Minutes of a combined meeting of the BAFRA and BAFA Rules Committees on 17 December 2005
- The Chairman welcomed those present to the second meeting of the reconstituted BAFA Rules Committee.
The Committee approved the minutes of the meeting on 16 January 2005.
The Committee noted that the actions agreed at the meeting on 16 January 2005 had been carried out with the following exception:
- Present: Jim Briggs (BAFRA, Chair), Roger Stangroom (BAFRA), Phil Cottier (BYAFA), Craig Waite (BCAFL), Rich Hanby (BCAFL), Nigel Clift (BAFL).
- Apologies: Charles Dean-Young (BAFRA), Colin Edwards (BAFRA), Paul Sutton (BAFRA), Jim Messenger (BAFCA), Dave Bamford (BYAFA), Brian Yates (BAFRA).
The Committee noted and confirmed the procedures outlined in the documents:
The Committee reviewed the 2005 rules changes. No problems had been reported. Teams had quickly become accustomed to the lack of a full timeout at the two-minute warning. An issue had been raised by one BAFL team about the rule that two unsportsmanlike conduct fouls result in an automatic disqualification, but there was no proposal to amend the rule. It had been invoked about 6 times during the past BAFL season.
The Committee discussed the following rules changes proposals for 2006.
- Item 9 (set up working party to make recommendations concerning the disciplinary code) had not yet been actioned. It had been intended to convene this working party once the work on medical facilities had been completed but this had taken longer than expected. Action to be carried forward. (Action JB)
- The Committee considered the NCAA 2005 rules changes. The Committee agreed to adopt all the changes except for the following editorial changes:
The Committee considered proposals to provide disincentives to teams that ignore some of the important aspects of game management. The Committee agreed the following rules changes:
- 1-2-1-a concerning the width of the goal line (not appropriate)
- 1-2-4-b concerning individuals in the team area (not appropriate)
- 1-4-5-s concerning eye shields (not appropriate). BAFRA will produce a guideline for its members on how the rule should be interpreted. (Action JB)
Also on the subject of game management, the Committee agreed to carry out a Game Management Audit during the 2006 and 2006-2007 seasons. Referees and both teams will be required to complete a Game Management Scorecard after each game and submit it through their organisation. These would then be analysed to determine the extent of field marking and other problems. The audit will raise the profile of these issues and hopefully result in an improvement without penalties having to be imposed. It was agreed to draw up an Audit Scorecard. (Action JB)
The Committee considered at length the subject of medical facilities at games. This had been raised as an issue at last year's meeting (item 4b). Although no working party had been set up, a considerable amount of consultation had taken place.
- The chains, chain crew (a minimum of 3 people), three legal balls and ball boys (a minimum of 2) shall be provided by game management 20 minutes before kickoff. If any of these are not available 15 minutes before kickoff, the home team will be charged a timeout. If they are still not available 10 minutes before kickoff, the home team will be charged its second timeout. If they are still not available 5 minutes before the appointed kickoff time, the home team will be charged with its third and final timeout of the first half. In addition to the above, the home team will be charged a 5-yard penalty if the chains and 5 personnel are not available at kickoff time, and a further 5-yard penalty for every full 5 minutes the kickoff is further delayed. Exception: No penalty if neither team is responsible for game management.
- The home team will be charged with a timeout (or a 5-yard penalty if timeouts are exhausted) every time a substitution is made to the chain crew or ball boys, or the game is halted because the chain or down box breaks (Exception: no charge for the first stoppage to repair the chain or down box; no charge for pre-notified changes that do not delay the game; no charge for changes due to injury to personnel or damage caused through play, or other clearly extenuating circumstances). Note: Game management may make multiple changes for one timeout/penalty.
The Committee agreed to adopt a set of 5-on-5 kitted rules within the BAFA rules framework.
The Committee confirmed its decisions noted above and recommends that the BAFA Board should also give its final confirmation to the changes.
The Committee agreed that British Points of Emphasis be drawn up (ACTION JB) on:
- It was noted that in a survey of participants in British American Football only about one-third of respondents believed that an ambulance was essential at a game.
- It was noted that other sports (notably rugby union) that could be said to be somewhat similar to American football did not mandate the presence of an ambulance. Where an ambulance is provided, it is often related to the size of the crowd rather than the risk to the participants.
- It was noted that in the USA, mandating an ambulance was not common.
- The document Safety in Sport: Guidance for UK National Governing Bodies produced on behalf of UK Sport was noted.
- It was noted that often St John Ambulance crews were unwilling/unable to convey spinal injury cases to hospital.
- It was noted that advice from two doctors (both with experience of providing medical cover for other sports) was that the priority should be to have someone present with the right knowledge and skills to provide immediate care when life is threatened and to be able to stabilise a spine, and that the presence of an ambulance adds little compared to the resource it ties up.
- The Committee was concerned to make changes that improved medical coverage rather than reduce it.
- The Committee agreed to make a rule change as follows:
- Where a game has a medical practitioner or paramedic present, then the provision of an ambulance is optional.
- A telephone capable of use to summon the emergency services must be available.
- The Committee recommended that BAFA should act to increase the awareness of teams and participants about safety and to encourage the use of risk assessments.
- The Commitee recommended that BAFA seek to appoint a professional medical advisor.
The Committee agreed that BAFRA would continue its existing role of editing the rulebook (ACTION JB). A preference for an A5 size book was indicated.
The Committee agreed that a press release concerning the rules changes would be drawn up and that BAFA organisations be asked to bring it to the attention of their members (ACTION JB).
It was agreed that next year's meeting should be on 28 October 2006 (with 21 October as reserve).
The Chairman thanked everyone for attending and closed the meeting.
- game management
- medical facilities