BAFRA Newsflash

Issue: 23/15

3rd July 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 following payments were made today.

Merseyside, Swindon, Buckingham, Solent, Berkshire and Bristol from 21/06 due to late report.

All expenses over £10 have been paid. In addition, Jurassic Coast, Swindon and Berkshire should be treated as prepaid.

Charlie Dean Young


Will anyone who requested information and has not yet received details of their BAFRA Scores on the Spreadsheet of Officials, please contact me so that I can provide you with a full breakdown of your scores.

Richard Vernon


Hosted by the Pink Panthers Flag Academy this large youth flag event will feature Junior and Cadet level games. The organisers anticipate 12 teams and well over 100 children taking part; many of whom will be making their football debut. BAFRA has been asked to assist in this high profile event. We need officials to assist this great grass-roots initiative and make this a positive experience for new players, parents and organisers.

I am assured that refreshments will provided throughout the day for all BAFRA officials who help out. Let me know if you are available (even for some of the day) to assist.

Richard Vernon


Facebook - 24 new followers this week taking us over the 700 mark. We are looking for more volunteers to feature in "know your ref" FB message us if you are happy to feature. It has been very interesting so far to read all the stories and to hear how officials see the game growing. There is only one criteria and that is that you have some pics of you officiating (or are ok with us stealing them from your FB photos).

Twitter - we had 11 new followers this week including Jeff Reinebold. If you are on Twitter do pop over for a chat, particularly on gameday when we get our hashtags up - #zebramode #UKgridironref and post an official selfie.

In the meantime do also check out Neil Reynolds pod cast which includes his interviews with coaches, players, admin and maybe even the odd ref from the British game

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

Craig Hudson


Leeds Bobcats



After the final play of the game and the ball declared dead. Player targeted an opponent from behind and below the knees.

05/07/15 v Lincolnshire Bombers

Mark Donald


Halton Spartans



Player first reacted to a block in the back by shoving his opponent to the ground in a non-football manner. Secondly, following a Manchester score, the player remonstrated loudly to an official, using profanity.

05/07/15 v Staffordshire Surge

Lee Lamb


Halton Spartans



Player shoved his opponent to the ground and aimed two or three quick punches.

05/07/15 v Staffordshire Surge

Mike Orr


Clyde Valley Blackhawks



Player made force-able contact leading with the crown of his helmet against the runner.

05/07/15 v Edinburgh Wolves

Craig MacMillan


Clyde Valley Blackhawks



Player made a blind side block with force-able contact to the head/neck area of the opponent.

05/07/15 v Edinburgh Wolves

Sean Lewis


London Olympians



Player retaliated to being hit late out of bounds. The retaliation instigated unrest from a large number of players leading to 4 Unsportsmanlike Conduct penalties.

Under Appeal

Previous weeks

Richard Neil O Donnell


Humber Warhawks



Player struck an opponent with his knee after the play.

18/07/15 v Sandwell Steelers

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

Ben Bainbridge


Newcastle Vikings Youth



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

05/07/15 v Pennine Panthers

Simon Dunkerley


Shropshire Revolution



Player committed a flagrant personal foul

05/07/15 v Doncaster Mustangs





New this week

Leeds Bobcats

The pitch is only 80 yards long,but the playing surface and markings were good.

Muz Gibson #268

02/08/15 v Humber Warhawks

Halton Spartans

90 yard field extremely well marked. Halton's stadium facility is excellent and makes for a fantastic gameday experience.

Mike Cavanagh #465

05/07/15 v Staffordshire Surge

Clyde Valley Blackhawks

Possibly the best marked out pitch I have seen so far, very little to fault. Changing room was small and had no coat hooks, but did have a bench and was lockable. One change of ball person for the second half.

Game was abandoned prior to the start of the second half at the request of the away Head Coach due to insufficient players to continue the game safely. The result was declared final following the agreement of both coaches.

John Roberts #145

09/08/15 v Nottingham Caesars

Lincolnshire Bombers

90 yard pitch with 10 yard endzones. Both endzones were deemed too close to the perimeter fence so were shortened to 7 yards using a line marked on the field for another sport, which was agreed to by both head coaches. No limit lines or 9 yard marks and coaching boxes were made up from the afore-mentioned other sports lines.

David Hewitt #607

05/07/15 v Leeds Bobcats

London Olympians

Officials were pre-notified that the game would take place at Peckham Rye Park and Common with parking/changing next to Cafe On The Rye, Straker's Road. The pitch is for Gaelic Football and hence too long, a 100-yard pitch was marked with goal posts on end end line and the other about 20-30yds further back from the end line. The decision was to play in both directions as normal but with all kick options at the correct end.

Game started late due to the late running of the preceding Junior 9v9 game, caused partially by the medical personnel.

Changing rooms were small cargo container style facilities suitable for no more than 5 officials. Keys were held by the Cafe staff and were not available at the end of the game (although game did not finish on time).

A running clock was used in the second half and with 9 minutes remaining in the 4th Quarter (6.50pm) the game was abandoned due to an injured player on field. Both head coaches and officials were in agreement.

CK Nam #586

05/07/15 v London Blitz

South London Renegades

Pitch was the same as the London Olympians report above. Kick-off was delayed by 15 minutes due to medical personnel leaving to get food/drinks. Chain crew and ball persons were non-attentive and poor.

Vicktor Janvari #63

05/07/15 v London Blitz Youth

London Hornets

Field was marked into 20 segments on a rugby field between the two sets of posts, which meant that each yard was actually a metre. The field was shortened to 80 "yards" based on these markings. There were no nine-yard marks or numbers, the coaching box was marked at 3 feet, the team area at 3 feet and the limit lines at 3 feet. The officials' changing room, while lockable with showers, was compact and bijou, and therefore the crew relocated to an alternative facility for the pre-game.

Pete Parsons #321

05/07/15 v Essex Sartans

East Kent Mavericks

Played at Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys in Canterbury. 90-yard field with 8-yard end zones. Excellent 4G surface with football markings in blue with other sports marking in yellow and white. No numbers or 9-yard marks and coaching line too close to sideline but field was otherwise well marked. 3 changes to officials' assistants at half time leading to a slight delay to the start of the second half. Changing facilities good but had to be shared with teams.

Tim Ockendon #481

19/07/15 v Colchester Gladiators

Hastings Conquerors

NFL-style hashmarks. Club is unable to fix this pending resolution of a complaint against the local council. No team area line. Limit lines only 6 feet from sideline. The previously reported problem with a locked changing room at the end of the game was fixed by providing us with the key!

Jim Briggs #31


Chorley Buccaneers

Both coaches agreed to play with no posts as none were available, there were no coaches or players boxes marked although for the most part both teams managed to stay within their respective areas. There were no numbers or 9 yard marks on the field but as the field was marked by the home team head coach and his dad I think they did a fine job and should be applauded for the effort they put in. The game was abandoned with 7:30 remaining with agreement of both coaches as the visiting team had suffered a number of injuries and felt it was unsafe for the remaining players to continue.

Lee Taylor #183


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

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

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

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.

Muz Gibson #268

05/07/15 v East Kilbride Pirates



New this week

Play: A's ball, free kick, on A's 35. B21 is retreating toward B's goal line when he accidentally kicks the ball on B's 2 over B's end line. Ruling?

Last 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?

Ruling: Continue first extra period, second possession with 1st and 10 for Team A from the Team B 6-yard line. PSK does not apply in extra periods. (10-2-3-b).


New this week

Game Situation: 3rd and 5 on the team A 35. With the ball ready for play and time running out on the 25 second clock, Team A break from the huddle and rush to make a quick substitution while simultaneously lining up for the play. How should the umpire react in this situation?
Answer next issue...

Last week

Play: 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: The Referee must signal to the official who should move in an onside kick situation (M-9-1-a-1). For a 4 man crew, the linejudge must be aware of this and be prepared to move up to the team B restraining line if the Referee signals (M-11-1-a-1).




Contact for details


July 18th (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

September 26th (Sat)


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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Editor: Dean Wright - Email: