Issue 20/19                                                                                29th May 2019

BAFRA Newsflash

💻       @BAFRAOfficial

  @BAFRAOfficial             @BAFRA_Official 


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



In previous years, BAFRA has supplied officials for the Chain Crew for the International series (eight officials at each game). I am pleased to report that we have been asked by the NFL to provide Chain Crews for all FOUR games this year. The game details are as follows:

  • 6th   October at 18:00:

Chicago Bears @ Oakland Raiders (Tottenham Hotspur Stadium)

  • 13th October at 14.30:

Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Tottenham Hotspur Stadium)

  • 27th October at 17:00:

Cincinnati Bengals @ Los Angeles Rams (Wembley Stadium)

  • 3rd   November at 14:30:

Houston Texans @ Jacksonville Jaguars (Wembley Stadium)


Expressions of Interest to be part of the Chain Crews for these games are now invited from all eligible officials. This includes all qualified BAFRA members who have never worked on an NFL Chain Crew, or have only done so between 2007-2015 on no more than two occasions. The exception is for officials who worked only one game in 2018, they can apply as they will provide crew continuity, which is an NFL pre-requisite.  Please note the start times for each game before deciding which you can realistically attend.

One night’s accommodation is usually provided near the stadium but details are yet to be confirmed.  In the past, these have either been the night before the game or the night following, which some find better for evening games.  In previous years, many NFL officiating crews have allowed us to attend their pre-game meeting.  These are typically held in the morning on the day before the game.  These are fascinating to be part of and if you get the opportunity I would strongly recommend attendance.  These aren't compulsory but may be worth considering as part of any travel planning.

It should also be noted that each official will receive a game fee for performing this duty but travel expenses are not paid.

Please clearly state for which games you will be available.  If you have worked at an International Series game in the past, please detail what role and what year. Note: Ideally we need to schedule officials for two games in a row to ensure the above-mentioned crew continuity. The selection criteria are explained in the members' area of the BAFRA website and I would encourage all officials who are eligible to consider applying. However, please be aware that we are always heavily oversubscribed. I want to reassure all officials who have never worked at an NFL game that they will be given an equal chance to be selected.  We want to give as many dedicated officials an opportunity to work at these major events and unlike some other roles, where longevity is essential, here it is is also about "taking regard of the member's commitment to officiating and contribution to BAFRA".  If you require further information about any aspect of this important role please contact me directly for an informal discussion.

The closing date for expressions of interest is 5pm on Friday 28th June 2019 via  On submission of your expression of interest, you will receive an acknowledgement from me. If you do not receive a reply within 72 hours then contact me to ensure your application has been received.

NOTE:  Game 1 of this series at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, White Hart Lane, on 14th October has a 6pm start time. Therefore the game will not finish until approx 9:30pm and you may not get away from the stadium until later, especially if overtime is involved.

NOTE:  Officials who worked a game in 2018 must submit an application if they wish to be considered for any of the 2019 games.


Roger Goodgroves - Director of Operations


This year’s BAFRA Charity is Pancreatic Cancer UK in memory of Norman Cox who passed away earlier this year having been a loyal and popular BAFRA member since the early days. The weekend chosen is the 6th and 7th July when members will be requested to donate all or part of their game fee to this worthy cause. Facilities will also be provided for those without a game that weekend to make a donation should they so wish. More information will be provided nearer the time but please make a note in your diary as a reminder.

Paul Sutton – General Secretary


I have recently been contacted by Alun Price who many of you will remember as a former official in the Midlands. He has some kit for sale and requested that it is advertised in Newsflash. It is as follows:

In addition to the above has the following which he said he would give to anyone buying the clothing.

3 flags (one long throw); Down marker; White and blue bean bags; Rigid plastic rotating chain clip.

Finally, there were 2 shirts Honig’s LS jersey. Size L Tall and McDavid SL jersey. Size L which are unfortunately 1” stripes. He had been hoping for £5 each but I have explained a sale is unlikely because of the move to 2” stripes.

If you are interested in any of the above, I have Alun’s contact details and will forward them on request.

Paul Sutton – General Secretary


The minutes from the May Board meeting are now available in the members’ area of the website at:

Paul Sutton – General Secretary


Congratulations to Owen Samuels on completing all of the requirements necessary to become Qualified.

Thanks to Kevin Stainton and all those who are helping with Owen’s training.

Tzvi Lindeman - BAFRA Director of Training










New this week

John Pedden


Maidstone Pumas



With 6:30 left in the third quarter, Maidstone #48 was seen to deliberately strike an opponent in the groin with his knee.

16th June 2019 v  East Kent Mavericks

Alex Martin


Somerset Wyverns



The coach was given their first unsportsmanlike conduct after making loud, disparaging remarks about a number of calls made by the officials which could be heard by spectators. During the Fourth Quarter the same assistant coach continued to make further disparaging remarks about calls being made, as a result this was the second unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

2nd June 2019 v South Wales Warriors

*As this was a disqualification of a non-player, this is a whole game day suspension. Mr Martin may not be present at the game site in any capacity.

Previous weeks

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

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

Bournemouth Bobcats

100 yard field with no numbers or nine-yard marks. Thick yard line extensions near one end zone. Portable goals used. Changing rooms not lockable.

Euan Paterson #165

21st July 2019 v Hastings Conquerors

Cornish Sharks

The game was played on a soccer pitch with field markings for both sports marked in white. The goals were soccer goals with the uprights formed by scaffold poles strapped to the posts. This meant that the goalposts are too far apart and the crossbar is too low by rule. The inbounds hashmarks were too close to the sidelines (approximately 14 yards). One ballboy was changed at half time.

Amir Brooks #593


Crewe Railroaders

Changing rooms not lockable and full of other people's kit. One ball change during game as pressure dropped. Chain crew slow.

Andrew Lovell #559

7th July 2019 v Birmingham Bulls

Farnham Knights

90 yard field with proper markings, but the home team had a hard time finding suitable people for the chain crew and ball persons, we got them about 4-5 minutes before kickoff, thus the game kicked off with a delay as they had to be taught. After the game while we were already in the changing room, we received report from the groundsman about 2 of the visiting team's spectators abusing locals.

Viktor Janvari #63

2nd June 2019 v London Warriors

Gateshead Senators

No limit lines, no numbers or 9 yards marks. No coaching or team areas marked. Game halted for around 10 minutes late in the 4th quarter to allow for treatment to an injured Aberdeen player.

Henry Richardson #25

16th June 2019 v Yorkshire Rams

Lancashire Wolverines

Field was 80 yards, with the team areas extending from the 20 yard lines. Both coaches and players boxes were not marked with lines, but had been "marked" out by cutting the grass a shorter length than the rest of the field.

John Roberts #145

2nd June 2019 v Sandwell Steelers

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. One game ball supplied was not at correct pressure. Plaudits to game management for retrieving two game balls trapped in the netting behind one goal during the game, without which the game may not have been able to continue. Changing room not private or lockable.

Tim Ockendon #481

21st July 2019 v London Olympians

Maidstone Pumas

Maidstone were playing at a new venue, Aylesford Bulls Rugby Club, do not use the postcode for this location on sat nav otherwise this takes you to the wrong side of the field, instead use club hall road. The endzones were of minimum required length, there were NFL hash marks, and no 9-yard marks. Maidstone game management said this would be rectified for their next home game..

Richard Moger #472


Manchester Titans

The field is 80 yards long.

Tim Vickers #129

23rd June 2019 v Merseyside Nighthawks

Nottingham Caesars (Junior)

At 5 minutes remaining in the 1st quarter Chorley #5 was taken ill and required medical assistance for 8 minutes. On behalf of the crew we wish him well and a speedy recovery.

Ian Wainwright #567

9th June 2019 v Birmingham Lions

Oxford Saints

The distance at half way between the two 40 yard lines is not ten yards (90 yard field)

Graham P Hedges #219

16th June 2019 v Portsmouth Dreadnoughts

South East Legion (Junior)

The changing room used was also used by the players, not lockable so bags stored in cars. The field itself was generally well marked, with a football goal attached behind the rugby posts. There was no 9-yard marks or numbers on the field.

Richard Moger #472

7th July 2019 v Cobham Cougars

Somerset Wyverns

The 100 yard field had been marked out by the local council with modest issues initially no three yard lines, top of the 9 line yard numbers were at 6 yards from sidelines and some inbound hash marks were not straight; but otherwise very well marked field with proper football goalposts. The changing room is designed for soccer officials so is very small and sparse. Once changed into uniforms, the crew moved outside for pregame and other game preparations. The changing room is locked for the game and opened at half and full-time.

Francis Bevan #474

9th June 2019 v South Wales Warriors

Yorkshire Rams

No limit lines. 9 yard marks were present but at 14 yards. Inbounds hashes were only 2" wide.

David Hewitt #607

23rd June 2019 v East Kilbride Pirates

Outstanding items from previous weeks

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

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 (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

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)

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

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

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

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

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

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 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 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 (Junior)

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

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

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

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

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

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 (U19)

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 (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: Team A, 1st & 10 at half-way. There is 0:50 remaining in the 4th quarter. Neither team has any timeouts remaining and the score is A14 – B14. A1 takes the shotgun snap and throws a swing pass to Running Back A20. A20 catches the pass at the A-48 and runs to the B-43 where he is tackled inbounds with 0:40 remaining on the clock. Right Tackle A77 is injured on the play.


Last 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.

Ruling: Touchdown for Team A, enforce the Unsportsmanlike Conduct penalty against A66 on the Try or the succeeding kickoff. A66’s initial block is legal (9-1-6) as it is 10-2 and is toward the Team B goal line, however, his action following the block is not (9-2-1-a-1-b). By philosophy, when in question whether an unsportsmanlike act is a live ball or a dead ball foul, it is a dead ball foul (M6.1.39). This foul can be enforced on the try or the succeeding kickoff at the choice of Team B. The Referee will announce that this is the first Unsportsmanlike Conduct foul by A66 (AR 9-2-1-III and 9-2-1-IV).


New this week

Game Situation: On a five man crew, on 3rd down, Team A run a sweep play towards the Press-Box side of the field. After the play, the Line Judge indicates a forward progress spot that results in a first down, the Head Linesman indicates a spot that results in fourth down. The two wing officials cannot agree on the spot. Which forward progress spot should be used?

Answer next issue…

Last 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: M11.3.b - They should stay wide but approximately level with the ball carrier’s progress. They should remain alert especially for cheap shots behind the play (“clean up”). Unless they have a penalty on the play they should not blow their whistle when the play ends. Only if the coverer marks a very inaccurate spot should they attract the attention of the coverer to their spot. This should be done unobtrusively, preferably over the radio.




Contact for details


July 20th (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting 

10th August (Sat)

Youth Contact Finals

17th or 18th August (Sat or Sun)

Adult Flag Finals

25th 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

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:

Page  of

[a]Keep in every Newsflash until after the Deadline

[b]Keep in every newsflash until closing date.