Issue 21/19                                                                                5th June 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



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 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 6th 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



Congratulations to the following officials for fulfilling the requirements for being upgraded.

Level Q1

Gareth Hughes, Austin Pickles, Leanne Spencer, James Statham and Henry Young

Level Q2

James Ford-Bannister, Ollie Maskell, Ali May, Jason Mead, Dave Norton, Jack Pearce, Mike Roberts, and Andrew Swift

Level Q3

Ben Gadsby, Viktor Janvari, Mark Niven and Perry Wayman

Level Q4

Francis Bevin, Richard Moger and Stuart Tabberer

Tzvi Lindeman - Director of Training

BAFRA Disciplinary Committee


The Company Regulations require the directors to periodically appoint the membership of the Disciplinary Committee. We are interested in hearing from members who wish to serve on the Committee whether they are existing members of the Committee or new to the role. Details of what is required may be found in the Regulations in the Members’ Handbook: If you have any queries about the responsibilities involved these should be directed to the President at

Applications for the Committee should be sent to me at the address below by 24th June.

Paul Sutton – General Secretary










New this week

Robert Hayes


Aberdeen Roughnecks



With 1.38 left in the 4th Quarter, #85 committed a dead ball personal foul with targeting making forcible contact to the head neck area of a defenceless player.

9th June 2019 v Glasgow Tigers

Previous weeks

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

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

Aberdeen Roughnecks

No limit lines.

Henry Richardson #25

23rd June 2019 v Gateshead Senators

Bristol Aztecs

Field markings are in black but clear enough. The team areas are only marked out to the 35-yard lines, and the limit lines are too close to the sidelines. Two changes were made to the chain crew during the game.

Amir Brooks #593

30th June 2019 v         London Blitz

Darlington Steam

No 9 yard marks

Liam Wooton #478

16th June 2019 v         Clyde Valley Blackhawks

East Kilbride Pirates

During the game one of the stakes broke several times.

Ian Sneddon #427

16th June 2019 v Glasgow Tigers

East Kilbride Pirates (Junior)

It was necessary to remove a Manchester Titans supporter during the game under rule 9-2-7. He refused to watch the game from the seated area; instead stood at the back of the end zones making derogatory comments about the officials then followed the officials to their room, filming them, at half time. We had to shut the door in his face to keep him out. The game was delayed for 10 minutes whilst he was removed.

Ian Sneddon #427

23rd June 2019 v East Kilbride Pirates

Essex Spartans (Youth)

The field markings for 12 and 5 yards to denote the 1 and 2 point try locations had been marked at 12 and 5 feet instead. This was the only issue in an extremely well organised tournament.

Phil Clarke #262

8th June 2019

Lancashire Wolverines

The coaching line was marked at 6 feet. There team area was correctly marked between the 25 yard lines however there was no line at 12 feet out of bounds. The changing rooms were not lockable. Officials assistants were provided less than five minutes before kick-off.

Ben Griffiths #228

16th June 2019 v Shropshire Revolution

Leeds Bobcats

Field was 80 yards long. No limit lines. No 9 yard marks or numbers. The grass was extremely long ,coming half way up the ball when it was spotted, making snaps difficult to execute. The chains broke once requiring repair.

David Hewitt #607

9th June 2019 v Furness Phantoms

Portsmouth Dreadnoughts

Game held at a different venue from other home games. 90 yard field no numbers - marks at approximately 9 yards on some main lines - Other than this, it is an excellently marked field

David Knight #135

9th June 2019 v Hertfordshire Cheetahs

Shropshire Revolution

Changing rooms not locked.

Andrew Lovell #559

23rd June 2019 v Chester Romans

Worcestershire Black Knights

Only one set of posts were available so both coaches agreed to switch to play towards the same goal on Offensive Series. Pitch extremely well marked and Chain Crew were excellent.

Krister Halvorsen #217

30th June 2019 v         Somerset Wyverns

Outstanding items from previous weeks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hash marks were NFL width. Officials assistants were changing right up until kick off. One ballboy refused to retrieve a ball that went into a hedge, a spectator had to do so.

Ben Gadsby #564

23rd June 2019 v Ouse Valley Eagles

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

Yorkshire Academy (U19)

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

David Hewitt #607

9th June 2019 v Manchester Titans Juniors

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



New this week

Play: Team A's Ball - 4th & 2 at the B-7. A1 runs to the B-4 and fumbles the ball. B55 bats the ball at the B-3 into the end zone where A32 recovers it.


Last 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.

Ruling: Team A, 2nd & 3 at the B-43. A77 must sit out for one play. The play clock will be set at 0:25 seconds (3-3-5-f-1) as the injury is to an offensive team player. Because of A77’s injury, Team B has the option of a 10 second subtraction (3-3-5-f). If they choose to accept the 10 second subtraction, then the clock will be set to 0:30 and will start on the ready for play.


New this week

Game Situation: Upon arrival at the game site, there is a strong wind blowing and one set of goal posts has fallen down and broken. They cannot be repaired. The Team A Head Coach requests that they “play both ways” and that both teams will relocate to the end of the field with goal posts for kicking plays. How should the crew handle this?

Answer next issue…

Last 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: M5.5.9.f - If the officials cannot agree on the call, it is normally best to go with the call made by the official with primary responsibility for making it. Going with the call made by an "experienced" official over that made by an "inexperienced" official may cause problems in the long-term. In this case the coverer is the Line Judge, so that forward progress spot should be used.




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:

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