BAFRA Newsflash

Issue: 27/15

31st July 2015


As was reported in Newsflash 24/15, BAFRA recently lost Pete Johnson to leukaemia. On behalf of the BAFRA board, I attended his funeral service last week. As an alternative to floral tributes, his family set up a just giving page. Individual members who knew him may wish to use it. The donations go to the Leukaemia Cancer Society. The page can be found here

At the most recent BAFRA Board meeting, members of the Board spoke warmly about Pete as a person, an official and for the contributions he had made to the Board during his time as Director of Operations, including the introduction of the use of the ARBITER system. The Board agreed unanimously to retire his membership number #166 as a mark of respect.

Steve Tonkinson



The BAFRA Selection Committee will meet shortly to assign crews to all the following Bowl Games:

In addition officials will be requested to be available to work on the Contact Finals Event at Doncaster which precedes the Under 19 Bowl Final on 12th September. It is therefore most important that you update Arbiter for these dates in order that the Committee can select only from officials who will definitely be available for these games.

Richard Vernon


The next development clinic will be on 15th August 2015 in Bradford, from 10:00 until 15:00. We have run these clinics in the past with great success and received good feedback, they are aimed at officials who have less than 5 years experience but all are welcome and attendance will assist with progress through the BAFRA Development Programme.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided so I need to know final numbers very soon. Please contact to register for the clinic.

Pete Thom


All expenses have been paid over £10.

BAFRA expects officials travelling to a game from the same area to travel in same vehicle. If you do not wish to travel with other officials you should not claim. On one week recently we have been charged about £100 in expenses for four people claiming at same game, when in one case three travelled from same post code. There must be somewhere you can meet up.

I am monitoring this and the referee will be asked why so many people have claimed. It is therefore important that you let the referee know why you have claimed separately from other officials. If there is a reason why you have to travel separately you can let me know.

I have paid the Merseyside and Bristol games.

Charlie Dean Young









New this week

Jordan Weatherill


East Kent Mavericks



Player made forcible contact with their helmet/shoulder pad to the head area of the ball carrier who was in the grasp of other defensive players and whose forward progress had also been stopped.

02/08/15 v Solent Thrashers

Previous weeks

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

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





New this week

Tamworth Phoenix

Hash marks at inbounds lines had completely washed away prior to game - field markings faint at sideline. Changing rooms just adequate for four man crew, but as five is norm, and we were seven, quite small and a long distance from the field. Officials assistants slow and inattentive despite long briefing from HL prior to game. Improved in second half following change of down box operator. Plaudits to both teams for a see-saw game worthy of its Premier status and undecided until the final seconds.

Mike Cavanagh #465


Manchester Titans

90 yard field with some sanded areas was well marked in Blue with missing limit lines and the Sideline Hashes were only 4" long. Apart from that it was very good.

Chris Jarvis #10


Northumberland Lightning

No limit lines,no 9 yard marks. Field incorrectly marked at one end with hash marks extending into the endzone, this due to a miscalculation on the length the field was going to be.90 yard field with 10 yard endzones. Team area marked between the 30 yard lines. One ball person changed at half time.

David Hewitt #607


Colchester Gladiators

Sideline extension hashes were incomplete at one end of the field, other lines were faint in parts but held up well and remained visible throughout the game despite the poor weather. Two stoppages to repair the chain set. One ball needed to be inflated a couple of times during the game. Game held up by 20 minutes due to late arrival of East Kent players and no roster being available, delay penalty was enforced on the opening kickoff.

Phil Clarke #262

02/08/15 v Farnham Knights

Carlisle Sentinels

Field is 80 yards in length, the 3-yard PAT line is on the 2-yard line at one end of the field. Some hashmarks not aligned perfectly but a good surface despite the weather. Facilities and hospitality showed by GM excellent.

A G Miller #124

09/08/15 v Walney Terriers

Wembley Stallions

Due to a player being injured and the ambulance being required to transport him to hospital, with 6 minutes of the 4th Q remaining and the clock being a running clock the head coaches and the referee agreed to shorten the 4th Q to 0 minutes and the game was declared finished

Keith Wickham #423


Merseyside Nighthawks

Well marked 90-yard field, however 9-yard marks were not present, the mark for the extra point/two point conversion was at the two yard line instead of the three and team areas were not marked.

Paul Todd #289


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

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

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

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: 1st and 10 for Team A at the Team A 4 yard line. Lineman B90 is caught offside at the snap. Quarterback A4 takes the snap in the pocket and drops back into the endzone, realising that B90 has been drawn offside decides to throw the ball towards the sidelines where no Team A eligible receiver is in a position to catch the ball. The ball lands on the ground incomplete at the Team A 2 yard line. A4 was under no pressure when he threw the ball. Ruling?

Last 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?

Ruling: Try is good, team A score 2 points. The ball never crossed the line of scrimmage, therefore the ball can be recovered and advanced by either team.


New this week

Game Situation: 2nd and 10 at team A's 23 yard line. Quarterback A6 drops back to pass the ball. As A6 begins to pass the ball at the 15 yard line, he is contacted by B78. A6 continues with his throwing action and releases the ball. The ball lands on the ground on team A's 20 yard line. There are no receivers in the area where the ball landed. It is not clear who the Quarterback was trying to throw the ball to before he was contacted.
Answer next issue...

Last week

Play: On a 3 man crew, which officials have the forward progress of the kick returner?
Answer: The Linesman sets up in his normal position, with the Linejudge on the pressbox sideline on team A's restraining line. The Referee sets up deep in the middle of the field. The wing officials have responsibility for their entire sidelines and must rule on the ball carrier's forward progress.




Contact for details


September 26th (Sat)


October 31st (Sat)

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: