Issue 24/19                                                                                26th 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 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 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



With the continued development of the BAFRA Recruitment process, the recruitment team is looking to add an assistant. They will help with the management of applications and other recruitment administration. This is a good opportunity to join a busy team and have a real input into the future success of BAFRA.

Please contact to apply, or drop me a message for an informal chat.


Ollie Maskell - Director of Recruitment










New this week

Alex Coatsworth


Darlington Steam



Immediately following a pass Darlington player #33 struck the Dumfries passer's head with his forearm.

*Mr Coatsworth is due to serve his suspension in the next game he is registered to play in. This is either the next regular season game for Darlington Steam or the first regular season game of a University Team if he registers for a University Team.

Andrew Fleming


Dumfries Hunters



At the end of a play Dumfries player #98 repeatedly headbutted an opposition player.

28th July 2019 v Clyde Valley Blackhawks

Mark Stewart


East Kilbride  Pirates



With 0:23 left in the fourth quarter, the player was disqualified for flagrant contact from behind to a defenseless player after the play was over.

*Between this Disqualification being published and this Issue of Newsflash being published, East Kilbride have played another game. Mr Stewart should have served his suspension in East Kilbride’s  Game against the Yorkshire Rams on 23rd June 2019.

Suspension Served

Sean Carney


Glasgow Tigers



With 1:50 remaining in the fourth quarter, #44 led with the crown of the helmet into an opponent when trying to make the tackle.

30th June 2019 v Northumberland Vikings

Daniel James


Sussex Thunder



During the last play of the game, Mr James was seen to lead with the helmet while making a tackle.

30th June 2019 v Hertfordshire Cheetahs

Josh Theophanides


Torbay Trojans



The player was seen to throw punches at an opposition player on the floor.

7th July 2019 v South Wales Warriors

Isaac Oldcorn


Yorkshire Academy Assassins



With 3.52 remaining in the second quarter #97 hit the QB late and took him to the ground. He then punched the prone player as he got off him. This was the first game of a 3 game tournament and #97 served his suspension in the next game.

Suspension Served

Previous weeks

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

Caleb Emeriewen


Leeds Bobcats



With 7:50 remaining in the first quarter, Leeds #33 was witnessed deliberately kicking a prone opponent after the play.

7th July 2019 v Furness Phantoms





New this week

Chorley Buccaneers (Youth)

Due to another event being held at the venue, there were no officials changing rooms. This was noted as part of the communication with the hosts and did not prove to be an issue with both officials arriving partly dressed in kit

Lee Taylor #183


Dumfries Hunters

Sidelines, coaching and team areas were faint in contrast to other field markings.

Ian Sneddon #427

28th July 2019 v Clyde Valley Blackhawks

East Kent Mavericks (Youth)

Well marked 50-yard fields in red with other sport markings in blue, yellow and white. Missing team area markings but other sport markings approximated for coaching lines on both sides of the field. Changing room not lockable.

Tim Ockendon #481


Hereford Stampede

Field too narrow and no nine yard marks or numbers.

Colin Edwards #76


Hertfordshire Cheetahs

Entire chain crew changed at halftime.

Andrew Murrell #608

30th June 2019 v         Sussex Thunder

Leicester Falcons

90 yard field well marked.

Ian Wainwright #567

21st July 2019 v Manchester Titans

London Blitz

The field is marked in meters and not yards. One endzone is much shorter than the other (about 8 yards at one end and nearer 13 at the other). NFL hash marks were marked on the field.

Graham P Hedges #219

21st July 2019 v Kent Exiles

London Blitz B

The field is marked in meters and not yards. One endzone is much shorter than the other (about 8 yards at one end and nearer 13 at the other). NFL hash marks were marked on the field.

Graham P Hedges #219

30th June 2019 v Jurassic Coast Raptors

London Hornets

A full quota of official's assistants were not available until just before kick off. One was changed early in the first quarter. 90 yard field, NFL hash marks, no limit lines and team areas were painted to the 20 yard line.

James Ford-Bannister #479


London Olympians

90-yard field marked in white with other sport markings also in white. No numbers, 9-yard marks, limit lines or team area markings.

Tim Ockendon #481

7th July 2019 v Bristol Aztecs

London Warriors (Junior)

Medical coverage arrived late resulting in a 25-minute delay to kickoff. A full quota of official's assistants were also not available at the scheduled kick off time.

90 yard field, NFL hash marks, no limit lines, one ball very worn, and team areas were painted to the 20 yard line.

James Ford-Bannister #479


Manchester Titans

80 yard field although not all the sideline hash marks are an equal distance apart.

Lee Taylor #183

7th July 2019 v         Sheffield Giants

Manchester Titans (Junior)

80 yard field, reasonably well marked although not all the sideline hash marks were equally spaced.

Lee Taylor #183


Nottingham Caesars

One member of the chain crew needed to be replaced due to being inattentive.

Paul Todd #289

28th July 2019 v Shropshire Revolution

Salisbury City Marauders (Youth)

Fields were slightly too long, 12 yard lines located in the wrong place, one field had a tight enclosure but hard surfaces were padded if too close. Changing rooms not lockable.

Oliver Maskell #221


Sheffield Giants

100 yard field. Numbers were present but at 4 yards. The boundary line of the cricket field ran diagonally across the field but didn't cause any problems. No limit lines.

David Hewitt #607

28th July 2019 v Merseyside Nighthawks

Shropshire Revolution

Numerous 5 yard lines and GL not straight. Changing rooms not locked and no separate toilet. Numerous divets in field, filled by game management.

Andrew Lovell #559

30th June 2019 v         Doncaster Mustangs

Sussex Thunder

End lines bought in from original markings, as these are too close to enclosure fence. This means the goals are about 2 yards behind the end line.

Oliver Maskell #221

7th July 2019 v Portsmouth Dreadnoughts

Torbay Trojans

In the main usual good showing from Torbay Game Management - the field had suffered a little from overnight rain which had taken some of the markings away but was manageable with good crew communication. Game was halted for a short period in the second half due to a drone having landed on the field, traced to a group of youngsters in an adjacent play area, not connected to the game being played.

Francis Bevan #474

21st July 2019 v Cornish Sharks

Outstanding items from previous weeks

Birmingham Bulls

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

Richard Whitby #136

4th August 2019 v Staffordshire Surge

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 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

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


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

East Kent Mavericks

Well marked 90-yard 4G field marked in blue with other sport markings in white, yellow & red. No limit lines, numbers or 9-yard marks. 8-yard end zones and coaching line at incorrect depth. Changing room was spacious and lockable but lacked facilities.

Tim Ockendon #481

21st July 2019 v Essex Spartans

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 ten yard lines were not all ten yards apart and one endzone was slightly bigger than the other.

Keith Wickham #423


Gateshead Senators

Played at Gateshead Stadium due to waterlogged field at Monkton Stadium. No 9yd marks or 3 yd marks. Team areas missing however other lines used as guides. Goal posts behind end line. Changing rooms in main stadium. Change af assistants for 2nd half.

Daniel Johnston #347

7th July 2019 v East Kilbride Pirates

Glasgow Tigers

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

Henry Richardson #25

30th June 2019 v         Northumberland Vikings

Hastings Conquerors

Upon arrival the field was still being painted by hand due to this week's rain washing previous markings off. This lead to errors on the field including a missing 5-yard line at one end, and some contorted lines. Sand patches in places which do break some lines. One change of Officials assistants at half time. Changing rooms small and couldn't accommodate any crew larger than 4. The crew dropped to a 3-man late in the 4th quarter due to injury.

Oliver Maskell #221

30th June 2019 v Swindon Storm

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


Highland Wildcats

there were no goalposts available for the game so both teams went for two points after scores

Gordon Galloway #7

21st July 2019 v Yorkshire Academy Assassins

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 game was played at the UCLan sports arena due to an issue with the Wolverines’ home field. This is a 100 yard field marked in blue, there were no coaches or team area markings present, one of the game balls was well below legal pressure but this was quickly rectified by the home team.

Lee Taylor #183

7th July 2019 v Chester Romans

Leeds Bobcats

80 yard field. No limit lines or nine yard marks. As noted in the last two reports from this venue, grass is getting extremely long. Wing officials reported on some plays that they couldn’t even see the ball once it was spotted.

Daniel Holt #371

21st July 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 (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 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


Merseyside Nighthawks

Coach/team areas not fully marked, and cones were used to mark the edges at the 25yd lines. Changing room not lockable, but there were lockable lockers inside for valuables.

John Roberts #145

7th July 2019 v         Leicester Falcons

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

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 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


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

Tamworth Phoenix

Field generally well marked in light blue with white soccer lines for halfway and end lines. No limit lines and 9 yard marks were actually at 11 yards. Due to trees located behind each goal, Tamworth have a supply of older balls to use for extra points. Although more worn, these fit the rule requirements to be used. Kickoff put back from 16:00 to 16:30 due to late finish of preceding junior game. Game delayed for 54 minutes due to serious injury sustained by a Tamworth player with 4 minutes remaining in the first quarter.

Jed Brookes-Lewis #395

6th July 2019 v Edinburgh Wolves

Tamworth Phoenix (Junior)

Changing rooms not lockable.

Peter Parsons #321

6th July 2019 v Etone Jaguars

Wembley Stallions (Junior)

On the final play of the first half a SE Legion player suffered a serious injury. As a result the ambulance that was covering the game left to transport the player to hospital, and thus the game was suspended until they returned as there was no other sufficient medical cover available. This resulted in a 90 minute delay, including the half time break and the game resumed when they returned. There was also a change to the chain crew during the game and SE Legion had to supply a ball person for their sideline.

Andrew Murrell #608

7th July 2019 v Cambridgeshire Cats

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



New this week

Play: 4th and 10 and the A-20 yard line. Team A punt the ball, to the B-30 yard line where it rolls along the ground no Team B player attempts to recover the loose ball. Returner B-36 waves his arms to signal “get-away” to his teammates. A-24 places a hand on the loose ball and stops it rolling.

Thinking the ball is dead A-24 walks away from the ball. B-89 immediately picks up the stationary ball and returns it across the Team A goal line. During B-89’s recovery, several Team B players, believing the ball to be dead enter the field of play for the next down.


Last week

Play: 4th and 10 and the A-20 yard line. Team A punt the ball, to the B-30 yard line where it rolls along the ground no Team B player attempts to recover the loose ball. A-24 places a hand on the loose ball and stops it rolling. Thinking the ball is dead A-24 walks away from the ball. B-89 immediately picks up the stationary ball and returns it across the Team A goal line. During B-89’s recovery, several Team B players, believing the ball to be dead enter the field of play for the next down.

Ruling: Team A’s Ball, 4th and 15 at the A-25 yard line, the game clock will start on the snap.

A-24 has committed an illegal touching violation (6-3-2-a). The ball is not declared dead because A-24 has not recovered the ball (6-3-6-a) because he has not satisfied the requirements for a catch (2-4-3-g). Team B has committed a substrution infraction (3-5-2-a).

Team A will accept the penalty, which is 5 yards from the previous spot. The ball cannot be taken at the spot of A-24’s illegal touch as there has been an accepted live ball foul. Team B’s foul is not covered under post-scrimmage kick rules as it does not take place during the kick (10-2-3-b-3) and it is not a basic spot foul (the statement of penalty includes an enforcement spot).


New this week

Game Situation: How many different lateral positions should the ball be spotted at? How are they denoted?

Answer next issue…

Last week

Game Situation: Upon arrival at the game site, there are only one set of goal posts available. The Visiting Team Head Coach states “The game shouldn’t be played and should be awarded to us by forfeit”. Ruling?

Answer: The game is played. If one set of goal posts is available, the game will be played with all offensive plays taking place in the direction of the goal posts (1-2-5-f-2). 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).

Note: If there are no goal posts available and the Head Coach’s do not agree to play the game, the game is not played (1-2-5-f-4).




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)

Adult Division 2 South Final - New River Stadium

31st August (Sat)

Adult Division 1 Final - New River Stadium

1st September (Sun)

Junior Division 1 Final - New River Stadium

1st September (Sun)

Premier Division FInal (Brit Bowl)  - New River Stadium

8th September (Sun)

Adult Division 2 North Final - Druids Park

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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