BAFRA Newsflash

Issue: 03/12

1st February 2012


I can now confirm our Annual Convention and Training event will take place on the above weekend. As such there will be plenty of details and information appearing in Newsflash over the coming weeks. Last year around 95% of our active officials attended and everyone played their part in making it a great success. I’m sure with everyone’s help we can make this years event just as successful. So make sure you keep up to date via Newsflash

Guest Speaker

Over the last 6 years our Annual Convention has grown in stature to become one of the best officiating training events in Europe and we have attracted some of the finest and most experienced Officials in the world to help make it so. Our guest speaker last year, Bill LeMonnier was the star of the show. His enthusiasm for football and officiating was very refreshing and the feedback from everyone who attended was very complimentary.

As such, it gives me great pleasure to announce that Bill will once again be our Main Speaker at this year's Convention. For those who could not attend last year here is a reminder of his Officiating background.

As well as Officiating in the Big Ten for the last 18 years, Bill LeMonnier has an impressive list of 15 Bowl assignments and numerous awards to his credit. He was also selected to Referee the BCS National Championship game between Auburn and Oregon on January 10th 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. Not only does he have a wealth of experience on the field as an Official, but also as a Clinician and Consultant at training events held all over the world. His knowledge and experience will be invaluable to our members.


The Convention will be held at The Coventry Hill Hotel, Rye Hill, Birmingham Road, Allesley, Coventry CV5 9PH, on Saturday 31st March and Sunday 1st April 2012. Location and directions can be found on the hotel website:


To register for the Convention, you need to contact, Charles Dean-Young. Charlie can be contacted by email at I will be making up personalised Convention Packs with Presentation handouts, Game Film DVD, Programme of Events, Game Day Paperwork, etc. As such you do need to pre-register.


Again we have negotiated excellent rates for accommodation which are detailed below. In addition, the BAFRA Board has also agreed to provide some funding to keep down the costs. The rates indicated are per room and include all discounts and a full breakfast.

Twin Room: £40.00 per night (So if you share with someone it will only cost you £20.00 per night)

Single Room: £40.00 per night

Remember, to take advantage of the above rates you must book your room via Charlie.

Over the last couple of years quite a number of people have stayed at the hotel on the Friday night. As such the above rates are available again for both the Friday and Saturday nights.

As the event promises to be our biggest and best for a while I would recommend booking your room as early as possible. You can do this at the same time you register to attend.

Davie Parsons


Here is some early information about this year’s senior league season. It is provisionally scheduled to commence on April 14th. All competing teams have been asked to play 2 of their home game on a Saturday. It is anticipated that up to 35% of all games will be played on Saturdays.

With this in mind could all active officials start amending Arbiter to reflect this. I am happy to assist officials with any specific enquiries/concerns.

Richard Vernon


The weekend weather forecast suggests a strong possibility of freezing temperatures and snow in some areas. We are covering over 20 games, most of which are ‘derby games’ linked to Superbowl party events, organised by the colleges. Can all referees ensure they are in close contact with the home team management and keep their crew fully informed of developments.

Obviously I will pass on information where I have it but individual referees must be the first point of contact with the teams.

Richard Vernon


There are five Director posts that will get to the end of their tenure this year and elections will be held for these at the AGM. Four come to the end of their two-year term of office:

A further post is up for election as the current incumbent was appointed, not elected.

All five of the present incumbents have indicated that they will stand for re-election.

Any qualified member may stand for election, or nominate or second another qualified member for election. Nomination forms will be sent electronically to all qualified members by 11th February. Please ensure that I have your current (working) e-mail address. All details are on the nomination form. Nomination papers must be returned to me by 3rd March.

Paul Sutton


Director of training will be unavailable for two weeks, requests for competency exams should be addressed to Paul Sutton. All other requests will be dealt with on my return.

Charlie Dean Young


BNU Buccaneers 20 @ 32 Kingston Cougars

UWS Pyros 28 @ 20 Sunderland Spartans OT

Newcastle Raiders 26 @ 6 Teesside Cougars

MMU Eagles 8 @ 14 Staffordshire Stallions OT

Warwick Wolves 12 @ 51 Leicester Longhorns

DMU Falcons 0 @ 23 Nottingham Outlaws

Tarannau 0 @ 41 Bristol Barracuda

Plymouth Blitz 30 @ 0 Bath Spa Bulldogs

Cardiff Cobras 26 @ 27 Exeter Demons

UWE Bullets 6 @ 0 Swansea Titans

RHUL Bears 0 @ 31 Solent Redhawks

Brighton Tsunami 35 @ 0 Westminster Dragons









New this week

Xavier Anderson


UWE Bullets



Head butted an opponent.

12/02/12 v Bristol Barracuda

Previous weeks







Threatened an official after

the game


Martin Punter


Edinburgh Wolves



Player tackled opponent by throwing him to the ground, and then retaining hold of him. Player continued to tighten his grip before being removed.

Player's 3rd DQ this season. He is suspended for 12 months (to 07/08/12) plus one more game after that due to an earlier incident.




Brunel Burners


Two separate breaches of the

BAFA Disciplinary Code

See BAFA statement

Levi A Smith


Gloucester Gladiators



Had a fight with opposition player during and after the play

05/02/12 v Worcester Royals

Ewan James Beesley


Glasgow Tigers



Two Unsportsmanlike Fouls

05/02/12 v UWS Pyros

Note: it is the responsibility of the individual teams to ensure that their suspended players serve their suspensions in the proper game (according to the BAFA Disciplinary Code), and any dates mentioned here are intended only as a guide.





New this week

Bath Spa Bulldogs

The hash marks were too near the sideline. Lines were marked only every 10 yards. There were no team areas marked or restraining lines.

Keith Wickham #423

12/02/12 v Worcester Royals

Westminster Dragons

No hashmarks. Field marked in bright blue to full width of rugby field with many other markings in different colours. Changing rooms are across the road from the field.

Alan Dobson #308

05/02/12 v Kings College Regents

Derby Braves

Faint field markings only one goal post so all play was towards that end.

Martin Cockerill #345

12/02/12 v Birmingham Lions

Staffordshire Stallions

Pitch well marked, however no team / coaches boxes marked - resulting in two sideline warning calls.

Andrew Lovell #559

12/02/12 v Warwick Wolves

Outstanding items from previous weeks

Lancaster Bombers

No goal posts, 80yrd pitch, no hash marks at side lines, no team area marked, changing room was a long way from the playing area.

Tony Newsham #302

05/02/12 v York Centurians

Bradford Bears

86yd field with 10yd end zones. Markings slowly vanished due to weather conditions. Chain crew and ball boys were provided <10 minutes before kick off. Chain crew changed at half-time. 1 ball boy was very good, the other was poor. Game management provided hot drinks and Jaffa cakes, so all is forgiven.

Dan Holt #371

05/02/12 v Huddersfield Hawks

Greenwich Mariners

Game played at The Club @ Well Hall, Kidbrooke Lane, Eltham. Changing rooms cold, dirty, not lockable, noisy, no washing facilities, no separate toilet or shower, too small for crews over 5 in size.

Field marked out on astroturf used for other sports in faded blue lines and in metres. Original goal lines only 5 metres from end lines so relocated to lines 10 metres from end lines (resulting in approx 11 yards endzones). Field of play approximately 88 yards as a result. No hashes at sidelines or inbounds lines. Ball was spotted wherever officials ruled and chains sole reference as to first down yardage. No 9 yard marks or numbers (although white rugby markings at approx 9 yards in from sidelines assisted). No team areas marked (leading to home coach consistently out of where he should be). Kickoffs from the 30 metre lines, touchbacks put on the 20 metre lines. No 3 yard marks. Half distance penalties had to be marched into goal line and then back out. Home team only provided 2 game balls (slightly flat), away team provided 3rd ball (dirty/slightly worn), 2-3 changes to ball persons and chain crew members. Game management score 222.

Dan Bridgland #506

19/02/12 v LSBU Spartans

York Centurians

As far as they could, York did everything possible to make this a perfect game experience, even having an 'official's attendant' to look after us before the game and at half-time. They have a 90 yard field and because of university constraints have to mark the grass field in red lines. This is ok in dry weather, but will make things very difficult in wet muddy conditions. Many thanks for the hot drinks and food provided before the game and at half time.

Tim Vickers #129

19/02/12 v Derby Braves

MMU Eagles

Referees only got access to dressing room 20 minutes before scheduled Kick-off time. Team had to mark the pitch out before the game as the markings were insufficient. After continuous freezing rain, the pitch markings were beginning to disappear at the conclusion of the game; this pitch is also used by the Manchester Tyrants, who have a home game next week, the pitch will need to be fully re-marked.

No 5 yard lines, in-bounds lines or short yardage extension marks. Any marks present from previous weeks were too faint to be of use. No limit lines, coaching lines or team areas marked. Aside from pitch issues MMU's game management was very good (Game Management Score of 50).

Ben Griffiths #228

19/02/12 v UH Sharks

LSBU Spartans

80 Yard field, but a really nice grass surface despite the recent rain. Blue markings apart from the white halfway line, but clearly marked. Nicest changing rooms I've used this year. The café was open and they do nice bacon rolls - only a pound!

Steve Tonkinson #99

05/02/12 v Brighton Tsunami

Gloucester Gladiators

Changing Rooms too small and in poor condition, 80 Yard field with pro hash marks, no coaching boxes or limit lines

Richard Whitby #136

05/02/12 v Worcester Royals

Brunel Burners

Field was well marked but in red so not easy to see, 9 yard marks in blue, even harder to see.

Pete Thom #200

12/02/12 v OBU Panthers

UWE Bullets

80 yard pitch marked with light blue lines except halfway (white). Two sets of hashmarks in middle of field. Only one set of goal posts tied to the fence so all offensive plays played the same way.

Graham Hedges #219

26/02/12 v Cardiff Cobras

Bath Killer Bees

Game moved on Saturday afternoon from Bath campus to Bradford-on-Avon RUFC. Bath did a good job of marking out the field on the morning of the game. However, no coaching box or team area markings. No numbers or 9-yard marks. Field turned out not to be perfectly marked when we had a first down at the B-11 and the front stake was in the end zone!No separate changing room for the officials - we had to use the home team's changing room after they had finished with it, and then get changed quickly at the end of the game before they returned.

Jim Briggs #31

05/02/12 v Bath Spa Bulldogs

Warwick Wolves

Plaudits to Warwick Uni and their 100 yard pitch which was well marked with numbers and American football style goalposts.

Muz Gibson #268

05/02/12 v Coventry Jets

Worcester Royals

Venue had only one changing room which had no seats and the only onsite toilets.

Richard Whitby #136

19/02/12 v NTU Renegades

KCL Regents

KCL and LSBU share a field and facilities at Burgess Park Cricket/Rugby Club just off the Old Kent Road.

Field 80 yards and marked in blue with white markings for rugby. Inconsistent markings between each 10 yard line meant we relied on the chains. Inbounds lines in line with goalposts leading to us having to use cones to indicate correct lateral position of the hashes (which were removed at one point after we requested that they were left - resulting in a delay penalty on home management).

No limit lines, no team areas or coaching boxes marked out, no numbers or 9 yard marks (we used the rugby markings at approximately 10 yards in from the sidelines), no 3 yard marks. Hole in field had to be filled prior to KO.

Original ball person on away sideline very unhelpful and impolite to official so was replaced before KO with a management delay charged to home team. Further change to ball person on home sideline for 2nd half. Balls provided were flat and had to be inflated. Changing rooms lockable but key under control of club staff. However they were very spacious, warm, well-lit, and clean, and had plenty of seating and coathooks, two toilets, basins and shower. Changing room over 200 yards from field.

Dan Bridgland #506

19/02/12 v Anglia Ruskin Phantoms

Kent Falcons




Double-header played at Aylesham Welfare Leisure Centre. The crew had to change in a small soccer officials changing room. Field muddy before start of game. Lines marked in blue and quite thin. No limit lines, no team areas on away sideline, no coaching box, no 9 yard marks or numbers, no inbounds lines (cones were placed outside goal posts to assist with lateral placement of ball).

Kent had difficulties finding ball persons so used cheerleaders. Field surface very poor by end of the Canterbury game (it was getting dark too). 10 minute quarters played as game kicked off later than hoped. Ball persons slow & inattentive.

Daniel Bridgland #506

Kent: 05/02/12 vs




12/02/12 vs



Glasgow Tigers

Stirling asked me report, that at the card check, Glasgow #60 had a student card that had expired.

Les Connor #152

19/02/12 v Edinburgh Napier Knights

Coventry Jets

80 yard field, chain crew changed at half time, crew not paid.

Brian Yates #29

12/02/12 v Nottingham Outlaws



New this week

Play: 2nd and 9 on the A45. Wide receiver A85 and safety B33 both leap off the ground in an attempt to catch/intercept a legal forward pass. They both gain firm control of the ball while airborne. B33 is the first to come back to the ground inbounds on the B40 and then immediately after B33 touches the ground A85 contacts the ground out of bounds on the B40. B33 pulls the ball free and then falls to the ground on the B42 having never touched out of bounds.

Last week

Play: 4th and 10 on the B44. QB A5 rolls out toward the team A bench and throws a legal forward pass to A85 running at the B30. Immediately after A5 releases the ball, B77 contacts the helmet of A5 with a head slap. A85 runs to the B28 where he fumbles the ball. A15 picks up the loose ball and runs out of bounds at the B16. Ruling?

Ruling: A's ball, 1st and 10 on the B14. B77 is guilty of roughing the passer. The 15 yard penalty is assessed from where the last run ends beyond the neutral zone (9-1-2-l). Since this was a fourth down play, and a fumble occurred that was recovered by team A beyond the spot of the fumble, the ball is dead at the spot of A15's recovery and the ball returned to the B28 yard line. The roughing penalty is assessed from the B28, half the distance to team B's goal line.


New this week

Game Situation: During a timeout, the Head Coach from the Head Linesman's sideline calls his team over and stands on the field 5 yards from sideline talking to them in a huddle. How should the Head Linesman react to the Head Coach being on the field?
Answer next issue...

Last week

Game Situation: 4th and 12 at the A40. Punter A4 kicks the ball downfield. The ball hits the ground and is rolling around as returner B22 makes a 'get away' signal by waving both arms at waist level. The ball is rolling at the B12 when B22 races to the ball and picks it up. He runs to the A45 before he is tackled. Ruling?
Answer: B22's 'get away' signal is an invalid fair catch signal (AR-6-5-3-VI & M-3-9-1). The ball is dead where recovered by B22 at the B12 yard line. Penalise B22 for delay of game. B's ball, 1st and 10 at the B7.




Contact for details


February 18th (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

March 31st (Sat) / April 1st (Sun)

BAFRA Convention

May 12th (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

July 14th (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

November 17th (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

March 31st / April 1st

BAFRA Convention

BAFRA Directors


David Parsons

General Secretary

Paul Sutton


Andrew Lovell


Richard Vernon


James Meredith


Charlie Dean Young

Director without Portfolio #1

Martin Cockerill

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: Dean Wright - Email: