BAFRA Newsflash

Issue: 05/16

4th February 2016


I can now confirm our Annual Convention and Training weekend will take place on the above weekend. As such there will be plenty of details and information appearing in Newsflash over the coming weeks. Last year’s Convention was a bit of a landmark as we had just over 100 members attend. This is more Officials than we have available for games on any given Sunday.

Let’s keep the momentum going and make sure you keep up to date via Newsflash. Once again the BAFRA Board have put together a fantastic accommodation package as you will see below. We also intend providing lunch and an evening meal on the Saturday at no additional cost to our members.

Administrating the registration process and payments is quite time consuming now given our high attendance figures. As such I would request you register and make your room payments as early as possible

Guest Speaker

As previously announced, Bill LeMonnier will be the Guest of Honour and main speaker at the Convention. For our newer members, as well as Officiating in the Big Ten Conference for 20 years, LeMonnier has an impressive list of 20 Bowl assignments and numerous awards to his credit. In 2013 he was awarded the National Association of Sports Officials' Gold Whistle Award which recognises outstanding contributions of sports officials, referees and umpires beyond their officiating duties.


The Convention will be held at Yarnfield Park Training & Conference Centre, Yarnfield Lane, Yarnfield, Staffordshire, ST15 0NL. Yarnfield Park is a leading Training and Conference centre in the heart of the UK. I would recommend that you look over the facility on their website where you can also find details of the location and directions.


To register to attend the Convention, you need to send an email to Sean Welsh at I will be making up personalised Convention Packs, Presentation handouts, Game Film DVD, Programme of Events, Game Day Paperwork, etc. As such you do need to pre-register.


As mentioned above we are trying to make the Convention more accessible to everyone. This year we have again negotiated excellent rates for accommodation which are detailed below. In addition, the BAFRA Board has also agreed to provide some funding to keep down the costs. The rates indicated are per room and include all discounts and a full breakfast.

Remember, to take advantage of the above rates you must book your room with Sean at


Payment for Convention rooms are due by 20th March and payment can be made electronically or by cheque. If paying by cheque; full payment, should be made payable to BAFRA Ltd and sent to Charles Young at 18 Southgate, Whitworth, Rochdale, Lancashire, OL12 8UQ. Cheques may not be cashed till this date.

If using electronic payment; please ensure your payment reference is your full name and BAFRA number e.g. “Roger Brown 469” and use the account number 10255350, sort code 16-16-11, BAFRA Ltd, RBS, Cheetham Hill, Manchester.

It is appreciated that some people may wish to spread the cost and make multiple payments over the weeks leading up to 20th March. Members can set up an electronic payment plan in this insance. Please use the same instructions as above. If you wish to make multiple payments, then you must make the payments electronically and not by cheque.

Please let us know how you wish to pay by including this information in your email to Sean Welsh at when you register.

Game Fees

Unfortunately, payment for the Convention cannot be taken from Game Fees. The administration work involved is far too time consuming and does not fit well with our newly introduced process of paying games Fees by direct transfer to your bank account.

Friday Night

Last year 80 people stayed on the Friday night to save an early rise and travel on the Saturday morning. As such the above rates are available again for both the Friday and Saturday nights. As the event promises to be our biggest and best for a while I would recommend booking your room as early as possible. You can do this at the same time you register to attend.

Davie Parsons


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. All of the present incumbents have indicated they are intending to seek re-election except for the Director of Portfolio #1 who will be standing down after the AGM. The directors encourage all qualified members to consider putting themselves forward for one of the above roles (whether or not the existing incumbent is standing). Should any member considering standing require more information about any of the roles prior to submitting their nomination they should contact me, or if they prefer another director.

Nomination papers will be going out to all qualified members this weekend via e-mail. If you have not received yours by 5:00pm on Monday 8th February, please contact me. Accompanying these nomination forms will also be a form for the submission of a resolution to the AGM. Please note that resolutions should relate to the Articles of Association, the Memorandum of Association or the Regulations of the Company and are a legal device to permit BAFRA Limited, a Company Limited by Guarantee, to amend one of these three documents (all of which are publicly available in the Members’ Handbook.

There will, of course, be the opportunity for all members (not only qualified members) to ask questions of individual directors or the directors collectively about their areas of responsibility. Whilst prior notice is not required for such questions, it is helpful, in particular a detailed answer which may require research is required. Any questions may be submitted in advance to me or asked on the day. However, it is suggested that members wait until the papers for the meeting are published before submitting questions as they may find their questions are answered in one of the directors’ reports that will be available at least three weeks prior to the AGM.

Paul Sutton


Can all referees make sure they contact the home team of the game they are covering during the week before the game.

If you cannot make contact with the team let me know and I will try to assist. It is an important function of the referee to ensure game arrangements are transmitted to the other officials. Thanks for your help with this.

Richard Vernon


I have managed to further update the all-time list of members and it is available for viewing in the members’ area of the website at:

However, there remain a number of gaps where, for example, we have a member’s name but not their number or an initial (or nothing) instead of a first name. We are also aware that some former members are missing from the list. If anyone through their records (or memory) is able to fill in any of the missing blanks it would be appreciated. Please forward any missing details you may have to me to allow me to get the list more complete.

Paul Sutton


The Sapphire Series is the national championship for women’s contact football. The series, which runs from February to April, sees teams compete across a number of tournaments in the standard 5 v 5 format and now for the first time, the new BAFA 7 v 7 format. The 7 v 7 format will be used for the five Division 1 teams playing for the Sapphire National Championship; The nine Division 2 teams will compete at 5 v 5 format for the Div 2 North and South conference titles. The series runs with tournament-style game days at which 4 -5 teams will be present. There will be 4 tournament dates with 3 regional based tournaments taking part on each of these, so a total of 12 tournament events. Teams play two games each per day and tournaments are expected to last around three to three and a half hours. Officials can expect to officiate 2-3 games, all lasting between 45-60 minutes. Most events will start first games at 13:00 and will be finished by 16:30 latest. These are all Saturday events.

Dates, formats, times and venues for the first series of tournaments are as follows:

Saturday 27th February:

Future tournaments will be held at the following locations on these dates:

We will put all these events onto Arbiter but seek officials to contact us about their availability asap, especially for the first series of events on 27th February.

We are particularly seeking officials who are willing to be part of the introductory and development of the new 7 v 7 Format and ideally attend several of these events to help bed-in the rules and mechanics and provide feedback to the competition organisers and to other game officials. Please come-forward quickly to that we can provide copies of the game and competition rules for the new format ahead of game days. Officials will be paid a game fee for these assignments direct through BAFA/BAFRA.

There is very likely to be an event near you so please try to cover at least one of them. It will be a great learning experience for newer officials and a valuable contribution by all BAFRA officials to the development of BAFA's women's football programme.

Richard Vernon


A BAFA Appeals Committee has upheld an appeal by UCLan Rams against the disqualification of their player #64 Yu-Joe Bunting on 24th January. Mr Bunting can resume playing immediately.

Mr Bunting was disqualified for an alleged flagrant personal foul (FPF). Rule 2-10-1 defines: "A flagrant personal foul is a rule infraction so extreme or deliberate that it places an opponent in danger of catastrophic injury." The Committee reviewed video evidence of the incident that showed contact that fell far short of that standard and therefore that the rule was misapplied.

Officials are reminded of the need to report events accurately and proportionately, and to ensure that players are only disqualified for reasons laid down by rule.

Jim Briggs


Congratulations to Conrad Russell on completing all of the requirements necessary to become Qualified. Thanks to Mark Niven and all those who are helping with Conrads‘s training.

Pete Thom


Hallam Warriors 8-33 Stirling Clansmen

Durham Saints 28-26 Derby Braves

Hertfordshire Hurricanes 28-6 Kingston Cougars

Imperial Immortals 6-20 Birmingham Lions

Newcastle Raiders 47-0 Lancaster Bombers

Sunderland Spartans 12-22 Northumbria Mustangs

Hull Sharks 9-6 Sheffield Sabres

Leeds Beckett Carnegie 19-6 Huddersfield Hawks

Staffordshire Stallions 8-29 NTU Renegades

Worcester Royals 0-30 Nottingham Outlaws

Cardiff Cobras 42-0 Tarannau Aberystwyth

KCL Regents 22-33 Surrey Stingers

RHUL Bears 55-22 Solent Redhawks

Kent Falcons 18-0 UEA Pirates

Brighton Tsunami 33-7 Cambridge Pythons

Edinburgh Predators 0-21 Heriot-Watt

Edinburgh Napier Knights 6-0 Teesside Cougars

Liverpool Raptors 7-30 LJMU Fury

Bradford Bears 30-0 MMU Eagles

Leeds Celtics 6-12 York Centurions

Northampton Nemesis 0-6 Coventry Jets

Lincoln Colonials 24-0 DMU Falcons

Gloucestershire Gladiators 21-29 Plymouth Blitz

Bournemouth Bobcats 19-6 Bath Spa Bulldogs

Portsmouth Destroyers 35-0 BNU Buccaneers

Chichester Spitfires 7-20 Brunel Burners

LSBU Spartans 0-2 City Sentinels

Essex Blades 5-32 Oxford Lancers

Canterbury Chargers 18-0 ARU Rhinos









New this week



Nottingham Outlaws



After the play had concluded, #75 headbutted an opponent he had been blocking. At the end of the game, it was discovered that there was no #75 listed on the Nottingham roster.

06/02/16 v Warwick Wolves

Franceso Di Landro


ARU Rhinos



Head-butted an opponent.

07/02/16 v Essex Blades

Previous weeks

Ben Abbott


Greenwich Mariners



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

07/02/16 v City Sentinels





New this week

Canterbury Chargers

90-yard field marked in blue with other sport marking in white & yellow. No numbers or 9-yard marks and inbounds lines at NFL depth; but field otherwise well marked. No team areas marked but a rugby line approximated for a coaching line.

Tim Ockendon #481

21/02/16 v OBU Panthers

LSBU Spartans

The field did not have any hashmarks. These were eventually painted, but the game kicked off one hour late and was played with 10-minute quarters as a result.

Alan Dobson #308

07/02/16 v UEL Titans

Chichester Spitfires

Game Kicked off 10 minutes late because of the late arrival of the medical cover. Field is still marked with the centre hash marks too wide apart and closer to the side lines than they should be. Changing room had no private showers and was a room full of beds, however it was roomy and sufficient for a pregame - took over 10 minutes to get the changing rooms unlocked at halftime as all staff had disappeared. Field was very muddy and got worse as the game proceeded making it very difficult to see lines late in the second half. There was also a lot of friction from both side lines both of which were flagged at some point for sideline interference.

David Knight #135

14/02/16 v Southampton Stags

BNU Buccaneers

BNU did well to get this Portsmouth home fixture moved to their Aylesbury RFC at short notice – however there were issues. The field was quite far from the changing facilities, the teams did not even use the changing rooms. The field had visible markings except for the hashmarks, which were not painted. BNU did not have enough helpers, there was no game manager and they needed help for the ball and chain crew from the Destroyers.

Viktor Janvari #63

07/02/16 v Southampton Stags

Gloucester Gladiators

Game moved to Oxstalls in Gloucester. No nine yard marks or numbers. No hashmarks on the sidelines. 80 yard field. Home team only had two balls suitable, visiting team provided the third ball

Mike LeFevre #341

07/02/16 v Bristol Barracuda

Leeds Celtics

Field slopes in multiple directions and is rather uneven. The field markings were mostly lost to mud fairly quickly. Only number of assistants a few minutes before the game

James Meredith #547

14/02/16 v Manchester Tyrants

Bradford Bears

90 yard field, was grass at time of kick off but quickly became mud as the game progressed. Game balls provided by the away team due to home teams balls being covered in mould.

Dan Holt #371

07/02/16 v Leeds Celtics

Liverpool Raptors

Hash marks very faint and in the wrong position, improvised by using the pylons in the end zone for guidance

Tony Newsham #302

14/02/16 v Bangor Muddogs

Napier Knights

Team areas not marked. No hash marks or inbound lines. Chain kept breaking.

Shawn Sombati #15

07/02/16 v Edinburgh Predators

Edinburgh Predators

The field is a multi purpose sports facility and team and coaching boxes are not marked.

Ian Sneddon #427


Kent Falcons

90-yard field marked in red with other sport markings in white. End zones too short so goal lines moved to 5-yard lines and field shortened to 80 yards. Numbers at incorrect depth but otherwise well marked. Team areas marked out with cones. Field surface initially soft and deteriorated as the game progressed but never became hazardous. One game ball provided was under-inflated and the tape attaching the chain to the stake had to be replaced.

Tim Ockendon #481

21/02/16 v Brighton Tsunami

Worcester Royals

Changing rooms very dirty. Field held up well despite heavy rain during the previous week.

Jed Brookes-Lewis #395


Staffordshire Stallions

NFL style hash marks.

Andrew Lovell #559


Leeds Beckett

The 80 yard field was lacking the following lines: sideline hash marks 9 yard marks, coach and team areas, which where coned off before KO.

Chris Jarvis #10

21/02/16 v UCL Rams

Newcastle Raiders

90-yard astro turf pitch with goalposts offset 1-2 yards behind the end line

Adrian Miller #124

07/02/16 v Sunderland Spartans

Imperial Immortals

Field markings were faint with other lines of the same colour present on the field. No team areas were marked (collapsible cones were used to indicate the general location of the team areas). Changing room was shared with soccer. There were multiple changes to ball persons during the game.

Pete Parsons #321

07/02/16 v Kingston Cougars

Durham Saints

No team areas marked, No goal posts

Les Connor #152

14/02/16 v Loughborough Aces

Outstanding items from previous weeks

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

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

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

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 a Keele Home game played at LJMU home field. Upon arrival no markings 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. To allow the ground staff extra time to mark the field, we moved kick-off back by 30 minutes. 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, no numbers, nine yard marks nor no team area markings (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. 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

City Sentinels

80 yard pitch, very muddy, lying water in places

Larry Rigby #269

14/02/16 v LSBU Spartans

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

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

NTU Renegades

Start delayed by 45 minutes waiting for the medical cover, so played 10 minute quarters. With less than 5 minutes to play in the third quarter, there was a 50 minute delay for an injury, on the first play after resuming the game there was another serious injury and a second ambulance was called. 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

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

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



New this week

Play: A's ball on A's 4, 2nd and 15. QB A14 drops back to pass, has to scramble and is sacked in his end zone. While A14 was still in the pocket, before his scramble, B36 blocked eligible receiver A83 below the waist on A's 6.

Last week

Play: None due to editor's error.



New this week

Game Situation: Team A run a fake handoff play in which Fullback A34 fakes possession of the ball and runs towards the Linejudge's sideline. The ball is kept by the Quarterback, who begins running to the far side of the field. The fake is extremely believable, and A34 is tackled by two defensive players. The Linejudge is also fooled by the fake, and blows his whistle – but almost immediately realises the ball is still live and in possession of the Quarterback, who is beginning to run upfield. Only A34 and the two defensive players who tackled him appear to react to the Linejudge's whistle and stop playing. What should the Linejudge do next?
Answer next issue...

Last week

Play: 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: M-12-4-b. An official should switch from man-to-man coverage (watching his key) to zone coverage immediately after the initial action – this is normally about 2-3 seconds. The official's progression on the play should be (1) his key, (2) his zone and finally (3) the intended receiver. Each official's zone of coverage on a basic scrimmage down is shown in M-24-2. Once the ball has been thrown though, it is the priority of all officials who had keys if to rule on whether the pass was complete or incomplete. As such each official's priority must then be on the intended receiver.




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: