Issue 30/19                                                                                7th August 2019

BAFRA Newsflash

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Just a short note to say thank you to everyone I have worked with within BAFRA. After 23 years officiating within the game, last weekend at Halton Spartans was the last time I took to the park. My thanks go out to the Operations team for facilitating my request for one last spin round the field. To the board for their tirelessness work for the sport and to all my friends in the North West, who have been there through thick and thin, not only in the sport but supporting each other through good times and bad. They are what I’ll miss the most, I couldn’t ask for a better group of friends. BAFRA has been a massive part of my life over the last 23 years, opened doors and helped me go places I never thought I’d go in my wildest dreams, been yelled at in 5 different languages I can think of and always came out smiling with my humour winning the day.

Thanks to all the players, some coaches and all the team managers who without the game would be in a sorry state. Keep fighting the good fight, blowing the whistles and throwing the flags. It’s been a blast!

Tony Newsham


I would like to thank all my Severn colleagues (Amir, Betty, Colin76, Colin W, Darryl, Euan, Francis, John, Julian, Mike, Russell & Steve) for their card and gift, it really was terrific, and totally unexpected.

It has been a pleasure to have worked with you all. I hope that I can get a couple games with you before my membership ends, so that I can thank you all personally for this.

Thank you to all.

Ray Grace


The minutes of the July Board meeting are now available to read in the members’ area of the website at:

Paul Sutton – General Secretary


Given recent feedback from members who have mentored in recent years, the board has agreed to implement a new Head of Mentoring role. This role would act as the sole liaison for all Mentors as they guide trainees through the Associate process. The role will include reporting to the Director of Recruitment, however they will also work very closely with the Director of Training to ensure a consistently high level of training is delivered to all Associates.

Ideally the person in the role will have mentored themselves in the past, for an understanding of the current process.

Any questions or for a full discussion around the role, please feel free to give me a call. My number can be found on the BAFRA Membership list. Formal expressions of interest should be emailed to me at .The deadline for applications is Sunday 11th August.

Ollie Maskell - Director of Recruitment










New this week

Sean Barnard


Maidstone Pumas



The player was abusive and threatening towards an official after being removed from the field for an equipment violation.

*Mr. Barnard 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 Maidstone Pumas or the first regular season game of a University or Adult Team if he registers for a University or Adult Team.

Previous weeks

Andrew Carr


Chorley Buccaneers



With just over 9 minutes left in the 4th quarter, #20 head butted a Highland Wildcats receiver.

*Mr. Carr 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 Chorley Buccaneers or the first regular season game of a University or Adult Team if he registers for a University or Adult Team.

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.

Leslie Adufo


Portsmouth Dreadnoughts



With 2.23 remaining in the 2nd quarter, #45 was seen to initiate a helmet to helmet block. As this came from the blindside, the offended player was deemed defenseless and #45 was ejected under rule 9-1-4.

*Mr. Adufo 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 Portsmouth Dreadnoughts or the first regular season game of a University Team if he registers for a University Team.





New this week

East Essex Sabres

Well marked 100-yard field in white with 9-yard end zones. No numbers or 9-yard marks and inbounds lines at incorrect depth. Team areas too small, missing coaching and team area lines and limit lines at incorrect depth. Good size, well appointed changing room but not lockable. One ball person was too young but Game Management were able to provide an alternative in good time.

Tim Ockendon #481


Essex Spartans

Well marked field, although the numbers are a little thin. Changing room very small for four officials, inadequate for larger crews, and not lockable. One member of the chain crew changed at half time.

Ben Gadsby #564

11th August 2019 vs Ipswich Cardinals

Etone Jaguars

The changing room was the female changing room, which the female player used meaning we had to wait a few minutes until vacated. The shower did not work and, although adequate size, had seen better days. 90 yard field with 7 yard end zones. Car parking is at a premium and the venue location is not immediately apparent, although I believe it isn't their regular field.

Brian Yates #29


Furness Phantoms

Kickoff was delayed by 10 minutes due to the late arrival of the visiting team. Early in the first quarter the game then had to be suspended for 40 minutes due to lightning. Fortunately the weather abated and the game was completed. No nine yard marks, but otherwise the field was well marked.

Stuart Alger #179


Hastings Conquerors

Changing room is far too small for a crew of 5. 80 yard field with NFL positioned hash marks in the centre of the field. Ball supplied under inflated and had to be pumped up

David Knight #135


Northumberland Vikings

The field still hasn’t been remarked, with old markings starting to fade.

Liam Wooton #478

11th August 2019 vs         Shropshire Revolution

Outstanding items from previous weeks

Cambridgeshire Cats

Changing rooms not lockable and quite a distance from the sport centre to the actual field.

Phil Clarke #262

11th August 2019 v Sussex Thunder

Dumfries Hunters

90 yard field well marked in red, it was noted by the referee that all main lines and sideline hash marks stopped the required distance from the sidelines.

Lee Taylor #183


Leeds Bobcats

Marked in blue, infield markings very faint.

Liam Wooton #478


London Blitz

With 33 seconds remaining in the 3rd quarter, the game was suspended for 70 minutes due to a serious lower leg injury to a Blitz player that required an ambulance to be called. Then with 1:49 remaining in the 4th quarter, an Olympians player suffered a serious arm injury which also required an ambulance. After 60 minutes, there was no sign of an ambulance so the score was declared final.

Andrew Murrell #608


London Blitz B

Changing rooms at the facility were very poor. There were pieces of wood with nails sticking out of them on the floor. The toilet in the changing room was not plumbed correctly and appeared to be leaking. Upon arrival at the game the field was not marked (resolved by the team upon request). The field was marked out in metres rather than yards. The chains were 10 yards long. Kick off time advertised on arbiter was not the same as the one that the teams were both aware of.

Dean Wright #553

11th August 2019 v Torbay Trojans

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


Manchester Titans

Well marked field however lines were very faint at kick off. In some areas the hash marks had disappeared before the end of the game.

John Roberts #145


Sandwell Steelers

Small changing room, not locked.

Andrew Lovell #559

11th August 2019 vs East Kilbride Pirates

Shropshire Revolution

Most 5 yard lines not straight. Changing rooms not locked, no private toilet. Game played in excellent spirit by both teams.

Andrew Lovell #559


Sussex Thunder

Well marked 90-yard field in blue with other sport markings in white and red. Marked end lines were too close to the boundary fence so a soccer line was used instead which reduced the end zone depth to 9 yards and meant that the goals were not in the plane of the end line. Team areas marked with cones. Changing room was a good size but lacked facilities and was not lockable, however Game Management did provide a separate lockable room where the officials' kit could be stored during the game. Game balls provided were in good condition but one was below regulation pressure.

Tim Ockendon #481


Tamworth Phoenix

Some members of the chain crew and ball persons were replaced at halftime resulting in delay to the second half kickoff.

Shawn Sombati #15

18th August 2019 vs London Blitz

Torbay Trojans

No 3 yard lines. No 9 yard lines. Chains broke twice during the game. No lock on changing room.

Richard Madge #485




New this week

Play: Team A free kick at the A-35. During the free kick, B21 signals for a fair catch at the B-10 while moving backwards. He muffs the kick into the air at the B-9 and completes the catch (before it hits the ground) at the B-7.


Last week

Play: First possession series of Extra Period. Team A, 2nd and 7 at the B-22. Team A lines up with 5 players clearly in the backfield. B21 intercepts A12’s pass. During the return, B56 hits A20 with a vicious blindside block with forcible contact to the head. B21 goes in for what appears to be the game winning touchdown. The FJ has a flag down for targeting.

Ruling: No score for Team B. The fouls cancel and the down is not replayed. Team B begins their possession series from their opponent’s 40-yard line after enforcement of the flagrant personal foul by B56. B56 is disqualified (3-1-3-g-1, 2 and 3, 9-1-4, AR 3-1-3-XII-b). N.B. This question was a 2018 Editorial change and is specifically referenced in the AR listed above.


New this week

Game Situation: 1st and 10 at the A40, team A run an option play.  While under pressure at the A35 quarterback A3 throws a backwards pass to A20, who muffs the ball at the A30.  The ball then bounces on the ground and goes out of bounds at the A32.  How should the covering officials make use bean bags to indicate spots of interest in this play?

Answer next issue…

Last week

Game Situation: After a forward pass has been thrown, how much time should the umpire spend continuing to observe the action in the vicinity of the line of scrimmage before turning to assist deep and wing officials with the pass?

Answer: An umpire should turn to observe the pass immediately a forward pass is thrown.  Once the pass has been thrown, holding and other technical fouls by the linemen will not normally affect the play, and the Referee should pick up any personal fouls. M10.4.c.1.




Contact for details


10th August (Sat)

Youth Contact Finals - Stourbridge RFC

17th - 18th August (Sat-Sun)

Adult Flag Finals - Belle Vue Sports Village

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

7th September (Sat)

Adult Division 2 North Final - Druids Park

7th September (Sat)

Youth Flag Finals - Sheffield Hallam University Sports Park

7th September (Sat)

Cadet Flag Finals - Sheffield Hallam University Sports Park

16th November (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting 


4th - 5th April (Sat-Sun)

BAFRA Convention 

4th April (Sat)


BAFRA Directors


David Parsons

General Secretary

Paul Sutton


Roger Brown


Roger Goodgroves


Ollie Maskell


Tzvi Lindeman

Director without Portfolio #1

Peter Parsons

Director without Portfolio #2

Steve Tonkinson

The opinions expressed in this Newsflash are those of the contributors, and not necessarily of BAFRA or its Directors.

All Incident Reports to be submitted via

Deadline for articles submitted by email ( is midnight Tuesday.

Editor: Ben Griffiths - Email:

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