BAFRA Newsflash

Issue: 04/16

28th January 2016


We are noticing that teams are starting to schedule midweek games to make up for a fixture backlog. Requests for officials to cover such games will not be assigned via the Arbiter system.

Instead I will write to officials nearby to the venue of the fixture with the game details. I understand that many of you will not be available for these games but I want to include everyone in the area.

When you receive such a request just let me know if you can/cannot cover the game. This will enable us to tell the teams concerned if we can assist.

Richard Vernon


In order to know whether officials are able to cover games we regularly send out a ‘polite reminder’ on a Monday or Tuesday to officials who are yet to accept their assignments on Arbiter. The purpose of this is simply to help us understand who is able/unable to cover their game the following Sunday. Clearly we need to tell teams at the earliest opportunity if we can no longer cover a game. If you receive such a message please don’t be offended as it is merely sent to help both Operations and officials know about game arrangements at the weekend. Your patience with this is much appreciated.

Richard Vernon


Loughborough Students 2-6 Derby Braves

Glasgow Tigers 12-0 Sunderland Spartans

UCLan Rams 31-0 Sheffield Sabres

Staffordshire Stallions 0-39 Nottingham

Solent Redhawks 34-48 Surrey Stingers

RHUL Bears 35-12 Reading Knights

UEA Pirates 6-14 Brighton Tsunami

Teesside Cougars 0-8 Edinburgh Predators

LJMU Fury 28-8 Keele Crusaders

York Centurions 34-6 Bradford Bears

DMU Falcons 20-6 Northampton Nemesis

Coventry Jets 7-6 Leicester Longhorns

Brunel Burners 0-34 Portsmouth Destroyers

Canterbury Chargers 48-0 Essex Blades









New this week

Anthony Morrison


Northampton Nemesis



Player picked up the runner and head slammed him into the ground.

31/01/16 v Coventry Jets

Newman Poku


Canterbury Chargers



Player head-butted an opponent after a play.

31/01/16 v ARU Rhinos

Tony Ledger


Portsmouth Destroyers



Headbutted an opponent after a dead-ball confrontation.

31/01/16 v BNU Buccaneers

Samuel Udoh


Brunel Burners



Committed two unsportsmanlike fouls in Q3. Ran into a confrontation between players and inflamed the situation; then a few plays later, aggressively confronted opposition players in their team area.

31/01/16 v Chichester Spitfires

Yu-joe Bunting


UCLan Rams



After a play was over, the player head-butted an opponent.

07/02/16 v Huddersfield Hawks

Previous weeks

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





New this week

Glasgow Tigers

Team areas not marked out, resulting in having to warn teams multiple times to move back.

Shawn Sombati #15


LJM Fury

Team areas were not marked, both teams used cones and were well disciplined. The hashmarks while generally the correct width apart did snake along the length of the field and in some cases the inside edge of one was near the outside edge of a previous one. The 10 yard lines were not all 10 yards apart although some did match the length of the chains others did not, it was decided that the chains would be used for correct down and distance.

Lee Taylor #183

21/02/16 v Bangor Muddogs

UCLan Rams

90 yard field with divots in areas. Game Management were asked to fill the dangerous ones prior to kick off.

Adrian Miller #124

07/02/16 v Huddersfield Hawks

Brunel Burners

Field marked in dark blue. No private toilet. 4 balls were given to us; 3 were very worn and one was not leather.

Alan Dobson #308

21/02/16 v Southampton Stags

UEA Pirates

Team area marked between the 35 yard lines

John Griffin #598

07/02/16 v Cambridge Pythons

York Centurions

90 yard field. No limit lines. No three yard mark. Red lines on grass field. No legal balls provided by either team, ended up playing with two composite balls as those were the best on offer from either team.

Dan Holt #371

21/02/16 v Manchester Tyrants

Staffordshire Stallions

Field was not standard width.

Ian Wainwright #567

31/01/16 v NTU Renegades

DMU Falcons

The officials changing room was a ladies shower room fit for a maximum of two people.

Pete Thom #200

21/02/16 v Leicester Longhorns

Coventry Jets

Hash marks missing in places, no team areas, numbers too close to sideline.

Jed Brookes-Lewis #395

14/02/16 v Northampton Nemesis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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: A82 does not commit an illegal touching violation since B29 previously touched the ball after the kick crossed the neutral zone. A muff does not add new impetus unless the ball is at rest. A kick declared dead in joint possession is awarded to the receiving team. The impetus came from the punt. Touchback. B's ball on B's 20, 1st and 10. The clock starts on the snap.

Last 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.

Ruling: A82 does not commit an illegal touching violation since B29 previously touched the ball after the kick crossed the neutral zone. A muff does not add new impetus unless the ball is at rest. A kick declared dead in joint possession is awarded to the receiving team. The impetus came from the punt. Touchback. B's ball on B's 20, 1st and 10. The clock starts on the snap.


New this week

Game Situation: Key systems. How much time should an official spend following his key after a play has began, and one that time has elapsed, how should the official direct his attention to best cover downfield players on a developing pass play?
Answer next issue...

Last week

Play: 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: Rule 7-1-5-a-3 states “No player shall use words or signals that disconcert opponents when they are preparing to put the ball in play. No player may call defensive signals that simulate the sound or cadence of (or otherwise interfere with) offensive starting signals.” Mechanics Manual 6-1-18 states that when in doubt: “defensive signals are legal”. There should be no doubt in the mind of the official that a defensive signal is disconcerting. In this situation there is a doubt and so no foul should be called. The Umpire should continue to monitor the situation though, and be prepared to throw a flag if B54 starts using his calls to deliberately upset the snap count.




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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Editor: Dean Wright - Email: