Issue 5/20                                                                                12th February 2020

BAFRA Newsflash

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Week 3 Update

Registration numbers have taken a good leap forward this week, with figures now up to 87. This weekend should be the last good chance for referees to remind crews to sign up for the Convention (you could include it in the pre-game). I will send out the names to BAFRA members later, but those eagle-eyed amongst you will notice a familiar name – Bill LeMonnier. As a great friend of BAFRA he has asked to return to give us more insight into the nuances of officiating. He will be attending in addition to our guest speaker – Jeff Dahle.


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:


Please note we have introduced a change to the registration process

You can now register to attend the Convention at the undernoted website and book accommodation if required:

Administering the registration process and processing payments is a time-consuming task given our high attendance figures.  As such I would request that you register and make your room payments as early as possible.


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 agreed to provide some funding to keep down the costs. The rates indicated are per room, per night and include all discounts and a full breakfast.

Remember, to take advantage of the above rates you must book your room via


Payment for Convention rooms are due by 14th March. Payment can be made either electronically or by cheque.

It is appreciated that some people may wish to spread the cost and make multiple payments over the weeks leading up to14th 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.

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 Saturday morning.  As such the above rates are available for both the Friday and Saturday nights. I would recommend booking your room as early as possible.

Ian Sneddon - Convention Delivery Team


As always, the Annual General Meeting of BAFRA Limited will be held at 5:00pm on the Saturday of the Convention, 4th April 2020. 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 electronically to qualified members on or before 15th February. They should be returned in accordance with the instructions on the form. If any qualified member has not received their forms by this date they should contact me.

The present incumbents have notified that they will be seeking re-election for the positions of President and Director without Portfolio #1 but the General Secretary and the Director of Training will be standing down when their term of office expires at the end of the AGM.

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

Paul Sutton – General Secretary


Congratulations to Dan Chandler & Sam Jones on completing all of the requirements necessary to become Qualified.

Thanks to Chris Jarvis and all those who are helping with Dan's training & Mark Wilson and all those who are helping with Sam's training.

Pete Thom - Director of Training


This year we will again be organising a bulk order of BAFRA Polo tops for delivery at the 2020 convention. Those of you eligible for free Bowl Game shirts will be contacted shortly to confirm your status. In addition, all officials will have the chance to place an order.  

The shirt choices we will be offering are as follows:

- Plain Black Polo with embroidered BAFRA Logo - NO TEXT - £12

- Coloured Polo with Embroidered BAFRA Logo and upto two lines of customisable text - £17

Payment will be required in advance and there may be a small charge for P&P for anybody who orders and fails to collect/ask someone to collect at the convention. Prices are based on expected size of order and are subject to change depending on orders received.

To register interest for this years order please fill out the following google form:

You will be contacted to confirm your order, shirt colour/s and to request payment towards the end of the month.

Stuart Tabberer - Deputy Director of Finance










New this week

Alex Bell


Birmingham Lions



#85 hit an opponent with the crown of his helmet whilst attempting to make a block during an interception return.

15th Feb 2020 v UWE Bullets

Ethan Myers


Essex Blades



With 8:28 remaining in the fourth quarter, the player was seen to kick an opponent whilst in the pile at the end of the play.

16th Feb 2020 v Imperial Immortals

* This is Mr Myers' second Disqualification in the last 12 months, so he is subject to a two game suspension and includes the next competitive game he is eligible to play in after the above noted game.

Robin Barrett


RHUL Bears



#13 was seen to make forcible contact to the head/neck area of a defenceless receiver.

16th Feb 2020 v Portsmouth Destroyers

Previous weeks

Liam Coxon


Durham Saints



Player received his first unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for taunting a prone opponent and his second for stopping prior to the goal line on a long completion, turning into the field then falling into the endzone.

16th Feb 2020 v Leeds Beckett Carnegie





New this week

Bristol Barracuda

Game was shortened to 10 minute quarters due to light requirements with a double header. Game was briefly stopped due to yard markers encroaching on the field. Kieran Smith #102


Cardiff Cobras

Game was shortened to 10 minute quarters due to light requirements with a double header. Game was briefly stopped due to yard markers encroaching on the field. Kieran Smith #102

16th Feb 2020 v Southampton Stags

Derby Braves

Team Areas marked with cones.

Brian Yares #29

23rd Feb 2020 v Warwick Wolves

Essex Blades

Visiting team coach broke down on the way. Game delayed by 20 minutes.

Alisha Darkins #573


Glasgow University Tigers

As a result of strong winds the goal posts were turning at an angle away from the middle of the field. The decision was made from part-way through the 1st Quarter to not use them and no Field Goal or Try Kicks were to be attempted for the duration of the game. Both coaches gave their consent. Game was stopped with 8:01 remaining in the first quarter due to a serious injury. The delay lasted 42 min before play resumed. Coaches boxes were not marked out and using cones was not possible due to the strong winds.

Shawn Sombati #15


MMU Eagles

The field was unmarked when the crew arrived. After discussion with Game Day Management, they admitted they would not be able to get the field marked nor provide an alternate venue, so the game was forfeited.

Austin Pickles #590


Oxford Brookes University Panthers

There was no padding on the goal post resulting in a 20 minute delay to Kick Off. With Chichester suffering numerous injuries the coaches agreed to shorten the second half to 0 minutes

Andrew Murrell #608


Oxford Lancers

As the venue was not the normal Oxford field there were no Goalposts but both teams agreed to proceed on that basis. Both teams played in Blue shirts.

Andrew Murrell #608

23rd Feb 2020 v UCL Emperors

Portsmouth Destroyers

Changing rooms are not locked during the game. Weather was terrible. With the score at 8-0 at HT the teams discussed ending the game, after further discussion the third quarter was played with no addition to the score and the time remaining in the fourth quarter was reduced to 0 minutes.

David Knight #135


RHUL Bears

100-yard grass field marked reasonably well in dark blue. No limit lines, numbers or nine-yard marks and the three-yard marks were at four yards. Team areas not painted. Intermittent medium-to-heavy rain meant the field deteriorated quickly. Chain broke regularly. Balls were slightly worn. Changing rooms impressively refurbished but open to the public and not lockable (although lockers are available if you provide your own padlock).

James Ford-Bannister #479

16th Feb 2020 v Portsmouth Destroyers

Southampton Stags

Some hash marks in the middle don't align with those on the sideline. Some are marked out a lot shorter than a yard.

Oliver Maskell #221


Stirling Clansmen

Field markings are blue rather than white, otherwise a well marked out field.

Ian Sneddon #427


Sussex Saxons

Well marked 90-yard field in blue missing only numbers and limit lines with other sport markings in white and red. Marked end lines were too close to the boundary fence so a soccer line was used instead which reduced the end zone depth to 9 yards and meant that the goals were not in the plane of the end line. Team areas were marked with cones which due to the windy weather were blown across the field on multiple occasions. Changing room was a good size and lockable but lacked facilities. One game ball provided was significantly under inflated but Game Management were able to provide a suitable replacement.

Tim Ockendon #481


Swansea Titans

Kickoff was delayed by 15 minutes due to the late arrival of the visiting team. This was caused by the motorway heading towards Swansea being closed because of the very high winds.

Amir Brooks #593


UEL Phoenix

Game abandoned 15 minutes prior to the scheduled kickoff as heavy rain had washed away several mandatory markings, coupled with multiple patches of standing water further damaging other markings. No ground staff were available to attempt any restorative works.

Phil Clarke #262


Outstanding items from previous weeks

ARU Rhinos

Goal posts were not correctly located.

Larry Rigby #269


Bath Killer Bees

90-yard field with no nine-yard marks nor limit lines. Coaches and Team areas were marked out with cones. Ball provided were underinflated and led to a minor delay in the start of the game. Due to building works one goal mechanics were required. There was fencing relatively close to the field at the end with the goal that was not used. Have re-recommended that some sort of padding or mats are secured to the fencing. Due to rain prior to the game, the hash marks between the goal line and five-yard line at the Sports Training Village end became lost in the mud and will need repainting prior to the next home game. Changing room not lockable and shared with other officials but roomy with provided showers. Bags were left in cars.

James Ford-Bannister #479

23rd Feb 2020 v Exeter Demons

Bath Spa

Well mannered game played in atrocious conditions (heavy rain & mud), although credit to the ball persons for attempting to keep spare balls as clean & dry as possible. Field marked just before game, in very wet conditions, so there were a number of marking missing, including numbers, nine yard marks, limit lines and team area markings. All other lines were marked in blue and the End/Side and Goal Lines remained visible throughout the game. However, the attempted hash marks were quickly lost in the mud down the middle of the field. There was an issue with the chains having to be repaired.

Albert Lambert Jnr #461

23rd Feb 2020 v Solent Redhawks

Brighton Panthers

100-yard rubber crumb field, markings are a bit faint, and there are multiple sports marked with brighter colours. Otherwise, a good field.

Viktor Janvari #63

16th Feb 2020 v Reading Knights

Brunel Burners

Game called off on arrival at the venue.

Graham P Hedges #219


Chester Legion

The field markings were all present but the hash marks were very faint, probably owing to the overnight frost. They were also in blue so could be difficult to see at times. The chain crew proved to be a challenge and the down box operator had a habit of chasing after the runner!

Tim Vickers #129


Chichester Spitfires

During the week, the team contacted the referee to move kickoff to 2pm due to the medic being booked late. The medic didn't actually arrive until 2.20pm, so the game was reduced to ten minute quarters. The game finished just before the light became unplayable. The home team only provided two balls, which were in poor condition, a third was provided by the away team. During the game, one ball was switched several times as it became flat. An already torn up surface deteriorated as the game (and the rain) went on. Changing rooms not locked and we were informed that the sports centre was closing approximately 30 minutes after the game had ended.

Oliver Maskell #221

16th Feb 2020 v Sussex Saxons

City Wolfpack

Team did not inform BAFRA via the correct method that the game had been called off, due to a waterlogged pitch. E-mail notification only sent to Referee which was not seen until after arrival at ground.

Phil Clarke #262


DMU Falcons

DMU were upset that on the Loughborough roster there were no student ID numbers. The roster provided met BAFA requirements, therefore the game went ahead.

Mike Roberts #32

16th Feb 2020 v Warwick Wolves

Edge Hill Vikings

Field was marked in dark navy on grass. Field markings were slightly faint and will need remarking before the next game at this venue. The inbounds area of the field was very well marked, including the correct four inch gap between five yard lines and the sideline. There were no coaching lines or team area markings. The chain broke on numerous occasions, and after it was repaired (by either the chain crew or the visiting team). The changing rooms were not lockable and were shared with gym staff members.

The visiting team’s bus did not arrive to transport them to the ground so an alternative vehicle was sought, this resulted in the visiting team arriving only 10 minutes before the scheduled kick-off. The kick-off was delayed by 30 minutes. As this was the first game of a double header, the quarters were reduced to 8 minutes in length with the mutual agreement of both Head Coaches. The crew were not paid and should’ve been.

Ben Griffiths #228

16th Feb 2020 v Manchester Tyrants

Edinburgh Napier Knights

Because of the recent rain, and muddy field, the field markings were fair at the beginning of the game but deteriorated during the game.

Ian Sneddon #427


Edinburgh Predators

No coaching or team boxes marked out with lines, cones were used. Game started 30 minutes later than planned due to late arrival of officials from game at another venue.

Shawn Sombati #15


Exeter Demons

90-yard field with rubber crumb surface. No three or nine-yard markings. Other sports markings were on the pitch.

Richard Madge #485


Greenwich Mariners

90-yard rubber crumb field with no nine-yard marks or numbers. Field markings in blue with other sports markings in different colours.

Viktor Janvari #63


Hertfordshire Hurricanes

Markings faint but all present. Team areas marked with cones. There was an issue with the chain crew changing at half time and the away team assisting with getting the game going before home team members could be found.

Brian Yates #29


Kent Falcons

90-yard rubber crumb field marked in red but very faded. They were difficult to see in daylight but harder to see under floodlights. Other sport markings in different blue, yellow and white. No limit lines, numbers or nine-yard marks. Coaches box marked with cones. Chain set broke multiple times throughout the game, but assistants were very competent.

James Ford-Bannister #479


Leeds Beckett Carnegie

80-yard field. No three or nine-yard marks or numbers. Team areas were marked out with cones as they were missing. Officials changing room had no private toilet and too few coat hooks.

David Hewitt #607


Liverpool Raptors

90-yard field with no players box marked. One of the end zone pylons was not weighted, and would not stand up, so it was placed on the back corner to avoid any issues. There was difficulty with the box operator during the first half and there was a slight delay to the second half kickoff when he failed to reappear. A replacement was briefed and the second half ran much more smoothly.

Lee Taylor #183



90-yard field, which had been remarked since the previous game played at JMO, although no players box were marked. One of the end zone pylons was not weighted, and would not stand up, so it was placed on the back corner to avoid any issues.

Lee Taylor #183


Manchester Tyrants

90-yard field marked in faint blue, this will need remarking, prior to the second half of the season, as under the floodlights the lines became very difficult to see.

Lee Taylor #183

23rd Feb 2020 v Aberystwyth Tarannau

Nottingham Students

Field markings continue to fade as the season progresses. Coaches boxes only three yards from the field and goalposts attached to the fence.

Ian Wainwright #567


QMBL Vipers

Team areas marked in cones. Well-marked field, had clearly been marked fresh on the day of the game. No numbers, but clearly had been significantly re-assessed prior to this game. Chain crew provided close to kickoff but were capable.

Michael Hansford #594


Sheffield Hallam Warriors

80-yard field. No three or nine-yard mark nor numbers. Team and coaching areas were not marked out, so cones were used along with team discipline.

David Hewitt #607

16th Feb 2020 v LJMU Fury

Staffordshire Stallions

Only one chair in changing room. Blue field markings on grass (mainly mud) field and difficult to see. This was compounded by missing yardage markers outside the sideline.

Austin Pickles #590


UCL Emperors

The away team (Winchester Silverbacks) failed to turn up. Informed of this at 12.45pm, 45 minutes before scheduled kickoff.

Alisha Darkins #573


UEA Pirates

Coaching boxes too close to the sideline.

Alisha Darkins #573


UWE Bullets

Game suspended in the first quarter for 42 minutes due to an injury requiring an ambulance. Only one of the officials changing rooms was available, which was too small for a crew of five.

Euan Paterson #165

15th Feb 2020 v Birmingham Lions

UWE Bullets 2nd Team

Chain crew changed frequently and without informing the officials. Only one of the officials changing rooms was available, which was too small for a crew of five.

Euan Paterson #165

15th Feb 2020 v Plymouth Blitz

York St. John Jaguars

90-yard field with no three-yard or nine-yard marks, limit lines nor numbers. Team and coaching areas were incorrectly marked out between the 20 yard lines.The changing room was too small for four officials, although a second room was made available.

David Hewitt #607




New this week

Play: Team A,  2nd & 5 at the A-45. A6’s pass is complete to A82 at the B-30 where he is tackled. B27 is flagged for defensive pass interference, but Team A declines the foul and takes the result of the play. Video clearly shows that A82 stepped on the sideline without any contact from Team B and returned inbounds before the pass was thrown. The Video Judge stops the game for a review. What is the next Down & Distance, what is the Clock Status?


Last week

Play: 1st & 10 at the B-12, the ball is located on the right hash mark. Team A attempt a pass to the left corner of the endzone towards A89. Defender B34 interferes with A89 before the ball arrives, and the pass falls incomplete, the Back Judge throws a flag for Defensive Pass Interference.

What is the next down and distance? Where will the ball be located laterally after enforcement of the penalty.


1st & Goal for Team A at the B-2, the ball will be placed on the right hash mark.

When the ball is snapped on or inside the Team B 17-yard line and outside the Team B two-yard line and the spot of the foul is on or inside the two-yard line, the penalty from the previous spot shall place the ball at the two-yard line (7--3-8-c).


New this week

Game Situation: The game is played at a venue with only one stand at the side of the field. The game is not being broadcast. The home team select to use the sideline opposite this stand. While the Head Linesman is briefing the chain crew. The Home Team Head Coach states “we want the chains run on the other side of the field so they don’t get in our way”.

Answer next issue…

Last week

Game Situation: Late in the first half, with the clock running, Team A take a timeout. After the Timeout is granted, they immediately indicate they are ready to resume play and line up in formation. When the timeout is granted Team B huddle near their sideline. Team A state that as it’s “their” timeout, so they shouldn’t have to wait for the defense to be ready. Should the Referee declare the ball ready for play immediately?

Answer: No unless both teams agree, the full time allotted for the timeout will be allowed.

Once a team charged timeout is granted, there shall be a one minute interval, then the referee shall notify both teams the ball is to be declared ready for play, 5 seconds later the ball will be declared ready for play and the 25 second play clock started (3-3-8a). This interval may only be truncated with the agreement of both teams (3-3-7-c).




Contact for details


22nd February (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

24th March (Tues)

BUCS Premier Bowl (University of Nottingham)

24th March (Tues)

BUCS Division 1 Final (University of Nottingham)

4th - 5th April (Sat-Sun)

BAFRA Convention

4th April (Sat)


9th May (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

18h July (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

5th September (Sat)

BAFA NL Division 2 South Final (Tilsey Park Stadium)

5th September (Sat)

Junior Britbowl (Tilsey Park Stadium)

6tth September (Sun)

BAFA NL Division 2 North Final (Halton Stadium)

12th September (Sat)

BAFA NL Division 1 Final (New River Stadium)

12th September (Sat)

Britbowl (New River Stadium)

14th November (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

BAFRA Directors


David Parsons

General Secretary

Paul Sutton


Roger Brown


Roger Goodgroves


Ollie Maskell


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: Ben Griffiths - Email:

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