BAFRA Newsflash

Issue: 21/15

19th June 2015


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 Mike Kensil, NFL Vice President Operations to provide Chain Crews for all three games this year.

The game details are as follows:

Please note the earlier start times for all games on although accommodation near the stadium will be available for all chain crews members at every game.

Expressions of Interest to be part of the Chain Crews for these games are now invited from all eligible officials. All BAFRA members who have either never worked on a Wembley NFL Chain Crew, or have only done it on one occasion are welcome to apply. Please clearly state for which games you will be available. Note that we need to schedule officials for two games in a row to ensure crew continuity. The selection criteria is clearly explained in the members area of the website and I would encourage all eligible officials to consider applying. However please be aware that we are usually heavily over-subscribed.

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 Friday 10th July 2015. Please submit all requests to be considered to me, you will receive a reply from me acknowledging your expression of interest. If you do not receive a reply then contact me to ensure your application has been received.

Richard Vernon


The final weekend before the Coaches Conference sees another full set of games. We have 28 including 5 Double Headers. Can all officials ensure their Arbiter availability is correct for this weekend and that you try to be available for an assignment.

NOTE: Due to the Coaches Convention 11th/12th July their will only be one/two Associate games. The season re-starts on 18th/19th July.

Richard Vernon


As has previously been reported, members have again chosen Cancer Research UK as our charity for 2015. Money will be raised on the weekend of 27th and 28th June from members who choose to donate some or all of their game fee to this worthy cause. Money may be sent along with the admin fee for the games (referees please note in the comments section of the Game Report Form), by electronic payment to BAFRA (please contact Charles Young at if you are using this method) or may be deducted from travel expenses owed (please let me know by e-mail if you wish to do this). If you wish to donate in any other way, please contact Charles or myself to let us know. If you don’t have a game that weekend, please still feel to make a donation. We have increased the amount raised each year thanks to the generosity of our members – let’s see if we can beat our previous record!

Paul Sutton


I have paid the following games this week.

I have received prepayment from Buckingham Wolves youth team. Please treat as prepaid team.

Charlie Dean Young


A wave of enthusiasm for the use of radios during games has already reached many parts of the country. It certainly came as a surprise to us that it has caught on so quickly.

BAFRA has now responded by issuing two documents: one on how to acquire suitable radios and set them up; one on the mechanics of using them during games. Both are available in the members section of the BAFRA website.

Use of radios is certainly not compulsory, but it is important that any bought in the future are compatible with those that have already been bought.

These are working documents, so if you have any ideas for additions or amendments, please let us know. Also let us know if you have any questions.

Ben Griffiths, Jim Briggs, Pete Thom and Pete Parsons


The following tournaments are taking place shortly and require volunteers to cover them. Many thanks to officials who covered Burnley last week and large crew who are at Cobham this weekend.

Woodham Warriors Tournament, Woodham Academy, Washington Crescent, Newton Aycliffe, County Durham DL5 4AX, Date: Saturday 20th June 2015, Contact: Danny Ketch (07427 646277)

Norwich Devils Tournament, Jarrolds Sports Ground, Heath Crescent, Norwich, NR6 6XD, Date: Saturday 27th June 2015, Contact: Steve Hoskins (07879 638031),

Buckinghamshire Wolves Tournament; Beaconsfield School, Watleton Road, Beaconsfield, HP9 1SJ; Date: Saturday 4th July 2015; Contact: Adam Dawkins (07841 763735)

Hamilton Buccaneers Tournament; Hamilton Rugby Club, 121 Bent Road, Hamilton, ML3 6BY; Date: Saturday 4th July 2015; Contact: Amanda McDonald (07920 252 604)

Sandwell Steelers Tournament; Date: Saturday 4th July 2015

Doncaster Mustangs Tournament; Balby Carr Community Academy, Weston Road, Balby, Doncaster, DN4 8ND; Date: Sunday 5th July 2015; Contact: Steve Whitter (07931726646)

Richard Vernon


Facebook - new followers only 9 this week but we had a bumper week last week - up to 683, can we reach 700 this week? As well as the regular Know your ref feature you may have noticed one of our newest recruits - Chris Brice is writing a blog of his experience training and this is going out on UKfirstdown. Well done to Chris for bravely baring all!

Twitter - a good week on twitter with reach getting up to nearly 7k again and 10 new followers since we last reported. If you are on Twitter do pop over for a chat, particularly on gameday when we get our hashtags up - #zebramode #UKgridironref.

We are glad to hear that we have had 14 enquires to recruitment including a returnee since we started developing the content on social media. We are only just starting!

We are in the middle of making a new leaflet to hand out to people advertising BAFRA, we are after images to go on this page. If you have any images of BAFRA in action please could you email Please note you will need the photographers permission and we will of course credit them.

Susannah Taylor (#335) and Sean Walsh (#458)









New this week

Spencer Renfro


Bury Saints



Significantly away from the play the player speed up and launched into a defenseless player who clearly had removed themselves from the play and was returning to the sideline

28/06/15 v London Hornets

Previous weeks

Graham Owens


Humber Warhawks



Player head-buted an opponent after the play had been blown dead.

21/06/15 v Leicester Falcons

Anton Sieluzycki


Swindon Storm



During an interception return the player committed a block below the waist, which was witnessed and flagged. Immediately after committing the first foul the same player got to his feet and committed a second, similar foul against an opponent well away from the ball.

28/06/15 v Torbay Trojans

Simon Dunkerley


Shropshire Revolution



Player committed a flagrant personal foul

05/07/15 v Doncaster Mustangs





New this week

Gateshead Senators

Only 2 legal balls supplied by the home team, both were in poor condition. Away team supplied 3 balls in good condition after we asked if they had any. Down box only about 3 feet high.

Les Connor #152


Halton Spartans

Chain set broke twice requiring repair by the head linesman. Beyond that the whole gameday experience at Halton is superb, from excellent gameday management to a magnificent state-of-the-art pitch with textbook field markings. All of this set in a fantastic stadium with everything from a PA announcer to an electronic scoreboard, which made the afternoon hugely enjoyable for the players, coaches, officials and over 250 paying spectators. Halton have made immense effort to stage the game of American football, not without a great deal of organisation and expense, as everyone wants to see it and are a credit to the BAFA league. Credit too goes to Crewe for playing the game in the best spirit of the game, a truly superb afternoon all round.

David Hewitt #607

28/06/15 v Manchester Titans

Bournemouth Bobcats

90 yard field with clear markings. Had a 28 minute delay for an injury.

Philip Hume #52

19/07/15 v Portsmouth Destroyers

Chester Romans

Field marked in both blue and white and also sing IFAF yards. Chains manually shortened to accommodate the field markings. Delay at start of second half due to chain crew and ball persons changing.

Mike Cavanagh #465

05/07/15 v Gateshead Senators

Birmingham Bulls

Field was well marked but faint, one goal was standard rugby size, the other was Gallic football with a lower crossbar and different width. Game was played using both sets of posts, neither side objected.

Ian Wainwright #567

09/08/15 v Cambridgeshire Cats

Outstanding items from previous weeks

Carlisle Sentinels

Field of play was only 80 yards in length. There were a couple of deep divots that were a trip hazard that had to be filled in before kick-off. Only four officials assistants were provided initially, kick was delayed by a couple of minutes until a fifth officials assistant could be provided.

Ben Griffiths #228

26/07/15 v Crewe Railroaders

Manchester Titans

90 yard field. Multicoloured lines (blue and white) make it difficult to distinguish goal and end lines. Field very sandy, making traction difficult at times

Mike Cavanagh #465

26/07/15 v Staffordshire Surge

Humber Warhawks

No limit lines. No 9 yard marks. Hash marks in the centre of the field didn't always line up with sideline hashes.

David Hewitt #607

21/06/15 v Leicester Falcons

Cornish Sharks

Upon arrival the field was inspected and the hashmarks looked to be at 1/3rd intervals similar to High School fields. However, after basic measurement, the field was found to be approx 47yards wide only. Additional hashmarks were added 20yards inbounds before the kickoff.

Goals were soccer goals with wooden poles extended upwards. Officials had to change in public changing rooms.

The kickoff was delayed due to a lack of ball-boys and last-minute briefing of chain-crew. Crew were paid cash but it was discovered (on their homeward journeys) that all officials were underpaid by £5 each.

Simon Ryan #408

18/07/15 v Oxford Saints

Hastings Conquerors

Field was marked with NFL hash marks, ball was placed on the outside of these hash marks. Balls supplied were the incorrect pressure and had to be inflated.

Dave Knight #135

21/06/15 v Sussex Thunder

East Kilbride Pirates

Field marked in red, doubles as Youth field, so 9 yard marks are actually the sideline for the youth field. Otherwise, excellent game management, and a superb day had by all.

Mike Cavanagh #465

28/06/15 v Birmingham Bulls



New this week

Play: 2nd and 9 on the A45. Wide receiver A85 and safety B33 both leap off the ground in an attempt to catch/intercept a legal forward pass. They both gain firm control of the ball while airborne. B33 is the first to come back to the ground inbounds on the B40 and then immediately after B33 touches the ground A85 contacts the ground out of bounds on the B40. B33 pulls the ball free and then falls to the ground on the B42 having never touched out of bounds.

Last week

Play: Team A kick off at the start of the second half from their own 35 yard line. They attempt a quick onside kick. The ball only travels 5 yards and sticks in the mud. Neither player from either team tries to recover the ball, no do any players attempt to throw any blocks. Ruling?

Ruling: If a free kick comes to rest inbounds and no player attempts to secure it, the ball becomes dead and belongs to the receiving team at the dead-ball spot. 1st and 10 for Team B at the Team A 35 yard line. (6-1-5)


New this week

Game Situation: 4th and 12 at the A40. Punter A4 kicks the ball downfield. The ball hits the ground and is rolling around as returner B22 makes a 'get away' signal by waving both arms at waist level. The ball is rolling at the B12 when B22 races to the ball and picks it up. He runs to the A45 before he is tackled. Ruling?
Answer next issue...

Last week

Play: During a timeout, the Head Coach from the Head Linesman's sideline calls his team over and stands on the field 5 yards from sideline talking to them in a huddle. How should the Head Linesman react to the Head Coach being on the field?
Answer: M-17-1-9-f. If during a timeout a coach enters the field to speak to his players, this should not normally be a problem provided a) he does not go on to the field more than nine yards b) he does not go beyond the 25-yard lines c) his players gather around him. The official should take no action while a coach stays within these guidelines.




Contact for details


July 18th (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

November 14th (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

BAFRA Directors


David Parsons

General Secretary

Paul Sutton


Chalies Dean Young


Richard Vernon


Kevin Stanton


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.

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