Issue 02/19                                                                                23rd Jan 2019

BAFRA Newsflash

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  @BAFRAOfficial             @BAFRA_Official 


Nominations are open for the BAFRA Official of the Year for 2018. Any member may nominate any other member. The criteria are as follows:

  1. The official should have demonstrated that they are actively working to improve their officiating to (or maintain their officiating at) the highest level that their ability and experience allows.
  2. The official will have made off field contributions to BAFRA in particular or the sport of American football in Britain in general. Examples would be (but not limited to): serving on BAFRA or BAFA committees or working groups; being involved in the training or development of others; having a flexible attitude to assisting the Director of Operations with his duties; representing BAFRA in the wider football or sports communities.
  3. The award shall be open to any person who has been a BAFRA member for the whole of the year excepting that no member may win the award in two consecutive years.
  4. The General Secretary will request nominations in the first Newsflash of the New Year. Any BAFRA member may make a nomination for this award; the nomination shall relate to the previous calendar year. Nominations should be accompanied by a short (250 word maximum) testimonial as to why the person should get the award.
  5. The Selection Committee will make the award from the list of members nominated. Should any of the Selection Committee be nominated, they will not be permitted to participate in the decision; if necessary, on the advice of the Selection Committee Chair, the Directors may co-opt others onto this Committee to make up for any shortfall

If you wish to make a nomination please send me the name of the member you wish to nominate plus a short testimonial by the end of January 2019. The award will be presented on the Saturday evening of the Convention.

Paul Sutton – General Secretary










New this week

Previous weeks

Will Holliday


Stirling Clansmen



With approximately 5.50 left in the second quarter a Leeds player committed a personal foul near the Stirling sideline. This led to a general stramash. As officials separated the players an individual ran onto the field from the Stirling sideling trying to incite further affray. The Stirling head coach identified this person and advised that he was an unkitted (injured) player. He was ejected from the field.

27th Jan 2019 v Derby Braves

(As this was a disqualification of a non-player, this is a whole game day suspension as opposed to just a playing suspension)

Josh Penny


Stirling Clansmen



Following a tackle at the Leeds sideline Stirling player no 7 ran approximately 20 yards and struck the prone out of bounds Leeds player, well after the play was over. He was ejected from the field.

27th Jan 2019 v Derby Braves

(As this was a disqualification of a player, this is a playing suspension)

Oliver Botham


Canterbury Chargers



With 4:29 remaining in the 1st quarter the player led with the crown of his helmet into the ribs of an opposing player.

3rd Feb 2019 v Kent Falcons

Mike Ellacott


Northumbria Mustangs



Player lead with crown of the helmet and made helmet to helmet contact with player out of bounds. Foul occurred with 2 seconds remaining in 4th quarter.

3rd Feb 2019 v Newcastle Raiders





New this week

City Wolfpack

Game played at University of Hertfordshire, so not the normal City Wolfpack venue. Football lines are yellow and are getting quite faint making them difficult to see - the 4G field is definitely in need of some refreshing in this respect. Coaching line and players box lines are missing on both sides - cones used to mark out boundaries for both. Most of the game balls needed frequent top ups of air throughout the game, but looked to be quite new with no obvious signs of wear - hopefully the team can get them exchanged out. During the game there were several issues with the down box operator moving before being asked - including one play where the runner and box man both gained 30+ yards downfield whilst the ball was live; it did get progressively better after several reminders not to move from the officiating crew!

Phil Clarke #262

3rd Feb 2019 v Chichester Spitfires

Edinburgh Predators

Coaches area and team area not marked properly.

Shawn Sombati #15

10th Feb 2019 v Teeside Cougars

Solent Redhawks

Goalposts overhang the end-zones by a couple of yards. It was noted that at the end furthest from the changing rooms, the posts were showing visible signs of rot, and this may cause an issue in the future. The home team said they were aware and would be looking to repair it.

Oliver Maskell #22

24th Feb 2019 v Bournemouth Bobcats

Kent Exiles - Sapphire Tournament

Perfectly marked field and team areas. Changing room small with no facilities and not lockable. Congratulations to Kieran Smith on his first games at Referee. Commiserations on his first ever coin toss ending on its edge!
Tim Ockendon #481


Outstanding items from previous weeks

Birmingham Lions

Lines hard to see as they are black and got lost in the gloom. Team areas marked with cones.

Brian Yates #29

26th Jan 2019 v Portsmouth Destroyers

Bath Spa Bulldogs

Inbound markers on one side of field only,80 yard field, no team areas marked
Stephen Egan #466#

27th Jan 2019 v Oxford Lancers

University of Nottingham

Well marked field with numbers all in yellow which is fading. Goalposts were tubes fixed to the fence.

Ian Wainwright #567

27th Jan 2019 v Durham Saints

Brighton Panthers

The field is 100 yards long with the markings in Blue - The hash marks on the side of the field were attached to the sideline. No 3 yard marks. Team areas marked with cones only. Goals are approximately 3 yards behind the endline attached to a fence.

David Knight #135

27th Jan 2019 v Reading Knights

Tarannau Aberystwyth

The field has NFL hash-marks and no 9 yard marks. One endzone was 8 yards deep, the other was 10 yards. The down box had its bottom half missing so that it was only around 4 foot tall. A temporary fix, involving a broom, was used to make it taller. The chain crew and ball persons were slow and were replaced at half-time. Unfortunately, the second set of chain crew and ball persons were equally slow and somewhat reluctant.
Amir Brooks #593

27th Jan 2019 v Bangor Muddogs

QBML Vipers

Field marked with NFL style hashmarks. Lateral positioning of the ball was approximated using pylons behind the end line. Coaches and team areas marked with cones. Game shortened to 10 minute quarters due to late arrival of medical team.

Steven Leonard #370

27th Jan 2019 v Kent Falcons

Bournemouth Bobcats

A great effort was made by Bournemouth to get the game on following heavy rain on the South Coast this week. 3 changes of ball persons throughout the game. At half time the crew were approached by OBUs head coach who seemed confrontational, he said he was considering forfeiting the game due to "player safety" however the second half continued as normal.

Oliver Maskell #221

27th Jan 2019 v Bristol Barracuda

Brunel Burners

The medical team attended the sports park and not the field so the start of the game was delayed for approximately 15 minutes while they moved from one location to the other.

Keith Wickham #423

27th Jan 2019 v Surrey Stingers

Plymouth Blitz

Goal posts uprights were short length of plastic drainpipe that had been taped to portable soccer goals (with nets in place) as regular uprights had gone “missing”. The uprights moved around a bit in windy conditions but the result of no field goal or PAT's were ever in doubt. Lower half of down box was also missing so remaining section had to be held aloft by box man.

Francis Bevan #474

27th Jan 2019 v Exeter Demons

UCL Emperors

Changing rooms were not available until 30 minutes before kickoff. Access as a whole was not available the required 2 hours before kick off. Upon arriving at the field there were building works which had dug a trench behind one goal line and metal fencing was on one edge of the end line. The goal line was move forward by 10 yards at this end to give us a 90 yard legal field without the hazard. This meant only one end had a legal goal post and as such all offensive plays were conducted in this direction. Officials not paid after the game and should have been.

Lee Wood #517

27th Jan 2019 v BNU Buccaneers

Oxford Lancers

The field was originally marked out as 90 yards with 10 yard endzones. Unfortunately, the goalposts were positioned in the goal line rather than the end line. After rectifying this by moving the goal line out by 10 yards, this left us with a 70 yard field with 10 yard endzones. The game went ahead with the agreement of both head coaches. To compound this, it was found that when compared with the field markings, the chains appeared to be only 9 yards long. The crew verified that the chain was in fact the correct length, meaning that the yard marks were more than a yard apart. The field also has NFL hashmarks which were significantly longer than 24 inches.

Amir Brooks #593

1st Feb 2019 v Oxford Brookes Panthers

Warwick Wolves

Game suspended with 2 minutes remaining in the second quarter for 1 hour and 10 minutes to allow treatment to an injured NTU player. On agreement with both head coaches, 3rd and 4th quarters shortened to 8 minutes to allow completion of the game before lack of light became an issue.

Jed Brookes-Lewis #395

3rd Feb 2019 v Leicester Longhorns

Portsmouth Destroyers

Endzone at the minimum requirement of 7 yards deep. No 8 yard markings - 90 yard field. The game was played in heavy rain and by the end of the game the field markings were no longer visible in places, and the field had turned to mud in large areas

David Knight #135

3rd Feb 2019 v UWE Bullets

York St John Jaguars

The game was played at York Centurions home field as York St John do not have a home field. The pitch was marked with red markings, the markings were faint and will need remarking before the next game at the venue. There were no numbers or 9 yard marks, there we no limit lines, coaching lines or team areas marked. All three games balls supplied were significantly below legal pressure and no towels were provided despite the muddy field conditions. The changing rooms were not secured.

Ben Griffiths #228

3rd Feb 2019 v UWS Pyros

Surrey Stingers

Field is reasonably well marked, with most lines in dark blue (except the midfield line and end lines, which use the white lines from the rugby pitch), and short hash marks. Chain crew and ball persons were provided less than 10 minutes prior to kick off. There were multiple issues with the down box. Prior to the game the Head Linesman identified that, while the box showed 2 and 3 correctly, the box showed 1 on one side and 4 on the other if attempting to show first down or fourth down. This was identified as being the result of a badly implemented repair and, with the use of the chain repair kit was rectified so that the downs were shown correctly. Further issues occurred with the down box during the first half, with multiple additional repairs proving to be less than durable. A rebuild by the Head Linesman at half time rectified the issue for the second half.

Pete Parsons #321

3rd Feb 2019 v Brighton Panthers

Kent Falcons

90 yard 3G field, perfect playing surface. The only problem was, that our match started at 3pm, with floodlights, and the american football markings are dark red on the green pitch, which was barely visible in the artificial light. It could also be a problem for colour blind participants in the game.

Viktor Janvari #63

3rd Feb 2019 v Canterbury Chargers

ARU Rhinos

There was no access to goal post padding, chains or any other field equipment until 13:30 as there were locked away. The game kicked off at 13:40

Larry Rigby #269

3rd Feb 2019 v UEL Titans

Leeds Gryphons

80 yard field. No 3 or 9 yard marks or numbers. Sidelines hashes were missing along with team areas. Cones were employed to mark out correct coaching and player boxes.One member of the chain crew was replaced at half time. Plaudits to both teams for continuing to play good football in appalling weather conditions.

David Hewitt #607

3rd Feb 2019 v Bradford Bears

Durham Saints

The Chain crew and ball persons were provided late for the third consecutive home game. Only 2 persons were available at kick off time resulting in delayed kick off. Changes at half time also resulted in the 2nd half kick off being delayed. Durham’s Head Coach informed the referee he was “playing under protest” on the grounds that BUCS regulations state away team need to provide 1 assistant, disregarding the fact they had not even provided 4 assistants on time in either half. Durham’s Head Coach was informed it is the responsibility of home team to ensure all officials assistants are available on time, even if the away team are providing 1 assistant.

Liam Wooton #478

3rd Feb 2019 v Leeds Beckett Carnegie

Glasgow University Tigers

Game suspended for around half an hours to allow treatment to an injured Glasgow player during the second quarter. There was a further half hour stoppage at the start of the 3rd quarter to allow the injured player to be transferred to a second ambulance for transfer to hospital for tests.
Henry Richardson #25

10th Feb 2019 v Edinburgh Napier Knights

Leeds Beckett

80 yard field. No 3 yard marks, 9 yard marks or numbers. Sidelines hashes were missing. Coaching boxes not present but were marked out using cones. Changing room was too small for 5 people.

David Hewitt #607

10th Feb 2019 v Durham Saints

Sheffield Hallam Warriors

80 yard field, the field is well marked, but they are in red. This makes them difficult to see especially with the floodlights. Floodlights are not great.

Ian Wainwright #567

10th Feb 2019 v UCLan Rams

Canterbury Chargers

Well marked 90-yard field marked in blue with other sport markings in red, white & yellow. No limit lines, numbers or 9-yard marks. 8-yard end zones and coaching line at incorrect depth. Changing room spacious but not lockable.

Tim Ockendon #481

10th Feb 2019 v UEA Pirates

MMU Eagles

There was no coaching line or team area markings. All three game balls were significantly below the legal pressure and the home team did not have a pump with which to inflate the balls. As a result of the kick off being delayed a pump was eventually found and the balls inflated to a legal pressure. The visiting team (Lincoln Colonials) wore a mixture of different Jerseys. Some were Navy with Yellow Numbers and some were black with White Numbers. The home team occupied the two changing rooms allocated to the teams as a result the visiting team only gained access to changing facilities one hour prior to the scheduled kickoff time. The kick-off was delayed for 1 hour and 6 minutes as the booked medical cover did not turn up on time. To allow the visiting team bus to leave on time, the game was reduced to 10 minute quarters. One member of the chain crew was repeatedly filming the game from his mobile phone while operating the chains. He ignored multiple requests to stop so at half-time we asked the home team to replace the individual, which they did. The 3 yard mark was located 8 yards from each goal line.

Ben Griffiths #228

10th Feb 2019 v Huddersfield Hawks

Sussex Saxons

The chain set broke once.

Ben Gadsby #564

10th Feb 2019 v City Wolfpack

Bangor Muddogs

The game was suspended for almost 20 minutes in the 4th quarter for treatment to an injured player.

Tim Vickers #129

17th Feb 2019 v Leeds Gryphons

Keele Crusaders

Despite being advised at their first game home game of the season, and reminded during the week, on arrival the end zone was too small. The field was shortened to 80 yards using the 5 yard line as the goal line Both teams played in very similar kit, kit, Only way to tell difference DMU had a Reddish black top , while Keele was Red white white numbers.

Andrew Lovell #559

17th Feb 2019 v Huddersfield Hawks

Bradford Bears

After receiving an email from Bradford at the beginning of the week I was informed that this game was a 2.00pm kick off. In actual fact there was a local soccer game taking place on the field that didn't finish until approx 1.56pm,meaning kickoff had to be delayed until 2.30pm.All the field equipment (pylons,line numbers etc...) had been left in a box so the officials set about getting everything set up. The field itself was marked out as a 100 yard field but since that would have left no endzones the field needed to be shortened. It was then noted that the field was completely missing 5 yard lines which Bradford informed us was impossible to rectify. After conferring with the Director of Operations to double check the rule, the crew informed both teams of the situation,that minimum standards were not been met and left the venue.

David Hewitt #607

17th Feb 2019 v Liverpool Bears

Bristol Barracuda

While enroute to the venue, Bristol rang the officiating crew to inform them that Bath Spa had called him and stated they would not be travelling for the game because of lack of players, so the game had been cancelled..

Francis Bevan #474

24th Feb 2019 v Gloucestershire Gladiators

Royal Holloway Bears

Field markings very faint. Officials assistants were not forthcoming and had to be selected from the crowd, resulting in relatively inattentive people being selected. One ball person had to be changed following an altercation with the away team in their team area.

Ben Gadsby #564

24th Feb 2019 v Greenwich Mariners

Kingston Cougars

100-yard grass field marked in white. No limit lines and team areas marked with cones. Goal posts had rotated through 90 degrees but this was rectified by game management prior to kick off. Down box below regulation height and had been crudely repaired with gaffer tape such that the operator had to prop it up. Playing surface at one end of the field was very muddy to the point where the correct lateral spot could not always be used. The other end of the field remained playable throughout.

Tim Ockendon #481


Huddersfield Hawks

On the day before the game. Huddersfield contacted me to inform me that a floodlight had exploded at their venue leaving shards of glass all over the field rendering it unsafe to play on. All officials were assigned elsewhere.

Ben Griffiths #228




New this week

Play: 2nd and 10 at Team A’s 6 yard line.  All eleven Team A players come to a complete stop for 2 seconds. A80 then goes in motion and stops. Half a second after A80 stops, A34 goes in motion and is still in motion when the ball is snapped.


Last week

Play: Team A are 4th and 4 at Midfield, they are lined up to punt.  A70 snaps the ball to A9. A9 kicks the ball low directly back to A70 who has turned at the line of scrimmage and catches the kick at Team A's 48 yard-line. A70 advances the ball to Team B's 40-yard line where he is tackled.

Ruling? A scrimmage kick recovered by Team A prior to crossing the neutral zone remains live and can be advanced by all players (6-3-1-a).  The advance by A70 is legal, 1st and 10 for Team A at the Team B 40 yard line.  The clock will start on the snap since this was a legal kick play (3-3-2-d-8).


New this week

Game Situation: During a timeout, the Head Coach from the Head Linesman's sideline calls his team over and stands on the field 5 yards from sideline talking to them in a huddle.  How should the Head Linesman react to the Head Coach being on the field?

Answer next issue…

Last week

Game Situation: Late in the first half, with the clock running, Team A take a timeout. After the Timeout is granted, they immediately indicate they are ready to resume play and line up in formation. When the timeout is granted Team B huddle near their sideline. Team A state that as it’s “their” timeout, so they shouldn’t have to wait for the defense to be ready. Should the Referee declare the ball ready for play immediately?

Answer: Once a team charged timeout is granted, there shall be a one minute interval before the ball is declared ready for play and the 25 second play clock started (3-3-7-a). This interval may only be truncated with the agreement of both teams (3-3-7-c).




Contact for details


February 23rd (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

April 6th (Sat)


May 11th (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

July 20th (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

November 16th (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

BAFRA Directors


David Parsons

General Secretary

Paul Sutton


Roger Brown


Richard Vernon


Lee Taylor


Tzvi Lindeman

Director without Portfolio #1

Peter Parsons

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: Ben Griffiths - Email: