Issue 19/19                                                                                22nd May 2019

BAFRA Newsflash

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Now that the Annual Examination is complete, the process of selecting the 25 members of the BEP can commence. Should you wish to be considered, then you must apply in writing to the Director of Operations at .

The closing date for applications is 5pm Saturday 8th June 2019.

Applications will only be considered from Qualified BAFRA members who meet specific criteria. Full details of the criteria can be found in the Elite Programme Policy in Section 6 of the Members' Handbook.

Also, as part of the criteria includes your rating on the Selection Spreadsheet, which must be 80% or above, I would recommend you read the Scheduling and Selection Policy which can be found in Section 5 of the Members Handbook. If you wish to know your current rating on the Selection Spreadsheet before making your decision on whether or not to apply, please send an email to and I will respond in early June with your current score.  Before I can respond with your score the results of the exam and the peer scores need to be collated.

If it is your intention to apply then I would recommend that you read the documents in full. If you are considering applying and would like an informal discussion please contact me.

Roger Goodgroves - Director of Operations

2019 EXAM

All of the exam results were sent out on Sunday. If you have not received your, please contact the General Secretary via Congratulations to all those who improved on their average score this year (which was the majority) and in particular to the three members who scored 100%. The average overall mark was 80.74%.

On behalf of Dean Wright – Examination Committee Chair


It has been reported that a team had equipped one of their players with a microphone to record his voice during a game. This was allegedly to contribute to the post-game video production, rather than as a form of immediate communication with his coaching staff.

Rule 1-4-10 states, "Players may not be equipped with any electronic, mechanical or other signal devices for the purpose of communicating with any source", with two exceptions: hearing aids and health monitoring devices. Even though the communication in this case is not "live", it is still communication and thus prohibited.

This is the sort of problem that is obviously best dealt with before the game, instructing the team that this sort of equipment is prohibited and must be removed. If it is discovered during the game, then the penalty is unequivocal: the player must be disqualified (and his team moved back 15 yards). If this happens, report it with E-code OTH.

As usual, if you hear any other strange reports from or about teams, please let me know.

Jim Briggs - Rules Committee Chair


For those members who officiate 5-a-side contact and flag, the mechanics manual and quickstart guide are now available for download from in the Mechanics area.

Pete Parsons


The Board have appointed Graham Smith as the BAFRA Welfare Officer. He brings a wealth of experience to the role from his professional background. Reporting to the Director without Portfolio #1 he will assist the Board in reviewing our policies and procedures relating to a range of welfare issues and ensure that appropriate decisions are made across a range of welfare-related issues. Graham may be contacted on

Paul Sutton - General Secretary


The Board have appointed Henry Richardson and Susannah Taylor as Deputy Directors of Operations and Recruitment respectively. Henry has worked in the Operations Team for a number of years and may continue to be contacted at Susannah has been the BAFRA Media Team lead for a couple of years and this will link in well with the recruitment role. For her recruitment function, Susannah may be contacted at and retains the address for all issues related to that area of responsibility

Paul Sutton - General Secretary










New this week

Theone Coleman


Sussex Thunder



With 11.55 remaining in the 2nd quarter, Mr Coleman was seen to rough the passer using the crown of his helmet, he was ejected under rule 9-1-3.

16th June 2019 v Berkshire Renegades

Previous weeks

Lewis Riches


East Essex Sabres



With 2:11 remaining in the third quarter, #97 of East Essex was observed striking a prone opponent.

26th May 2019 v Norwich Devils

Ryan Robinson


London Blitz



With 5:00 remaining in the first half, #78 was observed to deliver a headbutt to an opponent.

26th May 2019 v Farnham Knights

*The above game is Mr Robinson’s 2nd game of a 2 game suspension as he has been disqualified twice within a 12 month period (See Newsflash 18/19)

Rhys Cheedy


Swindon Storm



With 0.58 seconds left in the game, #12 committed a second unsportsmanlike conduct act, by verbally abusing an official. This followed a first unsportsmanlike conduct act, which was also for verbally abusing another official on the crew after the opposing team had scored a Touchdown.

This was Swindon's second game of the tournament, as a result Mr Cheedy will need to serve his suspension in Swindon's first game of their next tournament.

22nd June 2019 v Solent Seahawks





New this week

Bristol Apache

100 yard field well marked. Other sports markings on field. No 9 yard marks.

Richard Madge #485

16th June 2019 v Cornish Sharks

Edinburgh Wolves

No limit lines, Game kicked off 30 minutes late due to Home team management forgetting to inform Medical Cover of the rearranged earlier kickoff time

Henry Richardson #25

9th June 2019 v         Merseyside Nighthawks

Crewe Railroaders

Small Changing rooms, not locked, and other people's possessions present

Andrew Lovell #559

26th May 2019 v Humber Warhawks

Glasgow Tigers

Well marked 90 yard field, 3 yard marks at the 4, changing rooms are very small.

Liam Wooton #478

9th June 2019 v Aberdeen Roughnecks

Inverclyde Goliaths

Kick off delayed by 25 minutes to give the officials a chance to refresh after travelling from the Glasgow game. Field marked in blue, footballs provided are all well worn.

Liam Wooton #478

9th June 2019 v Dumfries Hunters

Kent Exiles

Well marked 100-yard field in white missing only limit lines, numbers & 9-yard marks. There were some faded 5v5 field markings at one end but these were easily distinguishable. Adequate sized changing room for a 5-man crew, despite being partly used for equipment storage, but with no private shower or toilet.

Tim Ockendon #481

23rd June 2019 v Bristol Aztecs

Knottingley Raiders

Coaching area ran from 20 to 20 yard lines and were only set back 3 feet from sideline, one try mark was located only 2 yards from the goal line, no 9 yard marks or numbers.

Richard Whitby #136

30th June 2019 v Halton Spartans

London Blitz B

Field marked in metres but chains are 10 yards so used chains. determined that 10 yard penalties would be 9 metres, 5 yard penalties were 4.5 metres and 15 yard penalties were 13.5 metres. Best guess half distance enforcement.

Brian Yates #29

23rd June 2019 v         Swindon Storm

London Blitz (Junior)

Field marked in metres but chains are 10 yards so used chains. determined that 10 yard penalties would be 9 metres, 5 yard penalties were 4.5 metres and 15 yard penalties were 13.5 metres. Best guess half distance enforcement.

Brian Yates #29

14th July 2019 v Hertfordshire Cheetahs

London Blitz (Youth)

Fields marginally longer than standard in order to use marked 11-a-side field lines. No team areas and end zones, midfield lines and 5-yard lines were all marked with spray paint and were slightly crooked. Thanks to game management and the teams for assisting with clearing the fields of goose droppings prior to Kick Off. Changing room was an equipment storage room with no facilities and insufficient space for 6 officials and was not lockable, although game management did provide a separate lockable storage space for the officials' kit to be stored in during the game.

London Warriors v East Kent Mavericks game suspended for 32 minutes with 15:00 remaining in the second half in order to treat an injured player. London Warriors v Kent Exiles game abandoned with 4:44 remaining in the first half and the Exiles leading 13-0 with the agreement of both coaches due to Warriors low player numbers.

Tim Ockendon #481

8th June 2019

London Hornets

The field was marked with NFL hash marks.

Pete Thom #200

2nd June 2019 v Cambridgeshire Cats

London Warriors

Small public changing room for crew, multi coloured lines on the field for multiple sports, no team area markings.

Martin Cockerill #345

26th May 2019 v Kent Exiles

Northumberland Vikings

90 yard field, no limit lines, no nine yard marks. Where the field has been recently repainted, some lines have not been fully repainted so appear to be incomplete from a distance but you can still see where the original line painting is.

Daniel Holt #371

9th June 2019 v         East Kilbride Pirates

Maidstone Pumas

Kick off was delayed by 15 minutes due to the away team not being aware of the kickoff time The game was suspended for 25 minutes in the second quarter for medical reasons. One ball person was changed at this point, though they were not themselves injured The game was delayed for two incidents of a drone flying above the playing enclosure during the fourth quarter.

Ben Gadsby #564

26th May 2019 v Essex Spartans

Merseyside Nighthawks

Field generally well marked in yellow with other sports markings in white and pink. 3 yard mark missing. No limit lines. No numbers/9 yard marks. No gap between five yard lines and sideline. Only one line marked in team area (no coaches' line). Goal Posts are potentially shorter than 20 feet. Chains broke once during game casing a slight delay. Game balls supplied were worn but usable. Changing room not lockable but lockers present inside were.

Jed Brookes-Lewis #395

16th June 2019 v Sheffield Giants

Portsmouth Dreadnoughts

No 9 yard marks, faint black lines, team areas marked with cones. This was Portsmouth's first game on the brand new artificial pitch at Havant RFC. Future officials must be aware that only studded footwear is accepted and officials are checked onto the field by venue staff. We had 2 pairs of shoes declined but thankfully the venue kept a box of spare boots for people who fall foul of the strict rules.

Oliver Maskell #221

2nd June 2019 v         Berkshire Renegades

Outstanding items from previous weeks

Bristol Aztecs

During the first quarter, the away team complained about an home team cameraman who was stationed on a small tower behind their team area, alleging that he was communicating with the home team using a radio. Although denying this, the cameraman moved from his position voluntarily.

Amir Brooks #593

2nd June 2019 v London Olympians

Cobham Cougars (Junior)

The Start of the Game was delayed by 30 minutes due to the non-arrival of either of the first two medics (one to respond to an emergency, one who had public transport issues).

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. One ball person was removed from the opposition sideline for swearing at the coach and was quickly replaced. The down-box was also held together by gaffer tape.

Cobham’s Head Coach, who acted as gameday manager for this game, was helpful and willing in resolving any and all problems the crew had on gameday issues.

James Ford-Bannister #479

26th May 2019 v London Warriors

Cobham Cougars (Youth)

Although the fields were well marked, they had only been marked with 5 yard end zones. After consultation with the coaches it was agreed that cones would be used to extend the end zones to a legal length. No dedicated changing facilities so we had to use communal ones in the sports centre and then store bags in cars.

Aside from this it was a great day of football played in a good spirit.

Andrew Murrell #608

21st July 2019

Cornish Sharks

90 yard field. No limit lines. Played in a soccer stadium with soccer markings on field.

Richard Madge #485

26th May 2019 v Bristol Apache

East Essex Sabres

Officials assistants provided about 5 minutes prior to kickoff, chain set was missing chain - kickoff delayed by about 10 minutes to rectify problem and ensure briefing took place; there was also one change at half time. Changing room is not lockable and is located a fair walk from the field. No team area or player boxes were marked, just a coaching line. Game briefly suspended as a spectator was flying a drone.

Phil Clarke #262

26th May 2019 v         Norwich Devils

East Kilbride Pirates

Team areas marked to 30 yd line instead of 25 yd line.

Shawn Sombati #15

2nd June 2019 v Gateshead Senators

East Kilbride Pirates (Junior)

Game conceded by Yorkshire in the fourth quarter due to injuries resulting in low number of players available.

Shawn Sombati #15

2nd June 2019 v Manchester Titans (Junior)

Essex Spartans

90 yard field, all inbounds hash-marks were missing on arrival at ground - team/ground staff marked them before Kick Off however they 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. Both teams decided to forego a card/roster check before the game.

Phil Clarke #262

23rd June 2019 v East Kent Mavericks

Gateshead Senators

90 yard field. Before kick off, certain issues were raised prior to the game concerning the field and two areas out of bounds. These were all rectified prior to kick off and I would like to extend my thanks to the Gateshead Senators for sorting out these problems. There were no 9 yard marks or numbers. The in field hash marks weren't always straight and continued into the end zone.

David Hewitt #607

26th May 2019 v Aberdeen Roughnecks

Hertfordshire Cheetahs

Changing room for officials is very small and cramped with just about enough room to change in, but not to hold a pregame. Field was very well marked.

Andrew Murrell #608

2nd June 2019 v         Solent Thrashers

Highland Wildcats (Junior)

No limit lines, no numbers or marks at 9 yards. 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

Lincolnshire Bombers

Lincolnshire advised during the week that they may not have their second set of posts fitted in time for the game. On arrival at the venue, this was the case so one all offensive plays took place towards this goal. This should be resolved for their next home fixture. Officials changing room is only big enough for two people so the crew used the home team's room after they had vacated it. This was not lockable.

Jed Brookes-Lewis #395

30th June 2019 v Birmingham Bulls

London Blitz

The field appears to be marked out in metres rather than yards, leading to a big discrepancy between the 10-yard chains and where field lines implied 10 yards was, so both teams were informed the chains would be authoritative regarding first downs.This also means penalty enforcement is not the easiest to march off either!

The normal changing room at the venue is not accessible due to issues with the lock, so the crew instead changed in an anteroom which was not itself lockable, so instead 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 Olympians

Game day management was generally very good, however chain crew were altered just as we were about to kick off requiring retraining, and ball persons were generally not engaged in the game. NFL width hash marks were on the field so lateral position was approximated. Team areas were marked with cones.

Steven Leonard #370

16th June 2019 v London Warriors

Manchester Titans (Junior)

Field of play was only 80 yards and there were non-Football white field markings closer than four feet to end zone lines. The teams areas were marked between the 20 yard lines. The changing rooms were not lockable.

Ben Griffiths #228

23rd June 2019 v East Kilbride Pirates Juniors

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 this will be in place from start of June.

Ian Wainwright #567

26th May 2019 c Doncaster Mustangs

Sandwell Steelers

Changing rooms not locked, no separate toilet. H type Goal posts set 3 yards outside end line, meaning cross bar was 3 yards behind end line for both goals.

Andrew Lovell #559

21st July 2019 v Shropshire Revolution

Solent Thrashers

Kick off was delayed by 30 minutes due to a longer than expected Junior game.

Oliver Maskell #221

9th June 2019 v Berkshire Renegades

South East Legion (Junior)

The field was very well marked for one that had been marked overnight by a youth setup. Goalposts were converted soccer goals, which were not ideal but well marked/covered (for safety) and satisfactory to both coaches. Changing rooms were a lockable classroom with no showers. S.E. Legion's game management should be commended, especially for a team hosting its first home fixture.

James Ford-Bannister #479

26th May 2019 v         Solent Seahawks

Staffordshire Surge

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

Tim Vickers #129

9th June 2019 v Lincolnshire Bombers

Sussex Thunder

End line too close to the cage fence so a white soccer line was used. Field well marked with differently coloured soccer markings also.

Oliver Maskell #221

23rd June 2019 v         Solent Thrashers

Thames Valley Tigers (Junior)

The game was played at a ‘neutral venue’ as part of a doubleheader at Royal Holloway.

Minor issues from first game of doubleheader mostly resolved. 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. Down-box was replaced by a new one provided by Thames Valley.

James Ford-Bannister #479

2nd June 2019 v Cambridgeshire Cats

Worcestershire Black Knights

Only one set of goalposts was available; the second set having been 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

Yorkshire Academy (Junior)

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

David Hewitt #607

9th June 2019 v Manchester Titans Juniors

Yorkshire Rams

80 yard field. No 3 yard or 9 yard marks or numbers. No team areas but these were added using cones. The officials changing room was too small for a crew of five. The whole chain crew was replaced at half time for a variety of reasons.

David Hewitt #607

26th May 2019 v Northumberland Vikings



New this week

Play: A - 2nd & 5 at the B 20 yard line.  A11 throws a pass from the B-23 and A22 touches the pass at the B-24 and completes the catch at the B-22.  During the pass, A66 is a pulling guard and blocks B99 below the waist from the 10-2 position towards the Team B goal line.  After the block, A66 stands over B99 taunting and screaming obscenities when A22 is just crossing the goal line. The Referee has a flag for taunting but is not sure when the foul occurred in relation to A22 crossing the goal line.


Last week

Play: n/a

Ruling: n/a


New this week

Game Situation: On a five man crew, when a running play goes to the opposite side of the field, what should a Wing Official do?

Answer next issue…

Last week

Game Situation: n/a

Answer: n/a




Contact for details


20th July (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting 

10th August (Sat)

Youth Contact Finals

17th or 18th August (Sat or Sun)

Adult Flag Finals

24th August (Sat)

Junior Division 2 Finals

31st August (Sat)

Premier Division FInal (Brit Bowl)

1st September (Sun)

Junior Division 1 Final

1st September (Sun)

Adult Division 1 Final

8th September (Sun)

Youth Flag Finals

8th September (Sun)

Cadet Flag Finals

16th November (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting 


4th - 5th April (Sat-Sun)

BAFRA Convention 

4th April (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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