Issue 47/19                                                                                4th December 2019

BAFRA Newsflash

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Some members will be aware that we have had technical issues with the coaches card area of our website. Colin Willox has been working hard to fix the problem and, I'm pleased to inform you, these issues have now been resolved.

Coaches will once again be able to leave feedback but may not be aware that the problem has been fixed. Referees please advise coaches and ask them to contact if they have any difficulty signing in.

(The address is on the coaches cards that referees must give to each Head Coach before a game.)

Pete Thom – Director of Training


Thank you to the 84 members who took part in this year’s survey of members. As always there were some useful issues raised, many of which the directors will be looking to incorporate going forward.

As always, the results are published in the members’ area of the website and may be accessed by following this link:

Paul Sutton – General Secretary










New this week

Matthew Maxwell


Chester Legion



During the fourth quarter, Mr. Maxwell was seen to target an opponent.

8th Dec 2019 v Huddersfield Hawks

James Simpson


NTU Renegades



After previous informal warnings for bad language by a number of officials the player abused the Line Judge using inappropriate language for calling a foul. After the penalty was enforced the player repeated his comments in a similar manner to the umpire.

15th Dec 2019 v DMU Lions

Ryan Singleton


Southampton Stags



With 3:40 remaining in the fourth quarter, #27 lowered his head and made forcible contact with the crown of his helmet

8th Dec 2019 v Exeter Demons

Alejandro Herriro


Stirling Clansmen



Player received his first Unsportsmanlike Conduct Penalty for committing a live ball Unsportsmanlike Act during a scoring play.

Later in the game he committing a second Unsportsmanlike Act following another score.

8th Dec 2019 v Durham Saints

Previous weeks

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.





New this week

Bristol Academy Pride

Controlled scrimmage held on a well marked, 90 yard field. End zones brought in from the usual 100 yard field, due to rugby posts being present. Hash marks extended into end zone. Changing room was rather small.

Kieran Smith #102


Cambridge Pythons

Visiting team arrived late so kick off was moved from 1pm to 2pm and ran with ten minute quarters and a ten minute half time to get the game played in daylight.

Brian Yates #29

26th Jan 2020 v City Wolfpack

Chester Legion

The field markings were all present but the hash marks were very faint, probably owing to the overnight frost. These were also in blue which was difficult to see at times. The chain crew proved to be a challenge and the down box operator had a habit of chasing after the runner!

Tim Vickers #129


DMU Falcons

The visiting team, NTU Renegades, provided both ball persons for the first half but neither was able to continue for the second half. The home team then provided two ball persons for the second half.

Mark Wilson  #558

26th Jan 2020 v Warwick Wolves

Durham Saints

Reasonably well marked 100 yard field with other sports lines of various colours which, on occasion, caused some confusion. Team areas were not marked but other lines were used as references lines. The officials changing room had no toilet so officials had to use one located in the players changing room.

David Hewitt #607

26th Jan 2020 v Nottingham Outlaws

Edge Hill Vikings

Field was marked in dark navy on grass. Field markings were slightly faint and will need remarking before the next game at this venue. The inbounds area of the field was very well marked, including the correct four inch gap between five yard lines and the sideline. There were no coaching lines or team area markings. The chain broke on numerous occasions, and after it was repaired (by either the chain crew or the visiting team) it was accidently lengthened to approximately 11 yards between the front and rear stake. The changing rooms were not lockable and were shared with gym staff members.

The visiting team’s bus did not arrive to transport them to the ground so an alternative vehicle was sought, this resulted in the visiting team arriving only 10 minutes before the scheduled kick-off. The kick-off was delayed by 30 minutes. As this was the first game of a double header, the quarters were reduced to 8 minutes in length with the mutual agreement of both Head Coaches. The crew were not paid and should’ve been.

Ben Griffiths #228

16th Feb 2020 v Manchester Tyrants

Exeter Demons

90 yard field with blue markings. NFL-width hash marks. No three yard marks. Changing room was a 15 minute walk from field.

Richard Madge #485

26th Jan 2020 v Southampton Stags

Heriot-Watt AFC

Field was marked in blue, under the floodlights it became increasingly difficult to see the lines. No team areas were marked so cones were used.

Gordon Galloway #7

9th Feb 2020 v Sunderland Spartans

Hertfordshire Hurricanes

There were no marked team areas and small cones were used to show some limit lines for the coaches.

Keith Wickham #423

8th Dec 2019 v Birmingham Lions

KCL Regents

90-yard rubber crumb field with no nine-yard marks or numbers. Field markings in blue (and very faint) with other sports markings in multiple colours. One cluster of floodlights is faulty and strobes about 2-3 times per second. Changing room available at the end of the game was too small for five officials.

James Ford-Bannister #479

9th Feb 2020 v Cambridge Pythons

Leeds Beckett Carnegie

80 yard field with no coaches or players boxes marked. The home team used cones to mark their area and both teams were very well disciplined.

Lee Taylor #183

8th Dec 2019 v Nottingham Outlaws


Field markings were yellow on green and were very faint. The field will need fully remarking before the next game at this venue. There were no numbers or nine-yard marks. With 8:20 remaining in the second quarter, the Head Linesman was injured in a sideline collision with a player attempting a tackle. The remainder of the half was officiated with 4 officials, the Head Linesman returned at the start of the third period.

Ben Griffiths #228

26th Jan 2020 v UCLan Rams

Nottingham Outlaws 2nd Team

Field markings continue to fade and become more difficult to see, goalposts are fixed to the perimeter fence. All assistants made available before arrival on the field and the chain crew’s enthusiasm was appreciated.

Ian Wainwright #567

9th Feb 2020 v Staffordshire Stallions

Oxford Lancers

Game played at Wolfson College due to lack of playable pitches. 90 yard field. No goals. Team areas marked with cones. Third & fourth quarters shortened to ten minutes due to pending darkness. Credit to Oxford for a well marked field and making arrangements for the game to go ahead at short notice.

Euan Paterson #165

9th Feb 2020 v Kingston Cougars

QMBL Vipers

90-yard field with field markings in blue with other sport markings in white. No nine-yard marks, numbers or limit lines. Team areas marked with cones.

The painting of the End Lines was not completed well and Game Management were advised that this needs to be resolved before the next home game.

James Ford-Bannister #479

26th Jan 2020 v Essex Blades

Reading Knights

100 yard field, marked in white with other blue sports markings. Field surface was very boggy in places and this deteriorated throughout the game.

Oliver Maskell #221

25th Jan 2020 v RHUL Bears

Southampton Stags

The start of the game was delayed by 30 minutes due to the away team arriving late. The game was suspended in the second quarter for 45 minutes due to an injury, which required an Ambulance.

Stephen Egan #466

8th Dec 2020 v Exeter Demons

Staffordshire Stallions

Only one chair in changing room. Blue field markings on grass (mainly mud) field and difficult to see. This was compounded by missing yardage markers outside the sideline.

Austin Pickles #590


Surrey Stingers

Field markings are a bit faint and are dark, also brighter markings for other sports (in white). Chain broke once.

Viktor Janvari #63

26th Jan 2020 v Brighton Panthers

UCL Emperors

There was no access to the field or changing rooms until 30 minutes before Kick Off. This lead to a 15 minute delay in starting the game and the quarters were shortened to ten minutes. Game balls provided were under-inflated. NFL-width hash marks and no coaching boxes or limit lines.

Henry Young #486

26th Jan 2020 v Winchester Silverbacks

UEA Pirates

With ten minutes remaining in the third quarter, the game was abandoned due to a serious injury.

Alisha Darkins #573

8th Dec 2020 v Swansea Titans

Warwick Wolves

Game delayed in third quarter due to an injury to a Warwick player that necessitated the use of a stretcher. 100 yard field marked in blue.

Krister Halvorsen #217

9th Feb 2020 v Loughborough Students

Outstanding items from previous weeks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 in under inflated. Kick off was delayed by 15 minutes due to the late arrival of the away team. Game was suspended with 44 seconds remaining in the 2nd quarter due to a seriously injured Greenwich player. After waiting for an hour with no ambulance arriving, both coaches agreed to abandon the game. Canterbury played the game under protest as Greenwich did not have their roster uploaded to the BUCS app. However, a paper roster was provided to them.

Henry Young #486

26th Jan 2020 v KCL Regents

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

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 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

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

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

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

Ian Wainwright #567

15th Dec 2019 v Coventry Jets

NTU Renegades

Team areas too small so extended with cones.

Pete Thom #200

15th Dec 2020 v DMU Falcons

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

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

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

Stirling Clansmen

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

Ian Sneddon #427

8th Dec 2019 v Durham Saints

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

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

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



New this week

Play: 1st & 10 at the A-46. 1:02 remaining in the fourth quarter with Team B leading 28-14. A11 receives the shotgun snap and looks to pass. Under pressure, A11 scrambles and at the B-43 he drops his back-side and slides feet first. As A11 is sliding on the ground, B4 dives and contacts A11 in the head with his shoulder. The Team A players take umbrage to the hit on A11 and a minor scuffle ensues between the two teams. The officials quickly separate both teams, however, away from the action B33 shoves A66 with an open hand to the facemask right in front of the Field Judge. Prior to A11's scramble, A79 grabs and takes down B95 at the A-39.  When the play ends the game clock reads 0:54.


Last 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.

Ruling: Touchdown, Try is attempted from the B-3.

There is no foul. The punch is not fighting, as the attempt to strike the opponent is in a manner related to football. (2-31-1) The punch is an attempted bat and is a valid attempt to dislodge the football and cause a fumble (2-11-3 & 2-11-1)


New this week

Game Situation: In the week before the game, the officials note that Newsflash states that a home team player is suspended for the game.

During the pre game meeting between the Head Coach, Referee & Umpire, the home team Head Coach states that he believes the player should not be suspended from the game.

Answer next issue…

Last 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 Line Judge.  As A88 comes to the ground the Line Judge can see that the player has possession of the ball until he hits the ground.  The ball then disappears from the Line Judge's view as A88 contacts the ground heavily.  A88 then gets up and is holding the ball.  Ruling?

Answer: Although officials must make use of positive knowledge, there will always be situations when there is doubt over a call.  If there is doubt over whether the ball touched the ground during a catch, then the ball is ruled to have not touched the ground (M6.1.2)  In this case the Line Judge should seek input from the other officials, though if all their views are blocked must make use of 'in doubt' principles.  Since all the conditions of a legal catch have been met in this instance, the Line Judge should award the catch.  A's ball, 1st and 10 on the B45.  This situation highlights the importance of the Umpire and wing officials all having a view on a catch on a 4 man crew.




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:

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