BAFA Rules Committee

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Minutes of a combined meeting of the BAFRA and BAFA Rules Committees on 22 October 2006


  1. The Chairman welcomed those present to the third meeting of the reconstituted BAFA Rules Committee.
  2. The Committee approved the minutes of the meeting on 17 December 2005.
  3. The Committee noted that the actions agreed at the meeting on 17 December 2005 had been carried out with the following exception:
  4. The Committee noted that the BAFA Board had not approved the recommended changes to game management rules.
  5. The Committee noted and confirmed the procedures outlined in the documents:
  6. The Committee reviewed the 2006 rules changes. No problems had been reported, although the change to the medical facilities rule had not been tested yet, since both BAFL and BYAFA had chosen to retain a requirement for an ambulance.
  7. The Committee reviewed the field audit for BAFL undertaken by BAFRA in 2006. It was agreed that it had been successful in raising the profile of the need for good field markings with teams. Last year it had been agreed that referees and both teams would be required to complete the field audit each game and submit it through their organisation. Only BAFRA had in fact implemented this. It was agreed that leagues should pick this up for 2007 (possibly by having it sent in with the statistics) (Action BAFL, BYAFA, BSAFA, SGA). It was further agreed that BAFRA should audit other aspects of game management and a form for doing this would be drawn up. (Action JB for BAFRA)
  8. The Committee discussed the terminology that should be used to describe the different forms of the sport. The term "flag" football is well understood, but what term should be used for "normal"/"conventional" football? After some discussion of possible terms such as "kitted" and "contact", it was agreed to recommend to the BAFA Board that the term to be used was simply "[American] football" with no qualifying word.
  9. The Committee discussed the following rules changes proposals for 2007.
    1. The Committee considered the NCAA 2006 rules changes. The Committee agreed to adopt all the changes. The Committee discussed in particular:
      1. changes to timing rules and decided that they wouldn't have a major impact on British games and that it was important to maintain compatibility with NCAA rules
      2. the need for teams to buy a new kicking tee and decided that it was not prohibitively expensive
      3. the introduction of a rule covering instant replay and decided that although it was unlikely that a British game would be played in the near future with the necessary TV coverage, the rule should be included in the rulebook for the eventuality
    2. The Committee considered proposals to formalise a framework for leagues to enforce game management standards. It was agreed that:
      1. The rules will be changed to explicitly allow leagues to set sanctions for specific game management breaches. There may be different sanctions for different breaches. Sanctions may take the form of warnings, fines, restrictions on use of venue, not starting (or continuing) a game if a mandatory requirement is not met (within a certain time), the deduction of points or the award of games, or combinations of these.
      2. The rules will give the referee the authority to not start (or to abandon) a game if mandatory requirements (specified by a league) are not met.
      3. The deduction of points/award of games sanction may only be used in cases where there is evidence that the integrity of the game was compromised (i.e. a team did something to cheat).
      4. A league must publish its list of sanctions before the start of its season.
    3. The Committee agreed in principle a set of 5-on-5 flag rules. The editor will convert them into appropriate language for the rulebook.(Action JB).
    4. The Committee noted a set of 9-on-9 rules but referred them back to BYAFA for further work. The Committee queried the reason why 9-on-9 rules should be substantially different from 11-on-11 rules and wondered whether they were designed to be age-group specific. There were also major queries about what exactly was desired from proposed rules on punting and PATs. (Action JB).
    5. The Committee agreed two changes to 5-on-5 kitted rules, subject to editorial review of the intent of them. (Action JB).
  10. The Committee confirmed its decisions noted above and recommends that the BAFA Board should also give its final confirmation to the changes.
  11. The Committee agreed that British Points of Emphasis be drawn up (ACTION JB) on:
    1. whatever aspects of game management the BAFRA audit covers
    2. celebrations
    3. location of the chain crew
  12. The Committee agreed that BAFRA would continue its existing role of editing the rulebook (ACTION JB).
  13. 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).
  14. It was agreed that the date for next year's meeting should be provisionally set for 21 October 2007.
  15. The Chairman thanked everyone for attending and closed the meeting.
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