Issue 12/20                                                                                8th April 2020

BAFRA Newsflash

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I am sure people will be as sad as I am to hear of the passing of Robert Banks. Although he had been ill for some time (having had a series of operations and other health issues), it still comes as a shock to hear the news. He passed away peacefully at home on Sunday.

Robert joined BAFRA in the mid-1980s, although that was not his first experience of sports officiating.  He had previously been a soccer referee, rising to the heights of refereeing Division One games (what is now called the Premier League) and often appearing on ‘Match of the Day’.  With BAFRA, he was for many years, the white hat on what was known affectionately as the zimmer crew on account of their average age!  He finished his active officiating career in the late 1990s, although he continued to assess crews.  His last on-field appearance was probably at Lancaster University on a bitterly cold day when the Line Judge was injured with about five minutes remaining and Robert, as assessor, took his place wearing a thick overcoat, scarf and flat hat – a vision that will long stay with me.

Off the field, he was, for many years, BAFRA’s Director of Finance, during which time he put BAFRA’s finances on a solid and professional footing. He also served, for a short period, as BAFRA’s President.

He was someone I, and many other people in BAFRA, were proud to call a friend. He and I used to meet up for lunch every couple of months and talk football & other things and generally put the world to rights – I shall certainly miss those sessions. Our sincere thoughts go out to his wife, Susan (herself a BAFRA official for a number of years) and his son Jonathan. He will be sadly missed.

Paul Sutton – General Secretary


During final edits, an error was made in the exam, specifically, question number 60. The correction is related to option B in the multiple choice.

This error was corrected on the afternoon of Sunday 5th April and the website updated with the new, corrected wording.

Please disregard the original wording for Question 60 and use the current active version on the website.

Apologies for this and thanks to the eagle-eyed member who spotted the error.

Stuart Young - Chair, Examination Committee


Everyone should by now have received their papers for the virtual AGM.  This is a reminder that questions to the Board should be sent to me by 10th April and votes in the various elections and ballots to the Returning Officer by 15th April. A report will be available towards the end of the month.

Paul Sutton – General Secretary




New this week

Play: Endzone will resume when the exam period has passed.


Last week

Play: 4th & 6 at the B-16 yard line. There are five minutes remaining in the 1st quarter. Team A line up in a field goal formation. The snap is high and hits the holder in the facemask and bounces forward, while the loose ball is rolling about players from both teams scramble to recover the ball, players from both teams muff the ball in the process, the ball is not recovered and rolls out of bounds at the B-8. What is the next down and distance? What is the clock status?

Ruling:  Team A’s ball, 1st and Goal at B-8, the clock will start when the ball is ready for play, the play clock will be 40 seconds and will start when the ball is declared dead.  The snap is a backwards pass, and a backwards pass out of bounds belongs to the passing Team A (2-23-1-c & 7-2-4-a). Therefore the ball belongs to Team A. As the ball is beyond the line to gain, Team A is awarded a new series of downs (5-1-1-b).


New this week

Game Situation: Endzone will resume when the exam period has passed.

Answer next issue…

Last week

Game Situation: On a normal scrimmage down team A line up in an I-formation with 5 linemen numbered 50 through 79, and 3 receivers.  A wide and a slot receiver line up on the Line Judge's side of the field.  The wide receiver indicates to the Line Judge that he is on the line, the slot receiver makes no signal to the official and it is not clear if he is lined up on or off the line of scrimmage.  Team A run a pass play, all receivers run patterns more than 3 yards down field and the QB throws a legal forward pass beyond the line of scrimmage.  Ruling?

Answer: No player should ever be ruled as being neither on or off the line – if in doubt consider him to be in a position to make things most legal.  The covering official should rule the slot receiver off the line to make the play legal, there is no foul for ineligible downfield during the pass.  It might be advisable to talk to the player or his coach to let him know he should establish his position with respect to the line of scrimmage more clearly.  M3.4.1.d




Contact for details


16th May (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

18h July (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

5th September (Sat)

BAFA NL Division 2 South Final (Tilsey Park Stadium)

5th September (Sat)

Junior Britbowl (Tilsey Park Stadium)

6th September (Sun)

BAFA NL Division 2 North Final (Halton Stadium)

12th September (Sat)

BAFA NL Division 1 Final (New River Stadium)

12th September (Sat)

Britbowl (New River Stadium)

14th 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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