BAFRA Newsflash

Issue: 25/15

16th July 2015


The closing date has now passed for expressions of interest to be considered for these duties at the NFL International Series Games 2015. If you applied then you will have received a reply from me acknowledging your expression of interest. If you have not received a reply then contact me immediately to ensure your application has been received.

I am pleased to report an overwhelming response (over 40 applications received). However also means that regrettably not all requests will be successful this year. The BAFRA Selection Committee will choose the chain crew for each game at their meeting in early August. All applicants will be notified individually of the decision.

Thanks to everyone who has shown interest in representing BAFRA at these major sporting occasions.

Richard Vernon


Volunteers are sought to officiate the following tournaments:

The response from officials has been excellent this season and these are the final events before the Northern and Southern Play-Offs. I will give full details about these events shortly.

Richard Vernon


Facebook: another good week with new followers 13 this week with lots of news from IFAF and NFL to entertain us.

Twitter - we had 5 new followers this week with retweets reaching a staggering 9.4k!

Our star of the week goes to Mike Cavangh for his spot on BASN radio show "benchwarmers 11":

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









New this week

Elliott Holt


Woodham Warriors



Swearing at an official

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

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

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





New this week – none

Outstanding items from previous weeks

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

Yorkshire Rams

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

Dan Holt #371

19/07/15 v Coventry Jets

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

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

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: 4th and 8 on A's 21. A12's punt is blocked. The ball is rolling around at A's 10 when B75 – reaching down in an attempt to recover the ball – unintentionally kicks the ball into A's endzone where A77 recovers.

Last 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?

Ruling: Intentional grounding (illegal forward pass). The spot of the foul is in A's end zone. Acceptance of the penalty results in a safety, declining the penalty will give Team B the ball at the team A 8 yard line. Depending on the game situation, Team B may opt for either outcome. There is no foul for illegal touching of the pass as A67 did not deliberately touch the ball (2-11-4-b).


New this week

Game Situation: When, before the snap, a defensive player moves and an offensive player reacts, which officials must have a conference and why?
Answer next issue...

Last week

Play: 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: In this situation, in which there is clearly some doubt as to exactly where B21 intercepted the ball, we apply when in doubt principle M-6-1-24. When in doubt, it is a touchback rather than a momentum exception. Team B's ball on the B20, 1st and 10.




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: