Issue 24/18                                                                                22nd June 2018

BAFRA Newsflash


In previous years BAFRA has supplied officials for the Chain Crew for these games (eight officials at each game). I am pleased to report that we have been asked by the NFL to provide Chain Crews for all THREE games this year. The game details are as follows:

Expressions of Interest to be part of the Chain Crews for these games are now invited from all eligible officials. This includes BAFRA members who have either never worked on an NFL Game Chain Crew, or have only done so between 2007-2014, on no more than two occasions. The only exception is for officials who worked one game in 2017, they can apply as they will provide crew continuity which is an NFL requisite.  Please note the start times for each game. One night’s accommodation is usually provided near the stadium but details have yet to be confirmed. It should also be noted that each official will receive a game fee for performing this duty although travel expenses are not payable.

Please clearly state for which games you will be available. Note: Ideally we need to schedule officials for two games in a row to ensure the above mentioned crew continuity. The selection criteria is clearly explained in the members area of the BAFRA website and I would encourage all eligible officials to consider applying. However please be aware that we are always heavily over-subscribed. I want to reassure all officials who have never worked at an NFL game that they will be given an equal chance to be selected as the Selection Committee wants to give as many dedicated officials as possible an opportunity to work at these major events.  If you require further information about any aspect of this important role please contact me directly for an informal discussion.

The closing date to inform me of your interest will be at 5pm on Friday 6th July 2018 via  On submission of your Expression of Interest you will receive an acknowledgement from me. If you do not receive a reply then contact me to ensure your application has been received.  

NOTE:  Game 1 of this series at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, White Hart Lane, on 14th October has a 6pm start time. Therefore the game will not finish before 9pm.

Richard Vernon 

1” OR 2” SHIRTS?

A final reminder that, 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


Can all officials wishing to be considered for these events please ensure their Arbiter availability is fully updated, as the Selection Committee is meeting Saturday 7th July to choose crews to work these games.

Bowl Games will be played on the following dates:

Division 1 and Brit Bowl           -               8th / 9th September

Division 2                                   -               2nd September

I will provide more detailed information about these games as soon as it is available.

Richard Vernon 


During the Convention, you, the members, chose Cancer Research UK to be this year’s BAFRA nominated charity.  Following discussion with the Operations team, it has been decided that the charity weekend this year will be held on Saturday 30th June and Sunday 1st July. All members are requested to donate all or some of their match fee to this cause. There are a number of ways in which you may make your donation:

Send an email to Roger Brown, Director of Finance, at telling him how much you wish to donate and he will deduct that from you match fee if it is a pre-paid team.  Make a payment directly into the BAFRA bank account using your BAFRA number and the word “Charity” as the reference (e.g. “312 – Charity”). If you require details of the BAFRA account, please contact Roger as above.

By cheque made payable to BAFRA Limited writing your BAFRA number and 2charity donation” on the back of the cheque. Cheques should be sent to BAFRA Finance, 25 Daffodil Close, Haslingden, Rossendale, BB4 6NG.

Each year since we commenced having a BAFRA Charity, we have raised a four figure sum for the charity nominated.  Let’s see if we can beat previous records this year.

Paul Sutton


For news of some recent updates to the BAFRA website - click on Handbook and Game day administration. Many of the FAQs have been updated, so if you are a White Hat and even if you are not, take a minute or two to have a quick read. If you see any mistakes, let me know.

A majority of officials don't yet have their photo on the BAFRA website. Take a couple of minutes to update your profile with a small photo, and while you're there, check the rest of your details are up to date. Just a small size head or head and shoulders shot is ideal.

It really helps to be able to put a face to a name whether it is meeting up with new crew members, doing an assessment or simply remembering who was in your breakout group at the last BAFRA conference.

Just log on to the members area and click on Profile Overview.

Steve Tonkinson 









New this week

Mark Donald


Halton Spartans



Player kicked an opponent after he was held by him.

01/07/18 v Morecambe Storm

Tom Lowe


Lancashire Wolverines



Player repeatedly punched an opponent during the play.

01/07/18 v Glasgow Tigers

Scott Kersey


Northumberland Vikings



Player committed a targeting foul against a defenseless ball carrier who was held in the tackle.  Player subsequently apologised for the hit.

01/07/18 v Yorkshire Rams

Previous weeks - none





New this week

Halton Spartans

A well briefed stadium announcer, electronic stadium scoreboard and a referees microphone all help to make a good gameday experience for the fans who turn out to watch the Spartans home games.

Lee Taylor #183

01/07/18 v Morecambe Storm

Lincolnshire Bombers

80 yard pitch, otherwise well marked.

Joseph Foxon #473

29/07/18 v Humber Warhawks

Hertfordshire Cheetahs

Changing facility for officials is a small room which can probably only accommodate 2 or 3 officials and is not lockable. Balls supplied were new but well below legal pressure. Field was well marked but had additional rugby markings in the same colour, but they were not close enough to any markings to cause major issues. No limit lines. Despite the scoreline this was a well played game and credit to Hastings for playing all the way until the final whistle.

Andrew Murrell #608

24/06/18 v Swindon Storm

Bristol Aztecs

The field was clearly marked out, but the usual issues are still evident - there are no numbers, 9-yard marks or team areas, and the limit line is too close to the field. With the agreement of both head coaches, the half-time break was taken with 1:59 left in the second quarter to allow medics to deal with an injury.  After this, the remaining 1:59 was played out before beginning the second half proper.

Amir Brooks #593

22/07/18 v London Warriors

Northumberland Vikings

90 yard field. No 9 yard marks or numbers. The line separating the coaching and players boxes was missing. The 3 yard marks had not been re-marked and,although they were there,were very faint. Mention must be made of Northumberland 's excellent game day management.The attention to detail showed certainly shows the way forward in the game.

David Hewitt #607

08/07/18 v Leeds Bobcats

London Olympians

No coaching box line or team area marked. No limit lines. No numbers or nine yard marks. Field has rugby markings also in white.

Peter Parsons #321

01/07/18 v London Blitz

Sussex Thunder

Well marked 90-yard field in white missing limit lines, coaching & team area line, numbers & 9-yard marks. Hashmarks and inbounds lines too long and at incorrect and uneven depths. Field had several large areas covered with sand to make the playing surface even and one other smaller area was identified as a trip hazard rectified by Game Management.

Tim Ockendon #481

01/07/18 v Solent Thrashers

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

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

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

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

Farnham Knights

No limit lines marked.

Peter Parsons #321

15/07/18 v London Warriors

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

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

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: 1st and 10 at midfield. Team A are trailing and neither team have any timeouts remaining. Quarterback A2 runs wide and throws a forward pass from 3 yards beyond the neutral zone which is caught by A18 who has his knees on the ground at Team B's 41-yard line. The game clock reads 00:09.


Last 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.

Ruling: In order for a block below the waist to be illegal, it must meet one of the criteria in rule 9-1-6.  On a kick play, a kick must actually be made in order for a block below the waist to be illegal under 9-1-6-c.  Simply lining up with the intention to kick is not enough to make such blocks illegal.  In this instance, the block is legal as no kick was made.  Team B will take the ball where is was downed by A12, there are no other options to consider.  This was Q47 on the 2018 BAFRA exam.


New this week

Game Situation: After a play that ends near the sideline, the linejudge on a 5 man crew calls A88 for taunting the opposition bench.  Which official is responsible for recording this penalty?

Answer next issue...

Last 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: This is supplementary signal Sup10, signaling that team A are 'going for it' rather than kicking for 1 point.  The Linejudge should quickly move so that he is positioned underneath the post on his side of the field.  The Backjudge should move across accordingly.




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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