BAFRA Newsflash

Issue: 07/16

18th February 2016


To our new Members

The Convention is open to all BAFRA members and entrance is free. It’s a great opportunity to meet Officials from all over the UK and please be assured you will be made very welcome. You will also gain considerably from the presentations and Break-out sessions we have arranged. If you need any additional information, please contact me directly or talk to your trainer or local officials. Also, lunch and the evening meal on the Saturday are also free of charge. We are making every effort to make the Convention as accessible as possible to all our members so why not come along. You won’t regret it.

57 and counting

The following 57 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.

Graham Baker, Jaeson Bennett, Jim Briggs, Roger Brown, Derek Burridge, Darren Carr, Phil Clarke, Martin Cockerill, Graham Coleman, Roy Davis, Steve Egan, Tim Fisher, Jo Foxon, Barry Gent, Martin Gibson, Muz Gibson, Roger Goodgroves, John Griffin, Ben Griffiths, Krister Halvorsen, Graham Hedges, David Hewitt, Daniel Holt, Mark Hurst, Chris Jarvis, David Knight, Albert Lambert Jnr, Bill LeMonnier, Tzvi Lindeman, Andrew Lovell, Frank McParlin, Jason Mead, Russell Newton, Tim Ockendon, Ian Papworth, Toby Papworth, Davie Parsons, Tom Pennick, Vladimir Platonov, Michael Prentice, Mike Roberts, Conrad Russell, Clive Sandle, Shawn Sombati, Kevin Stanton, Darran Sterling, Paul Sutton, Pete Thom, Steve Tonkinson, Sean Welsh, Keith Wickham, Colin Willox, Mark Wilson, Dean Wright, Jon Wyse, Brian Yates, Charles Young

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:


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.

The following nominations have been received (correct to 5:00pm on Wednesday 16th February 2016):


Davie Parsons (425), nominated by Steve Tonkinson (99), seconded by Les Connor (152).

General Secretary:

Paul Sutton (312), nominated by Stuart Young (33), seconded by Mike Cavanagh (465).

Director of Training:

No nominations yet received.

Director without Portfolio #1:

No nominations yet received.

I will keep this list updated via Newsflash until the closing date.

Paul Sutton


We are now less than 10 days away from the start of this series. Can I begin by thanking everyone who has already offered their services to work tournaments. However we do still require a couple more officials for the first series of games on 27th February. Other tournaments will be played on 12th March, 26th March and 16th April. We now need volunteers to come forward for all of these tournaments. 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


BAFRA will be holding its annual charity weekend again this year and, as in the past, the charity will be chosen by the members. Please send any nominations for this year’s charity to me to arrive by 5:00pm on 2nd March. Members attending the Convention on the Saturday will be invited to select this year’s charity from those put forward.

Each year we have succeeded in increasing the amount raised for our chosen charity. Let’s hope that this year again beats all previous records.

Paul Sutton


The final set of regular season games take place this weekend. As a result we cannot assign crews to games on 27th/28th February until after this Sunday. I will try to let you know your play-off assignments as soon as possible next week

Can all qualified officials make sure Arbiter accurately reflects your availability please as we have twelve play-off games on 27th/28th February and ten play-off games the following weekend. We also have three Sapphire Series tournaments on 27th February so your co-operation at this busy period is much appreciated.

Richard Vernon


Applications are invited from qualified BAFRA members who would like to work on this important committee. It’s role include the selection of officials for all UK Bowl Games, NFL Chain Crews, Officials Of The Year Awards as well as IFAF and Elite Panel. Terms of reference and full details of the roles and responsibilities are on the website in the Members Handbook – 6.Scheduling and Selection.

In accordance with the rules of this committee two places are vacated every year and as a result two places will shortly be available. Please submit an Expression of Interest to me by no later than 10 pm on Friday 18th March 2016.

If anyone is considering applying who has not served previously on a BAFRA Committee, you are welcome to contact me for an informal discussion about the role and requirements.

Richard Vernon


Derby Braves 0-43 Stirling Clansmen

Durham Saints 18-6 Loughborough Students

Hertfordshire Hurricanes 21-6 Bath Killer Bees

Kingston Cougars 0-2 Birmingham Lions

Northumbria Mustangs 12-48 Glasgow Tigers

Lancaster Bombers 0-50 Sunderland Spartans

Huddersfield Hawks 12-46 Sheffield Sabres

UCLan Rams 32-28 Hull Sharks

NTU Renegades 20-13 Nottingham Outlaws

Warwick Wolves 44-6 Worcester Royals

Cardiff Cobras 13-21 Swansea Titans

UWE Bullets 22-2 Exeter Demons

Solent Redhawks 54-8 Reading Knights

Surrey Stingers 40-28 RHUL Bears

Sussex Saxons 31-0 UEA Pirates

Cambridge Pythons 11-14 Kent Falcons

Heriot-Watt 6-25 Edinburgh Predators

Edinburgh Napier Knights 14-0 UWS Pyros

UWS Pyros 6-0 Edinburgh Napier Knights

Liverpool Raptors 0-38 Bangor Muddogs

Keele Crusaders 6-17 Edge Hill Vikings

MMU Eagles 20-28 Bradford Bears

Coventry Jets 32-6 Northampton Nemesis

Lincoln Colonials 32-12 Leicester Longhorns

Bristol Barracuda 31-7 Plymouth Blitz

Bournemouth Bobcats 7-44 Gloucestershire Gladiators

Chichester Spitfires 3-21 Southampton Stags

City Sentinels 9-6 LSBU Spartans

UEL Titans 0-30 Greenwich Mariners

ARU Rhinos 6-2 OBU Panthers

Oxford Lancers 40-0 Essex Blades









New this week

Jack Campling


Canterbury Chargers



Player had been penalised for a Face Mask personal foul and upon leaving the field was verbally abusive to officials.

21/02/16 v UEL Titans

Michael Saric


City Sentinels



Player targeted (9-1-3) an opponent by leading and making forcible contact with the crown of their helmet against an opponent.

21/02/16 v OBU Panthers

Previous weeks – none





New this week

Derby Braves

No team areas marked but cones used instead. Only one set of goal posts.

Richard Whitby #136


Oxford Lancers

While there was a team area marked on the home team side, there were no team area markings of any sort on the visiting team side. Changing rooms not lockable. One ball person changed at half time.

Pete Parsons #321

21/02/16 v ARU Rhinos

Huddersfield Hawks

90 yard field. No 3 yard lines, 9 yard marks, limit lines or goal posts. No coaching area or players area so this was done using players' bags, although the players and coaches observed their restrictions to the letter! The field is too wide between the sidelines and the hashes and the 2 sets of inbound hashes. Hash marks were made using aerosol spray paint and were too short,and weren't always 1 yard apart.

David Hewitt #607


UWE Bullets

Field markings were quite faint due to recent heavy rain. Team areas only marked out to the 35 yard lines - these were extended to the 25 yard lines using cones. Limit lines are marked too close to the sidelines (approx 2 yards). Both teams were initially kitted out in black jerseys, however the home team were able to obtain replacement white jerseys to play in.

Amir Brooks #593


Cardiff Cobras

Game played at UWE. Field marking as above.

Amir Brooks #593


Lancaster Bombers

80-yard astro turf pitch marked as a 90-yard pitch with 5 yard end zones. Lines thin but visible.

Adrian Miller #124

21/02/16 v Glasgow Tigers

Northumbria Mustangs

Game delayed for 1 hour to allow for Medical requirements to be met.

Henry Richardson #25


Warwick Wolves

Venue changed to 3G pitch on short notice due to heavy rain. Markings made up of soccer sidelines and tape. No posts. Plaudits to Warwick for enabling the game to be played.

Jed Brookes-Lewis #395

21/02/16 v Staffordshire Stallions

Coventry Jets

Field marked in red and in metres. Team areas missing.

Jed Brookes-Lewis #395

21/02/16 v Lincoln Colonials

MMU Eagles

The 90 yard field is generally well marked in blue however the 9 yard marks are interpreted as 1 mark 9 yards from the Goal Line. The following lines were missing: 9yd marks, Limit Lines, Team and coaching areas.

Chris Jarvis #10

21/02/16 v Leeds Celtics

Chichester Spitfires

Goals are attached to a fence approx 2 yards behind each endline.

David Knight #135


Kingston Cougars

Well marked 100-yard field. Numbers at incorrect depth and team areas marked out with cones. A section of one end line was missing due to some re-laid turf. Game management were able to re-mark this prior to kickoff but this and problems with the medical cover reaching the field lead to kickoff being delayed by 10 minutes. Field surface initially soft and deteriorated as game progressed but never became unplayable or dangerous.

Tim Ockendon #481


Durham Saints

90 yard field with no posts, it snowed during most of the first half which made the hashmarks impossible to locate, fortunately the home team had positioned pylons at both ends of the field which were in the correct position and although due to the amount of snow that was falling they were difficult to spot at some points the umpire did a great job in spotting the ball. After the half time break there was a delay while the home team returned to the field from the slightly warmer changing rooms. 1 ball person was changed at half time.

Lee Taylor #183


City Sentinels

80 yard field; quite muddy in places with some standing water. 2 stoppages due to chain set breaks, another 2 delays to repair problem with down box not changing correctly. Changing rooms not able to be locked.

Phil Clarke #262

21/02/16 v UEL Titans

Keele Crusaders

Keele did not book any changing rooms for the game which was played at Thomas More Catholic High School in Crewe. While Keele and Edge Hill got changed on their respective buses, the officials had to turn up dressed and could not change back into dry clothes after the game. There were two holes about 6 inches in depth on the field. The game could not proceed until they were rectified. Keele believed that it is the away team's responsibility to provide ball persons but this is obviously not the case. Thus, they were only able to provide one and luckily Edge Hill were able to supply the other. The game eventually proceeded 45 minutes after originally scheduled. It was an 80 yard field with no three-yard marks.

Aminul Hassan #534


Kent Falcons

Field markings in red, other markings in white. Field length 80 yards due to end zones being too short. Field markings proceed into both end zones by 5 yards. Narrow inbound hash marks but cones placed on the end lines to correspond to where the hash marks should be.

C K Nam #586

21/02/16 v Brighton Tsunami

Solent Redhawks

Plane of the cross bar over hangs into the endzone by approx 1 yard. 3 yards mark at one end is placed on the 2 yard line. Game was played in a bad spirit with players chipping at each other after plays. The officiating crew were abused by a photographer who was too close to the field of play. With the help of the visiting team, he left the playing enclosure when requested to do so.

David Knight #135


Outstanding items from previous weeks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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, 1st and 10, on B's 38. A37 advanced for a first down during the down just completed. Team A is in a hurry up offense. A56 snaps the ball just prior to the ready for play signal. QB A18 is sacked on B's 46. Ruling?

Last 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.

Ruling: Foul for illegal kicking the ball by A4 (9-4-4). Team A provided the impetus for the ball going out of bounds in the Team A end zone, therefore the result of the play is a safety (8-5-1-a). Team A have two options, they can either decline the penalty and take the result of the play – scoring two points for the safety, or accept the penalty. The penalty for illegal kicking is 10 yards and a loss of down – which will give Team B a first down. The basic enforcement spot is the previous spot since this is a scrimmage kick play (10-2-2-d-4). The 10-yard penalty is enforced from the spot of the foul, since this is a Team A foul behind the basic spot (10-2-2-c-1). Unless time is a factor in the game, Team B will likely accept the penalty and take the ball half distance from the spot of the foul - 1st and 10 for Team B at the Team A 3 yard line.


New this week

Game Situation: Name the 6 fouls that are 'conspicuous' – i.e. fouls that although are not serious and do not create a significant advantage, they are so obvious to anyone watching that officials would look foolish to not call them.
Answer next issue...

Last week

Play: 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: M-5-5. Officials who disagree on a call must be called together to discuss the matter with each other. In this instance the Umpire should probably ask the Back Judge if he thought the pass was catchable. If the Back Judge says yes then the call must stand – conversation over. If the Back Judge says probably not, then the flag may need to be waved off. If the Back Judge seems unsure or put off by the question, then it is important to remember the 'when in doubt' principles – specifically in this case M-6-1-4 “the forward pass is catchable”. Doubt should never overrule positive knowledge, and in this case we should probably go with the Back Judge's call since he has primary responsibility for the action (M-5-5-9-f).




Contact for details


March 20th (Sun)

BUCS National Final

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: