BAFRA Newsflash

Issue: 22/15

25th 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


A final reminder that money will be raised this coming weekend, 27th and 28th June, from members who choose to donate some or all of their game fee to their chosen charity – Cancer Research UK. 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 – thanks to those who have already started the ball rolling! 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


The following payments were made this week:

Essex, West Coast, Crewe, Elite Game

Can all referees please remember to check how many officials are paid for by each team. This is normally four but in the top division is for five officials.

Charlie Dean Young


Congratulations to Joe Foxton on completing all of the requirements necessary to become Qualified. Thanks to Chris Jarvis and all those who are helping with Joe‘s training.

Pete Thom


Facebook - 9 new followers this week, taking us to 692. We would like to encourage you all to use the "invite a friend" feature on the FB page. This will send a personal message to your invitees so why not use it to connect other referees, coaches and players to our page.

Twitter - thank you to the Twitterati who have been mentioning @bafraofficial all week. Our reach was good this week on the back of these mentions. 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 be able to post up some great (black trousered) pics of officials in action on FB and twitter this week and will be searching around for more every week. Do submit your own for us to share as well. If you have any suggestions on what we can include in features and updates do let us know by email or start the conversation online.

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









New this week

Batuala Beraud


London Blitz B



After an incomplete pass the player head butted an opponent.

26/07/15 v Bury Saints

Nicholas Walter


Essex Spartans



Player accelerated and contacted an opponent away from the play and out of bound with a violent hit to the head.

05/07/15 v London Hornets

Richard Neil O Donnell


Humber Warhawks



Player struck an opponent with his knee after the play.

18/07/15 v Sandwell Steelers

Ben Bainbridge


Newcastle Vikings



Player targeted a pursuing defender with the crown of his helmet onto the defenders helmet

05/07/15 v Pennine Panthers

Previous weeks

Spencer Renfro


Bury Saints



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

28/06/15 v London Hornets

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

Yorkshire Rams

The pitch was reduced to 80 yards because of Pampas like grass at one end of the field. The grass was so long that it was not playable in the last 10 yards of the field, so the pitch was reduced in size and the game played going one way, away from the Serengeti-like pastures.

Herds of migrating Wildebeest may have prospered but in the interests of safety and the fear of losing someone it was agreed by both coaches to play only one way

Muz Gibson #268

05/07/15 v East Kilbride Pirates

Gateshead Senators

Game balls supplied by the away team as no legal balls available from the home team. This was arranged days prior to the game. Down marker is only 4 foot tall.

No coat hooks or private shower / toilet available.

Roy Davies #44


Gateshead Senators Youth

Gateshead Senators provided 3 brand new NFL "Duke" footballs which were not prescribed game balls. Newcastle Vikings were approached and could not provide 3 game balls but agreed to play with the supplied footballs as they used the same "duke" balls to practice with and felt no disadvantage playing with them.

With 3.48 minutes remaining in the 3rd quarter after another short stoppage for a player injury Newcastle Vikings coach made a request to abandon the game for safety reasons as the team had only 13 remaining fit players. the team had started with 19 players and had had 5 injuries and 1 ejection.

The game was abandoned with the score of Gateshead 40 Newcastle 19

Roy Davies #44

Hastings Conquerors

Hashmarks marked with NFL width. No team area line. Limit lines marked at 6ft rather than 12ft, although additional roping was provided along both sidelines. Changing rooms are only communally lockable and are a long way from the field.

Pete Parsons #321

28/06/15 v Portsmouth Dreadnoughts

Nottingham Caesars

Games are currently being played at Southglade Leisure Centre, Southglade Road, Nottingham, NG5 5GU until Harvey Hadden Sports Complex is being refurbished.

No building staff around so officials got changed in a small, somewhat unsuitable room. Whole building was locked up at the end of the game so officials left in uniform. Chains broke twice but recognition should be given to great officials' assistants.

C K Nam #586

28/06/15 v Edinburgh Wolves

London Warriors

No 9 yard marks or numbers. Field markings were very faint. Team area markings were also very faint. Yardage markers on one side of the field only. Some long grass on the field.

Officials changing room was OK considering there were 14 of us (double header), but no private shower or toilet. London Blitz complained because they had to change in a tent with few chairs and zero other facilities. 3 changes of ball person.

Jim Briggs #31

05/07/15 v Bristol Aztecs

Humber Warhawks

When we arrived at the ground, the pitch was being almost completely remarked. When we got to kick off time, the end zone at one end had not been marked out, despite having pylons in each corner. The changing room provided for the away team was clearly not big enough as they kept asking the officials if they could get changed in their changing room.

Dan Holt #371


Outstanding items from previous weeks

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

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

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

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: First extra period, second possession, score still tied. 4th and 8 from the Team B 12 yard line. A8's field goal attempt is wide to the left. During the kick, B95 commits a personal foul on the Team B 9 yard line. Ruling?

Last 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.

Ruling: B's ball, 1st and 10 at the B42. Although both players secured the ball in the air, the player who returned to the ground first is ruled as having completed the catch (AR-7-3-6-II). A ball in player possession is not dead when touched by another player who is out of bounds (4-2-2), after B33 possesses the ball it remains live until he is tackled on the B42.


New this week

Game Situation: With 3 minutes remaining in the game, team A have just scored and are kicking off. They are losing by 4 points. On a 4 man crew, which official(s) should be signaling / reacting to this possible onside kick situation?
Answer next issue...

Last week

Play: 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: B22's 'get away' signal is an invalid fair catch signal (AR-6-5-3-VI & M-3-9-1). The ball is dead where recovered by B22 at the B12 yard line. Penalise B22 for delay of game. B's ball, 1st and 10 at the B7.




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.

All Incident Reports to be submitted via

Deadline for articles submitted by email ( is midnight Tuesday.

Editor: Dean Wright - Email: