Issue 05/19                                                                                13 th February 2019

BAFRA Newsflash

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Week 1 Update

Although Convention details were only released in last week’s Newsflash we have had a very good response so far. For those not already registered, details are below. Please remember that you need to register even if you are not using the accommodation at Yarnfield. We will add more details regarding the Convention Programme, and events on the Saturday night as soon as they are finalised.


The following 25 members have registered to attend 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.

Francis Bevan, Jim Briggs, Roger Brown, Martin Cockerill, Graham Coleman, Steve Egan, James Ford-Bannister, Roger Goodgroves, Jack Hallinan, Krister Halvorsen, Bill LeMonnier, Richard Madge, Russell Newton, Davie Parsons, Peter Parsons, Euan Paterson, Mike Roberts, Graham Smith, Darran Sterling, Paul Sutton, Steve Tonkinson, Lee Wood, Liam Wooton, Brian Yates, Stuart Young.


This year will be BAFRA’s 35th anniversary, so we will be planning some ‘blasts from the past’ in the shape of memorabilia tracing BAFRA over the years. It is worth noting that we are all part of the oldest continuous British American Football organization. We hope you will enjoy seeing what we used to look like.


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 Krister Halvorsen at  Again, we will be making up personalised Convention Packs, ID Badges, Presentation Handouts, Programme of Events, Game Day Paperwork, etc. As such, you are required to pre-register your attendance.


In our efforts to make the Convention accessible to everyone, this year we have again negotiated excellent rates for accommodation, which are detailed below.  In addition, the BAFRA Board has 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 Krister at

Important Information required

When you send your email to Krister, please provide the following information:


Payment for Convention rooms are due by 22nd March. Payment can be made either electronically or by cheque. Cheques should be for the full amount, made payable to BAFRA Ltd and sent to Stuart Tabberer, 307 Royal Parade, Elmdale Road, Bristol, Avon, BS8 1SZ.

If paying electronically, 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 23rd 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 Krister at when you register.

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 electronic process of paying Games Fees by direct transfer to your bank account.

Friday Night

Again, last year many attendees stayed on the Friday night to save an early rise and travel on the Saturday morning.  As such, the above rates are available 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.

Ian Sneddon - Convention Delivery Team


As always, the Annual General Meeting of BAFRA Limited will be held at 5:00pm on the Saturday of the Convention, 6th April. It is open to all members. A full agenda will be circulated to members nearer the time. Part of the AGM is the election of directors for the Company. This year, four directors are standing down having completed their term of office: Director of Finance, Director of Operations, Director of Recruitment and Director without Portfolio #2.

These positions are open to all qualified members and nomination forms will be circulated to qualified members on or before 16th February. And should be returned in accordance with the instructions on the form.

The present incumbents have notified that they will be seeking re-election for the positions of Director of Finance and Director without Portfolio #2 but the Directors of Operations and Recruitment will be standing down when their term of office expires at the end of the AGM.

The Directors encourage all qualified members to consider applying for one of the above four positions. If you are considering standing and would like more information about what is involved, please contact me or, if you prefer, another director for more details.

Paul Sutton – General Secretary



The play-offs for the BUCS season will commence on 2nd and 3rd March. Please note that games will therefore not be assigned before Tuesday 26th February as these fixtures won’t be confirmed until the completion of the regular season.  Also we are also starting to get requests for pre-season Senior League games and University Varsity games in March.


We also have the fixtures for the regular season which starts on 13th/14th April.

Can all qualified officials make sure Arbiter is up to date as we will have lots of important games to be covered


Richard Vernon - Director of Operations










New this week

Sheldon Campbell


Leeds Beckett Carnegie


Player made forcible contact to head/neck of a defenceless receiver.

14th Feb 2019 v Durham Saints

Ben Cooper


Swansea Titans



During an unsuccessful PAT attempt, the player threw a punch at an opponent then headbutted him.

16th Feb 2019 v UWE Bullets

Previous weeks

Nathan Obayori


Bristol Barracuda



On a play where the ejected player was also seen to be holding, he and the player he held continued their contact out of bounds. On the way to the ground #4 was seen to throw a punch into the side of his opponent.

17th Feb 2019 v Worcester Royals





New this week

Exeter Demons

Game was suspended for 40 minutes due to knee injury for Exeter player.

Richard Madge #485

17th Feb 2019 v Cardiff Cobras

Reading Knights

Upon arriving at the venue the field appeared to be waterlogged in places but otherwise playable. The officials were informed by game management that the ground-staff were not allowing the game to proceed due to an assessment they had made the day before. Whether this was communicated to game management prior to them arriving was unclear. In light of this game management had cancelled the medic just prior to the officials arriving. Both head coaches were still keen to play a game. On the slim chance that this could happen Reading's committee tried to convince the facilities staff to give the field another assessment. The grounds-staff do not work weekends so it wasn't obvious who would be carrying out this assessment. Eventually the officials were informed that a member of staff would assess the field 5 minutes before the scheduled kick off time. As the crew were in their pregame, they were informed by game management that the medical cover could not be re-booked therefore the game was cancelled.

Euan Paterson #165

17th Feb 2019 v Kingston Cougars

UEL Phoenix

110-yard field with 15-yard end zones marked in blue with other sport markings in white. Goals were on goal lines so the field was shortened to 90 yards with 10-yard end zones and the marked end zones were abandoned. Pylons only at goal lines. Hash marks at sideline and inbounds lines were not 1 yard apart and depth of inbounds lines was incorrect and varied throughout the field. No team areas or limit lines and numbers at incorrect depth. changing room too small with few facilities and not lockable.

Tim Ockendon #481

17th Feb 2019 v Essex Blades

Bath Killer Bees

Game kick-off delayed for 20 minutes for delayed ambulance as it was "stuck in traffic".

Albert Lambert Jnr #461

20th Feb 2019 v Cardiff Cobras

Southampton Stags

Kick off delayed for 15 minutes waiting for medical cover (medical had to attend a Road Traffic Collision). No 3 yard marks, goals attached to a fence 2 yards beyond the end line.

David Knight #135

21st Feb 2019 v Exeter Demons

Canterbury Christ Church Chargers

The field was only booked from 1:00 pm, which was suboptimal for a 1pm kick off. However, this was an exceptional circumstance, given the need to schedule a double header in the Canterbury area. As it turned out, the previous booking was finished at 12:30 pm enabling the game to kick off. The officials assistants were changed at half time. The chain set broke twice. The medical cover, whilst meeting minimum requirements, did not inspire confidence, given their poor choice of base at one end of the field, their general lack of responsiveness to requests for help, and slow response time on being roused. Gameday management agreed to request the Student Union not to book this medic again.

Ben Gadsby #564

24th February 2019 v Imperial Immortals

Leeds Beckett Carnegie

On arrival, there were no hashes on either sideline. The home team were notified that these would have to be marked before the game kicked off. Two assistants provided initially were under 14, these were changed. Leeds had to source a second chain set and down box, as the one they brought with them was broken and couldn’t be repaired, kick-off was delayed by 20 minutes whilst waiting for this. No coaching boxes, team areas, 9 yard marks or 3 yard marks

Liam Wooton #478

24th Feb 2019 v University of Nottingham

Leicester Longhorns

Hash marks at the sidelines were absent. The hash marks in the middle of the field were marked level with the goalposts and were not evenly spaced.

Paul Todd #289

24th Feb 2019 v Coventry Jets

Sheffield Hallam Warriors

80 yard field. No 9 yard marks or numbers. No 3 yard marks. Team areas were missing but other sports markings helped to define coaches and players lines. Field was marked in red which was quite faint before kick off and almost invisible in places by the end of the game.
David Hewitt #607

24th Feb 2019 v Manchester Tyrants

Swansea Bullets

No Report

24th Feb 2019 v UWE Bullets

Hull Sharks

Lovely new 4G surface, coaches and team areas not marked, however they were marked out with cones prior to kick off. No 9 yard marks or 3 yard marks. The field markings are a light green colour making them hard to see away from the immediate area of play. The officials changing rooms are too small for four officials and not lockable.

Chris Jarvis #10

24th Feb 2019 v Northumbria Mustangs

Edge Hill Vikings

90 yard field marked in blue paint. When the officials arrived on the field 20 minutes prior to kickoff the field furniture was present but neither team was there nor officials assistants. It was noted that the teams were using a nearby astro pitch to warm up on. When approached by the referee, now 15 minutes to kickoff, the home team asked if they had time for a card check and were told they needed to get a move on since we were now about ready to start. None of the game balls provided were at legal pressure and was being rectified by the Back Judge by the time the Referee and Umpire had made their way back from the training pitches. Officials assistants were then sourced and sent to be briefed which did lead to a short delay on kickoff. It should be noted that the bottom half of the down box was missing and the goal posts at each end appear to be significantly shorter than normal. One member of the chain crew was changed at half time which led to a further slight delay for an additional briefing.

Lee Taylor #183


Edinburgh Predators

Chain crew was changed at half time, the second half kick off was delayed to allow time for the Head Linesman to brief new crew.

Gordon Galloway #7


Gloucester Gladiators

9 yard numbers are only a yard from the sideline and are very small. Post padding changed at half time due to the first half play revealing they weren't as padded as they looked. Well kept 80 yard field with only one box marked out for players and coaches. One change of ball boy at half time due to the previous one always being on his phone on the away team sideline. With 10:47 left in the 4th quarter, both Head Coaches agreed to end the game early given injuries to both squads.

Oliver Maskell #221


Kent Falcons

This game kicked of 35 minutes late, following the late arrival of officials, as this was the second game of a double header.

Ben Gadsby #564


Surrey Stingers

Field marked mostly in blue apart from the end lines and midfield line which were white. Limit lines marked at 12'.

Peter Parsons #321


UCL Emperors

Changing rooms were not available until 30 minutes before kickoff. Access as a whole was not available until 30 minutes before kick off. Officials not paid after the game and should have been.

Alisha Darkins #573


Outstanding items from previous weeks

UWE Bullets

Kick off was delayed by 35 minutes due to the late arrival of the game’s medic. The chain crew was changed at half time. The game was played at UWE's new venue. Officials visiting for future games should note that footwear restrictions are in place - no flat or dimple-soled shoes should be worn, only cleats / studs. No footwear inspections were carried out on the day though. Field markings were generally good, but there were no team areas marked (only coaching boxes) and no limit lines.

Amir Brooks #593

16th Feb 2019 v Swansea Titans

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

UEA Pirates

With 6:13 remaining in the 2nd quarter a player fell injured with a neck injury an ambulance was called at 13:20.  After a further 90 minutes the player was still down injured another call for an ambulance was made as he was now continually shivering. Both coaches agreed to abandon the game.

Larry Rugby #269

17th Feb 2019 v Kent Falcons

University of Nottingham

Excellent marked field (in yellow). Goal posts are shortened pipes attached to the fence.

Ian Wainwright #567

17th Feb 2019 v Stirling Clansmen

Bath Spa Bulldogs

At half time Bath Spa had suffered some injuries and as the crew came out ready to start the second half the Bath Spa Head Coach head coach informed me that they were not able to continue the game as a result of the mounting injuries to an already small squad. Both coaches were happy to abandon the game at that point. We spoke with both coaches and we offered to stay on to give players the chance to scrimmage rather than just wrapping up then so we had about an hour where the players, from both teams, had the chance to run a few plays before heading off. The score at the half was Bath Spa 0 – Oxford 22.

Julian Mallia #336

17th Feb 2019 v Solent Redhawks

Oxford Lancers

Game postponed on Thursday 31st January (day before game) due to an unplayable field.

Peter Parsons #321

17th Feb 2019 v Gloucestershire Gladiators

City Wolfpack

Originally laid out as a 110 yard field with goal posts on goal lines. Rearranged toa  90 yard field leaving hash marks in the End Zone. There were unaligned NFL-width hash marks and blue markings that were difficult to see. Numbers were painted, but at incorrect depth and not matching their actual yard line (including 2x 50 yard numbers) The chain broke on multiple occasions. Pitch started firm and frosty but quickly turned into a low-grip muddy field.

Game Management were very proactive in resolving issues promptly.

James Ford-Bannister #479

17th Feb 2019 v BNU Buccaneers

Birmingham Lions

Home team informed referee that game was cancelled due to visiting team (Portsmouth Destroyers) being unable to travel 2½ hours before scheduled kickoff.

Jed Brookes-Lewis #395

23rd Feb 2019 v Hertfordshire Hurricanes

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

Royal Holloway played this match on the Greenwich Southwood site, because their own was waterlogged. The field is marked properly, but the American Football markings are dark blue on the green 3G artificial grass, which is not really visible, mainly because there are bright colour markings on the field too.

Viktor Janvari #63

24th February 2019 v Greenwich Mariners

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

Brunel Burners

NFL width hash marks and no numbers. The game started 15 minutes late due to late arrival of medics. The Surrey coach forfeited the game with 6 minutes remaining in the 4th quarter.

Graham Coleman #177

24th Feb 2019 v Kingston Cougars

Newcastle Raiders

Played at Gateshead Stadium. The field is showing signs of wear, with parts of the surface lifting up in areas, some having to be filled with sand before the game, there are now 4 sets of hash marks, one of which appears to have been marked by a someone was was inebriated, veering off severely to one side. The ground staff have moved the endline, which previously put a wall in the middle of the end zone. The field of play was shortened at one end to avoid any complications with the wall and the game played towards one goal only. Team and player areas not marked and some other sports markings on the field, although these didn’t cause confusion.

Liam Wooton #478

24th Feb 2019 v Edinburgh Napier Knights

QMBL Vipers

Prior to the game, the groundsman had to be asked to complete the final 5 hashes, and the end line, in order to meet the minimum field standards. There were numerous REPORT conditions met: Field too wide (estimated 180ft) resulting in large space between hashes, which had been painted the correct distance from the sideline No nine yard marks White field markings for other sports within 4 feet of endline Chain broke approximately 10 times.

Ben Gadsby #564

24th Feb 2019 v UEA Pirates

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


Staffordshire Stallions

Referee’s changing rooms unavailable due to another event being held at sports centre. Changing rooms assigned as staff rest area and an office. Kick Off was delayed by 20 mins as medical cover not booked, and appropriately qualified cover was found.

Andrew Lovell #559


Sheffield Sabres

90 yard field excellently marked out in black.

Ian Wainwright #567


Greenwich Mariners

90 yard field which was generally well marked. Coaches boxes were too big. Markings are in blue with other sport's markings in various colours. All of the game balls presented were under inflated and game management were unable to rectify this prior to kickoff so the away team provided all 3 balls. Official assistants were not forthcoming so the away team provided a ballboy. Chain crew also failed to return in time for the 2nd half, again the away team offered up volunteers.

Henry Young #486


Coventry Jets

Field marked in red, the harsh marks disappeared in the mud early in the game meaning we had to rely on the pylons to help spot the ball.

Jed Brookes-Lewis #395




New this week

Play: 4th and goal on the Team B 5 yard line.  Team A are going for a Field Goal.  The ball is snapped to holder A4 who is holding the ball on the ground with A10 in position to take the kick.  B21 rushes through the line of scrimmage and dives at the ball, batting it out of A4’s hands.  The ball bounces up and it caught by A10, who runs into the Team B end zone.


Last week

Play: 1st and 10 from Team A’s 6 yard line.  QB A8, standing in his end zone throws a forward pass which is muffed by A2 at Team A's 4 yard line and then caught by A99 at Team A's 8 yard line.  A99 advances the ball to Team A's 18 yard line where he is tackled. Prior to the pass, A65 had advanced 6 yards downfield.  Ruling?

Ruling: A legal forward pass has crossed the neutral zone when it first strikes the ground, a player, an official or anything beyond the neutral zone inbounds. It has not crossed the neutral zone when it first strikes the ground, a player, an official or anything in or behind the neutral zone inbounds (2-19-3-a).  The pass is muffed by A2 at the Team A 6 yard line, which is behind the Line of Scrimmage.  Therefore this is not a forward pass that crosses the neutral zone.  As such rule 7-3-10 does not apply.  No foul.  This is a legal play.


New this week

Game Situation: On a punt play covered by a 5 man crew, which official(s) must know if the ball has crossed the line of scrimmage by knowing what the ball first touched beyond the neutral zone?

Answer next issue…

Last week

Game Situation: Prior to the game, the home team only provide 4 officials assistants by the scheduled kick-off time and the start of the game is delayed. The home team state “League rules say the visiting team should provide one ball person”

Answer: This is not a rule that a Competition Authority may override therefore BAFA rules take precedence (Rules that may be determined by the Competition Authority are denoted ⊽ in the rules). The Home team may seek the assistance of the Away Team to provide officials assistants however it is the Home team that are responsible for ensuring they are provided. As the start of the game is delayed, the Home team should be penalised with a 10 yard Delay of Game penalty (13-5-3-d).


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Contact for details


February 23rd (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

April 6 th  (Sat)


May 11 th  (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

July 20 th  (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

November 16 th  (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: