BAFRA Newsflash

Issue: 26/15

24th July 2015


We have been using the 25/40 second play clock mechanic since the start of the senior season and there are only a few weeks to go until the end of the regular season, but it seems that some people are still not sure when the 25 or 40 second play clock should start.

I’m sure this is not a widespread problem and most officials run the play clock correctly but just to eliminate any confusion, here is the document produced by Jim Briggs that all members who attended the 2015 convention received.

Pete Thom


The following games were paid from last weekend:

I have also paid all expenses over £10.

I will be paying over the next week those officials assistants from March. I have only recently found out these have not been paid, and these will be added to any game fees due this weekend or sent separately. apologies for the delay.

Charlie Dean Young


A BAFA appeal committee has considered the case of Sean Lewis, #1 of London Olympians, who was disqualified from a game on 28th June 2015 for a flagrant personal foul. The Committee has rejected the appeal - the video evidence showed that he did indeed retaliate against an opponent after having been fouled himself.

Since Mr Lewis was previously disqualified from a game on 24th August 2014, this is his second fixed penalty within a 12-month period. His penalty is therefore a 2-game suspension and a £100 fine. He has been reminded that a third fixed penalty for him may result in a 12-month suspension.

In a separate case, a BAFA Disciplinary Committee has found London Hornets and some of their personnel guilty of bringing the game into disrepute. The case relates to events at a game versus Essex Spartans on 3rd May.

The club has been fined £150 for two breaches. Paul Holmes has been fined £100 and given a game day suspension for 1 game. Player Aaron Bunton has been given a game day suspension for 1 game. Head Coach Anthony Price was fined £50 and given a game day suspension for 1 game for two breaches of the BAFCA Code of Ethics.

The suspensions will be served on 9th August 2015 in the game versus London Blitz B.

Dr Jim Briggs


Congratulations to Mark Edwards on completing all of the requirements necessary to become Qualified. Thanks to Ellis Bowyer and all those who are helping with Mark‘s training.

Also congratulations to Peter Ogden on completing all of the requirements necessary to become Qualified. Thanks to Richard Vernon and all those who are helping with Peter‘s training.

Pete Thom


Facebook had another good week with 9 new followers and with news of assignments to Euro flag finals helping our reach exceed 7k again.

Twitter - we had 6 new followers this week. We have found that we it is a great platform to keep in touch with photographers many of whom are producing great action shots of BAFRA officials all over the country.

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

Gareth Thomas


South Wales Warriors



Player was observed to lower head to initiate contact.

26/07/15 v London Warriors

James Newnes


Manchester Titans



Threw a punch at a prone opponent.

26/07/15 v Staffordshire Surge

Steven Wilson


East Kilbride Pirates



As the play came to an end, a prone Lancashire player attempting to get up was aggressively head butted by East Kilbride defender #92 knocking him back to the floor.

01/08/15 v Tamworth Phoenix

Previous weeks

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.

09/08/15 v Bristol Aztecs & 1 more game

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

Elliott Holt


Woodham Warriors



Swearing at an official

Appeal withdrawn, suspension already served





New this week

Doncaster Mustangs Youth

Field is 90 yards long with the following lines missing: Coaches & team area, limit lines, nine yard marks or numbers, the Hash Marks to the centre of the field were 4 foot long and not spaced evenly at 1 yard apart.

Chris Jarvis #10


Yorkshire Rams

The first changing room offered was too small for 5 officials the second was extremely dirty, therefore the officials used a vacated team changing room none of these were lockable. The field is 90 yards long with the following lines missing: 9 yard marks and limit lines. 1 ball was lost over a fence and then the replacement ball burst.

Chris Jarvis #10


Merseyside Nighthawks

No nine yard marks or numbers. No coaching lines or team area markings. Ball persons were provided an hour before the game however one was only 12 years old a replacement was provided in plenty of time.

Ben Griffiths #228


Manchester Titans

90 yard field marked in dark blue with faded white rugby lines. Two patches of the field between the hashmarks covered with sand.

Kevin Stanton #157

26/07/15 v Staffordshire Surge

Sussex Thunder

Chains run on home team sideline at the request of home team. Only one of the pylons was weighted and capable of standing erect. The others had to be removed after being blown onto the field on several occasions. Game temporarily suspended with 7.38 remaining in 2nd quarter to allow game management to repair a trip hazard.

Tim Ockendon #481

09/08/15 v Portsmouth Dreadnoughts

Hertfordshire Cheetahs

Changing room not lockable. No limit lines. One ball person changed at half time.

Pete Parsons #321

09/08/15 v Ouse Valley Eagles

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

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

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



New this week

Play: A's ball on B's 3, try. A56's snap goes high and is caught by kicker A4 above his head at B's 8. A4 attempts a quick drop goal, the trajectory of which is low. The ball hits A56's helmet behind the line of scrimmage and rebounds into the possession of A4. A4 runs into the end zone with the ball. Ruling?

Last 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.

Ruling: Safety. Team A free kick on A's 20. Blocking of the punt does not change the impetus of the ball, B75's accidental kick counts as a muff. The impetus comes from A12's punt, therefore team A are responsible for the impetus which placed the ball in their endzone, where it was declared dead.


New this week

Game Situation: On a 3 man crew, which officials have the forward progress of the kick returner?
Answer next issue...

Last week

Play: When, before the snap, a defensive player moves and an offensive player reacts, which officials must have a conference and why?
Answer: The umpire and wing officials must have a conference in this case, in order to determine if the defensive player for was in the neutral zone and if the offensive player was threatened. (M-19-1-b-8)




Contact for details


September 26th (Sat)


November 8th (Sun)

BUCS season begins

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: