BAFRA Newsflash

Issue: 04/14

30th January 2014


We are currently unable to access the scheduling system. Therefore late changes to games this weekend and ALL assignments for 9th February have been delayed.

If you have been informed of a game change by email this weekend after your received your Arbiter assignment then please acknowledge receipt by phone or email

Richard Vernon


Happy new year all. The following teams are prepaid:

ARU, Bath, Birmingham, BNU, Bradford, Bristol, Brighton, Brunel, Cambridge, Christ Church, Canterbury, Cardiff, City, Coventry, Derby, Gloucester, Greenwich, Hertford, Imperial, Kent, Kings, Kingston, Leeds Met, LSBU, Loughborough, Newcastle, Nottingham Trent, OBU, Oxford, Portsmouth, Reading, Royal Holloway, Sheffield Hallam, Solent, Southampton, Staffordshire, Staffs, Stirling, Surrey, UC Hull, UWE, Warwick, Wolverhampton, Worcester and York.

Officials at all other teams' games should expect to be paid on the day.

Charlie Dean Young


The two finals of the BUCS Competition 2013/14, the National Championship and the Trophy, will be played on 29th March at South Leeds Stadium.

The Bowl Selection Committee will shortly convene to select officials for these prestige games. Also play-offs to qualify for these Bowl Games will take place throughout March.

All officials are asked to ensure their availability is entered on Arbiter in order that the Selection Committee receive accurate information about who is available for selection.

Richard Vernon


Thanks to officials for correctly filling in Crew Payment Requests this week. Please continue to state if an official is doing there first or second game. Payment requests were received and will be paid out for the following games this week:

Bournemouth, Northampton, Worcester, Brighton, Kings College, Imperial & Exeter

Jonathan Ikins


Again it is necessary to remind referees (and all crew members) to verify game details with the home team during the week leading up to a game. Also check both Arbiter and BUCS site to verify the start time. If there is any contradiction please inform me and the home team so that we can ensure that officials turn up to games at the correct time.

Richard Vernon


Exeter Demons 33-0 Tarannau Aberystwyth

KCL Regents 6-0 Greenwich Mariners

Imperial Immortals 18-0 Kingston Cougars

Brighton Tsunami 26-0 Reading Knights









New this week – none

Previous weeks

James Pickering


Oxford Lancers



After a play the player became involved in an altercation with an opponent during which punches were thrown.

02/02/14 v OBU Panthers

Connor Bibby


Leeds Carnegie



After a play had finished, head butted an opponent.

02/02/14 v Leeds Celtics

Josh Smithies


Canterbury Chargers



With 7.02 remaining in the 4th quarter, player struck an opponent who was taunting.

02/02/14 v Kent Falcons

Simon Thomas


Canterbury Chargers



With 7.02 remaining in the 4th quarter, player struck an opponent who had previously taunted his team mate.

02/02/14 v Kent Falcons





New this week

Imperial Immortals

Field was very muddy but actually held up surprisingly well given the quantity of rain that fell during the game. Play was held up for a few minutes in the first half after a small foot-sized hole was discovered in the playing surface that had to be filled in.

Dean Wright #553


Portsmouth Destroyers

Crew arrived at the venue 1 hour and 45 minutes before kick off - it was noted that the home team was present but the away team had not arrived yet. After consultation with the home team it was clear that they were making many attempts to contact the opponents. As there was no response from the away team the crew had no alternative than to invoke rule 13-4-7a and wait 60 minutes after the scheduled kick off time. During this 60 minutes no response was received from the visiting team despite continuous attempts from the home team to make contact. After the 60 minutes the game was called off by the officials. I would like to thank the patience of the coaching staff, the players and the supporter of Portsmouth, the medical staff and the rest of the crew during this process.

David Knight #135


Brighton Tsunami

Football markings in blue with other sport markings in white and yellow. Pads used to cover rugby and soccer posts were not secured so game management agreed to reset the pads should they fall over in the strong winds, which they did on more than one occasion. Posts two yards beyond the end line and team areas marked out with cones but field otherwise well marked. Plaudits to the Knights who, despite some of their team being significantly delayed en route, managed to get the game kicked off with only a 5 minute delay.

Tim Ockendon #481

09/02/14 v Portsmouth Destroyers

Worcester Royals

Medical cover never arrived for the game. After waiting approximately one hour with no foreseeable solution, and after consultation with both head coaches, the game was abandoned

Jed Brookes-Lewis #395

23/02/14 v Lincoln Colonials

KCL Regents

Field markings were not updated after the mid-season break, as a result the lines in blue on the rugby field had deteriorated to quite a poor standard. KCL have advised that the pitch will be fully re-painted prior to their next home game, and also stated that they had been informed that the lines had been corrected during the week prior to the game.

We moved the sidelines in 1 foot on each side to use a white rugby line to ensure it was clearly visible to all parties, and due to the poor standard of the other lines made the chains definitive for all decisions regarding progress throughout the game.

Chain crew and ball persons were not provided until the scheduled kick off time, and one change to the chain crew was made during half time.

Phil Clarke #262

16/02/14 v City Sentinels

Outstanding items from previous weeks

Brunel Burners

Field markings were red and quite difficult to see from one side of the field as the sun went down. Changing rooms are very nice, but located a very long way from the field.

Dean Wright #553

09/02/14 v City Sentinels

Tarannau Aberystwyth

Only two game balls were provided by the home team - the third ball was provided by the away team.

Amir Brooks #593

23/02/14 v Bath Spa Bulldogs

Nottingham Outlaws

Upon arrival the end lines were very close to the surrounding fence with insufficient run-off area, so soccer end lines were used as the end line. This gave 7 yard end zones but with sufficient run-off area. The field was marked in red (except for the soccer goal line which was marked in white). There were no short yard-line extensions at the hash marks and the hash marks were less than 24 inches long. No numbers or nine-yard marks. No limit lines, coaching line or team area markings.

There were no goals, both coaches agreed to play without goals. The chains broke on at least three occasions. The officials changing rooms were ideal except the ambulance crew had to use the officials changing room as a treatment area. The changing rooms were not secure. The crew were not paid and should have been.

Ben Griffiths #228

31/01/14 v NTU Renegades

Bangor Muddogs

After inspecting the field, game management where asked to fill in divots in the middle of the field with sand. Other than this the markings on the 100yd field where in place, including numbering. The space for the team area opposite the pressbox side is inadequate - at it's maximum approximately 6 yds deep. The team occupying this area was asked to spread outside of the team area along the sideline to allow for the chains to be positioned and a clear sideline maintained.

One of the stakes on the chains had a missing extension pole so this was taken from the down box, the down box was held by the operator in the air.

By half time the field had deteriorated significantly and after a conference with both coaches it was decided to reduce the length of the field to 80 yds and not utilise the area between each 40 yd line.

Plaudits to both teams for competing in the conditions and playing the game in good spirit! The crew have suggested that the field conditions could be described as 'squidgy'

Kevin Stanton #157

23/02/14 v MMU Eagles

York Centurions

All markings in red, but the 5, 10 and End Zone lines well marked. The following lines were missing: 9 yards marks or numbers, 3 yard mark for PAT's, coaching or team areas.

Chris Jarvis #10

09/02/14 v Huddersfield Hawks

Southampton Stags

Team area line not quite 12ft from sideline. Goals tied to fence at each end but were well padded.

Jim Briggs #31

09/02/14 v Sussex Saxons

Canterbury Chargers

Played at Aylesham Welfare Leisure Centre. Football markings in blue with rugby markings in white. No team areas or limit lines and inbounds lines at NFL distance. No coaching line or 9-yard marks but there were rugby markings at approximately the correct positions that were able to serve.

Tim Ockendon #481

09/02/14 v ARU Rhinos

Coventry Jets

Coventry played in a mixture of different blue shirts as both teams normally wear white. 80 yard field with markings in various colours and team areas marked to 15 yard lines. Down box did not arrive until a few minutes into first quarter, an improvised box was fashioned and used until then.

Jed Brookes-Lewis #395

09/02/14 v Lincoln Colonials

Edinburgh Napier

Game suspended at half time with the score at Edinburgh 0 Stirling 55. The game started game with a crew of 3 officials, however after the end of the first half one of the 3 officials was unable to continue due to a leg injury. Both coaches were advised and the game was ended.

David Parsons #425

02/02/14 v Edinburgh Predators

Gloucester Gladiators

Field was 80 yards long, nicely marked but no 9 yard marks and no coaches boxes.

Balls were not new or nearly new.

Mike LeFevre #341

02/02/14 v Swansea Titans

Reading Knights

Well-marked 100 yard field as usual. Changing room very large but very grubby - as usual.

Dean Wright #553

02/02/14 v Portsmouth Destroyers

Durham Saints

No coaches box/team area. No limit lines. Both coaches agreed to end the game after the 3rd quarter, with the score 49 to 7, after a 45 minute delay due to a terrible injury. Plaudits to the coaches and linemen from both teams for moving the car that was blocking the emergency exit and in doing so stopping the ambulances from accessing the field.

Dan Holt #371

02/02/14 v Newcastle Raiders

Sheffield Sabres

80 yard field. Field markings were in red, and there were also rugby pitch markings in red. No team area or coaches box marked, although the edge of the field gave a natural line for the players to stay behind approx 12 feet out of bounds. Chain crew were initially slow, and appeared to get slower as the game progressed.

John Roberts #145

01/02/14 v Sheffield Hallam

Sussex Lancers

Sussex are sharing Brighton Tsunami's home field this season. Well marked out field, though no coaching box or team area markings: cones were used instead. Goals right up against perimeter fence. Changing rooms were the usual portable ones and this week they remained unlocked. Chain crew were a bit poor. Ball persons changed at half time.

Jim Briggs #31

02/02/14 v Brighton Tsunami

BNU Buccaneers

All issues from last week still present with BNU's facility. I'm told that the field will be re-marked before their next home game. Chain crew better this week, but still slow.

Alan Dobson #308

26/01/13 v Cambridge Pythons

Leeds Celtics

Ball Boys & Chain Crew only provided 15 minutes after Kick-off time. Ambulance arrived 10 minutes after kick off time. One member of chain crew changed at half-time. Field was 100 yards with 5 yard end-zones so 5 yard line was used as goal line No coaching line or team area markings.

Kevin Stanton #157

02/02/14 v Leeds Carnegie

UWS Pyros

No limit lines, no hash marks at sideline . Nfl hash marks in the centre of the field . No numbers or nine yard marks . No coaches box or team area marked

Henry Richardson #25

09/02/14 v Edinburgh Predators

Swansea Titans

80 yard field which had no 5 yard lines what-so-ever, game management was approached but immediately stated that they "had run out of paint". According to rule 1, the game should not have gone ahead but we as an officiating crew knowing how vital this game was to both teams felt that we should leave it to the league to sort out any sanctions.

Colin Edwards #76

16/02/14 v Cardiff Cobras

Manchester Tyrants

On arrival 5 yard lines were missing from field, once implications of missing lines were explained by Officials (and some further “discussion”) the 5 yard lines were marked.

No nine yard marks or numbers, no limit lines, no coaching line, no team area markings. The home team initial presented 4 balls for play. One was rejected because it was sodden. This was returned to the home team game management. During the 1st half the Sheffield head coach requested a head coaches conference and claimed one of the game balls was sodden. Upon inspection this was found to be the case (the originally rejected ball had found it's way back into circulation). The home team had no further suitable game balls so the visitors (Sheffield) provided a third ball which was used for the remainder of the game. The official changing room was only available approximately 45 minutes prior to kick-off.

Ben Griffiths #228

02/02/14 v MMU Eagles

Loughborough Aces

In a season where gaffa tape,short pitches and jumpers for goal posts are common place, plaudits to Loughborough University for providing excellent facilities and a beautifully marked pitch. Thank you.

Muz Gibson #268

16/02/14 v Worcester Royals



New this week

Play: A's ball, 3rd and 2, on A's 40. B21 intercepts A18's legal forward pass and returns it to B's 49 where he goes out of bounds. Team A had 12 players at the snap. The referee and umpire were still counting the offence when the ball was snapped, and only spotted the extra player during the play.

Last week

Play: A's ball, free kick, on A's 30 yard line. While the untouched free kick is rolling on team A's 38 yard line, A44 blocks B62 above the waist on A's 41 yard line. At about the same time, B96 blocks kicker A4 above the waist on A's 37 yard line. A96 recovers the untouched kick on A's 42 yard line. Ruling?

Ruling: A's ball, free kick, on A's 25. The block by B96 on kicker A4 is legal since A4 has advanced five yards beyond his restraining line. The penalty is 15 yards if the kicker is blocked before advancing the five yards. The kicker may also be legally blocked if the kick has touched a player, an official or the ground. The block by A44 on B62 is an illegal block since a Team A player was not eligible to touch the free kicked ball. The penalty is five yards from the previous spot – re-kick (6-1-2-g).


New this week

Game Situation: After a play that ends near the sideline, the linejudge on a 5 man crew calls A88 for taunting the opposition bench. Which official is responsible for recording this penalty?
Answer next issue...

Last week

Play: 1st and 10 on the A30. A89 runs a post pattern on the Linejudge's side of the field and is held by B33 at the A40 yard line. Quarterback A13 then throws a legal forward pass to A82 on the Linesman's side of the field. A82 is downed on the A38. Ruling?
Answer: Downfield on passing plays where a legal forward pass crosses the line of scrimmage, everywhere is the point of attack - a foul on an eligible receiver can occur anywhere. Defensive holding by B33, 10 yards from the previous spot and a first down. A's ball, 1st and 10 on the A40. (M-3-3-2-a, 9-3-4-e)




Contact for details


February 15th (sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

April 5th (Sat) & 6th (Sun)

BAFRA Annual Convention 2014

May 10th (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

July 19th (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

November 15th (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

BAFRA Directors


David Parsons

General Secretary

Paul Sutton


Andrew Lovell


Richard Vernon


James Meredith


Pete Thom

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: