Issue 45/19                                                                                27th November 2019

BAFRA Newsflash

💻       @BAFRAOfficial

  @BAFRAOfficial             @BAFRA_Official 


It is the current plan of BUCS to hold the Division One and Premier Finals on Wednesday March 25th (4pm and 7pm respectively) at the University of Nottingham, as part of 'BUCS Big Wednesday'. BUCS has all it's Premier and Div 1 finals that day.

If you would like to be considered for these games, can you please check your availability for this date.

Everyone who is not available please block it in Arbiter (this is the only mid-week date you need to block). The selection committee will be meeting early with a view to providing as much notice as possible should you be selected.

Roger Goodgroves – Director of Operations


I am delighted to confirm the Elite Training Day will be held on Sunday the 19th January 2020. It will be held in the Midlands area starting at 10.30 am and should end around 5.30 pm. Refreshments and food will be provided.

Elite Panel members are expected to attend but all BAFRA members are welcome, especially those who have aspirations to progress.

I am busy arranging the venue and putting together a program of talks and presentations that will cover more advanced officiating topics. I hope everyone who attends will learn something and I wanted to give people plenty of notice to mark the date in their diary so we have a good turn out.

Please, can I ask all Elite Panel members to confirm that they will be attending and for any non-elite panel members who wish to attend to let me know of their interest as soon as possible and by no later than 12th January 2020.

I will distribute the venue details once confirmed and the full schedule of events after Christmas .

Keith Wickham – Elite Panel Coordinator










New this week

Sarunas Tiskus


Leeds Beckett Carnegie



With three seconds remaining in the third quarter, #51 was observed to taunt the opposition sideline, after they had committed a delay of game foul - for which he received an unsportsmanlike penalty. Immediately following the penalty, he walked towards the back judge and accused him of taking bribes from the opposition resulting in a second penalty and disqualification.

1st Dec 2019 v Stirling Clansmen

Pete Nichol


Northumbria Mustangs



With 10:38 remaining in the second quarter the Northumbria Head Coach was very audibly heard to swear at a decision on field. As a flag was thrown for the above, he then made a rude and disparaging remark towards the crew.

15th Dec 2019 v Newcastle Raiders

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

Nathanial Prince


Stirling Clansmen



With just under three minutes remaining in the second quarter, #11 received his second unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

1st Dec 2019 v Leeds Beckett Carnegie

Paulo Pal Noni


Surrey Stingers



With 10:00 remaining in the third quarter, prior to a fumble recovered by the defence, #76 was seen to throw (and land) a closed fist punch to the chest of the opposing centre.

1st Dec 2019 v Portsmouth Dreadnoughts

Previous weeks

Ignacy Prystupa


Derby Braves



During the fourth quarter, #11 was seen to launch himself at the ball carrier making forcible contact with the crown of his helmet.

1st Dec 2019 v Warwick Wolves

Rashod Richards


UWE Bullets



After receiving an initial unsportsmanlike conduct penalty early in the fourth quarter, with 7:39 remaining, #3 tackled a ball carrier near the opponents sideline. He then stood over him and, as the tackled player tried to stand up, walked forward causing the player to fall back down.

1st Dec 2019 v Hertfordshire Hurricanes

Tre Simon-Brown


UWE Bullets



With 4:12 remaining in the fourth quarter, just after UWE conceded a safety, #75 was seen to drive into the knees/lower leg of a Birmingham player with force.

1st Dec 2019 v Hertfordshire Hurricanes





New this week

Bath Killer Bees

Due to building works, one goal mechanics were required as there was fencing relatively close to the field at the end with the goal that was not used. It was suggested that padding (e.g. mats) are secured to the fencing but, as one goal mechanics are required, the risk was deemed to be low.

Julian Mallia #336

15th Dec 2019 v Exeter Demons

Brighton Panthers

Markings in blue and hard to see. Team areas marked with cones. Hashmarks touch the sideline.

David Knight #135

15th Dec 2019 v Reading Knights

Birmingham Lions

Faded black field markings difficult to see. No nine yard marks. Team areas marked out using cones.

Euan Paterson #165

8th Feb 2020 v UEA Pirates

Brunel Burners

Two balls were under-inflated and had to pumped up as the game was kicking off

Keith Wickham #423

15th Dec 2020 v QMBL Vipers

Canterbury Chargers

Well marked 90yd 4G field. Field markings in blue with other sports markings in different colours. No nine yard marks, numbers or coaching boxes. Changing room not lockable. All balls provided were under inflated. Kick off was delayed by 15 minutes due to the late arrival of the away team. Game was suspended and abandoned with 44 seconds remaining in the 2nd quarter due to a seriously injured Greenwich player.

Henry Young #486

26th Jan 2020 v KCL Regents

Hull Sharks

Rubber Crumb field with good markings of yard lines. No nine yard marks or limit lines, team/coaching areas were marked out with cones between the 30 yard lines but this was rectified prior to kick off.

Chris Jarvis #10

1st Dec 2019 v Edinburgh Predators

Kent Falcons

90 yard rubber crumb field, markings in red but very faded and hard to see in places. Other sport markings in different colours. No limit lines, numbers or nine yard marks. Coaches box marked with cones. Kick off was delayed by approximately ten minutes due to the late arrival of medics, who were dealing with an injury from the first game of the double header.

Henry Young #486

26th Jan 2020 v Brunel Burners

Leeds Beckett Carnegie

80 yard field with no three or nine yard marks or numbers. Chain set required repair prior to the game. No team areas marked, so cones were used along with general good discipline by the teams. The changing room was too small for five officials and had no private toilet.

David Hewitt #607

1st Dec 2019 v Stirling Clansmen

Leeds Gryphons

80 yard pitch with no coaches or players boxes marked. Changing room was slightly too small for a crew of 5.

Lee Taylor #83

26th Jan 2020 v Sheffield Hallam Warriors

Leicester Longhorns

Field was marked with NFL-width hash marks in the middle. No team area markings or coaches/player lines. Medical cover arrived late, and initially only one person (who had to wait for her partner to arrive), so kick off was delayed for about ten minutes. Medical cover was not present after half time and had to be located before play could continue.

Andrew Murrell #608

26th Jan 2020 v Nottingham Outlaws 2nd Team

NTU Renegades

Team areas too small so extended with cones.

Pete Thom #200

15th Dec 2020 v DMU Falcons

Opal Series Flag Finals

Played at the University of Nottingham. Field markings a mixture of existing lines and cones.

Jed Brookes-Lewis #395


Stirling Clansmen

Team areas marked out to 30 yard lines so were adjusted using cones.

Ian Sneddon #427

8th Dec 2019 v Durham Saints

Surrey Stingers

90 yard field marked in faded blue paint. Other sports markings were in white. Chain set broke once and there was a chain crew change prior to kick off and before the second half. Changing room was a bit tight for a five-man crew but easily sufficient for four-man crews. Turf held up well despite overnight rain.

James Ford-Bannister #479

1st Dec 2019 v Portsmouth Dreadnoughts

Sussex Saxons

Member of the chain crew changed at half time but crew was not informed until after half time, so the second half was delayed whilst the new member was briefed.

David Knight #135

2nd Feb 2020 v Kingston Cougars

UEA Pirates

Changing room small and not locked during game.

Lee Wood #517

1st Dec 2019 v Birmingham Lions

Worcester Royals

Usual Worcester University toilet building provided for officials changing, which was very dirty with no lights or shower facilities and insufficient seating. Players/Coaches were regularly in & out of the area, using the toilets, until requested not to. Field marked with NFL-width hash marks and limit lines at 4.5-5ft. Team areas only marked to 30yd lines. Crossbar on one set of goals bent down in middle about 4-6inches.

Albert Lambert Jnr #461

26th Jan 2020 v Cardiff Cobras

Outstanding items from previous weeks

Bath Spa Bulldogs

Solid lines ten yards apart and the hash marks on the sidelines didn't line up with those marked in the middle of the field. No coaches or team areas marked out.

Mike LeFevre #341

8th Dec 2019 v Solent Redhawks

Bradford Bears

The 90 yard field was marked in red with no coaching/player areas marked, however these areas were marked with cones prior to KO. There are faint white hash marks five-yards inside each end-zone, no three-yard marks or limit lines. There are no goal posts at either end. The three balls presented were old and worn. One deflated and burst when trying to inflate it to the correct pressure. A replacement ball was not available but the away team supplied one nearly new ball for the game. Two chain crew assistants were replaced at half time.

Chris Jarvis #10

15th Dec 2019 v MMU Eagles

Bristol Barracuda

100 yard field with Rubber Crumb surface. Hash marks difficult to judge. Chain crew changed 1 minute prior to kick off, which led to a short delay of game for a few minutes

Richard Madge #485

8th Dec 2019 v Bournemouth Bobcats

Cardiff Cobras

Due to a flooded field at the normal Cardiff home field, the Game Management team were excellent in communicating updates and securing a field at Bristol Pride's home field. New field was artificial turf with excellent, if faded, markings in black and traditional yellow gridiron goal posts. Limit lines incorrectly marked and no numbers marked. Officials traditional changing rooms unavailable due to a broken electronic lock so a new room was made available, after about 20 minutes, in the main building. This was lockable and well proportioned for five officials, with private toilet and showers.

James Ford-Bannister #479

8th Dec 2019 v Worcester Royals

Durham Saints

Coaches box marked out with cones. Team area marked with rugby lines. Multiple lines, in other colours, on the field. Goal posts were approximately 1.5 yds beyond end line.

Shawn Sombati #15

1st Dec 2019 v Coventry Jets

Edinburgh Napier Knights

With just over one minute remaining in the first quarter, the game was suspended for 10 minutes whilst the medic removed an injured player from the playing area.

Ian Sneddon #427

1st Dec 2019 v Newcastle Raiders

Edinburgh Predators

No coaching area, cones were used to mark the area on both sides. Field markings were faint and with the floodlights on were increasingly difficult to see.

Gordon Galloway #7

1st Dec 2019 v Hull Sharks

Greenwich Mariners

90 yard 3G field with no nine-yard marks or numbers. Field markings in blue with other sports markings in different colours. One cluster of floodlights is faulty and strobes about 2-3 times per second - coaching staff advised to report to University as it could cause an adverse reaction persons with certain medical conditions. Game kicked off approximately 20 minutes late due to adverse traffic conditions delaying the arrival of three officials.

Phil Clarke #262

26th Jan 2020 v ARU Rhinos

Heriot-Watt AFC

Player and coaching boxes were not painted, so were marked with cones. The kick off was delayed for 15 minutes due to late arrival of the ambulance.

Ian Sneddon #427

1st Dec 2019 v UWS Pyros

Lincoln Colonials

No private officials changing room. Some sideline hash marks missing, not all hash marks one yard apart. All solid lines wonky. No team areas. Crossbar at wrong height. Game suspended for 30 minutes due to an injury.

Joseph Foxon #473

8th Dec 2019 v Nottingham Outlaws 2nd Team

Liverpool Raptors

The field markings were very faint and, as the game moved on, became progressively difficult to see, especially under the floodlights. This is presumably due to the rain but, if not remarked before the next game, it could be possible that the game would not be able to proceed. The game had to be suspended for 40 minutes in the fourth quarter because of a neck injury to a player.

Tim Vickers #129

8th Dec 2019 v Bradford Bears


No team or coaches areas. No three-yard marks, no nine-yard marks or numbers.

John Roberts #145

1st Dec 2019 v Sheffield Hallam Warriors.

MMU Eagles

90 yard field marked in blue, no coaching or players boxes marked

Lee Taylor #183

26th Jan 2020 v Aberystwyth Tarannau

Newcastle Raiders

Lines on the field were in red and difficult to see under the floodlights. Coaches boxes on both sides were marked with cones. This was a well contested game played in good spirit with both teams.

Gordon Galloway #7

2nd Feb 2020 v Northumbria Mustangs

Nottingham Outlaws 2nd Team

Very poor field markings in yellow.

Mike Roberts #32

1st Dec 2019 v Huddersfield Hawks

Nottingham Outlaws

90 yard field with yellow markings, goal posts are fixed to the perimeter fence.

Ian Wainwright #567

15th Dec 2019 v Coventry Jets

OBU Panthers

90 yard field marked in red. No team areas or limit lines marked. Numbers marked two feet from the sideline. Chains had to be repaired frequently throughout the game. One game ball lost its pressure during the game. Changing room was communal for use by sports centre patrons.

Euan Paterson #165

2nd Feb 2020 v Oxford Lancers

Plymouth Blitz

NFL-width hash marks 90 yard 3G field. Soccer posts at end of field. Strips of wood used as goal posts.

Richard Madge #485

1st Dec 2019 v Bath Spa Bulldogs

Portsmouth Dreadnoughts

Hashes were marked at NFL width. There were no three-yard marks. Field markings were dark blue and difficult to see. The hash marks on the sideline were approximately a foot from the sideline. The team areas were marked with cones. The visiting team arrived late and the KO was put back by 30 minutes.

David Knight #135

8th Dec 2019 v Surrey Stingers

QMBL Vipers

Field was originally marked with five-yard endzones, This was corrected, prior to the arrival of officials, to a 90-yard field with ten-yard endzones but with yard marks and three-yard marks inside the endzone. Field markings in blue with other sport markings in white. No nine-yard marks, numbers or limit lines. Team areas marked with cones. Chain broke twice during game and chain did not respond well to HL's instructions. Ball supplied were from previous season and worn but in reasonable condition and correct pressure.

James Ford-Bannister #479

1st Dec 2019 v Brunel Burners

Reading Knights

Excellent field markings, a credit to the ground crew. Some holes in the field had been filled (and compacted) with sand and there were some other sporting markings in blue. Consistent rain during the game did cause the surface to tear up and become boggy by the end of the game.

James Ford-Bannister #479

30th Nov 2019 v Brighton Panthers

Sheffield Sabres

90 yard pitch on 4G artificial turf, marked in black. No coaches or players boxes but both teams were very disciplined. The down box was slightly shorter than the head line so occasionally could not be seen to clarify the down. The officials changing room is not big enough for a crew of 5 but there are plenty of coat hooks.

Lee Taylor #183

8th Dec 2019 v Leeds Gryphons

Solent Redhawks

Home Team requested to use a drone (to game film) that was to be flown over an adjacent field approx. 1.5 fields away but still within the Sports Facility. However, after discussion and being unclear whether this was within the Rules, the Home Team were advised not to use the drone, which they complied with. Referee advised Home Team to email a detailed breakdown of how/where the drone would be used so that the details could be forwarded to Rules Chair (who has knowledge of the venue layout) for clarification.

Albert Lambert Jnr #461

26th Jan 2020 v Bournemouth Bobcats

Southampton Stags

Goals are attached to a fence approximately 2 yards behind the end lines. Game balls had to be returned to be reinflated. Great game played by two teams in the correct spirit of the game.

David Knight #135

1st Dec 2019 v Cardiff Cobras

Staffordshire Stallions

Changing rooms small, only one chair and only one coat hook.

Andrew Lovell #559

1st Dec 2019 v Leicester Longhorn

UCLan Rams

Well marked 100 yard field in blue, although there were no coaches or players boxes. With 0:54 remaining in the game, following a large number of Unsportsmanlike Conduct fouls and with the agreement of both coaches, the Referee called time on the game - as some of the home team players appeared to take the loss very hard and the officials felt this could have led to a potential unsafe playing environment

Lee Taylor #183

1st Dec 2019 v Sheffield Sabres

UCL Emperors

Game was played at Kingston due to a waterlogged field at UCL, who remained the designated home team. UCL game balls supplied, but slightly below pressure so pumped up to make them legal. Kick off was delayed to 1:30 as that was when medical cover was arriving. This reduced the quarters to 10 minutes, due to sunset rules. Given the unusual circumstances, and late assignment of the crew, plaudits to both institutions to enable the game to take place.

Andrew Murrell #608

1st Dec 2019 v OBU Panthers

UWE Bullets

No limit lines. Coaching box is fully marked but team area does not have lines at the side or back of it. The officials changing rooms are too small for a crew of 5.

Peter Parsons #321

26th Jan 2020 v UEA Pirates

UWE Bullets 2nd Team

No limit lines. Coaching box is fully marked but team area does not have lines at the side or back of it. The officials changing rooms are too small for a crew of 5.

Peter Parsons #321

2nd Feb 2020 v Bristol Barracuda

UWS Pyros

Coaching and team areas were not marked out so had to be marked with cones.

Ian Sneddon #427

26th Jan 2020 v York Centurions



New this week

Play: 1st and 10 at B’s 25 yard line. Running Back A34 receives the hand-off and is running in the open field. At the B-10. Safety B42 attempts to dislodge the ball by punching, with a closed fist, A34’s ball carrying arm and the ball. The ball is not dislodged and A34 runs with the ball across Team B’s goal line.


Last week

Play: Team A’s ball, 4th and 4 at their own 38-yard line. A4 punts the ball. While the ball is in the air, B47 gives an invalid fair catch signal by waving his arm sideways across his body signalling that he won’t try to catch the kick. B12 muffs the kick at Team B’s 15-yard line and the ball is recovered by A7 at Team B’s 23-yard line.

Team A have five players in the back field at the snap during a scrimmage kick.

Ruling: As Team A legally recover the ball, Team B will accept the penalty for the Illegal Formation. The penalty will be enforced 5 yards from the previous spot. Team A’s ball, 4th and 9 from their own 33-yard line.


New this week

Game Situation: 1st and 10 on the A40.  Quarterback A3 throws a legal forward pass to A88 on the B-45.  A88 rises to catch the ball and falls to the ground holding the ball.  On a 4 man crew, the only official with a view of the catch is the Linejudge.  As A88 comes to the ground the Linejudge can see that the player has possession of the ball until he hits the ground.  The ball then disappears from the Linejudge's view as A88 contacts the ground heavily.  A88 then gets up and is holding the ball.  Ruling?

Answer next issue…

Last week

Game Situation: Name the 3 categories of Offensive Holding.

Answer: M3.3.1.b

  • Grab and Restrict
  • Hook and Restrict
  • Takedown




Contact for details


22nd February (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

25th March (Wed)

BUCS Premier Bowl

25th March (Wed)

BUCS Division 1 Final

4th - 5th April (Sat-Sun)

BAFRA Convention

4th April (Sat)


9th May (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

18h July (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

14h November (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

BAFRA Directors


David Parsons

General Secretary

Paul Sutton


Roger Brown


Roger Goodgroves


Ollie Maskell


Pete Thom

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