Issue 41/22                                                                                16th November 2022

BAFRA Newsflash

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We've recently had a few cases of games that have not finished in the normal way. How should referees report that so the correct result is recorded?

The "normal" way for a game to terminate is for time to expire in the fourth quarter (or extra periods are completed). But a game is also complete if it is forfeited by one team. In that case, the score is 1-0 if the offended team was not ahead (Rule 8-1-2). Even if the game is forfeited in the first minute, it is still a "complete" game.

A game is also considered complete if the two teams both want to terminate the game early - for example, if the head coaches mutually agree to shorten the remaining periods (Rule 3-2-2-a). In that case, the score stands.

A game that does not reach completion is "abandoned". Before a game is abandoned, it is "suspended". The abandonment technically then comes when it is realised that the game can't be resumed (Rule 13-5-8). A game that is abandoned before the opening kickoff is technically "cancelled" (which has implications for anyone who won't thereby have served their suspension).

Suspensions, abandonments and cancellations are always the referee's decision (Rule 13-5-1), though they can consult game management, both teams, medical staff and groundsmen for their views.

The distinction between a completed and an abandoned/cancelled game is important with respect to the competition. If a game is abandoned, what happens next depends on the competition regulations.

In BAFA leagues, the score will stand if a game has at least reached half-time. In BUCS competition, 75% of a game (i.e. 3 quarters) must be played for the score to stand. In each case, shorter games may be replayed or (more typically) recorded as a tie or omitted from the standings. For this reason, it is important that referees always report how much time was left when the game was abandoned.

The following table summarises the possible outcomes:

How game ends


Next steps

Time runs out in 4th quarter or result achieved in extra periods.


Report score

One team concedes.

Yes by forfeit

Report score (or 1-0 if opponent not ahead)

Head coaches and referee mutually agree to conclude game.


Report score

Game abandoned by referee's decision (e.g. weather, field conditions, medic absent, too few officials).

Not necessarily

Report score, quarter and time remaining. Competition will decide whether to accept score or take other action (e.g. replay or tie)

If a team walks off the field and wilfully refuses to play, that should always be penalised as a forfeit (covered in Rule 9-2-3). A forfeit also applies if a team runs out of fit and legally equipped players.

If you have any questions about this, please feel free to contact me.

Jim Briggs - BAFA Rules Editor


Congratulations to Jordan Pilipavicius on completing all of the requirements necessary to become Qualified.

Thanks to Chris Jarvis and all those who are helping with Jordan’s training.

James Ford-Bannister - Director of Training









New this week

Cornel Petlivc





At the end of the play, #89 was seen to forcefully raise his knee into the groin area of the QB.

20th November 2022 v Sheffield Hallam Warriors

Previous weeks

Aaron Wade


UCL Emperors



During a play, with 3:20 remaining in the third quarter, the player threw a punch at an opponent. This started a live ball fight.

27th November 2022 v KCL Regents

Paul Ravey


UWS Pyros



With 2:16 remaining in the second quarter, at the end of a running play, after the ball was dead, #51 punched the ball carrier, who was on the ground and defenceless.

20th November 2022 v Heriot-Watt AFC





New this week

Bangor Muddogs

No coaches box.

John Roberts #145

27th November 2022 v Edge Hill Vikings

Birmingham Lions

All lines re-marked from last week but no numbers or 9 yard marks. Team areas absent. we were herded from last weeks changing room to the much smaller officials room and were advised that we should be changing in the sports centre however the location of the sports centre was not revealed.

Brian Yates #28

3rd December 2022 v UWE Bullets

Brighton Panthers

100-yard artificial field with the end lines being close to the metal enclosure and movable soccer goal posts. To avoid any possible collision with the soccer or American football goal posts, the home team covers these bars up with pads but there is always room for additional or better padding.

Viktor Janvari #63

20th November 2022 v Winchester Silverbacks

Bristol Barracuda

Due to swan neck post damage, field length shortened to 90 yards as Rugby Posts erected within the end zone. The goal line was adjusted to the 5-yard line, meaning short yard line extensions extended into the end zone. Only six pylons provided, cones utilised for the final two. Due to a delayed delivery, Bristol played in two Jersey styles both in contrast to the opponent.

Stuart Tabberer #348

4th December 2022 v Bournemouth Bobcats

Chichester Spitfires

90-yard field, short yard-line extensions were two yards long and not at the correct inbounds positions. Umpire adjusted ball position to be correct. Endzones were of the legal minimum depth. Fourth quarter was shortened to zero minutes with 1:31 remaining in the fourth quarter, by mutual consent of Referee and both Head Coaches, due to an injured player on the field could not be moved.

Roger Brown #469

4th December 2022 v Solent Thrashers

Coventry University Jets

Field marked in blue but clearly visible. No team areas marked. Fourth quarter was shortened to zero minutes with 6:30 remaining in the fourth quarter, by mutual consent of Referee and both Head Coaches, due to an away team player receiving an injury requiring lengthy medical treatment.

Jed Brookes-Lewis #395

27th November 2022 v Loughborough Students

Edge Hill Vikings

Due to the late arrival of medical coverage, kickoff was delayed by around 25 minutes. In order to complete the game before sunset, the playing time was reduced to ten minutes per quarter. Field markings were in blue and were very faint in places. Team areas were absent. Pylons level with the hash marks were absent. During the game, one stake of the chains was broken through a collision from a player.

Paul Todd #289

4th December 2022 v Lancaster Bombers

Greenwich Mariners

Game kicked off 15 minutes late due to late arriving Referee.

90-yard field with multiple sports markings, not all Football markings were the same colour. No team areas etc. Changing room was not lockable. In the first quarter, there were injury delays of eight and five minutes.

Ben Gadsby #564

4th December 2022 v UCL Emperors

Hertfordshire Hurricanes

90-yard field on 4G surface. Team and player areas marked with cones. Lines are yellow and in need of repainting. Lines clear enough to play, low sun can make them harder to see. No numbers or nine-yard marks.

Lee Wood #517

27th November 2022 v Sussex Saxons

Kent Falcons

Well marked 90-yard field in red with other sport markings in yellow, blue, and red. Team area perimeters marked out with cones and rugby lines approximated for team area lines. No numbers, nine-yard marks, or limit lines.

Tim Ockendon #481

27th November 2022 v QMBL Vipers

Leeds Beckett Carnegie

80-yard field. No three-yard marks, nine-yard marks, or numbers. Several other sports markings on the field and in close proximity to the endzone. No player or coaching areas but these were marked out with cones.

David Hewitt #607

20th November 2022 v Nottingham Gold

Lincoln Colonials

No team areas or nine-yard marks. Short yard-line extensions very faint, becoming barely visible under lights. One extra line halfway across end zones. Goals were poles jury-rigged to a soccer goal.

Joel Pearson #405

20th November 2022 v Nottingham Green


No coaches box.

John Roberts #145

20th November 2022 v Sheffield Hallam Warriors

Northumbria Mustangs

Team areas not marked so Game Management marked them out with cones.

Ian Sneddon #427

20th November 2022 v Glasgow Tigers

Portsmouth Destroyers

No three-yard marks and other sports lines present in different colours. Chain set broke twice. Changing rooms shared with team and not lockable. The Sussex Saxons jersey contains a white chequered area around the shoulders (1-4-5-b-2).

Oliver Maskell #221

4th December 2022 v Royal Holloway Bears

Sheffield Hallam Warriors

The field markings were faint red on dark green. They were difficult to see in daylight and, after the sun set, they became almost impossible to see. There were white field markings closer than four feet to an end zone line. There were no team areas marked. Two changing rooms were provided each with space for only two persons, neither were lockable.

Ben Griffiths #228

22nd January 2022 v LJMU Fury

Stirling Clansmen

Prior to the game the officials discovered that chain set did not have a chain but a rope. Game management were able to get the correct chain set but resulted in delay of kickoff by almost 20 minutes. Game was delayed by 20 minutes in third quarter due to player injury.

Shawn Sombati #15

20th November 2022 v Durham Saints

UWE Bullets

There are two rooms provided for officials changing but when a pregame is held it is difficult to get the crew into one room

Keith Wickham #423

19th November 2022 v Birmingham Lions

Worcester Royals

Field was found to be 153ft in width, with no nine-yard marks or limit lines. Markings were blue on a green field. Changing rooms secured throughout game and a massive improvement on Worcester's previous venue, with plentiful supplies of electricity, running water and seating available.

On arrival it was discovered that the nearside side line had not been marked entirely straight. Two attempts had been made to mark the sideline, with the second one clear and usable. Both teams were alerted to the issue and no problems were encountered during the game itself.

Krister Halvorsen #77

4th December 2022 v Bath Killer Bees

Outstanding items from previous weeks

Bath Spa Bulldogs

Markings were blue on a grass field and were very faint. The inbounds marks were at NFL-widith.

Julian Mallia #336

22nd January 2023 v UWE Pellets

Canterbury Christ Church Chargers

90 yard field with multiple sports markings. Team area line parallel to sideline is easy to confuse with the sideline. Canterbury's new jerseys are yet to arrive so players mixed and matched across three different sets of fetching jerseys, none of which clashed with their opponents. Changing room not lockable.

Ben Gadsby #564

20th November 2022 v Greenwich Mariners

Cardiff Cobras

The two teams agreed amongst themselves to bring the kickoff time forward an hour, but did not inform the crew or BAFRA about this. In the end, the game kicked off approximately 15 minutes earlier than scheduled, but only after the crew had conducted their pregame and finished pregame duties and briefings.

90-yard field with seven-yard endzones (this is due to the proximity of the fence surrounding the field). No nine-yard marks or numbers. The goals are set back approximately five yards from the endline, in line with the fence. Field markings are permanent, in yellow, and were quite difficult to see from certain directions due to glare from the sun. The chain set is in a bad state of repair and needed fixing at the start of the game. One ballboy was changed at half time.

Amir Brooks #593

20th November 2022 v SGS College Pride

City Wolfpack

Kickoff delayed by 20 minutes on agreement of both Head Coaches. 100-yard well marked grass field . No limit lines or team areas marked. One member of the chain crew was swapped at half time. Changing room not lockable and shared with other officials. The field is a five minute walk from the changing rooms.

Henry Young #486

20th November 2022 v KCL Regents

Coventry University Jets

No team areas marked, a combination of rugby marks and cones were used.

Joel Pearson #405

27th November 2022 v Loughborough Students

DMU Lions

Nottingham Roster had players assigned same number - this was brought to their attention and corrected. Changing rooms secured throughout game.

Krister Halvorsen #77

4th December 2022 v Lincoln Colonials

Essex Blades

Nine-yard marks missing. Chain crew changed at half time. Team areas not marked.

Martin Cockerill #345

20th November 2022 v Kent Falcons

Glasgow University Tigers

On arrival, it was found that the original field had been vandalised, but that a secondary field was made available. On inspection, there were no short yard extension lines at both sidelines and at the hash marks. The field was too wide and both endzones stopped right on concrete boundaries and wood land areas. A team was despatched to get paint supplies. Kudos to home management, the field was sorted by kick off time. It was decided to shorten the field to 80 yards and narrow the field to league minimum of 144 feet. There were no posts, but the away team were made aware of this during the week and there were no issues. It was agreed to shorten the game to four 10-minute quarters because of the 14:00 kickoff, the weather conditions, and the lack of floodlights. The changing facilities were inadequate for a large crew and officials had to share with soccer officials. A big thank you goes to both teams for the patience and determination to sort the problems.

Gordon Galloway #7

22nd January 2022 v Northumbria Mustangs

Gloucester Gladiators

NFL-width hash marks, cones were placed at both end lines to compensate. Chain crew not provided until the very last minute and consisted of three spectators.

Mike Lefevre #341

29th January 2023 v UWE Pellets

Heriot-Watt AFC

Game was delayed for approximately 25 minutes due to a UWS injury, this had a knock on effect for the second half as the field had to be vacated by a certain time to allow a soccer game to start. UWS finished the game with 11 healthy players, but to their credit they did finish the game

Gordon Galloway #7

5th February 2023 v Sunderland Spartans

Lancaster Bombers

Team areas marked to the 15-yard lines. Otherwise, a well marked 80-yard field.

Paul Todd #289

20th November 2022 v York St Johns Jaguars

Leeds Gryphons

The field is 80 yards with 8 yard end zones there were no Team Areas marked, however this was rectified with cones prior to kick off, the field markings were in yellow and faded in the middle of the field.

Chris Jarvis #10

27th November v Hull Sharks

Liverpool Raptors

90-yard field with a couple of wonky main lines. Although the lines were faint, they were visible but the venue staff were advised that they would need to be repainted prior to the next game. No numbers, nine-yard marks, or limit lines but the spectator areas are fenced off from the pitch. The officials were allocated two small changing rooms and the pre-game was held in a closed bar area, which was available next to these and allowed privacy for discussion.

Lee Taylor #183

20th November 2022 v York Centurions

Loughborough Students

Very well marked field but coaches boxes and team areas marked with cones at the 20-yard lines.

Brian Yates #29

20th November 2022 v NTU Renegades

Manchester Tyrans

The game was technically a home game for the Manchester Tyrants, however, it was played at LMJU’s venue. The were a number of white field markings for other sports within four feet of some endzone lines. There were no numbers or nine-yard marks. The team areas were marked between the 25-yard lines and there were no coaching lines at six feet. No towels were provided for the ball persons when they were needed due to intermittent rain. The changing rooms for the officials were only big enough for two persons, however, the venue provided two changing rooms for the officials to change in. They also provided an unused bar area in which to hold a pre-game conference.

Ben Griffiths #228

27th November 2022 v SHeffield Sabres

Newcastle Raiders

No limit lines. No coaching box or team area lines. Coaching and team areas marked with cones Newcastle chose to forfeit the game with 1:47 remaining in the third quarter.

Henry Richardson #25

11th December 2022 v Durham Saints

Nottingham Green

One of the pylons marking the hash marks extended was absent.

Paul Todd #289

4th December 2022 v Derby Braves

Plymouth Blitz

Game played on a muddy field. Hash marks and sidelines really faint. Both teams wearing blue jerseys. One dark blue and the other bright blue.

Richard Madge #485

4th December 2022 v Bath Spa Bulldogs

QMBL Vipers

Well marked 90-yard field in blue. No numbers or nine-yard marks and inbounds lines at incorrect depth. Home team’s sideline team areas were marked with cones. No team area markings on visiting team’s sideline. Good size changing room but no facilities and not lockable, as it was being shared with other sport officials. Kickoff delayed by 15 minutes with the consent of both coaches due to traffic problems for the visiting team.

Tim Ockendon #481

20th November 2022 v Brunel Burners

RHUL Bears

Only public changing rooms were available.

Keith Wickham #423

20th November 2022 v Hertfordshire Hurricanes

Sheffield Sabres

90-yard field with eight-yard endzones. No nine-yard marks or numbers. No coaches or players areas marked out but both teams were disciplined and kept mostly to the correct areas of the sideline. The changing room was only big enough for two officials but another small changing room was available next door so the crew split up whilst changing.

David Hewitt #607

20th November v MMU Eagles

Swansea Titans

Game played at SGS due to a booking problem with Swansea's usual venue. Both teams played in white jerseys, with the home team wearing white helmets and pants, and the visiting team wearing maroon helmets and pants. Under BUCS regulations, the home team is responsible for changing their colours in the event of a clash, therefore Swansea were penalised according to Rule [1-4-5]. The down box operator was changed at half time.

Amir Brooks #593

29th January 2022 v Exeter Demons

UCL Emperors

Kick off was moved to 14:00, upon arrival this was pushed to 14:15. As per rule, quarters were shortened to ten minutes prior to kick off - as sunset was at 16:23. Canterbury coaches were concerned as medic had to leave at 16:00. At half time, the medic extended to 16:30. With 3:20 remaining in third quarter, there was a fight during a scoring play. Before the penalties could be assessed, the Canterbury head coach came onto the field and withdrew his team from the game. On confirming this with the Head Coach, that he was forfeiting the game the score was declared final.

Lee Wood #517

11th December 2022 v City Wolfpack

UEA Pirates

Changing room small for five (or four) officials. Field surface balding in places

Lee Wood #517

27th November 2022 v SGS College Pride



New this week

Play: After a play, defensive lineman B98 slugs offensive lineman A78. B98 is disqualified for fighting and is removed from the team area. After enforcement of the penalty, team A has 1st and Goal at the B–8 yard line. A12 throws an incomplete pass. The game is being played within an area surrounded by a metal chain link fence and B98 takes a position outside of the fence and, after the 1st down play, he makes offensive remarks towards the nearest official.


Last week

Play: On arrival at the venue, both Head Coaches approach the officials and state that they have agreed to not implement the running clock rule if the score margin is greater than 34 points. Ruling?

Ruling: The Running Clock rule (3-3-2) is not one of the rules that may be altered by mutual consent of the competing teams, therefore the Running Clock rule should remain in place.


New this week

Game Situation: Should the Umpire should give a tipped ball signal (S11) when a ball kicked from a punt is partially blocked at the line of scrimmage?

Answer next issue…

Last week

Game Situation: Upon arrival at the game site, there is a strong wind blowing and one set of goal posts has fallen down and broken. They cannot be repaired. The Team A Head Coach requests that they “play both ways” and that both teams will relocate to the end of the field with goal posts for kicking plays. How should the crew handle this?

Answer: The Team A Head Coach’s option is not permissible. If there only one set of goal posts available. There are two options; If both Head Coach’s agree the game may be played without any field goals (either on the try down or normal scrimmage downs) being scored (1-2-5-f-3). If the Head Coach’s do not agree then the game will take place with all offensive plays taking place in the direction of the goal posts (1-2-5-f-2).




Contact for details


1st April (Sat)


1st-2nd April (Sat-Sun)

BAFRA Convention

BAFRA Directors


David Parsons

General Secretary

Richard Moger


Stuart Tabberer


Roger Goodgroves


Susannah Taylor


James Ford-Bannister

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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