British American Football Referees Association


We are pleased to announce that BAFRA & BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) will be partnering again to offer funded match official's courses to all teams.

What's on offer

  • No limit on the number of applicants per team.
  • BUCS will cover the application fee.
  • BUCS will reimburse up to ₤100 of the cost of purchasing the required uniform and equipment. This should be purchased after the applicant has completed the training sessions and passed the exam. The applicant would simply need to provide BUCS with proof of purchase.

How to apply

  • Please click on this link
  • Fill in the form found on the webpage.
  • When filling in the form, there is a field that asks, "If you have one, enter your recruitment code here", please contact BUCS or your University team for the recruitment code.
  • After submitting the form, the applicant will be contacted by a member of the BAFRA recruitment team who will talk the applicant through the training process and answer any questions.

The scheme will end at the conclusion of the 2023/24 BUCS season subject to available funds.

If you have any further questions, feel free to contact the BAFRA recruitment team ( or BUCS American Football Coordinator, Tonye Dokubo (

BAFRA Media Team

The BAFRA Board of Directors are delighted to announce the appointment of Davie Parsons to the new role of BAFRA Elite Programme and Development Supervisor (BEPDS)

Davie Parsons - BEPDS
During 2023 we took some time to review and update our Elite Programme Policy, Operational Framework, and update the previous Role of Elite Programme Coordinator (BEPC) with the new BEPDS Role and Role Description. The programme has been running for more than 15 years and has been very successful, however; the time had come to reassess our aims and objectives, along with our expectations of a successful applicant.

Davie is well known and respected within International Officiating circles through his on and off-field activities within BAFRA and IFAF (International Federation of American Football). He brings to the role a wealth of experience from his 37 years as an on field official, where he has worked more than 1200 games; including numerous World and European Championships through to his various management and training roles at national and international levels.

We were delighted to have the guidance and support of Bill LeMonnier (Former NCAA B1G Referee & current IFAF Coordinator of Officials) for both the updated Role and the appointment of Davie, calling our "internal leadership" an "example for other federations globally." He advised that "to raise the bar and hold yourself accountable ... the game requires a leadership role of supervisor. I am confident that Davie will help BAFRA raise the bar and continue to be a world leader in officiating training and development" before offering his congratulations to Davie and BAFRA on the appointment.

Reporting to, and working with, the Director of Training, Davie's Initial task will be to develop the overall Elite Programme strategy, delivery, and resource model. We anticipate this will be completed for Board review and approval by the end of 2023.

On accepting the post Davie said "I am delighted to take on such a critical role within BAFRA. We have a reputation for developing high-quality officials who go on to Officiate at the top level in both the UK and on the world stage. We must continue to provide our members with a clear progression pathway and the opportunity to excel. My role will be to facilitate those opportunities by providing our Elite Officials with the necessary support, mentoring, and resources."

Please join us in congratulating Davie on his appointment and we're certain that it goes without asking that we all support him as the role develops.

James Ford-Bannister
BAFRA Director of Training
On behalf of the BAFRA Board

James Ford-Bannister

The above championships will take place in Vantaa, Finland from 28th July to 8th August with teams from all over the world participating, Including Team GB.

The BAFRA Board are delighted to announce that BAFRA officials will once again play an important role at this tournament. British officials are very highly regarded on the international front in both contact and non-contact formats. It is a rare occurrence when we do not have officials selected to attend these types of events and many have also been assigned the gold medal games.

Such is our credibility within world football we have 4 of our members attending the Championships in both on and off field positions

Following a nomination and selection process carried out by IFAF, the Board would like to congratulate the following on their assignment to Officiate at the event.

  • Alisha Darkins: Back Judge
  • Susannah Taylor: Line Judge
  • Stuart Young: Umpire

In addition to the above, BAFRA President, Davie Parsons has been appointed by IFAF as the Supervisor of Officials. This is a critical role that requires good people management skills, especially in the areas of Officials performance and liaising with team representatives. Davie will be responsible for many aspects such as providing guidance and feedback to Officials, selecting crews for all games, ensuring consistency in mechanics and rules application and liaising with technical committees

Richard Moger - General Secretary
Increase to game fees for officials Following a recent review, game fees for BAFRA officials are increasing with effect from 1 April 2022.

The BAFRA Board of Directors recently carried out a review of game fees for BAFRA officials in consultation with BAFA. As a result, game fees are increasing from £45.00 to £50.00 for qualified officials, and £25.00 to £30.00 for associate officials. There is no change to the administration fee. Game fees for small-sided tournaments have also been increased in line with the above.

These changes take effect from 1 April, 2022 and a detailed breakdown of fees is available in detail in the updated Annex to BAFRA Terms and Conditions.

Why is this changing?

The current game fees for qualified and associate officials were introduced in 2015. The new fees reflect rising inflation since that point. The new fee for associate officials is also designed to help relieve some of the financial impact new recruits have around purchasing uniform and equipment.

A review of game fees was previously carried out in in January 2020 with a view to introducing changes at the start of the 2020/2021 BUCS Season. However, given the impact of Covid-19 on our sport and its participants from a playing and financial perspective, the BAFRA Board decided to delay any increase until 2022.

BAFRA administration fee – no changes

There is no change to the BAFRA administration fee of £75 per game. This fee is mainly designed to cover travel expenses and was introduced over 20 years ago to spread travel costs evenly across teams in the league. Prior to that, teams paid all the expenses for the crew working their game resulting in higher costs for teams in outlying areas or areas with a shortage of officials. Thanks to the strong level of cooperation between BAFA and BAFRA on scheduling matters, travel has continued to be minimised in certain areas removing the need for an increase at this time.

Changes to crew sizes for bowl games

As part of the same review, BAFRA have also amended bowl game crew sizes from 7 to 8 to align with new mechanics and provide better game coverage especially on top level games both at league and IFAF level.

If you have any questions relating to BAFRA fees, please contact

Davie Parsons, BAFRA President

The BAFRA Board consists of 8 Directors who are elected for a period of 2 years. To ensure a level of continuity is maintained, 4 of the posts are opened for election every year. As such, this year, the roles of Director of Recruitment, Director of Finance, Director of Operations and Director without Portfolio #2 were open to nominations. Following the election process, the following appointments can be confirmed:

Director of Recruitment - Kieran Smith was elected to replace Ollie Maskell, who stood down after holding the position since 2019.

Director of Finance - Stuart Tabberer was elected unopposed, replacing Roger Brown, who served the board from 2017.

Director of Operations - Roger Goodgroves was re-elected unopposed.

Director without Portfolio #2 - Steve Tonkinson was re-elected unopposed.

BAFRA would like to firstly take the opportunity to thank both Ollie and Roger for the service since they were initially elected to the board. The work they have put in has helped drive significant improvements within the organisation and helped us continue to go from strength-to-strength.

We would also like to welcome Kieran and Stuart as they take their respective positions as directors.

Kieran joined BAFRA in 2017 alongside studying at Kingston University. He initially worked games across the South East and Greater London areas in all formats of the game then returned to Gloucestershire, currently working games in the Severn region and West Midlands.

Stuart is based in the South West and has held the position of deputy Director of Finance during Roger's tenure, providing him with the key insights and skills to allow a smooth transition as he takes on the role.

BAFRA would like to thank all Board members for serving for another year, especially given the unprecedented times we find ourselves. The continued excellence they deliver will further drive the organisation forward as we look to get back to football.

In addition to the above, the following are the remaining incumbent Directors.

President - Davie Parsons

Director of Training - James Ford-Bannister

General Secretary - Richard Moger

Director without Portfolio #1 - Pete Parsons

Davie Parsons, BAFRA President

On the 8th of March every year, sporting communities around the world celebrate women’s contribution, achievements and increasing visibility and call for the acceleration of gender equality. It’s a fantastic celebration of just how far we have come in raising awareness against bias.

Since BAFRA was formed back in 1984, we have had just over 40 women come through our ranks. However, we have never been in a situation where we have had 6 fully qualified and experienced Officials at any one time. We have that now.

Last year at the Women’s European Championships held in Leeds, 2 of our Officials were selected to work the event, Susannah Taylor and Alisha Darkins. This was a very proud moment for the Ladies, BAFRA and for American football in Great Britain. A great achievement and reward for all their hard work in their officiating development and support to the sport in general.

Throughout the world there are many activities planned by various sports organizations to mark the day and BAFRA are included. We want to shout about our very own amazing Woman.

This coming Sunday, 8th March, BAFRA have assigned its first all-Female Crew to the BUCS Playoff game between Derby Braves and Newcastle Raiders. The Ladies have been working hard to make this happen and is testament to their determination. I have no doubt they will do a great job.

If you are free why don’t you come along to watch what should be a very competitive game

Location: University of Derby Sports Centre, Kedleston Road, Derby, DE22 1GB

Kickoff is at 1:00pm

The Officiating Crew are as follows:

Referee:                           Alisha Darkins

Umpire:                            Benita Grant-Booker

Head Linesman:                Leanne Spencer

Line Judge:                       Lil Bush

Back Judge:                      Susannah Taylor

Centre Judge:                   Barbara Jacquin


Davie Parsons, BAFRA President

Davie Parsons

Celebrated PAC-12 Official Jeff Dahle Returns to Speak at 2020 BAFRA Convention

The BAFRA Board of Directors are delighted to announce that Jeff Dahle will be the Guest of Honour and main speaker at our 2020 Convention and Training Weekend.

View related article here for PDF version or here for Doc Version

BAFRA Webmaster

New BAFRA member Gus Mckechnie appeared on BBC South Today, talking about his football journey, becoming an official and the benefits it brings. You can check out the full report below.

Thank you to Tony Husband for creating this article

Susannah Taylor

Appointments to the board at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at Yarnfield Park on Saturday 6th April brought forward new faces and names to the established team.  The BAFRA Board of Directors are pleased to welcome Roger Goodgroves who succeeds Richard Vernon as Director of Operations, and Ollie Maskell who replaces Lee Taylor as Director of Recruitment.  Further details of appointments will be filed in the members section of the website under “meeting minutes - AGM”. These are two key roles in shaping the future of the organisation and delivering on the long-held mission to provide quality officials to the sport of American Football in the UK and overseas.

I caught up with Roger during the week to get his views and plans.

“I am pleased to be given the opportunity to head up the operations team within BAFRA and I will look to make a smooth transition for all officials and teams.  I am very fortunate that the team within operations that I have worked with over the past few seasons have agreed to continue to work with me to achieve this.  I will look to build on the work that Richard Vernon put into the role which gives me a very solid foundation for the growth that's needed as American Football expands in this country."

Ollie Maskell who has a background in recruitment and was an Alan Wilson Award nominee this year, brings fresh ideas and passion for excellence to the board.  I had a chance to get his initial views at the end of the convention.

"I am delighted to have been appointed Director of Recruitment, I know I can bring a new view to the role given my background in in-house recruitment. The next few years will see the British American Football game go from strength to strength under a new BAFA board, and it is important that BAFRA can continue to deliver enough high-quality officials so that the sport can continue being played in a safe manner."

I’m sure you will all join the other members of the Board and wider BAFRA membership in supporting Roger and Ollie in their personal development and delivery of their respective responsibilities to the organisation.

Board of Directors



Susannah Taylor

The BAFRA Board of Directors are delighted to welcome Bill LeMonnier again as Guest of Honour and main speaker at our 2019 Convention and Training Weekend – 6th/7th April 2019. For more than a decade BAFRA’s Annual Convention has grown in stature to become one of the best officiating training events in Europe.

Bill Le Monnier

Davie Parsons, BAFRA President said, “We are thrilled that Bill has once again accepted the offer to be our guest and Principle Speaker at the Convention. This will be his fifth visit to our shores and our members are really looking forward to his presentations and insight. Bill has an extensive background in officiating and is a renowned Clinician. He is in constant demand to speak at training events all over the world and we are privileged to have him on-board.”

Following their attendance at the IFAF training clinic in Budapest Bill and Davie are bringing the latest updates and developments to the UK convention.

As well as Officiating in the Big Ten Conference for 20 years, LeMonnier has an impressive list of 20 Bowl assignments and numerous awards to his credit. In 2013 he was awarded the National Association of Sports Officials' Gold Whistle Award which recognises outstanding contributions of sports officials, referees and umpires beyond their officiating duties.  Since 2014 to date Bill has been taking his wealth of knowledge and experience to ESPN/ABC as rules analyst for NCAA football broadcasts. 

The Convention will be held at Yarnfield Park Training & Conference Centre in Yarnfield, Staffordshire over the weekend of 6th and 7th April and places are going fast. Attendance is not restricted solely to BAFRA members as we have Officials attend every year from all over Europe. Information on how to attend the Convention is published in BAFRA’s weekly Newsflash available here.

BAFRA Board of Directors

Susannah Taylor

The BAFRA Board of Directors are delighted to announce that Jeff Dahle will be the Guest of Honour and main speaker at our 2018 Convention and Training Weekend. 

Jeff began his officiating career in 1999 with the Northern Nevada Football Officiating Association. He served as the NNFOA’s president over half of his tenure and was elected twice as crew chief. He worked several high school playoffs including two Nevada state championships in 2004 and 2007.

He started working at the NCAA level in 2004, joining the Northern California junior college association as a Side Judge and Referee where he was assigned three post-season assignments including a state semi-final. He was hired by the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) in 2010 as a Side Judge where he worked for two years and received a post-season assignment in 2011. Jeff then moved to the CFO West in 2012, consisting of the Mountain West and Big 12, for two years and worked a bowl game in 2013. Jeff was hired by the PAC-12 in 2014 and has been assigned a post-season bowl game every season, most recently being the 2018 CFP semi-final Sugar Bowl.

Additionally, Jeff is part of the PAC-12 Referee developmental program. He also participates as an instructor and mentor at several officiating camps and clinics during the off-season.

Over the last 10 years BAFRA’s Annual Convention has grown in stature to become one of the best officiating training events in Europe. Davie Parsons, BAFRA President said, “Once again we are thrilled to welcome a high-profile college official to our Convention. We are looking forward to gaining from Jeff’s 20 years of experiences officiating at the highest level as well as his expertise in delivering quality football clinics and training.”

BAFRA Board of Directors


Susannah Taylor

A vacancy has arisen on the BAFRA Rules and Mechanics Committee for an experienced official with good rules and mechanics knowledge. The Committee does most of its work electronically so the time commitment is easy to organise around a personal schedule. Actual face-to- face meetings only take place very occasionally.

For more information on the responsibilities of the role, please contact the Committee Chair, Jim Briggs on

Expressions of interest should be emailed to Paul Sutton by 11th November please to allow the Board to make its selection.

Sean Welsh #458

The BUCS season is fast approaching and if you are a game day manager for a team and wanting all the information for your game day then checks out our team pack page 

This page has all the information any team should need regarding game day including Getting BAFRA Officials for your games, BAFA Field Markings and BAFACL playing Rules

Sean Welsh 458

BAFRA are taking advantage of the gap between the end of the 2016 National League season and the start of the 2016/17 BUCS season to update its online presence including the BAFRA website. The plan is for the new website to go live in early October. A further bulletin will be sent out once the changeover is complete. If your team website has a link to BAFRA, please forward this information to your webmaster.

The current site is at

The new site will be at

The new website is being tested on multiple platforms, but if you experience any
access problems after the changover, then please send the details to

All e-mails for BAFRA are changing too - ".org" becomes ".info" so, becomes   becomes
etc etc

The new E-mails are already live, so you can change your address book straight away.

Sean Welsh

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LATEST NEWSFLASH #47 30th November 2023
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