BAFRA Newsflash

Issue: 45/15

10th December 2015


Thank you to the 121 members who took the time to complete the annual survey this year. As always, the Board, both collectively and individually, finds the ideas and feedback helpful and it is used to help inform policy over the months ahead. Details of the responses to this year’s survey may be found in the member’s area of the website at:

Paul Sutton


After a gap of some 20 years, the Directors have agreed to re-institute some officiating awards to be presented at the Convention each year. It is intended that there shall be two such awards. Firstly for the “Official of the Year”. It will be open to any member to make a nomination for this award and the Selection Committee will make their choice from those nominated.

The other is an award for the Upcoming New Official of the Year. This will be called the Alan Wilson Award in honour of the memory of Alan who so sadly passed away this September. It will be open only to new officials who have qualified in the two calendar years prior to the Convention. The five (or slightly more if the scores are very close) with the highest scores on the Selection Committee Spreadsheet will be considered by the Selection Committee who will make the final choice.

Full details of the criteria for both awards will be published on the website and details of how to make nominations for the Official of the Year will appear in the first Newsflash of the New Year.

Paul Sutton


Derby Braves 20-31 Durham Saints

Loughborough Students 22-6 Hallam Warriors

Hertfordshire Hurricanes 37-0 Imperial Immortals

Bath Killer Bees 9-27 Birmingham Lions

Northumbria Mustangs 7-14 (2OT) Newcastle Raiders

Huddersfield Hawks 6-64 UCLan Rams

Nottingham Outlaws 32-34 Warwick Wolves

Nottingham Outlaws 60-6 Staffordshire Stallions

Worcester Royals 0-14 NTU Renegades

Tarannau Aberystwyth 0-54 Swansea Titans

Exeter Demons 0-27 Cardiff Cobras

Reading Knights 18-20 Solent Redhawks

Surrey Stingers 7-0 KCL Regents

Brighton Tsunami 9-2 Kent Falcons

UEA Pirates 6-36 Sussex Saxons

Edinburgh Predators 6-19 Edinburgh Napier Knights

Liverpool Raptors 26-14 Keele Crusaders

Bangor Muddogs 8-19 LJMU Fury

Manchester Tyrants 27-6 York Centurions

Leeds Celtics 8-14 Bradford Bears

Leicester Longhorns 0-6 DMU Falcons

Lincoln Colonials 14-12 Northampton Nemesis

Gloucestershire Gladiators 51-12 Bath Spa Bulldogs

Bournemouth Bobcats 0-18 Plymouth Blitz

Southampton Stags 0-34 Brunel Burners

Chichester Spitfires 7-26 Portsmouth Destroyers

UEL Titans 15-8 LSBU Spartans

ARU Rhinos 0-9 Essex Blades









New this week

Emmanuel Fasanya


Keele Crusaders



After being tackled, the player kicked an opponent in the head.

13/12/15 v Bangor Muddogs

Anthony Montanez


Northumbria Mustangs



Player clipped an opponent who had given up on the play and was trailing behind the ball by a considerable distance.

31/01/16 v Sunderland Spartans

Previous weeks

Jamal Ennis-Melhado


Edge Hill Vikings



After the play was over the player was seen to throw punches at LJM #5

24/01/16 v Bangor Muddogs

Mark Martin


LJM Fury



Player was seen to throw punches at Edge Hill #52 after the play was over

06/12/15 v Bangor Muddogs

Thomas Lachendro


Glasgow Tigers



During a punt return #98 launched himself into an opponent, contacting the opponent on the helmet with the crown of his own helmet.

24/01/16 v Sunderland Spartans





New this week

UEL Titans

Field had been remarked since the double header the previous week. Except the inbounds hash marks. These were very faint and missing in places. Field only 80 yards in length. Game balls all very worn and under inflated. Only four pylons, placed the intersection of the goal lines and sidelines. Changing rooms not lockable and a long way from the field. The crew had to leave all belongings at the side of the field.

Steve Leonard #370

31/01/16 v Westminster Dragons

Manchester Tyrants

90 yard field, well-marked apart from missing 3-yard PAT lines.

Ady Miller #124

07/02/16 v MMU Eagles

Tarannau Aberystwyth

Due to heavy overnight rain, many of the field marking had become faint, although still playable. One ballboy was changed at half time.

Amir Brooks #593

21/02/16 v Exeter Demons

Brighton Tsunami

Well marked field in blue with other sport markings in yellow & white. Goals lashed to the surrounding fence set back about 2 yards from the end line. Team areas marked out with cones.5 minute delays at the start of each half for identifying and training officials' assistants.

Tim Ockendon #481

31/01/16 v Cambridge Pythons

Bangor Muddogs

90 yard AstroTurf field which was well marked the night before the game but the incessant rain overnight had washed the lines so they were a little faint. Officially this was a Bangor home game and credit should be given to LJMU for organising another early kickoff at short notice to accommodate at their home venue.

Lee Taylor #183

24/01/16 v Edge Hill Vikings

Liverpool Raptors

As the game kicked off at 15:00 the light was fading and the yellow lines on a green AstroTurf field faded significantly during the game to the point they were almost invisible. The overnight rain played a major part in this. Team and coaching areas not marked

Lee Taylor #183

31/01/16 v LJM Fury

Huddersfield Hawks

On this day all damp and dreary, A couple of things we could not see clearly, No players box even marked with cones No 3 yard mark near the endzones. Whilst in the pregame of a crew of four, There came a rapping, tapping at the changing room door, The Headcoach said to his dismay, "the KO will be late due to an field admin delay" "Also" he added "upon half the field the markings ain’t" "We have sent out guys to buy more paint" Only this and nothing more quoth the white Hat "Nevermore" After an hour's wait the game went ahead, and with something that should be said - the field was well marked and nothing in red. So finally the game went fore, only this and nothing more.

John Roberts #145

13/12/15 v Leeds Carnegie

Nottingham Outlaws

No posts, field otherwise well marked.

Jed Brookes-Lewis #395

20/02/16 v Worcester Royals

Gloucester Gladiators

Ball persons very slow. Plaudits to Gloucestershire for rearranging fixture to new venue and marking the field well at short notice.

Jed Brookes-Lewis #395

31/01/16 v Plymouth Blitz

Edinburgh Predators

No limit line, no team box or coaching area marked

Henry Richardson #25

Chichester Spitfires

3 game balls supplied were all under-inflated and had to be returned. Field marked in blue into grass, hash marks in the centre of the field were in the incorrect positions (too wide apart - approximately 51 feet) crew decided to place the ball inside the hash marks to where they should have been. 9 yard marks were only 7 yards from the sidelines. No team areas marked, some small cones marked the team areas. Chain crew changed during the game, without informing the HL, suddenly the ball boys was holding the front stake in the 4th quarter. Chain crew member smoking. Good chaining room which were locked during the game but door could have been climbed over so not as secure as would have liked. Members of the university entered the chaining room prior to the crew being finished (changing rooms normally public changing rooms). Crew not paid by the team. Game played in a good spirit, however was getting very dark towards the end of the 4th quarter so suggestion that the KO time is moved forward for future games

David Knight #135

13/12/15 v BNU Buccaneers

Leeds Celtics

Game started 15 minutes late due to the lack of medical cover. The field was uneven and extremely muddy in places.

Aminul Hassan #534

31/01/16 v York Centurions

Hertfordshire Hurricanes

The field looked like it had been marked as a 100-yard field with 5-yard end zones, but was laid out as a 90-yard field with 10-yard end zones, meaning there was an additional line all the way across the field in the middle of the end zone, and there were sideline hashes marked for 5 yards in both end zones at both sidelines. The coaching boxes and team areas were marked with collapsible cones.

Pete Parsons #321

31/01/16 v Kingston Cougars

UEA Pirates

Chain crew and 1 ball person changed at half time.

Larry Rigby #269

24/01/16 v Brighton Tsunami

Outstanding items from previous weeks

City Sentinels

80 yard pitch, very muddy, lying water in places

Larry Rigby #269

14/02/16 v LSBU Spartans

Brunel Burners

The main lines on the field were marked in blue, with the hash marks at the sideline marked in red. There were no hashmarks in the middle of the field, nor were there any numbers or nine-yard marks. The team areas were marked to the 23-yard line in each direction. The officials assistants were provided very late and there were multiple changes made to the chain crew. Initially, only two useable footballs were provided. The goal posts were 1 yard behind the end line. Changing rooms were not lockable.

Pete Parsons #321

24/01/16 v Portsmouth Destroyers

Edge Hill Vikings

No coaches or player boxes marked. Pitch was marked in yellow paint which on a grass field deteriorated as the game went on.

We should have known it was not going to be the best of days when on route to do a pitch inspection prior to the game the referee slipped and fell over in what was already a marsh at the back of the endzone, I am sure there was someone duck hunting back there during the game.

Plaudits should be given to coaches, players and staff from both teams for managing to arrange the fixture as a 10:30 kickoff and to accommodate the officials covering a later fixture at a different venue on the same day. Then kickoff was delayed by 50 minutes as the medical coverage had broken down and did not arrive until late, a member of the LJM coaching staff stepped up to cover so the game could start within the 60 minute time limit allowed by rule. I must also thank the rest of the BAFRA crew who turned out to officiate the game in the absolute worst conditions I have ever taken the field in.

Lee Taylor #183

31/01/16 v Keele Crusaders

Coventry Jets

80 yard field marked in red on a rugby pitch, no team areas formally marked but adapted other markings instead.

Richard Whitby #136

24/01/16 v Leicester Longhorns

Solent Redhawks

Crossbars on the goals are not on the endline - slightly overhang into the endzone. Field markings are yellow and become invisible when the sun reflects at a certain angle, but are visible under normal circumstances. Game management should be applauded for ensuring the availability of chain crew and ball boys prior to the game. Chain crew all first time crew members and were excellent.

David Knight #135

24/01/16 v Surrey Stingers

Sussex Saxons

Game started 5 minutes late because we were again awaiting for the team to provide chain crew and ball boys. Field well marked but was very muddy by the end of the game and lines began to disappear. Both teams conducted themselves very professionally and are a credit to the league - just wish we could get these game management provide the assistance issues sorted

David Knight #135

07/02/16 v Brighton Tsunami

Kingston Cougars

Well marked field missing 3 yard marks and with numbers at incorrect depth. Team areas marked with cones. Goals had been blown perpendicular to the end line by strong winds. Plaudits to game management for their simple and effective solution. Balls supplied were all under inflated. Problems with rectifying this and supplying officials' assistants lead to the KO being delayed by 10 minutes.

Tim Ockendon #481

13/12/15 v Imperial Immortals

LSBU Spartans

Game kicked of at 13;40 and was reduced to 10 minute quarters, field marking disappeared fast as was 2nd game on field, crew persevered and it was a very hard fought game.

Larry Rigby #269

31/01/16 v City Sentinels

Sheffield Sabres

Field of play 80 yards - no formal team areas marked but other marking utilised.

Richard Whitby #133

13/12/15 v UCH Sharks

Leicester Longhorns

NFL hash marks, no team areas, no nine yard marks.

Pete Thom #200

22/11/15 v Lincoln Colonials

LJM Fury

Lines are painted in yellow. Three-yard mark is on the two yard line. Team areas were marked with cones.

Aminul Hassan #534

13/12/15 v Liverpool Raptors

Gloucester Gladiators

Gloucester changed the venue on Friday due to their normal pitch being waterlogged. The changing room for teams and officials was locked and the person with the key never showed. Therefore, the officials changed in the toilets at the ASDA across the road. Start of game delayed 40 minutes due to late arrival of Bournemouth. The field was 80 yards long, marked in red with no hashmarks on the sidelines. However full credit to Gloucester for getting the field looking as good as it did with the time they had.

Mike LeFevre #341

06/12/15 v Bath Spa Bulldogs

Westminster Dragons

The crew was not notified of a change of venue. Four of the 5 crew arrived at the venue in good time to find that nobody was there. We contacted Operations and were able to discover the actual venue, East London Rugby Club, which is the likely future location of Westminster's home games. The Referee was being forced to travel to the game by rail replacement bus. He was unable to travel to the new venue in any kind of reasonable time, and the game was officiated by a crew of 4. The game kicked off an hour late after the crew made their way to the new venue. The field currently in use at East London RFC is not either of the three rugby pitches. (Crews should still change in the rugby club changing area.) It is a re-purposed soccer field located behind the five-a-side cage. It is 80 yards with soccer goalposts, which were appropriately padded. It was marked on the morning of the game to a creditably high standard. No team areas, and one sideline was slightly uneven. One of the end zones was considerably larger than the other, although both were of legal size. Both head coaches agreed to play all downs in the direction of the larger end zone and to play without field goals. The home team provided only two footballs. Chain crew extremely slow. The Westminster head coach told us that the team will be significantly revising its game management procedures before its next home game.

Alan Dobson #308

24/01/16 v LSBU Spartans

Durham Saints

Prior to the game, Stirling were asked if they could change their white fade jerseys, due to the design, the numbers on the jerseys are difficult to see. The game was played without goal posts. With 8.56 remaining in the game, there was a lengthy delay as a Durham player had a severe injury, after 30 minutes, there were a few discussions taking place and Durham decided to call the game. Plaudits to Stirling for the assistance they provided when the player was down injured.

