Issue 22/19                                                                                12th June 2019

BAFRA Newsflash

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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 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 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



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



I would like to remind all Referees that you are required to forward any admin fee payments to Finance at your earliest convenience. This really should not exceed any more than a week from the fixture date.

In addition, recently I have received a few cheques in a somewhat distressed state. One even appeared to have been left in a muddy damp kit bag for a few days. please can you take care of these in the future.

I do not intend to name and shame, however please treat BAFRA’s money with the same respect that you would your own.

Stuart Tabberer – Deputy Director of Finance










New this week

George Rimes


Bristol Aztecs



After a kickoff return, during a melee, #35 on the ground and was seen to direct a headbutt towards an opponent.

23rd June 2019 v        Kent Exiles

Joe Christian        


Bristol Aztecs



With approximately 2:15 left in the 4th quarter, after the end of the play, #44 committed an unsportsmanlike act which caused an opponent to retaliate by throwing a punch.

23rd June 2019 v        Kent Exiles

Svetoslav Krastev


Farnham Knights



With approximately 2:15 left in the 4th quarter, #30 from Farnham was seen to punch an opponent after the play.

16th June 2019 v        Kent Exiles

Taylor Bloor


Hertfordshire Cheetahs (Youth)



During a melee after the last play of the final game in the tournament, #7 was seen to run across the field and strike an opponent in the back.

6th July 2019 v Solent Seahawks

Pelayo Martinez


Solent Seahawks (Junior)



At 7.40 remaining in the 4th quarter, whilst the ball carrier was wrapped up and in the process of being tackled, #8 forcibly contacted the defenceless ball carrier in the head/neck area with their shoulder.

23rd June 2019 v Cobham Cougars

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

Birmingham Bulls

No 9 yard marks, lines marked in red with white hash marks.

Richard Whitby #136

4th August 2019 v Staffordshire Surge

Chester Romans (Youth)

Initial start-time suspended for 15 minutes to allow new medics to arrive, initial set of medics involved in car accident.

Perry Wayman #504


Doncaster Mustangs

Well marked 90 Yard Field with two 8-yard end zones. No Limit Lines.

Chris Jarvis #10

23rd June 2019 v Lancashire Wolverines

Edinburgh Wolves

Coach and team areas are not marked out, but game management marked these areas with cones.

Ian Sneddon #427

30th June 2019 v         Manchester Titans

Essex Spartans (Youth)

Two pitches well marked out.

Larry Rigby #269


Farnham Knights

The distance between 10 yard lines varied at different places from about 9.5 yards to about 10.5. this required more measurements than normal places

Peter Parsons #321

16th June 2019 v        Kent Exiles

Glasgow Tigers

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

Henry Richardson #25

30th June 2019 v         Northumberland Vikings

Hertfordshire Cheetahs (Youth)

Two well marked fields were provided, although, due to the withdrawal of competing team, only one was used. The fields were marked in white using some of the markings of the 11-v-11 field, so there were lots of other white markings present alongside the field markings.

Peter Parsons #321


Jurassic Coast Raptors

First game at a new venue, on a 3G field with goal post extensions appended to the soccer goal frames. Correct footwear is necessary and will be checked by facility management. It was difficult to see field markings done the day before as heavy rain had washed most of the colour away. The game was played under floodlights to attract as large a crowd as possible. The officials changing room was no lockable but the adjoining tunnel area was.

Francis Bevan #474

15th June 2019 v         Bournemouth Bobcats

Leeds Bobcats

80 yard field. No limit lines, 9 yard marks or numbers. The grass is still extremely long which inhibited kicking and a number of snaps.

David Hewitt #607

16th June 2019 v Knottingley Raiders

London Hornets

Hash marks were NFL width. Officials assistants were changing right up until kick off..

Ben Gadsby #564

23rd June 2019 v Ouse Valley Eagles

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.

Liam Wooton #478

7th July 2019 v Yorkshire Rams

Portsmouth Dreadnoughts

100 yard rugby field, faint dark grey markings. The field management has very strict rules on shoes, only cleats can be used, no astro turf or flat sole shoes are allowed.

Viktor Janvari #63

30th June 2019 v Solent Thrashers

Solent Seahawks (Junior)

100 yard field primarily marked in yellow although some lines are white and blue. 8 yard endzones with the plane of the crossbar over hanging by 1 yard. No numbers.

Philip Hume #52

7th July 2019 v Hertfordshire Cheetahs

Solent Thrashers

100 yard field primarily marked in yellow although some lines are white and blue. 8 yard endzones with the plane of the crossbar over hanging by 1 yard. No numbers.

Philip Hume #52

7th July 2019 v Oxford Saints

Somerset Wyverns

100 yard field with some lines not straight. Top of the numbers are 6 yards from the sideline. Changing room is small but locked during game and opened at half time.

Euan Paterson #165


Torbay Trojans

No 9 yard markings. 90 yard field.9 yard end zones. No limit lines.

Richard Madge #485

23rd June 2019 v South Wales Warriors

Yorkshire Academy Assassins (Junior)

80 yard field. No limit lines,3 yard marks,9 yard marks or numbers. Team areas were missing but were marked out using cones.

David Hewitt #607

23rd June 2019 v Chorley Buccaneers

Outstanding items from previous weeks

Aberdeen Roughnecks

No limit lines.

Henry Richardson #25

23rd June 2019 v Gateshead Senators

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

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

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 hash marks 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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

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

Shropshire Revolution

Changing rooms not locked.

Andrew Lovell #559

23rd June 2019 v Chester Romans

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

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

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: With 0:35 remaining in the game, on a Free Kick. Team A attempt a Free-Kick from the A-35 yard line. The ball is kicked high in the air. With no Team B player anywhere near the ball A23 catches the ball at the B49 yard line and advances the ball to the B-22 before he is tackled by B-56. Ruling?


Last 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.

Ruling: Either, Team A's Ball, 1st & Goal at the B-4, with the clock starting on the snap or a Safety with Team A scoring two points. Team B kickoff at the B-20.

The result of the play is a Safety (8-5-1-a). B55’s bat is responsible (8-7-1) for the ball being behind Team B’s goal line where the ball becomes dead by rule.  The fourth down fumble rule is also in effect (7-2-2-a-Exception 2).  A1 does not recover the ball in the Team B end zone. Therefore, by rule the ball will be returned to the spot of the fumble, which is beyond the line to gain, resulting in a first down for Team A. B55’s bat is legal as it is backwards (9-4-1-c).  Team A has two options and both should be discussed with the Team A head coach.


New this week

Game Situation: On a four man crew, how should the officials line up at the opening kick-off?

Answer next issue…

Last 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: The Team A Head Coach’s option is not permissible. If there only one set of goal posts available. There are two options; If both Head Coach’s agree, the game may be played without any field goals (either on the try down or normal scrimmage downs) being scored (1-2-5-f-3). If the Head Coach’s do not agree then the game will take place with all offensive plays taking place in the direction of the goal posts (1-2-5-f-2).




Contact for details


July 20th (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting 

10th August (Sat)

Youth Contact Finals - Stourbridge RFC

17th or 18th August (Sat or Sun)

Adult Flag Finals

25th August (Sat)

Junior Division 2 Finals - Stourbridge RFC

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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