Issue 49/19                                                                                18th December 2019

BAFRA Newsflash

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I'd like to thank all the officials who have covered BUCS games so far this season and in particular, those that have been on crews with the large number of new recruits.  A great job by Recruitment and the officials' mentors to get them to the field.

The next scheduled fixtures for BUCS are Sunday 19th January 2020, however, only two games are being played across the whole country.  If you are attending the Elite training day on January 19th please ensure you block your availability on Arbiter.

We start again with a full slate of games on 25th/26th January.  It's going to be busy through to the end of the season (23rd February) as teams who had fixtures cancelled due to the weather will be rescheduling games.

BUCS Playoffs start 29th February/1st March, Division 1 Quarter-Finals 7th/8th March, Semi-Finals 14th/15th March and Premier and Division 1 Finals on Wednesday March 25th. Please update your availability on Arbiter for all these dates.  The Division 2 finals are expected to be played the following weekend but this is not yet confirmed.

We have had some issues with Arbiter not sending us the normal notifications when you decline a game.  So, for the time being, can you also drop a note to otherwise we don't know you've declined the assignment.

Roger Goodgroves - Director of Operations










secretary@bafra.infoNew this week

Bolu Alade


Liverpool Raptors



Following a play, #66 was seen to move towards a player on the ground and deliberately stand on his leg.

2nd Feb 2020 v Edge Hill Vikings

Chris Stone


QMBL Vipers



Mr. Stone entered the field of play to loudly remonstrate against a non-call, which drew his first unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Once he returned to the team area, he then began loudly (and including the use of profane language) berating the officiating. This drew a second unsportsmanlike penalty, which therefore led to his disqualification.

26th Jan 2020 v Essex Blades

* 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.

Previous weeks

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





New this week

Bradford Bears

90-yard field. Markings were faint in places but otherwise ok.  Markings for other sports were present in a few different colours. The game balls presented were worn so MMU provided one ball. Officials changing was in the gym but was ok, it lacked a private toilet or shower facilities. Kick off was delayed by 30 minutes due to a soccer match taking place on the field which didn't finish until ten minutes before the scheduled kick off time.

David Hewitt #607

26th Jan 2020 v Lancaster Bombers

Lancaster Bombers

80-yard field. The markings did fade somewhat as the light faded and the rain and hail continued. There are no floodlights for the pitch so an early kickoff is required to complete the game at this venue. It should also be noted that the trip from the changing room to the field involves a rather treacherous slope in the wintry conditions often experienced at Lancaster.

Lee Taylor #183

9th Feb 2020 v Manchester Tyrants

Manchester Tyrants

90-yard field marked in faint blue, this will need remarking, prior to the second half of the season, as under the floodlights the lines became very difficult to see.

Lee Taylor #183

23rd Feb 2020 v Aberystwyth Tarannau

University of Nottingham

Lines well marked but very faint. Coaching box was only three feet from the sidelines. Goals attached to perimeter fence. Chain set broke twice.

Brian Yates #29

2nd Feb 2020 v Leeds Beckett Carnegie

Portsmouth Destroyers

90-yard grass field which, due to the heavy rain in the days prior to the game, was very wet at the offset of the game. By the time the game was over, the entire middle of the field was a muddy bog with no grass left and this made it hard to see the hash marks. There were also issues seeing the sidelines in places. The field markings are in blue and the hash marks in the centre are at NFL-width. The hash marks on the sideline are marked but are about a foot away from the sideline. Team areas marked with cones. Balls supplied were under-inflated and had to be inflated to the correct pressure. Changing room was not lockable during the game.

David Knight #135

9th Feb 2020 v Reading Knights

Sheffield Sabres

The American Football markings were marked in black, there were markings for other sports in multiple colours including white field markings closer than four feet to some end zone lines. There were no team area markings of any sort. Two changing rooms were provided, combined they had capacity for four officials to change in. There was, however, a small seating area in which a pre-game could be held. The changing rooms were not lockable however lockers were provided.

Ben Griffiths #228

9th Feb 2020 v LJMU Fury

Outstanding items from previous weeks

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

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

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

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

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


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

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 University of Nottingham

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

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

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 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

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

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

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

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 time restrictions on the field.

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 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


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 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

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

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

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

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


Stirling Clansmen

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

Ian Sneddon #427

9th Feb v University of Nottingham

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

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

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

UEA Pirates

Coaching boxes too close to the sideline.

Alisha Darkins #573


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: Team A, 1st and 10 at the B-40. A68 lines up at Tight End. Quarterback A16 drops back to pass and A68 runs a pass route beyond the line of scrimmage. A16 throws the ball towards A68, Defensive End B51 is pass rushing and is in the offensive backfield at the B-45 yard line, he attempts to block the pass and he tips it with his hand. The ball continues in flight beyond the neutral zone where it is caught at the A68 at the B-32 yard line. A68 evades a tackle and advances the ball across Team B’s goal line.


Last week

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

Ruling: On a correctly marked 100 yard field, there are 38 hash marks. There are two hash marks on each solid 5 yard line, they are located 60 feet from each side line (1-2-1-l & 2-12-7). The markings colloquially referred to as hash marks are actually short yard-line extensions (1-2-1-c). On a correctly marked 100 yard field, there are 320 short yard-line extensions.

N.B. Somewhat confusingly the rule book uses the term “Hash marks” when the rule in fact applies to short yard-line extensions.


New this week

Game Situation: 1st and 10 at Midfield, Team have been running a high temp offense all game. Team A complete a long pass and the ball carrier is tackled in bounds at the B-15. The Umpire places the ball at the succeeding spot, and backs away to his position. Team A, snap the ball.

All officials are in position, however the down box is still moving and is approximately at the B-17 yard line when the snap occurs, the chains are still at the B-30 yard line when the snap occurs.

How should the officials react?

Answer next issue…

Last 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: There is no foul on the play and the score stands.

Celebrating prior to a score is not a foul in itself. It only becomes a foul if the player commits one of the specifically prohibited acts in 9-2-1-a. An act that isn’t on the list is probably legal, so be tolerant of it, unless you believe it is abusive, threatening or obscene, provokes ill will, or demeans the game (M3.5.1.e).




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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