BAFRA Newsflash

Issue: 06/16

11th February 2016


Let’s Get Registered

If you are not taking advantage of the excellent accommodation rates available at Yarnfield Park Training & Conference Centre you still need to register to attend the Convention. To register please contact Sean Welsh at Full details of the Convention and accommodation rates can be found at the following link:

42 and counting

The following 42 members have booked their place at the Convention. If you are not listed, it may be because you have only recently confirmed your place in the last couple of days. An updated list will be issued next week:

Jim Briggs, Roger Brown, Derek Burridge, Phil Clark, Graham Coleman, Roy Davis, Alan Dobson, Tim Fisher, Jo Foxon, Barry Gent, Martin Gibson, Roger Goodgroves, John Griffin, Krister Halvorsean, David Hewitt, Mark Hurst, Chris Jarvis, Bill LeMonnier, Tzvi Lindeman, Andrew Lovell, Frank McParlin, Jason Mead, Russell Newton, Tim Ockendon, David Parsons, Tom Pennick, Michael Prentice, Mike Roberts, Conrad Russel, Clive Sandle, Shawn Sombati, Kevin Stanton, Darran Sterling, Paul Sutton, Pete Thom, Steve Tonkinson, Sean Welsh, Mark Wilson, John Wise, Dean Wright, Brian Yates and Charles Young

Lunch and Evening Meal

Lunch and an evening meal will be provided at the Convention on the Saturday only. This will be provided free of charge to BAFRA Members. However, we do need to advise the Conference Centre of numbers by mid-March if we want to retain the discounted rate they have offered.

As such, if you want lunch and the evening meal then you will need to register your intention to attend the Convention with Sean no later than Friday 4th March. So don’t delay if you don’t want to pay


Payment for Convention rooms are due by 20th March and payment can be made electronically or by cheque.

By cheques; with full payment included, 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.

By 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.

By electronic payment plan; It is appreciated that some people may wish to spread the cost and make multiple payments over the weeks leading up to 20th March. 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.

Davie Parsons


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 should have been received by all qualified members this weekend via e-mail by the time you read this.. If you have not received yours, please contact me. From next week I will publish a list of nominations as I receive them.

Paul Sutton


The new BAFA rules for 2016 have been published. See for details.

BAFRA members will be getting a new rulebook at the Convention and I will be doing my usual talk about the changes. Note that there may be a few pre-season games before the Convention so if you get assigned to one of those, you will need to familiarise yourself with the changes.

The 2015 rules remain in force for the remaining BUCS league games right through to that league's final.

Jim Briggs


Can I begin by thanking everyone who has already offered their services to work tournaments. However we do still require a few more officials for the first series of games on 27th February. Other tournaments will be played on 12th March, 26th March and 16th April. Details are contained below. We have already had some Elite officials make themselves available and I hope all of them cover at least one of these events. In addition can I ask that newer officials try to cover a tournament as this will be valuable experience to take you into the Senior League season. The support of BAFRA officials will be a valuable contribution to the development of BAFA's women's football programme.

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. All tournaments take place on a Saturday .

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 all of these assignments directly through BAFA/BAFRA.

Richard Vernon


The regular BUCS season ends on 21st February with several midweek games planned for next week. The play-offs begin on 28th February, see details below. Can all qualified officials ensure that their availability on Arbiter is up to date in order that you can be considered for these important games.

27th/28th February:

5th/6th March:

12th/13th March:

20th March:


Richard Vernon


Based on video evidence from a game on 31st January 2016, BAFA has taken disciplinary action against #10 of NTU Renegades. The video showed that #10 committed a targeting foul during that game.

#10 is therefore suspended for his team's next game, which is on 14th February 2016 versus Nottingham Outlaws (subject to any appeal that may be forthcoming).

Jim Briggs


Loughborough Students 18-30 Durham Saints

Derby Braves 38-22 Hallam Warriors

Birmingham Lions 41-8 Bath Killer Bees

Imperial Immortals 12-20 Kingston Cougars

Lancaster Bombers 0-52 Northumbria Mustangs

Newcastle Raiders 29-0 Sunderland Spartans

Sheffield Sabres 28-12 Leeds Beckett Carnegie

UCLan Rams 54-6 Huddersfield Hawks

Warwick Wolves 14-3 Nottingham

NTU Renegades 19-0 Staffordshire Stallions

UWE Bullets 0-19 Cardiff Cobras

Surrey Stingers 48-6 Reading Knights

RHUL Bears 27-18 KCL Regents

Sussex Saxons 0-28 Brighton Tsunami

UEA Pirates 24-0 Cambridge Pythons

Edinburgh Napier Knights 10-3 Edinburgh Predators

Keele Crusaders 34-6 Liverpool Raptors

Edge Hill Vikings 6-42 Bangor Muddogs

Manchester Tyrants 35-0 MMU Eagles

Bradford Bears 28-12 Leeds Celtics

Leicester Longhorns 0-17 Coventry Jets

Plymouth Blitz 12-0 Bournemouth Bobcats

BNU Buccaneers 6-12 Southampton Stags

Portsmouth Destroyers 21-0 Chichester Spitfires

LSBU Spartans 12-13 UEL Titans

Greenwich Mariners 30-0 City Sentinels

Essex Blades 20-6 ARU Rhinos

OBU Panthers 0-23 Oxford Lancers









New this week

Jason Howe


UEA Pirates



Player head butted an opponent./

14/02/16 v Sussex Saxons

Previous weeks – none





New this week

Birmingham Lions

All three chain crew members changed at half time. Plaudits to the players for a well contested game in monsoon conditions

Ian Wainwright #567

20/02/16 v Hertfordshire Hurricanes

Greenwich Mariners

Well marked 100-yard field only missing numbers or 9-yard marks and with team area lines at incorrect depths. KO was 10 minutes late due to late arrival of home team at the field and failure to provide officials' assistants in good time. Home team penalised for game management delay as a result.

Tim Ockendon #481


Leicester Longhorns

NFL narrow hashmarks. Team areas marked with cones. No 9 yard marks or numbers

Brian Yates #29


Bradford Bears

The state of the 80yd field is dire due to at least 6" of mud, the majority of plays were started in the side zones in the 2nd half as the conditions worsened. The Home Team are totally disorganized by way of supplying assistants and the KO time was delayed for 10 minutes in order to train the chain crew and ball persons and a delay of game penalty was administered prior to KO, there were 3 changes of assistants, 1 ball person in the 1st quarter and 2 chain crew members at half time. The following lines were missing: 9 yard marks inbound and sideline hashes coaching and players areas, limit lines and 3 yard marks. 3 balls were provided 2 nearly new which were under-inflated and 1 old ball.

Chris Jarvis #10


NTU Renegades

The game was abandoned half way through the second half. After serious injury on both starting QB's for Staffs, the head coach for Staffs consulted with both crew and the NTU head coach and said that in the interest of safety to his players, and with no other fit staring QB, he would prefer if the game stopped.

Muz Gibson #268

14/02/16 v Nottingham Outlaws

Derby Braves

Officials' changing rooms located through home team's room. Field marked in blue with multiple other sports markings. Team areas not marked, cones used. One set of goal posts. Game was suspended for 15 minutes due to the ambulance having to take a player to hospital. One of the Derby sideline staff was a registered nurse so agreed to act as the medical cover so the game could be resumed.

Jed Brookes-Lewis #395

14/02/16 v Stirling Clansmen

Edge Hill Vikings

No team areas marked, NFL hash marks, field marking in yellow along with white soccer marking.

Tony Newsham #302

21/02/16 v Liverpool Raptors

Sussex Saxons

Game Management ensured that the crew were provided with chain crew and ball boys in plenty of time to brief without delaying the KO. Field was slightly muddy in the middle but well marked - although the field was marked in white and there were other sports markings also in white. Field is closed to a newly built 3G arena where other sports were being played and at times the whistles heard from this arena caused confusion.

David Knight #135

14/02/16 v UEA Pirates

Keele Crusaders

No team areas marked.

Darren Carr #326

14/02/16 v Edge Hill Vikings

Surrey Stingers

The Surrey Sports Park is a huge complex with a small parking lot. There was a county swimming event parallel to other events, thus there was no parking space in the parking lot of the venue (not even in the overflow parking), so before the match it took 30 minutes to find a parking space and walk up the hill to the entrance. For future officials, be on the lookout for large events at the venue, because parking can be a problem. After this the field was nice, and the match was lopsided, Surrey was much stronger.

Viktor Janvari #63

14/02/16 v Royal Holloway Bears

UWE Bullets

Changing room too small for crew of 5.

Julian Mallia #336

14/02/16 v Exeter Demons

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

Durham Saints

No team areas marked, No goal posts

Les Connor #152

14/02/16 v Loughborough Aces

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

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

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

City Sentinels

80 yard pitch, very muddy, lying water in places

Larry Rigby #269

14/02/16 v LSBU Spartans

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



New this week

Play: A's ball, 4th and 7, on Team A's 34 yard line. A4's punt is blocked. The ball is rolling on Team A's 6 yard line when A4 kicks the ball through Team A's end zone.

Last 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.

Ruling: The result of the play is a safety. The below the waist block by B36 against an eligible receiver beyond the neutral zone is a foul (9-1-6-b). A legal forward pass was still possible when the foul occurred. The basic enforcement spot is the previous spot since the run ended behind the neutral zone. The penalty is 15 yards and a first down. A's ball on A's 19, 1st and 10.


New this week

Game Situation: 1st and 10 at team A's 30 yard line. Quarterback A4 drops back to pass and throws a pass over the centre of the field towards A84. The pass is quite high, but before A84 has a chance to jump for the ball his right arm is grabbed by B23, which puts him off balance. The ball flies about a yard over his head. The Back Judge throws a flag for DPI, however the Umpire – who has swivelled to watch the end of the pass – thinks the ball might have been uncatchable. How should officials work together to make the right call?
Answer next issue...

Last week

Play: 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: If you blow an inadvertent whistle, don't think no one will notice. Continue to blow and make sure the play is killed. Admit your mistake and follow the procedure laid down by rule (MM 5-5-6 & 4-1-2-b). In this instance Team A will have the option of either repaying the down, or accepting the result of the play, with the ball being spotted at the location the Quarterback had when the whistle was blown. Never try to cover up an inadvertent whistle, doing so can have safety implications for players, can seriously impact the game and damage the credibility of the crew. Far better to admit an honest mistake than keep on digging a hole for the whole crew.




Contact for details


February 13th (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: