BAFRA Newsflash

Issue: 01/15

29th January 2015

BAFRA Annual Convention – Sat 28th and Sun 29th March 2015

I can now confirm our Annual Convention and Training weekend will take place on the above weekend. As such there will be plenty of details and information appearing in Newsflash over the coming weeks. Last years around 95% of our active officials attended and everyone played their part in making it a great success. I’m sure with everyone’s help we can make this year’s event just as successful. So make sure you keep up to date via Newsflash.

Over the last 10 years Convention attendance has grown steadily and last year we had 94 members come along. This year we hope to break the 100 mark. To help achieve that landmark figure we have put together a fantastic accommodation package as you will see below. We also intend providing lunch and an evening meal on the Saturday at no additional cost to our members.

Guest Speaker

As previously announced, Bill LeMonnier will be the Guest of Honour and main speaker at the 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.


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 Charles Young at I will be making up personalised Convention Packs, Presentation hand outs, Game Film DVD, Programme of Events, Game Day Paperwork, etc. As such you do need to pre-register.


As mentioned above we are trying 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: £35.00 per night (So if you share with someone it will only cost you £17.50 per night)

Single Room: £35.00 per night

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

Last year 76 people 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.

Davie Parsons

Weather Warning this weekend

It is quite possible that some games will not go ahead or at different venues, if the snow and severe weather forecasted are correct.  So can all referees ensure they have contact details of the home team and that the Game Day Manager can contact them if game arrangements change. This will avoid unnecessary journeys and enable crews to be moved to other games

Richard Vernon

BAFRA Website access and Mailing lists

If you are having issues with accessing the members area of the website or you haven't received emails from BAFRA membership lists could you please contact where the relevant people can reissue passwords or check whether you are still on the relevant mailing list. It is also worth checking spam folders to make sure emails haven't been redirected there. By doing this your query will be able to be dealt with promptly.

BAFRA Admin Team

Cheques for the following games will go out this week (All games were played on 25/01/15)

Keele Crusaders

Teesside Cougars

Leeds Beckett

Portsmouth Destroyers

Bath Killer Bees


Wolverhampton Wildcats

Bath Spa Bulldogs

Derby Braves

Swansea Titans

Sussex Saxons

Warwick Wolves

Greenwich Mariners

BAFRA finance


The Annual General Meeting of BAFRA Limited will be held at 5:00pm on 28th March 2015 at Yarnfield Park Training & Conference Centre, Yarnfield, Stone, Staffordshire ST15 0NL as part of the Convention. All members are invited to attend. As always a proportion of the Director posts are up for election. This year they are: Director of Finance, Director of Operations, Director of Recruitment and Director without Portfolio #2. In the case of the Director of Operations and the Director without Portfolio #2, the present incumbents have indicated that they will seek re-election to those posts. However, both the current Director of Finance and the current Director of Recruitment have indicated their intention to stand down when their term of office expires at the AGM.

As always, the Directors encourage qualified members to put themselves forward for election to all posts, but in particular this year to the posts of Directors of Finance and Recruitment which will otherwise fall vacant.

All qualified members will receive, via e-mail, nomination papers by 7th February 2015 which must be returned to me electronically by 5:00pm on 28th February 2015 at the latest. Should you believe you are entitled to a nomination form and have not received on by the date indicated, please contact me as a matter of urgency.

In the same e-mail there will be a form for submitting a resolution to the AGM. Resolutions should pertain to the Articles of Association, the Memorandum of Association or the Regulations of the Company. Again, such proposals must be received by 5:00pm on 28th February 2015 at the latest. All other matters should not be submitted as resolutions but may be asked as questions to the relevant director or the directors as a body. Whilst it is appreciated if such questions are submitted in advance (especially if they will require an answer involving research) this is not a requirement and there will be ample opportunity to ask questions on the day. Questions may be asked by any member and are not restricted to qualified members.

Papers for the AGM will be sent to all members by 7th March 2015.

Paul Sutton

BAFRA Charity 2015

The Directors again invite members to nominate a charity for BAFRA members to support in 2015. Any member wishing to nominate a charity should send their suggestion to me by 28th February.

Paul Sutton

BUCS League

Falmouth and Wolverhampton Universities have now stopped playing anymore game this season, all officials assigned to a game involving either of these teams have now been reassigned.

As we approach the final weeks of the college season there are at least 28 games every weekend in February. Can I ask that all active officials make every effort to be available so that we are able to cover this busy fixture list.  I am pleased to report that we expect to cover far more college games than in previous seasons and this is thanks to your continued commitment and professionalism.

May I remind everyone how important it is to keep Arbiter up to date and to inform Tim and myself immediately if you see you have a game pending that you are no longer able to cover.  We will aim to assign crew to games 2/3 in advance. Also if you become available at late notice, contact us and we will try to get you working a game.


The high volume of games will continue during the summer months as 10 new teams are joining the senior league, they are:

Hastings Conquerors

Sussex Thunder

London Blitz B

Wembley Stallions

Carlisle Sentinels

Halton Spartans

Leeds Bobcats

Humber Warhawks

Northumberland Lightning

Newcastle Vikings

This represents a 15% increase in the number of teams playing at senior level (now 63 teams in 3 Divisions)


Some teams will be playing on Saturdays, which will assist us to meet this heavy demand to cover games.

The regular season commences on 4th April and ends on 19th August. Games generally start at 1430 hours.

Details about the structure of Under 19 Football are still to be announced

If anyone requires more detailed information then please contact me directly.

Richard Vernon

Field Audits

As we head into the second half of the BUCS season, I remind you all that a field audit should be submitted with the game day paperwork for each game officiated. Thank you.

Paul Sutton


Congratulations to Sam Gretton, Simon Love and Stuart Tabberer on completing all of the requirements necessary to become Qualified.

Thanks to all those who are helping with Sam, Simon and Stuart‘s training.

Pete Thom

All-Time Members List

This list has been updated on the website and may be found in the member’s area at: . Thank you to those who have been able to add yet more historical information. There are still some gaps which we hope to fill so if you have any details about a former member not listed, are able to give a full name where we only have a surname or an initial for the first name or know the registration number of any member where such is currently missing, please let me know. Thanks in advance for your assistance with this.

Paul Sutton


Disciplinary update

Junior Erejuwa (#52) of Coventry Jets has been given a 2-game fixed penalty game day suspension as a result of misconduct committed by him during a game on 16th November 2014. At that game he was acting as ball boy on the opposition's side of the field. (He was acting as ball boy presumably because he had been disqualified from his previous game and was suspended from playing.) Video evidence showed he deliberately obstructed the view of a member of the opposition's coaching staff.

Because it was his second offence, the penalty is a 2-game suspension. Because he was not playing, his suspension is a game day suspension, which means he is not permitted within the playing enclosure (i.e. the field and its surrounds - in effect within sight and sound of the field), nor may he communicate with anyone who is in that area, from 2 hours before kickoff until 2 hours after the game has ended. The games for which he is suspended are:

25 January - Leicester Longhorns v Coventry Jets

1 February - Coventry Jets v Warwick Wolves

A disciplinary case against a member of the opposition's coaching staff found the coach NOT guilty of having used insulting language towards the ball boy.

Jim Briggs








New this week

David Saul

No Number

Hallam Warriors



During the first half: loudly and using foul language the player (DS) objected to being ruled short of the goal line. Was flagged by MN for UNC. DS then picked flag up off ground and threw it at MN. JM & MN threw 2nd USC

Please note this was a Flag Football tournament and the player served his suspension during a game scheduled later in the day. Also the players wore Christmas Jumpers hence the reason why no shirt number was reported.

Previous weeks

Henry Jacob


Reading Nights



At the end of the play, 57 head butted an opponent

01/02/15 v LSBU Spartans

Erejuwa, Junior


Coventry Jets


Mr Erejuwa is shown on video as clearly deliberately obstructing a member of the Worcester Royals coaching staff

Two games due to this being Mr Erejuwa's second disciplinary offence during a 12-month period. 25 January 2015 vs Leicester Longhorns; and 1st February 2015 vs Warwick Wolves.
These are game day suspensions. Also £50 fine.





New this week

Keele Crusaders

The game was played on the field at Staffordshire University. Only one set of goalposts was present. Only four pylons were present, which were placed on the goal lines. Pylons were absent on the end lines. The hash marks were marked level with the goalposts. Team areas were not marked. Otherwise, the field was well marked. Thank you to the BAFRA members who served as chain crew when they joined us following the cancellation of the game they were assigned to.

01/02/15 v Staffordshire

Portsmouth Destroyers

All of the 5 yard lines connected to the side-lines (No gap) - There were no 9 yard markers and no extra point marker on the 3 yard line - There were no coaches box or any markings outside of the field area, coaches and players boxes marked out with cones. That said the side-lines were very good and did not encroach into officials area. At half time the officials changing room was kindly visited by a man who came to point out all the things we were doing incorrectly. speed of the game was one item, we thanked him for his input and told him why it was so and that he could always put on a cap and come and officiate, to which he stated he had a lot more experienced than we did and that he had "48 years’ experience". He then pointed at one of the officials and stated in a rather aggressive way “you need to give forward progress" - At this point he was asked to leave, which he did. After half time we tried to establish if this individual was anything to do with either team, but he was not around to be identified at the time. The incident was reported to the home team but they could not do anything as we could not find the individual. during the second half he was noticed just standing on the side-lines away from the team area, assume just to be there as a spectator

01/02/15 v Bournemouth


At 15:01, Game temporarily suspended for 18 minutes while on-site Paramedic left field side to transfer player with suspected neck injury to County Ambulance Service.

01/02/15 v Plymouth


Field was marked in metres, end zones were only 5 yards deep so the goal line was moved to the 5 yard line, team areas marked with cones, no coaches lines, no numbers.

08/012/15 v Surrey

Wolverhampton Wildcats

On arrival at the venue, no home team were present and no field was marked. The away team arrived then received a call from the home team telling them the game had been cancelled

08/02/15 v De Montfort

Derby Braves

There were no 5 yards lines, only 10 yard lines. There was only one goal so all offensive plays took place towards that goal. The only goal was too wide (it appeared to be roughly correct for an NFHS game). One end zone was only 6 yards in length; however no offensive plays took place towards that end zone. No 9 yard marks or numbers. No team areas or coaching lines marked. The third member of the chain crew was only provided a couple of minutes before kick-off so the game kicked off 1 minute late while they were briefed. Changing rooms were not lockable (there was also no showering facilities available for the officials)

22/02/15 v Sheffield

Brighton Tsunami

Team Medic ambulance booked for 12pm KO. Game management contacted the provider at 11.50am and were informed there was a problem with the original ambulance but a replacement had been dispatched and would be on site at 12.30pm. When this deadline passed they were informed the new ambulance was 7 miles away. On subsequent contacts they were told it was 2 minutes away, then "literally 2 minutes away", then 3 minutes away before eventually arriving 98 minutes after the scheduled kick-off, upon which the game kicked off immediately. Previous consultation with the away team's transport provider and the local sunset times dictated that the game be shortened to 10-minute quarters. The away team wanted it made clear that they were playing the game under protest and would be appealing to the league about the circumstances of the fixture.

01/02/15 v Imperial

Sussex Saxons

End zones only 9 yards in depth. Otherwise the field was very well marked out, including full coaching box and team area markings, plus limit lines that even went round the back of the team areas.
Changing room not lockable.

01/02/15 v Chichester

Warwick Wolves

The kick off was delayed by 15 minutes waiting for Warwick to supply a team roster form

22/02/15 v Northampton

Leicester Longhorns

NFL style hash marks, no coaches box no players box, 8 pylons only, no 9 yard marks, no numbers

01/02/15 v De Montfort

Westminster Dragons

80 Yard field with NFL style hash marks running right through the length of each end zone. Officials changing room was filled with weights and training equipment

15/02/15 v London South Bank

Greenwich Mariners

Greenwich Mariners only had 13 players at the venue, so a decision was taken by their head coach to abandon the game 40 minutes before the scheduled kick-off time. RHUL coaching staff were informed of this decision by the Greenwich coaching staff, and the officials were also notified at that time that the game was not going ahead.

22/02/15 v King’s College

Outstanding items from previous weeks – none

BUCS Website

Just a reminder that information on University teams can be found at the following site:

When you get to the website just complete the fields as indicated below and click “FIND”. This will list links to each team on the right side of the screen


The Play of the Week and Mechanics will return next week.




Contact for details


March 7th (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

March 28th and 29th

BAFRA Annual Convention 2014

May 9th (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

July 18th (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

November 14th (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

BAFRA Directors


David Parsons

General Secretary

Paul Sutton


Andrew Lovell


Richard Vernon


James Meredith


Pete Thom

Director without Portfolio #1

Martin Cockerill

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: