BAFRA Newsflash

Issue: 03/16

21st January 2016


In last week's issue members were warned about a possible Arbiter scam. The letter that was sent to BAFRA from arbiter was missed out of the article, it is now printed here:

Dear Richard,

ArbiterPay recently became aware of an effort to entice officials to register for a false ArbiterPay account. We want to arm you with information you can use to protect yourself from this type of scam. We also ask that you report suspicious activity of this nature to our support staff immediately.

You may receive an email that appears to come from your assigner. The email asks you to sign up for an ArbiterPay account on a website other than During the signup process, you will be asked to pay $18.50.

Please make sure that any email requesting that you create an ArbiterPay account actually came from your assigner. Signing up for an ArbiterPay account is free, and you can only sign up for a legitimate account at

Thank you for your help and vigilance,

ArbiterSports Support”

Richard Vernon


The following teams are pre-paid:

Aberystwyth, ARU, Bath, Bath Spa, Birmingham, Bradford, Brighton, Bristol, Bournemouth, Brunel, Buckingham, Cambridge, Cardiff, Chichester, City, Coventry, Derby, Edge Hill, Exeter, Gloucester, Greenwich, Glasgow, Hertfordshire, Imperial, Kings, Kingston, John Moore, Liverpool, Leicester, Leeds, Leeds Beckett, Kent, Lincoln, Loughborough, Manchester Metro, Newcastle, Northumbria, Northampton, Nottingham Trent, Portsmouth, Reading, Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam, Solent, Southampton, Staffordshire, Stirling, Sussex, Surrey, Teeside, UCLAN, UEA, UEL, UWE, UWS

Nottingham and Worcester have prepaid but have played all home games.

Charlie Dean Young


A further reminder following last week’s Newsflash.

We now invite nominations for this award for the Official of the Year 2015. It is open to any member to make a nomination and all nominations will be considered by the Selection Committee. If you wish to make a nomination, you should e-mail me with the name of the person you wish to nominate (who must be a current member) and details in not more than 250 words as to why you believe that person should receive the award. I will collate the entries and send them to the Selection Committee via its chair for their consideration.

The closing date for nominations is 5:00pm on Sunday 7th February 2016. The award will be made at the 2016 Convention.

Paul Sutton


This is an advanced notice that this year’s AGM will be held at 5:00pm on 2nd April 2016 at the Yarnfield Park Training and Conference Centre in Staffordshire as part of the Convention. All members are invited to attend and formal notification of the meeting, agenda and requests for advanced notice of questions will be sent out nearer the time.

As always, a proportion of the director posts are due for election at the meeting. This year these are: President, General Secretary, Director of Training and Director without Portfolio #1. Nomination papers for all of these posts will be sent out electronically to all qualified members by 13th February. As always, prior to that I will publish details of whether each of the present incumbents is intending to seek re-election or not. The directors encourage members to put themselves forward for these important roles

Paul Sutton









New this week – none

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

Emmanuel Samuel


UEL Titans



Aimed a kick at a prone opponent after the play was over.

31/01/16 v Westminster Dragons

Ben Abbott


Greenwich Mariners



Committed two separate unsportsmanlike acts after the play was over; the first against an official and the second against the opposition sideline.

07/02/16 v City Sentinels

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

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

Keele Crusaders

This was technically a Keele Home game but it was played at LJMU home field. Upon arrival no markings of any kind were present, depending on who you asked either they’d been washed away by the snow or the snow had prevented the ground staff from marking the field. In order to allow the ground staff extra time to mark the field, the teams agreed to move kick-off back by 30 minutes to 1430. The hash marks weren't always 1 yard apart and the 5 yard lines weren’t always 5 yards apart. There were only short yard extension lines on one sideline. There we no numbers or nine yard marks. There were no team area markings however the teams marked out team areas using cones. The home team marked out their team area with non-collapsible cones, however the officials found some safer cones to use and replaced the non-collapsible cones themselves. The chain set and down box broke on numerous occasions throughout the game, causing a significant number of stoppages. The official home team only provided 3 assistants for the chain crew and no-ball persons. The actual home team provided 2 ball-persons. All officials assistants were provided less than 15 minutes prior to the delayed kick-off time The crew were not paid and should have been.

Ben Griffiths #228

07/02/16 v Liverpool Raptors

Outstanding items from previous weeks

Worcester Royals

Changing room was a toilet block. Officials arrived in uniform.

Mike LeFevre #341

31/01/16 v Nottingham Outlaws

Chichester Spitfires

Hash marks in the middle were marked too far apart, crew decided to place the ball inside the hash marks in the correct position. Team areas were marked with cones only and the crew had to move these from the 20 yard line to the correct position. Score required a switch to a running clock with only 15 seconds left in the game. Chain crew much better than previous week and did an excellent job

David Knight #135

31/01/16 v Brunel Burners

Sheffield Sabres

Field of play was 80 yards in length. American Football markings in Red with other sport markings in white that were within 4 feet of various endzone lines. No team area markings. No towels provided for Ball-persons. The kick-off was delayed for 18 minutes while awaiting the required medical cover to arrive.

Ben Griffiths #228

07/02/16 v Leeds Carnegie

Greenwich Mariners

Played at Mission Field, Southwood site, Avery Hill campus. Well marked 100-yard field only missing numbers & 3-yard marks and with coaching line at incorrect distance. 15 minute delay to KO caused by issues recruiting officials' assistants. Crew used different changing room in the dome, to which there were no problems with access after the game.

Tim Ockendon #481

07/02/16 v City Sentinels

DMU Falcons

All lines were there but were made faint by the rain. Game management re-marked major lines prior to kick off. team area were unmarked

Brian Yates #31

24/01/16 v Northampton Nemesis

Huddersfield Hawks

90 yard field. No nine yard marks. No 3 yard mark. Team areas not marked out. No limit lines. No goal posts. One member of chain crew was replaced at half time, sadly the new recruit was inferior to the person that he replaced.

Dan Holt #371

14/02/16 v Sheffield Sabres

Plymouth Blitz

No sideline marks, Game management advised as to minimum requirements. They normally mark them but were unable to due to rain whilst marking 3G Field with water soluble paint. Plus NO posts so PAT2 only.

Albert Lambert #461

07/02/16 v Bournemouth Bobcats

Hertfordshire Hurricanes

Team areas marked with cones, additional lines in both end zones.

Pete Thom #200

31/01/16 v Kingston Cougars

LJM Fury

The last game of the season to Merseyside of course we saw LJMU Fury v Liverpool Raptors. Three balls were presented but one it was flat. The lines had been painted and now could be seen, though still not the best being yellow on green. For major penalties, this game we had none. We started at 1 and finished at 3, with the ball held high by the referee. So all that remains after 41 games is to thank you all, just too many names.

Lee Taylor #183

24/01/16 v Keele Crusaders

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

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

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

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

City Sentinels

80 yard pitch, very muddy, lying water in places

Larry Rigby #269

14/02/16 v LSBU Spartans

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

UEA Pirates

Chain crew and 1 ball person changed at half time.

Larry Rigby #269

24/01/16 v Brighton Tsunami

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 on the 50, 4th and 15. B29 signals for a fair catch on Team B's 10 yard line, but steps away from the ball and lets it bounce next to him. However, the ball bounces sideways and touches B29 on the leg at Team B's 10 yard line. A82 tries to recover the rolling ball but muffs it at Team B's 6 yard line and the ball rolls into B's end zone where B66 and A74 simultaneously recover the ball.

Last week

Play: A's ball, 4th and 12, on A's 38. A9's punt is blocked. A9 then kicks the grounded ball at A's 32. B45 recovers the ball on A's 49 and advances to A's 31.

Ruling: B45 legally advances a scrimmage kick. The second kick by A9 is illegal kicking (9-4-4). Team B will accept the penalty. The 10-yard penalty is enforced from the spot of the foul and carries a loss of down. B's ball, 1st and 10, on A's 22.


New this week

Game Situation: After having a false start called against him, snapper A67 complains to the Umpire that the defensive signals are interfering with the snap count. On the next play the Umpire listens carefully to the defensive calls being made by linebacker B54. Though his calls are loud and some of them are being called out during the QB's cadence, they do not appear to be simulating the QB's signals. How should the Umpire approach this situation?
Answer next issue...

Last week

Play: On a 7 man crew the Sidejudge is covering receiver A88 who is running a post pattern directly towards him. Just as Quarterback A5 releases a pass towards A80 who is running a different route on the other side of the field, defensive back B20 holds A88 and restricts his movement for several seconds. Ruling?
Answer: Though everywhere is considered the point of attack on a pass play before the pass is thrown, as soon as the ball is thrown holding should only be called against defenders who either illegally obstruct an offensive player from making a lead block (MM 3-3-2-f). Once the ball has been thrown to the other side of the field, defensive holding should not be thrown unless it is a clear attempt to restrict a player as above (MM 3-3-2-g). In this case, the Sidejudge should most likely not call B20 for holding, unless the play comes towards his side of the field and B20's restriction prevents A88 from blocking.




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.

All Incident Reports to be submitted via

Deadline for articles submitted by email ( is midnight Tuesday.

Editor: Dean Wright - Email: