Issue 16/19                                                                                1st May 2019

BAFRA Newsflash

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2019 EXAM

The 2019 examination period for 2019 has now commenced. The paper (both in written and audio versions) and a blank answer sheet are available in the members; area of the website. If you have any difficulty in accessing these, please contact the webmaster via All qualified members (whether currently active or not) must sit the exam to retain their qualified status and associate members are encouraged to sit the exam to assess their progress and to help identify areas to work on with their mentor. All instructions for returning the exam are on both the exam paper and answer sheet.

By 10:00 pm on 30th April the following papers had been received:

Andrew Binns; Nathan Coates; Martin Cockerill; Steve Egan; Muz Gibson; Jon Ikins; Richard Madge; Julian Mallia; Will Marriage; Ollie Maskell; Dave Norton; Larry Rigby; John Roberts; Mike Roberts; Conrad Russell; Anthony Tagg; Pete Thom; Mark Wilson; Lee Wood; Brian Yates.

Please note that all answer sheets are acknowledged. If you think you should be on the above list and are not, please contact

On behalf of Dean Wright – Examination Committee Chair


Congratulations to Nathan Coates on completing all of the requirements necessary to become Qualified.

Thanks to Richard Madge and all those who are helping with Nathans training.


Tzvi Lindeman - Director of Training


A couple of reports have come in of things for officials to look out for.

There have been reports on social media with pictures showing players apparently with tinted visors. In fact, their visors have been ruled legal by the officials, but it is only in the photographs that they look tinted. This is because some manufacturers now provide a reflective/mirror coating on what is a clear visor. It should go without saying that if a visor is clear when observed normally, then it is legal. We do not officiate from photos!

In a separate case, one team has been attempting to use a mini kicking tee, claiming that it compensates for an uneven field surface. Obviously, any device or material which elevates the ball, by even a millimetre, on a scrimmage kick is in contravention of Rules 2-16-4-d and 6-3-10-d and must not be used (or penalised if used). If they want their field to be more even, they need to roll it!

If you hear any other strange reports from teams, please let me know.

Jim Briggs - Chair BAFA Rules Committee


There has been significant confusion over the fees for small sided tournaments. I shall attempt to briefly cover them here and, hopefully, a document will be available on the BAFRA website shortly detailing the full process.

Firstly, please note that BAFA do not provide a subsidy anymore for Small Sided Football, unless it is a BAFA tournament whereby they take the whole cost. Teams were told that the subsidy was only a short term measure.

Secondly, the fees are derived based on an officials time commitment, with 2 games being £45, 3/£60, 4+/£75.

Next, the number of officials to be assigned as a minimum is as determined by the BAFRA Annex to the Terms & Conditions. Typically, it will be 2 per field for tournaments taking place in the regular season. So, if there are two fields we charge for 4 officials. Any more than that assigned and we subdivide the cost.

Hopefully, this clarifies things somewhat. If you are at all unsure, please check with finance before you tell teams an incorrect cost.

Stuart Tabberer - Deputy Director of Finance










New this week

Conor Curry


Chester Romans



As time expired in the 3rd quarter, the play ended on the opposite side of the field, #99 was seen to grab an opponent and headbutt the Nottingham player

4th May 2019 v Sandwell Steelers

Matias Peinado Greco


London Hornets



Player lead with his helmet and made forcible contact against the head of the ball carrier, who was already in the grasp of an opponent, and who's forward progress had been stopped.

12th May 2019 v Colchester Gladiators

Dan Storey


Berkshire Renegades



Early in the 3rd quarter Berkshire #13 was flagged by both the Umpire and Head Linesman for continuing to dispute a call. After this the player continued to dispute calls that went against his team. Late in the 3rd quarter after a long run down the sideline the Head Linesman called a player out of bounds near the 5 yard line and then the ball carrier ran into the endzone. Berkshire #13 trailing the play in the centre of the field and in no position to see the outcome of the play, continued to dispute the call drawing attention to himself. The player was asked by the referee to "claim down" but he ignored this request and continued to comment on the validity of the call and was given a second unsportsmanlike penalty for his continued provoking of ill will towards the officials

12th May 2019 v Oxford Saints

Previous weeks

Jordan Hall


Crewe Railroaders



After the play was over, #56 was seen to kick an opposing player who was lying on the ground.

19th May 2019 v Staffordshire Surge





New this week

Cobham Cougars (U19)

The start of the game was delayed by 30 minutes due to the non-arrival of either medic (one to respond to an emergency, one who had public transport issues).

There were no team areas and NFL style hash-marks. Changing rooms are a reasonable walk away from the field. One ball person was removed from the opposition sideline for swearing at the coach and was quickly replaced. The down-box was held together by gaffer tape. Cobham’s Head Coach, who was the gameday manager, was helpful and willing to resolve any gameday issue.

James Ford-Bannister #479

26th May 2019 v London Warriors

Essex Spartans

90 yard field, all inbounds hash-marks were missing on arrival at ground - team/ground staff marked them before Kick Off. However these were extremely wide so just used as guiding reference points for spotting the ball. Referees' changing room at Thames RFC is designed for just one person, so we used a team changing room which was not lockable. Down box operator returned late after the half time break, which had been extended for a team presentation by agreement, forcing a stand in replacement for a few downs.

Phil Clarke #262

23rd June 2019 v East Kent Mavericks

Highland Wildcats (U19)

No limit lines, numbers or 9 yard marks. Game stopped twice for 45 minutes to allow injured players to be treated and transferred to local hospital.

Henry Richardson #25

9th June 2019 v Etone Jaguars

London Blitz

The field appears to be marked out in metres rather than yards, leading to a discrepancy between the 10-yard chains and the on field markings, both teams were informed the chains would be authoritative regarding first downs, additionally this meant penalty enforcement was difficult to march off.

The normal changing room at the venue was not accessible due to issues with the lock, so the crew instead changed in a unlockable room, so our bags were locked in an office instead during the game. The chains broke once during the game and there was a change of one chain crew personnel at half time.

Andrew Murrell #608

23rd June 2019 v London Warriors

London Hornets

Surface of the field was very rough. Had to obtain a shovel before the game to flatten the edges of some depressions and even the surface out. Multiple changes of ball persons and chain crew during the game, though this was in part because there was an an agreement between the teams that the away team would supply their own ball boy. No suitable changing room was available at the venue, officials made use of a weights room after players had vacated it.

Dean Wright #553

12th May 2019 v Colchester Gladiators

Morecambe Bay Storm

Field was marked in red and was very faint, this could have been due to Saturdays storm Hannah.

Lee Taylor #183

9th June 2019 v         Halton Spartans

Nottingham Caesars

With 54 seconds remaining in the 2nd Quarter, the game was stopped to treat an injured Chester player, this resulted in a delay of 25 minutes. For future crews there will be a parking charge at Harvey Hadden which will be in place from the start of June.

Ian Wainwright #567

26th May 2019 v Doncaster Mustangs

Poole Dolphins (Youth)

A well run tournament hosted by the Poole Dolphins. Two excellently marked fields. Commendations should be passed on as it was the first tournament they had ever hosted.

Oliver Maskell #221


Staffordshire Surge

The game was suspended for 20 minutes to treat to an injured player with 11.00 left in the third quarter

Tim Vickers #129

9th June 2019 v Lincolnshire Bombers

Thames Valley Tigers (U19)

The game was played at a ‘neutral venue’ as part of a doubleheader at Royal Holloway. No team areas and NFL style hash-marks but otherwise a high quality field in good weather. Changing rooms are a reasonable walk away from the field.

James Ford-Bannister #479

2nd June 2019 v Cambridgeshire Cats

Worcestershire Black Knights

Only one set of goalposts were available; the second set were condemned at short notice. The field was very well marked except that there were no numbers or 9 yard markings.

Darryl Morton #493

2nd June 2019 v Cornish Sharks

Outstanding items from previous weeks

Berkshire Renegades

90 yard field with 7 yard end zones. Due to issues identified at a pre-season fixture with the field width there were two sets of sideline markings, with the outer set used on the visiting team sideline and the inner set on the home team sideline as these made the field the correct width and made the sidelines the correct distance from the uprights and the inbounds lines. There were no limit lines.

Peter Parsons #321

12th May 2019 v Oxford Saints

Chester Romans

Game was suspended for 10 minutes at the start of the 3rd quarter as the medic mysteriously vanished from the sideline. Field was well marked apart from the 3 yard marks which were closer to 1.5 yard line.

John Roberts #145

12th May 2019 v Lancashire Wolverines

Humber Warhawks

Well marked 100 yard field. No limit lines, 9 yard marks or numbers. The field had no posts so both teams agreed to play the game as a no post contest. The changing facilities were best described as woeful, being a building in the middle of a park. Apparently Humber don't plan to play here again.

David Hewitt #607

19th May 2019 v Birmingham Bulls

London Warriors

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

5th May 2019 v London Blitz

Northumberland Vikings

On arrival there was an issue with changing facilities, due to Glasgow having some female players. This was quickly resolved by ourselves and the Glasgow staff. Most of the field has been remarked, however, some sections of solid lines haven’t been due to proximity to soccer markings, we managed to work around this with barely visible old markings completing the lines, but have requested all lines be fully marked for the next game. No 3 yard marks or 9 yard marks, hash marks are very short and not always one yard apart. There were two changes to the chain crew during the game. The Vikings intended to live stream their home games, initially they’d set up their sideline opposite the camera, given the proximity of the camera to the opposition team area, they switched to the other side of the field. As always with games at Druid Park, it’s very easy to lose footballs after a PAT attempt as they head into the adjacent hotel grounds.

Liam Wooton #478

19th May 2019 v Gateshead Senators

Sandwell Steelers

During the fourth quarter, play was suspended for around 45 minutes while an ambulance was summoned for an injured player.

Paul Todd #289

4th May 2019 vs Chester Romans

Sheffield Giants

Well marked field with NFL hash marks.

Ian Wainwright #567

12th May 2019 v Manchester Titans

Solent Thrashers

The game was played on an 100 yard field, There were no numbers or 9 yard marks, while the 10 yard lines were marked in blue, with the other markings in yellow. The goalposts overhang into the end zones.The game was suspended with 56 seconds left in the first half due to a serious injury to a Thrashers player that required an ambulance. After just over an hour the player was stretched off the field and the game then restarted to a finish.

Richard Moger #472

5th May 2019 v Sussex Thunder

Somerset Wyverns

Changing rooms very small and wet. No 3 yard lines. 9 yard lines were partially completed.

Richard Madge #485

5th May 2019 v Bristol Apache

Sussex Thunder

End zone was marked out as 12 yards deep. These markings put the end line too close to the fence - and no padding was available. Helpfully, there are markings of a slightly different colour that were available to use as an alternate end line. This made the end zones closer to 10 yards in size and provided enough distance from the fence in which to play the game safely. This was the case at both ends of the field.

Dean Wright #553

12th May 2019 v Hertfordshire Cheetahs

Yorkshire Academy (U19)

Well marked 100 yard field. No 9 yard marks or numbers.

David Hewitt #607

9th June 2019 v Manchester Titans Juniors



New this week

Play: Play of the Week will return after the end of the BAFRA Exam Period


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Contact for details


May 11th (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting 

July 20th (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting 

November 16th (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting 


April 4th - 5th (Sat-Sun)

BAFRA Convention 

April 4th (Sat)


BAFRA Directors


David Parsons

General Secretary

Paul Sutton


Roger Brown


Roger Goodgroves


Ollie Maskell


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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