Issue 48/19                                                                                11th December 2019

BAFRA Newsflash

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Having already confirmed the Elite Training Day will be held on Sunday 19th January 2020 with a 10.30 start, I can now additionally confirm it will be held at the University of Birmingham. I will be providing a map and room details to all those who confirm they will be attending.

Can I remind you that Elite Panel members are expected to attend but all BAFRA members are welcome, especially those who have aspirations to progress.

At present we have 11 Elite Panel members and 6 Non-Elite Panel members confirmed to attend with an additional 3 people interested.

Please, can I ask all Elite Panel members who have not done so 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.

Keith Wickham – Elite Panel Coordinator


The minutes from the November Board meeting are now available in the members’ area of the website at:

Paul Sutton – General Secretary










New this week

Jack Anderson


Durham Saints



With 2:24 remaining in the fourth quarter, Durham #65 struck the head of a prone, defenceless opponent.

26th Jan 2020 v Nottingham

Ahmed Mustafa


Swansea Titans



With five seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, #70 committed a second unsportsmanlike conduct foul.

15th Dec 2019 v UWE Bullets

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.

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





New this week

Bristol Academy Pride

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

Kerian Smith #102


Cardiff Cobras

The game was played in Worcester as the Cardiff home field was declared unfit at very late notice. Both teams, and officials, should be commended for their efforts and allowing the game to go ahead.

Dave Norton #1

26th Jan 2020 v Worcester Royals

Chichester Spitfires

End zones were below minimum size requirement, so field was shortened to 80 yards. Blue markings were difficult to see with the sun. Major lines were not always five yards apart, hash marks are NFL width and not always straight or a yard apart, while team areas marked out in cones. Original balls provided were not regulation so used balls and an away team ball were used. Changing room was sizeable but not lockable (public use), but reception were able to keep bags secure. Medical provision, chain crew and ball-people were not available until just prior to kickoff.

Michael Hansford #594

26th Jan 2020 v Oxford Lancers

Derby Braves

Field marked in blue but markings clearly visible. Cones used to show team areas.

Jed Brookes-Lewis #395

9th Feb 2020 v DMU Lions

Edinburgh Predators

Faint field markings in blue and became even more difficult to see under floodlights. Team areas marked out with cones.

Gordon Galloway #7

26th Jan 2020 v Northumbria Mustangs

Essex Spartans (Sapphire Series)

Well marked field, in blue, with other sport markings in white. Coaching line was too close to the field but all other markings were perfect. However, the field had been set up for 5 v 5 rather than 7 v 7 and thus the field was too narrow and too long. All coaches agreed to play on the field provided the inaccurate size was reported. Broken glass at the back of one end zone was removed by Game Management prior to kickoff. Changing rooms were a good size but had no facilities except showers and were not lockable.

Tim Ockendon #481


Hertfordshire Hurricanes

Lines faint especially under lights. Team areas marked with cones. Second half started late due to non-appearance of a member of the chain crew.

Brian Yates #29

2nd February v UEA Pirates

Hertfordshire Hurricanes (Sapphire Series)

Two fields marked using as many of the existing lines on the field as possible, backed up with cones. Although one field was presented to us too narrow, Hertfordshire did an excellent job of creating fields that were easy to officiate on, despite not being able to do their own markings.

Oliver Maskell #221


Imperial Immortals

The field was marked to 100 yards with five-yard endzones so the playing size was reduced to 90 yards by moving the goal lines to the previous five-yard lines. The hash marks were present every five yards but were only about 12 yards from the sideline. There were no team areas marked.

Keith Wickham #423

9th Feb 2020 v QMBL Vipers

Leeds Beckett Carnegie

80-yard field. No three or nine-yard marks or numbers. Team areas were marked out with cones as they were missing. Officials changing room had no private toilet and too few coat hooks.

David Hewitt #607


Portsmouth Destroyers

Hash marks in the middle of the field were marked at NFL-width. Hash marks at the sideline were marked with a gap from the sideline but the gap was approximately one foot. 90-yard field. Team areas marked with cones. Ball boy supplied by the visiting team was changed at half time.

David Knight #135

15th Dec 2020 v RHUL Bears

RHUL Bears

100-yard grass field marked reasonably well in dark blue. No limit lines, numbers or nine-yard marks and the three-yard marks were at four yards. Team areas not marked so were indicated with cones. Light nearly became an issue in the last three minutes due to storm clouds and no flood lighting. Balls were slightly worn. Changing rooms impressively refurbished but open to the public and not lockable (although lockers are available if you provide your own padlock).

James Ford-Bannister #479

9th Feb 2020 v Surrey Stingers

Sheffield Sabres

Field markings are black but the field is well marked. Down marker is short so often unseen behind the Head Line. There are two available changing rooms which is fortunate as both are too small for standard sized crews.

Ian Wainwright #567

15th Dec 2019 v UCLan Rams

Stirling Clansmen

Yard lines marked in a mix of blue and white markings.

Ian Sneddon #427

9th Feb v University of Nottingham

UCLan Rams

The coaching box was marked out with cones. The top of the down box broke off in the third quarter and had to be carried separately for the rest of the game. UCLan conceded the game with 0:55 remaining in the game due to injuries and a small squad size.

Tim Vickers #129

9th Feb 2020 v Leeds Gryphons

UEA Pirates

Coaching boxes too close to the sideline.

Alisha Darkins #573


Outstanding items from previous weeks

Bath Killer Bees

Due to building work, the game was played as a one goal game 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 all offensive players take place towards the other goal, 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

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 Kick Off. 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

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

Cambridge Pythons

Visiting team arrived late so kick off was moved from 1 pm to 2 pm 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

Canterbury Chargers

Well marked 90 yard rubber crumb 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. A paper roster was provided to them.

Henry Young #486

26th Jan 2020 v KCL Regents

Chester Legion

The field markings were all present but the hash marks were very faint, probably owing to the overnight frost. They were also in blue so could be 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 Lions

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). 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

With nine seconds left in the second quarter, there was a 90 minute delay due to a serious injury that required an ambulance. Third and fourth quarters were reduced to ten minute due to daylight issues. 90 yard field with blue markings. NFL-with hash marks. No three yard marks. Changing room was a 15 minute walk from field.

Richard Madge #485

26th Jan 2020 v Southampton Stags

Greenwich Mariners

90 yard rubber crumb 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

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

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 - one ball person had to be changed due to an adverse reaction to the lighting. Changing room available at the end of the game was too small for five officials.

Game kicked off approximately 40 minutes late due to an over-run on the crew's previous game. Quarters shortened to ten minutes due to field time restrictions.

James Ford-Bannister #479

9th Feb 2020 v Cambridge Pythons

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 University of Nottingham 2nd Team


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 of nine-yard marks. The game kicked off approximately 30 minutes late as the crew were delayed because the previous game of the double header over-ran. 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

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

University of Nottingham

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

Ian Wainwright #567

15th Dec 2019 v Coventry Jets

University of Nottingham 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

NTU Renegades

Team areas too small so extended with cones.

Pete Thom #200

15th Dec 2020 v DMU Lions

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

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. Due to heavy traffic in the area, Brighton arrived late so both Head Coaches and the Referee agreed to delay kick off by 15 minutes.

Oliver Maskell #221

25th Jan 2020 v RHUL Bears

Solent Redhawks

Home Team requested to use a drone (to film the game) 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

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

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

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. OBU played the game under protest as a result of this. 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

UWE Bullets

No limit lines. Coaching box is fully marked but team area does not have lines at the side 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

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

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: On a correctly marked 100 yard field, how many hash marks are there?


Last 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.

Ruling: 1st & 10 for Team A at the B-34. B4 is disqualified. There are multiple fouls on this play. A79 commits a foul for Offensive Holding (9-3-3-b) and then Team B commits two dead ball fouls. The Offensive Holding is enforced 10 yards from the previous spot. B4 commits a foul for a Late Hit with Targeting (9-1-4) and B33 commits a foul for Unsportsmanlike Conduct foul (9-2-1-a-1-j). Both enforced from the succeeding spot (10-2-2). A11 is considered down by rule as soon as he drops his back-side and begins to slide feet first and for that reason the foul by B4 is enforced as a dead ball foul and not a live ball foul that would offset the Offensive Holding by A79. The play clock will be set to 0:25 (3-2-4-c-1) and the game clock will start on the ready for play (3-3-2-e-1 and 4). The clock was stopped for two reasons: the line to gain was met and the live ball Offensive Holding by A79. The dead ball fouls occurred after the ball was dead by rule.


New this week

Game Situation: 1st and 10 at Midfield. Wide Receiver A87 catches a pass in the open field and is running towards Team B’s endzone. Prior to crossing the goal line, at the B-5, A87 celebrates by clenching his fist and pointing it to the sky and he shouts “Touchdown”. The nearest Team B defender is at the B-20 yard line and the gesture by A87 is not directed at anyone. A87 then runs across the goal line.

Answer next issue…

Last 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: The Referee should remind the coach that any suspended players must be marked on the roster as suspended and they may not participate in the game as a player.

However, if he says that the player is entitled to play, show the Coach the edition of Newsflash that lists the suspension and stress to him that it is our accepted journal of disciplinary actions. You should take all reasonable steps to talk the coach out of playing the player, but if the player enters the game, allow him to play (I.e. don't eject him on the first play) and report it as a misconduct incident. Note on the Incident Report what you said to the coach. The incident should also be reported via the tracking suspensions form in the Gameday Paperwork section of the members area (BAFRA Members Handbook - Game day administration).




Contact for details


19th January (Sun)

Elite Training Day

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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