Issue 06/19                                                                                20th Feb 2019

BAFRA Newsflash

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The BAFA rulebook for 2019 has now been published. If you do a pre-season game, the new rules come into effect on 1st March. The 2018 rulebook continues to be used for BUCS games.

BAFRA members will get their printed rulebooks at the Convention, but a PDF can be downloaded from A list of rule changes can also be found there.

If anyone has any questions that can't wait until the Convention, please feel free to email me.

Jim Briggs - BAFA Rules Committee Chairman


The social media team are looking to expand the content that we publish through our various channels in order to improve engagement with the British football community. One feature we would like to run is a weekly profile of an official to allow our followers to learn more about the people behind the stripes. This will involve answering some short questions about your officiating and non-officiating life that will then be shared through the Facebook page. If you would like to be involved with this then please get in contact with the team on

Jed Brookes-Lewis - Social Media 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. Nomination forms have been circulated 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. Thank you to the members who have taken the time and trouble to find out more details about the roles so far.

As of 5:00pm on Tuesday 19th February, the following nominations have been received:

Director of Finance:

Roger Brown #469; Nominated by David Knight #135; Seconded by Philip Hume #52.

Director of Operations:

No nominations yet received

Director of Recruitment:

Oliver Maskell #221; Nominated by Roger Brown #469; Seconded by Lee Taylor #183

Director without Portfolio #2

No nominations yet received

Paul Sutton – General Secretary



Week 2 Update

It looks like members are now starting to make plans for the Convention, as attendance figures have almost doubled since last week.  Remember that you don’t have to pay for rooms immediately – the cut off date for payment is 22nd March. You will, however, get a better chance of choice of accommodation the earlier you book.


The following 48 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, Jed Brookes-Lewis, Roger Brown, Alan Christopher, Martin Cockerill, Graham Coleman, Alisha Darkins, Ian Davies, Alan Dobson, Steve Egan, Tim Fisher, James Ford-Bannister, Gordon Galloway, Roger Goodgroves, Jack Hallinan, Krister Halvorsen, David Hewitt, Dan Holt, Heather Horner, Bill LeMonnier, Tzvi Lindeman, Andrew Lovell, Richard Madge, Ollie Maskell, Richard Moger, Russell Newton, Davie Parsons, Peter Parsons, Euan Paterson, Austin Pickles, Michael Prentice, Henry Richardson, Mike Roberts, Graham Smith, Ian Sneddon, Darran Sterling, Paul Sutton, Pete Thom, Steve Tonkinson, Tim Vickers, Mark Wilson, Lee Wood, Mike Woolnough, Liam Wooton, Dean Wright, Brian Yates, Stuart Young.


Guest Speaker

Some of you may have noticed Bill Le Monnier listed as attending. We have managed to bring him back, for what is likely to be a final visit. He is not only very knowledgeable, but also a very popular presenter. Although Bill is currently best known as ESPN Rules Analyst, he previously had a stellar career in the Big Ten Conference, including 17 Post Season Bowl Games. He also has more than 12 years experience in training and motivational/public speaking, in more than 10 countries; and he received the 2013 Gold Whistle Award recognizing contributions beyond sports officiating. A full bio will be released separately.



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 do need to pre-register.



In our efforts 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 agreed to provide some funding to keep down the costs. The rates indicated are per room and include all discounts and a full breakfast.

Twin Room: £50.00 per night (So if you share with someone it will only cost you £25.00 per night)

Single Room:  £45.00 per night

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 is due by 22rd 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, 3.07 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










New this week

Joseph Whitmore


Leeds Beckett Carnegie



As a punt was coming to rest some 20+ yards

away, number 60 lined up and hit an opponent who was clearly out of and had given up on the play

17th Feb 2019 v Derby Braves*

*Leeds Beckett Carnegie have played two games between the publication of the previous edition of Newsflash and this edition. Mr. Whitmore was disqualified from the first of these two games.

Chidubem Nwosa


Bradford Bears



With 14 seconds remaining in the game the player was seen to throw a punch at an opponent.

24th Feb 2019 v Bangor Muddogs

Matthew Pullen


Bristol Barracuda



A pass was thrown high, forcing the receiver to jump, as the receiver was turning to watch the flight of the overthrown ball and coming back down, #22 arrived, crouched, launched upwards and make forcible contact with his helmet to the head/neck area of the defenceless receiver

24th Feb 2019 v Gloucestershire Gladiators

Scott Buchan


Northumbria Mustangs



Kicked out at an opponent on the ground

24th Feb 2019 v Hull Sharks

Previous weeks





New this week

Oxford Lancers

The field was too wide and the endzones were at the absolute minimum depth.

Keith Wickham #423

22nd Feb 2019 v OBU Panthers

Bradford Bears

Game was played at the Liverpool Raptors home ground due to issues with Bradford’s home field. Plaudits should be given to the Liverpool Raptors game management who provided the officials assistants and medical cover for the game.

Lee Taylor #183

24th Feb 2019 v Bangor Muddogs

KCL Regents

90-yard field with 8-yard end zones, well marked in blue with other sport markings in white, yellow & red. No limit lines or numbers and team areas too big. Changing room not private and not lockable.

Tim Ockendon #481

24th Feb 2019 v UCL Emperors


UEL Phoenix

Goalposts were on the proposed goal line, so we modified the pitch to make this the end line and dealt with hashes in the end zone. The hashes themselves were not straight, not wide enough, too long, and not always parallel to the main lines. The chain set broke twice with a  member of chain crew changed at half time. Changing room not lockable. Stray (round) footballs from the neighbouring pitch intruded onto the field around half a dozen times during the first half, fortunately the ball was dead on all occasions.

Ben Gadsby #564

24th Feb 2019 v Anglia Ruskin Rhinos

Plymouth Blitz

90 yard field. Posts were attached to soccer goal. 3G field. No 9 yard markings or limit lines. Running clock in second half. Game played in good spirit.

Richard Madge #485

24th Feb 2019 v Bath Killer Bees

Tarannau Aberystwyth

The field is 100 yards and has NFL hash-marks and no 9 yard marks or limit lines. One end zone was 8 yards deep, the other was 10 yards. One sideline was slightly crooked.

Amir Brooks #593


Bangor Muddogs

80 yard field. No painted team areas, teams marked these out with cones. Slight delay to kick off as we tried to source three game balls, home team only had two, one of which they lost during pregame warm ups, luckily the away team had brought theirs along.

Daniel Holt #371


Durham Saints

Team areas not marked. Some difficulty with visibility, due to location of floodlights, but we managed to work round these.

Liam Wooton #478


Exeter Demons

The field was marked with 5 yard end zones so the 5 yard line was used as the goal line at both ends.

Julian Mallia #336


Glasgow University Tigers

Lack of adequate coaching/team area markings.

Shawn Sombati #15


Imperial Immortals

In field hash marks were marked almost were the 9 yard marks should have been - Cones used to determine where the umpire placed the ball using the incorrectly marked hash marks as a guide. Hash marks were too long in the centre of the field and at the side lines some went further than the sidelines. 3 yard marks were marked at 2 yards.

David Knight #135


Keele Crusaders

Keele's pitch continues to be 80 yards, so we used the 5 yard line as the Goal line Multiple changes of ball boys and chain crew during game.

Andrew Lovell #559


Manchester Tyrants

No numbers or nine yard marks. There were no coaching lines or team area markings. The changing room only had room for one official and was full of equipment for other sports. The changing rooms were not lockable.

Ben Griffiths #228


Northumbria Mustangs

Field will need to be remarked prior to the next game, hashes were barely visible.

Liam Wooton #478


University of Nottingham

Field well marked but in yellow which is now fading, Goal posts are attached to the fence.

Ian Wainwright #567


Reading Knights

Excellently marked field. Feisty game with a handful of injuries pausing the game for 5 to 10 minutes.

Oliver Maskell #221


UWE Bullets

Field marked in black and both goal lines had a section where they were very faded to the point of being difficult to see from certain angles. While there was a team area line marked, there was no team area marked behind it. There were no limit lines. There was one change of ball person in the first half.

Peter Parsons #321


Worcester Royals

Hash marks were marked to NFL/Post width, Away Team Head Coach requested that College hash marks be used, due to their play calling being affected by lateral ball position so cones outside the end lines were used to indicate correct width. One endzone was 10.5 yds & other was 9 yds. Top of numbers at 10.5 yds. Officials forced to arrive dressed as 'Team' Changing Rooms over 200 yards away and Storage Room/Toilet Block was only area available. Officials informed: #69 Jon Mannion - Taken out of game at half-time due medical cover suspecting that he had 'concussion-like symptoms'.

Albert Lambert Jnr #461


Outstanding items from previous weeks

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

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

Hull Sharks

Lovely new 4G surface, Coaches area and Team Areas not marked, however they were marked out with cones prior to KO. Also 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 4 officials and are not lockable.

Chris Jarvis #10

24th Feb 2019 v Northumbria Mustangs

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

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. 2 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 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

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 all the minimum requirements set out, 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 their 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

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

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


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


Edinburgh Predators

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

Gordon Galloway #7


Edinburgh Predators

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

Gordon Galloway #7


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


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




New this week

Play: On a try. Team A are lined up in scrimmage kick formation.  A2's place kick is partially blocked at the line of scrimmage by B60. The ball bounces first at Team B's 1-yard line. In the end zone, before the ball strikes the ground again, B88 kicks the ball through the back of the end zone.  Ruling?


Last 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.

Ruling: The bat by Team B is legal, the status of the ball after the bat is a fumble by A4 (AR 4-1-3-I).  Since this is a 4th down play, the ball is dead as soon as it is recovered by A10 (7-2-2-a-exp-2).  Team B will take the ball at the spot where A10 caught it.  There is no score by Team A.


New this week

Game Situation: Upon arrival at the ground, the officials note that there are only goal posts at one end of the field.  How should the game proceed?

Answer next issue…

Last 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: M11.7.a.1  The Head Linesman has sole responsibility for ruling on if the ball has crossed the line of scrimmage on a punt play of this kind.  This is the Head Linesman's top priority during the play.




Contact for details


February 23rd (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting 

April 6th - 7th (Sat-Sun)

BAFRA Convention 

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:

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[a]Here's a question I'm not sure of the answer to. This was played (as always) as the Greenwich Southwood site and we have a previous note for this site for RHUL Bears and Greenwich. As it's the same ground do we show all 3?