BAFRA Newsflash

Issue: 24/15

10th July 2015


I have just heard the very sad news that one of our members, Pete Johnson, passed away on 7th July

following a short battle with a very aggressive form of leukaemia. Although not an active official in recent years, Pete was a long serving member who served for a period of time as Director of Operations from when BAFRA became a Limited Company in 2007. We send our sympathy to his wife, Lorraine, son Craig and other family members and friends. We are all diminished by his passing.

Paul Sutton


The closing date to inform me of your interest to be considered for these duties will be Friday 10th July 2015. 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 games were paid today:

Leicester x 2 games


West Coast


Expenses over £10 have also been paid.

Charlie Dean Young


Officials Still Needed - 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.

South Flag Tournament at London Warriors – Saturday 18th July

I have also just received a request from the Warriors Head Coach for officials to cover this tournament at Streatham/Croydon RFC.

Richard Vernon


I'd like to ask a question of the membership "Are you using a pressure gauge to check the balls before the match?". The reason being, is that I am and I have learned that, unless my gauge is inaccurate, I have spent years letting teams play with balls at abut 9 psi. I know there will be 'Patriots supporter/Deflategate' comments but I actually bought the gauge before Christmas and if I'm right this isn't an elephant in the room - it's a whole herd of them.

So do you use a pressure gauge to check ball pressure?

Mark Wilson



Facebook had another good week with 27 new followers this week with some popular posts including the nominations for the John Slavin Trophy. We are looking for more volunteers to feature in "know your ref", FB message us if you are happy to feature.

Twitter - we had 6 new followers this week with mentions nearly double last week's stats. We have also seen that teams are using this forum to give acknowledgements to BAFRA officials.

Jim Briggs features on Neil Reynolds pod cast this week and took to opportunity to promote recruitment and the need for officials to cover all disciplines of the 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

Devyn Gourdin


Cambridgeshire Cats



Player committed a 9-2-1-a-1-(j) foul in the 2nd quarter and a 9-2-1-a-1-(b) foul in the 4th quarter.

26/07/15 v Hertfordshire Cheetahs

David Kriehn


Cornish Sharks



Late in the 4th quarter, after the pass was declared incomplete, Cornish Sharks number 82 forcibly threw the ball at the umpire. He was ejected but did apologise after the game.

18/07/15 v Oxford Saints

Seán Benton


Essex Spartans



Late in the fourth quarter, the HC from Essex disputed a call to such an extent he received a USC. He then audibly appeared to question the official(s) competence and was penalised with a second USC. At this point, the HC was removed from the playing enclosure (RPE).

Whilst both flags are still considered to have been warranted, on further review, the conduct of the HC was not prejudicial to the orderly conduct of the game as required by 9-2-7, and as 9-2-6 cannot apply, the RPE has been retrospectively withdrawn.


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

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





New this week

Leicester Falcons Juniors

Lancashire arrived with only 13 players. After contacting BAFA we were advised that, as this was below the minimum number required, the game should under no circumstances proceed. The game was duly abandoned prior to the start

Brian Yates #29

Portsmouth Dreadnoughts

No coaching box lines marked. One goal swung round slightly in the wind and had to be straightened a couple of times. One of the chain stakes snapped a few inches above its foot late in the game. Changing room was a martial arts room with soft floors and only one chair, located at least 200yds from the field.

Jim Briggs #31


Halton Spartans

Game was suspended for 50 minutes for lightning. 90 yard field impeccably marked as well as a commentator, referee's microphone and electronic scoreboard making Halton a brilliant gameday experience.

Aminul Hassan #534

02/08/15 v Walney Terriers

London Hornets

The field between the goal lines was marked into 80 segments, each of more than 1 yard. The chains were accurate at 10 yards and were used exclusively in preference to field markings. Penalty yardage was paced to ensure fairness. There were no nine-yard marks or numbers, the coaching box was marked at 3 feet (ignored), the team area at 3 feet (became the coaching box) and the limit lines at 3 feet. The officials' changing room was a significant upgrade from previous experiences at this venue, being of a large size, with showers and toilets. It was however a significant distance from the field. The KO was delayed by 15mins due to the medical provision getting stuck in traffic.

Steven Leonard #370

09/08/15 v London Blitz B

Doncaster Mustangs

No limit lines, 3 yard marks or 9 yard marks. Hash marks on sidelines weren't always at 1 yard intervals, one was only half a yard past a main line. The game was suspended for approx 60 mins with 3.43 left in the 3rd quarter due to a rather violent thunderstorm which fortunately cleared quickly. One ball person then had to be changed due to needing to go to work. Plaudits go to the players and coaches of both teams for clearing the field quickly and showing good humour despite what was obviously a frustrating wait to re-start.

David Hewitt #607

09/08/15 v Chester Romans

Coventry Jets

Game abandoned with 30 seconds remaining due to head linesman requiring treatment by paramedic.

J. Brookes-Lewis #395

26/07/15 v Sheffield Predators

Bristol Apache

The chain crew were only provided within minutes of the kick-off and then were changed at half-time.

Russel Newton #324

26/07/15 v Torbay Trojans

West Coast Trojans

No limit line , No numbers or nine yard marks. Home team could only supply 2 games balls a third was supplied by the away team.

Henry Richardson #25

19/07/15 v Glasgow Tigers

Lincolnshire Bombers

90 yard field, 10 yard end zones shortened to 7 yards - too close to perimeter fence. No 9 yard marks or coaching boxes.

Richard Whitby #136

09/08/15 v Humber Warhawks

London Olympians

Played at Peckham Rye Park. Field marked in blue with other sport markings in white. Posts only at one end so all scrimmage plays went towards that end. Field surface uneven in places but any trip hazards had been filled with sand. No numbers or 9-yard marks and inbounds lines at NFL distance. No team area markings but spectators were separated from the field but suspended ropes that approximated as a limit line. Officials assistants only provided just before KO despite best efforts of gameday management and two personnel changes were made at half time. Changing facilities good but not locked during game.

Tim Ockendon #481

09/08/15 v Bristol Aztecs

Yorkshire Rams

No nine yard marks. No limit lines. Officials changing room not lockable.

Dan Holt #371

19/07/15 v Coventry Jets

Outstanding items from previous weeks

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

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

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

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

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



New this week

Play: A's ball, 4th and 17, on A's 8. QB A17 is about to be tackled in A's end zone when he throws the ball forward and the ball hits A67 in the back on A's 4. No eligible Team A receiver had a reasonable opportunity to catch the ball. Ruling?

Last 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?

Ruling: Accidentally kicking the ball does not impart new impetus. If B21 batted the ball on B's 2 into B's end zone, the batting would impart new impetus but it would not be a foul. It would be a safety with no other option. This is true even though the free kick remains a free kick after the new impetus. If B21 intentionally kicked the free kick on B's 2 into B's end zone, the illegal kicking would impart new impetus and would also be a foul. The result of the play would be a safety. The enforcement spot for the illegal kicking foul would be the previous spot. With accidental kicking, there is no new impetus and there is no foul. Touchback. B's ball, 1st and 10, on B's 20.


New this week

Game Situation: 1st and 10 on team B's 45 yard line. A84 runs a post pattern and is heading towards the end zone pursued by defensive back B21. The QB passes the ball. The Back Judge jogs backwards and arrives at the goal line moments before B21 intercepts the legal forward pass somewhere between the goal line and Team B's 1 yard line. B21's momentum carries him into his own end zone. Ruling?
Answer next issue...

Last week

Play: 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: The umpire should immediately move over the ball to prevent the snap and allow Team B to make substitutions to match up with Team A. If the play clock runs out before Team A are able to snap the ball then either there will be either a delay of game on Team B for not completing its substitutions promptly, or delay of game on Team A for causing the play clock to expire. See 3-5-2-e and AR 3-5-2-IX




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.

All Incident Reports to be submitted via

Deadline for articles submitted by email ( is midnight Tuesday.

Editor: Dean Wright - Email: