Issue 23/18                                                                                15th June 2018

BAFRA Newsflash

1” OR 2” SHIRTS?

As a reminder, at the AGM, a discussion took place on whether BAFRA should follow a number of officiating organisations worldwide and change from the current 1” to 2” striped shirts. The debate was requested by a member on the basis that it is getting harder to source 1” striped shirts, in particular now that more officiating organisations in the United States are moving away from 1” stripes. Where it is possible to obtain new 1” striped shirts, the cost of these has risen considerably in the past year or so. It was thought, in particular, that this was having a detrimental effect on the recruitment of new members. However, it was also noted that there would be a cost to existing members having to re-equip.

Comments for and against the change were voiced at the AGM (although a show of hands indicated a significant majority in favour of the change) and it was agreed to put this to a ballot of the full membership.  Should a change be agreed, it would commence from 1st April 2020. In the meanwhile, crews may opt to wear either 1” or 2” striped shirts (with 1” regarded as the default until that date) although a crew should all wear the same width stripes. From 1st April 2020 onwards, 2” striped shirts would become the default option.

You are therefore asked to register your preference. There is a survey in the member’s area of the website and all members are encouraged to vote. Please note this vote is not restricted to qualified members but open to all members.

The voting form may be found here: and the vote will close at 11:59pm on 30th June 2018.

Paul Sutton


North West officials are holding a regional meeting on Thursday 21st June at 19:15. The meeting will be held at the The Magnet Freehouse, 51 Wellington Road North, Stockport, SK4 1HJ. The venue is just off junction 1 of the M60 and right by Stockport train station.

The event is aimed at officials of all levels and is open to all BAFRA officials, if you are in the area, feel free to come along. If you require any further information or are planning on attending please contact me using my details on the BAFRA members area of the website.

Ben Griffiths










New this week

Martin Brearley


Lincolnshire Bombers



In order to break up a group of players, officials moved in. The player pushed the HL in the chest three times.

17/06/18 v Knottingley Raiders

Simon George


Bristol Aztecs



The player commited 2 unsportsmanlike conduct fouls. The first was for verbal abuse directed towards on opponent. The second was for verbal abuse directed towards the officials.

17/06/18 v Farnham Knights

Ryan Robinson


London Olympians


The player commited 2 unsportsmanlike conduct fouls. The first was charging into an opponent who had committed a foul against one of his team mates.  The second was for tripping an opponent who was heading back towards his huddle after a play.  

17/06/18 v Bury Saints

Opeyemi Adenola


Merseyside Nighthawks



During the final down of the game in which time expired, Nighthawks scored the game winning touchdown. Immediately after there were wild celebrations on the field.  The player ran half way across the field making obscene gestures at the Titans’ sideline.

17/06/18 v Tamworth Phoenix

Steven Anderson        


Clyde Valley Blackhawks        



On the final play of the game, Aberdeen informed the officials they were "taking a knee".  Officials informed the defense of this. After the snap, the player came charging through the line and hit the QB who was on one knee in possession of the ball.

17/06/18 v West Coast Trojans

Previous weeks - none





New this week

Solent Thrashers

Plane of the crossbar overhangs the endline. 10 yard lines are blue whilst the rest of the markings are Yellow. 7 minute stoppage for a player injury

David Knight #135

15/07/18 v Ouse Valley Eagles

Worcestershire Black Knights

Excellently marked field, many thanks to the home team for providing complementary post-match burgers!

Jed Brookes-Lewis #395

17/06/18 v South Wales Warriors

London Olympians

90-yard field marked in white with other sport markings also in white. No numbers, 9-yard marks, limit lines or team area markings, although the corners of the team areas was marked with cones. No hashmarks at inbounds lines although there were marks on the main yard lines at the correct depth.

Tim Ockendon #481

17/06/18 v Bury Saints

Edinburgh Wolves

Neither coaches box or team area marked, but game management marked the areas out with cones

Ian Sneddon #427

24/06/18 v Merseyside Nighthawks

Swindon Storm

No limit lines. Changing room not lockable.

Peter Parsons #321

15/07/18 v Hastings Conquerors

Leeds Bobcats

80 yard field. No limit lines or 9 yard marks/numbers. All 3 game balls were brand new but required inflating.The chain set broke on one occasion causing a brief stoppage. Plaudits to leeds game manager Rosie on her excellent work in all off the field duties, and to the chain crew who moved swiftly and performed magnificently from the first down to the last down of the game.

David Hewitt #607

17/06/18 v Lancashire Wolverines

Lincolnshire Bombers

Field was well marked but only 80 yards long.  Plaudits to the medical crew and in particular to the HC of Lincoln who acted quickly and effectively during two serious injuries.

Ian Wainwright #567

17/06/18 v Knottingley Raiders

Bristol Aztecs

No numbers or 9-yard marks, limit line was too close to the field.

Amir Brooks #593

17/06/18 v Farnham Knights

Outstanding items from previous weeks

Portsmouth Dreadnoughts

Field marked really well with good lines however the hash marks in the middle of the field were marked as NFL hash marks. Balls were delivered late and were under inflated and had to be adjusted.

David Knight #135

24/06/18 v Bournemouth Bobcats

Humber Warhawks

No limit lines, 9 yard marks,or 3 yard marks. Sideline hashes were joined to the sidelines. Coaching boxes were incorrectly marked between the 30 yard lines and the line separating the coaching area and players area was missing. All 3 game balls were underinflated and required pumping up. The chain set broke on several occasions requiring repair.

David Hewitt #607

17/06/18 v Staffordshire Surge

Tamworth Phoenix

Officials room cramped, dirty and inoperative shower and toilet. Game suspended for 45 minutes due to injury to Tamworth player.  Crews should note that small studded astro boots are not allowed on the pitch at Tamworth and that there are pitch police who check!  The instructions do say astro boots are not allowed but the recommended footwear poster that comes with it does not show them - so I assumed mine were OK.

Brian Yates #29

17/06/18 v Merseyside Nighthawks

East Essex Sabres

Pitch in same condition as last week, however there were key lines, ie goal lines, with poor visibility. Game was delayed by 30 minutes while game management painted lines and rectified the issue. Both head coaches agreed with the delay and were happy the issue was resolved.

Alisha Darkins #573

17/06/18 v Norwich Devils

Morecambe Bay Storm

Game abandoned with 12 mins and 49 sec remaining in the third quarter, this was due to an serious injury to a player. Ambulance was called and after 65 mins the air ambulance arrived and landed in the middle of the pitch, we could not carry on the game as the air ambulance had to wait for a land ambulance to arrive. This decision was taken after consultation with both head coaches

Tony Newsham #302

05/08/18 v Chester Romans

Cornish Sharks

Game took place on a rugby field of a small local club. Field was only 80 yards plus endzones and hash marks were inconsistent location, length and direction!. No 3 yard markings. Due to local restrictions one set of goal posts could not be used - so it was agreed by both HC's that the game would go ahead with no FG or PAT kicks. Changing rooms could only be described as 'small' and only WC's were outside the main changing rooms.

Francis Bevan #474

29/07/18 v South Wales Warriors

Lancashire Wolverines

Apart from missing coaches box and numbers, this was a very well organised game day. Onsite bar, BBQ and announcer made this day enjoyable for all players, officials and spectators (the weather also helped).

Daniel Johnston #347

01/07/18 v Glasgow Tigers

Sussex Thunder

Well marked 90-yard field in white missing limit lines, team area lines, numbers & 9-yard marks. Hashmarks and inbounds lines too long and at incorrect depth. Good size, well appointed changing room which was lockable after assistance from Game Management. Game balls were in good condition but 2 were under-inflated.

Tim Ockendon  #481

17/06/18 v Berkshire Renegades

Farnham Knights

No limit lines marked.

Peter Parsons #321

15/07/18 v London Warriors

Doncaster Mustangs

Very well marked field with only the limit lines missing, the game management were extremely slow in finding enough assistants to be trained.

Chris Jarvis #10

17/06/18 v Coventry Jets

Torbay Trojans

90 yard field. Field is tight in the surroundings causing limit lines to be less than 18ft.

Euan Paterson #165

01/07/18 v Cornish Sharks

Kent Exiles

Well marked 100 yard field, however some lines were quite faint in places so could do with re-marking. Changing room is a portacabin which is lockable but is also storage for some team equipment meaning that a larger sized crew [>5] might have space issues. Game management and officials' assistants were all to the Exiles’ usual very high standards.

Phil Clarke #262

24/06/18 v Cambridgeshire Cats

Gateshead Senators

Played at Gateshead Stadium due to waterlogged pitch at Monkton. Pitch had been remarked incorrectly (NFL hash marks / endzone had hazard in middle). Old lines were still clearly visible and used for the game. Condition of Astroturf very poor with some tears. Game stopped on one occasion to replace area of Astroturf.

Dan Johnston #347

24/06/18 v Glasgow Tigers

Manchester Titans

The pitch is only 80 yards long

Murray Gibson #268

24/06/18 v East Kilbride Pirates

Northumberland Vikings

Very well marked field, missing team area lines. Game management was brilliant throughout the day, Vikings intend on live streaming all of their home games.

Liam Wooton #478

17/06/18 v Yorkshire Rams

Crewe Railroaders

During card check, prior to the game, Crewe Railroaders player #81 Craig Edmondson went down on one knee and proposed to marry Becky Hathaway. Becky accepted. The BAFRA crew sends its warmest wishes and congratulations to Becky and Craig.

Andrew Lovell #559

01/07/18 v Knottingley Raiders

East Kilbride Pirates

No limit line. Coaching and Players box incorrectly marked too close to sideline. After the final whistle an Assistant Coach from the EK Pirates entered the field to remonstrate with the officials.

Henry Richardson #25

01/07/18 v Tamworth Phoenix

Cambridgeshire Cats

With 4.30 left in the first half one stake broke and we had to use only half with the temporary measures continually breaking.

John Griffin #598

17/06/18 v Wembley Stallions

Hastings Conquerors

A rugby game was taking place on a parallel field, which was only 1 yard from the back of the team area. We agreed with coaches before the game that if a rugby player or ball entered the field at any time, we would immediately blow the ball dead and apply inadvertent whistle procedures. Fortunately, we never actually had to do this, as rugby balls only entered the field while the ball was dead.

Ben Gadsby #564

01/07/17 v Swindon Storm

Sheffield Giants

One end line was incomplete, this was rectified by game management before kick off. There is now a cricket boundary line running through part of the field.

Daniel Holt #371

19/08/18 v Tamworth Phoenix

Furness Phantoms

100 yard field marked well marked with white lines. Towards the visiting sideline the remains of a line from another sport are still visible but I would think this will disappear over time. The only potential issue for future crews at this venue are the large quantity of daisies which as they also flower in white could make the lines disappear as the season progresses.

Lee Taylor #183

01/07/18 v Carlisle Sentinels



New this week

Play: 4th and 10 at Team B’s 25-yard line.  Team A are lined up to attempt a field goal.  A4 is lined up in a position to attempt the kick.  Immediately following the snap, offensive lineman A67 blocks B99 low below the waist, from the front.  The snap is muffed by holder A12, who is then downed in possession of the ball without any kick being made.


Last week

Play:  2nd and 10 at Team B’s 27-yard line.  At the snap end A84 immediately charges and contacts B43 who is positioned no more than 1 yard from the line of scrimmage.

Ruling: This is only legal if the team A player is ineligible (7-3-8-b-1). As an end, A84 is eligible.  This was Q28 on the 2018 BAFRA exam.


New this week

Game Situation: As team A are huddling before a PAT, the Linejudge on a 5 man crew notices that the Referee is rolling his hands above his head.  What is the Referee trying to signal?  How should the Linejudge respond?

Answer next issue...

Last week

Game Situation: 1st and 10 at team A's 30 yard line.  Quarterback A4 drops back to pass and throws a pass over the centre of the field towards A84.  The pass is quite high, but before A84 has a chance to jump for the ball his right arm is grabbed by B23, which puts him off balance.  The ball flies about a yard over his head.  The Back Judge throws a flag for DPI, however the Umpire – who has swiveled to watch the end of the pass – thinks the ball might have been uncatchable.  How should officials work together to make the right call?

Answer: M-5-5.  Officials who disagree on a call must be called together to discuss the matter with each other.  In this instance the Umpire should probably ask the Back Judge if he thought the pass was catchable.  If the Back Judge says yes then the call must stand – conversation over.  If the Back Judge says probably not, then the flag may need to be waved off.  If the Back Judge seems unsure or put off by the question, then it is important to remember the 'when in doubt' principles – specifically in this case M-6-1-4 “the forward pass is catchable”.  Doubt should never overrule positive knowledge, and in this case we should probably go with the Back Judge's call since he has primary responsibility for the action (M-5-5-9-f).




Contact for details


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


Tzvi Lindeman

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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