Liam Wooton #478

31/01/16 v Derby Braves

Bradford Bears

90 yard field. Field markings faint due to heavy rain. No 9 yard marks, 3 yard marks or limit lines. Hash marks in the centre of the field were incomplete. Field surface was extremely wet and boggy due to 24 hours of heavy rain leading up to the game. This meant that the 2nd half was played in ankle deep mud. Plaudits to both sets of players for playing in atrocious weather with good humour and sportsmanship.

David Hewitt #607

17/01/16 v York Centurions

NTU Renegades

The start was delayed by 45 minutes waiting for the medical cover to arrive so quarters were reduced to 10 minutes. With less than 5 minutes to play in the third quarter, there was a 50 minute delay to treat an injured player, on the first play after resuming the game there was another serious injury where a second ambulance was called. It was clear that the game would not re-start before sunset so with the agreement of both coaches the game was abandoned.

Pete Thom #200

07/02/16 v Staffordshire Stallions

Portsmouth Destroyers

Field markings in yellow, otherwise markings in white. Field is 90 yards with line 5 yards in one of the ends zones with side line hash marks. Field surface extremely muddy in places.

CK Nam #586

31/01/16 v BNU Buccaneers

KCL Regents

80-yard field marked in red with rugby markings in white. Main lines found to be >5 yards apart so the chains were definitive. Inbounds lines unevenly spaced and missing in places. No team area markings but partially marked out with cones. KO delayed by 10 minutes due to late arrival of medical cover.

Tim Ockendon #481

31/01/16 v Surrey Stingers



New this week

Play: A's ball, 4th and 11, on Team B's 43 yard line. Quarterback A17 takes the snap and places the ball on the ground at the Team B 46 yard line. A68 turns and then picks up the ball and advances to Team B's 27 yard line.

Last week

Play: 4th and 10 at the Team A 40 yard line. Team A line up to punt, A23 is in illegal motion at the snap. A4's punt is blocked behind the line of scrimmage and never crosses the line of scrimmage, A4 then recovers the ball and advances is beyond the line of scrimmage to the Team A 42 yard line, where he punts the ball. The ball is then muffed by B20 at the Team B 20 yard line and recovered by A23 at the Team B 25 yard line. Ruling?

Ruling: The ball is dead as soon as it is kicked beyond the line of scrimmage by A4 (6-3-10-c), all action after this with a dead ball. Though it is legal for Team A to attempt a second kick after the first is blocked, it is illegal to kick the ball beyond the line of scrimmage. Team B will decline the penalty for A23's illegal motion, and accept the penalty for A4's illegal kick, 5 yards from the previous spot (note – NOT the spot of the foul, hence this is different to an illegal forward pass 7-3-2-a) and loss of down. Team B will get the ball at the Team A 35 yard line, the clock will start on the snap (3-3-2-d-10).


New this week

Game Situation: 1st and 10 for Team A on the Team A 20 yard line, a 4-man crew are covering the game. Team A run a draw play and catch out the entire defence as well as the two wing officials. Running back A23 vanishes into the pile, and then emerges from the other side with only Free Safety B20 chasing him down. A23 runs towards the sideline and the Team B endzone, with the wing official on his side of the field trailing behind. B20 tackles A23 in the field of play very close to the pylon, and then out of bounds with the pylon being displaced during the action. It is unclear if a touchdown has been scored. What should the officials do?
Answer next issue...

Last week

Play: Team A run a sweep to the left of their line. The Linejudge is positioned on the wing to the right of the line of scrimmage, he flags right tackle A75 for holding. When reporting the foul to the Referee the Umpire points out that the hold probably didn't effect the play, and that by rules interpretation shouldn't be a foul. How should the crew resolve this situation?
Answer: M-3-1-5, If a flag is thrown for a foul where these principles indicate that it should not have been, the penalty should still be enforced. Never wave a flag off, once thrown, if it signifies a foul by rule. In this instance, although not all the conditions of M-3-3-1-a (offensive holding) are met, the hold is a foul by rule and should be enforced. The crew should take time to discuss M-3-3-1-a at half time or in the post game as appropriate.




Contact for details


February 16th (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

April 2nd and 3rd

BAFRA Annual Convention & AGM

May 7th (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

July 23rd (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

19th November (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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Deadline for articles submitted by email ( is midnight Tuesday.

Editor: Dean Wright - Email: