room but not lockable.

Tim Ockendon #481

25/02/18 v Imperial Immortals

Brunel Burners

90 yard field, decent painting, far from the changing rooms as usual at this venue. We had extra problems with parking, as all the parking spaces were full when we arrived. We had to delay kickoff for 25 minutes as the medic did not turn up, luckily in the end he arrived. The field surface was muddy and slippery, but good enough to have some football.

Viktor Janvari #63

25/02/18 v Surrey Stingers

UWE Bullets

Changing rooms weren't available until 1 hour before kickoff due to a boys' soccer match taking place at the same venue. The chain crew weren't available until around 10 minutes before kickoff - thankfully this didn't delay the kickoff and they did a good job. A quick note for any officials working future games here: you now have to pay to park at the venue (5 hours = £5.50), and the parking meters only accept coins or payment through mobile phone using a card.

Amir Brooks #591

04/02/18 v Solent Redhawks

Portsmouth Destroyers

100 Yard field was marked out in yellow which has hard to see. Each endzone was only 5 yards deep, so we changed to a 90 yard field before the game with the goal-line being on the 5 yard line. The opposition sideline was faint and gameday management was asked to re-paint over these markings. The game was delayed at the start due to the late of arrival of the chain crew who then were needing to be briefed.

Richard Moger #472

18/02/18 v Hertfordshire Hurricanes

Cambridge Pythons

Only two officials arrived for the game, so with the agreement of both coaches we draughted in two suitably qualified coaches from Cambridge, Martin Steers and Tim Allen. Plaudits and thanks to them for a great game and to both teams for giving us a super contest.

Brian Yates #29

18/02/18 v Canterbury Chargers

Solent Redhawks

No numbers or nine yard marks. Most lines marked in yellow, but part of both 10 yard lines were marked in blue and the midfield line was marked in white.

Peter Parsons #321

25/02/18 v Cardiff Cobras

Outstanding items from previous weeks

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

Warwick Wolves

Chain crew provided 2 minutes before kickoff. Plaudits to both teams for a disciplined game played in harsh conditions.

Jed Brookes-Lewis #395

04/02/18 v NTU Renegades

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

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

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

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

Lancaster Bombers

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

Henry Richardson #25

11/02/18 v UWS Pyros

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

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

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, 4th and 7, on Team B's 35 yard line. Quarterback A17, under heavy pressure on the Team B 45 yard line, dumps the ball into an area where there are no eligible Team A receivers to save a loss of yardage. The pass is intercepted by a diving B67 at the Team B 36 yard line where he is downed.


Last week

Play:  Team A's ball, they are going for a try on the Team B 3 yard line. A80 is the snapper. A80 is also positioned on the end of the line of scrimmage. All other linemen, five of whom are numbered 50-79, are to A80's left (swinging gate). A80 snaps the ball to quarterback A18, who throws a legal forward pass back to A80, who catches the ball in B's end zone.

Ruling:  Successful try. Team A scores two points. Team A is not in a scrimmage kick formation so Team A must have five linemen numbered 50-79. A80 is an eligible receiver since he is legally on the end of the line.


New this week

Game Situation:  Team A run a fake handoff play in which Fullback A34 fakes possession of the ball and runs towards the Linejudge's sideline.  The ball is kept by the Quarterback, who begins running to the far side of the field.  The fake is extremely believable, and A34 is tackled by two defensive players.  The Linejudge is also fooled by the fake, and blows his whistle – but almost immediately realises the ball is still live and in possession of the Quarterback, who is beginning to run upfield.  Only A34 and the two defensive players who tackled him appear to react to the Linejudge's whistle and stop playing.  What should the Linejudge do next?

Answer next issue...

Last week

Game Situation: Mid-way through the 2nd quarter and during a timeout, the Head Linesman notices that the head coach of the team on his sideline is standing 5 yards on the field talking to his players.  The coaches on the other side of the field are remaining in their coaching area during the timeout.

Answer:  It is prohibited for coaches to be outside of their team area on the field during the game (9-2-1-b-1).  However, during a timeout coaches that come on to the field, remain within 9 yards of the sideline and don't draw attention to themselves should not normally be regarded as a problem (MM 3-8-7).  As the timeout comes to an end though, the official should consider reminding the coach to remain in his team area, since this will likely avoid potential conflicts with the coaches of the other team during timeouts later in the game.  If a coach does cause any commotion, then he should be asked to return to his team area.




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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