BAFRA Newsflash

Issue: 06/14

13th February 2014


I can now confirm our Annual Convention and Training weekend 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 years around 90% 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.

30th Anniversary

As some of you will be aware we are celebrating our 30th anniversary this year. As such the BAFRA Board have been looking at ways of making the Convention more affordable and attractive to our members. After many years of holding the event in Coventry we are now moving to a new and exciting location that’s purpose built for training events and conferences. We also intend providing lunch and an evening meal on the Saturday at no additional cost to our members. We have also commissioned a coin to mark the occasion.

The artwork and design have been finalised and the coin is currently in production and will be issued at the Convention. The new BAFA Rule Book and BAFRA Mechanics Manual will also be issued to everyone attending.


The Convention will be held at Yarnfield Park Training & Conference Centre, Yarnfield Lane, Yarnfield, Staffordshire, ST15 0NL.

Yarnfield Park is a leading Training and Conference centre in the heart of the UK. I would recommend that you look over the facility on their website where you can also find details of the location and directions.


To register to attend the Convention, you need to send an email to Charles Young at I will be making up personalised Convention Packs with the Anniversary Coin, Presentation hand outs, Game Film DVD, Programme of Events, Game Day Paperwork, etc. As such you do need to pre-register.


As mentioned above we are trying to make the Convention more accessible to everyone. This year 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: £30.00 per night (So if you share with someone it will only cost you £15.00 per night)

Single Room: £30.00 per night

Remember, to take advantage of the above rates you must book your room with Charles at Over the last couple of years around 50 people have stayed on the Friday night to save an early rise and travel on the Saturday morning. 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


The Annual General Meeting of BAFRA Limited will take place at 5:00pm on 5th April 2014 at Yarnfield Park Training & Conference Centre, Yarnfield, Stone, Staffordshire ST15 0NL during the Convention. Please note that all members are entitled to attend although only qualified members may stand for election or vote.

Four director posts are scheduled for election this year: President, General Secretary, Director of Training and Director without Portfolio #1. Nomination papers have gone out to all qualified members electronically. If you believe that you should have received such papers and they have not arrived by the time you read this, please contact me. Also included within the e-mail was a form to submit a resolution to the AGM.

All nominations and resolutions must be with me by 5:00pm on 8th March 2014. I will publish a list of those members nominated for director posts in Newsflash in the coming weeks.

Paul Sutton


Most crps were correct this week. However 1 was received too late to process (MMU v UCLAN 12/02) this will be picked up next week. The following will be paid out this week:

NTU Renegades, Birmingham University, Cambridge Pythons, Kent Falcons, UCLan Rams, UWS Pyro, York Centurions, Brighton Tsunami, Newcastle Raiders, Leeds Met Carnegie, Staffordshire Stallions, Brunel Burners, RHUL Bears, Canterbury Chargers, Southampton, Warwick Wolves, Bristol Barracuda, Brunel Burners

Jonathan Ikins


With the success of the Opal series (Flag). BAFA are launching the Sapphire Series (contact) to drive forward the participation of women in the game. We are currently in the planning stages of a number of tournaments and are looking at BAFRA members being available where they have capacity to cover the following dates (Venues still to be confirmed).

The dates for tournaments will be:

Round 2S - Sapphire South Conference - at Portsmouth - 22nd February

Round 2N - Sapphire North Conference - at Derby - 22nd February

Round 3 - Sapphire National Tournament Event - at Birmingham - 8th March

Round 4S - Sapphire South Conference - at Southampton - 22nd March

Round 4N - Sapphire North Conference - at Teesside - 22nd March

Anyone interested please contact Martin Cockerill at

Martin Cockerill


I am looking for high quality photographs to use for the covers of the new editions of the BAFA rulebook and BAFRA Manual of Football Officiating.

For the rulebook it should be an action photo from a British game, preferably in a good quality environment with well turned out players and anyone else who is in the photo. If there is an official in the background, that's a bonus!

For the mechanics manual, it should be a photo of one or more officials on the field, looking as though they are doing what the mechanics manual tells them to do! They need to be wearing black pants, not white knickers.

First prize in each category is for your photograph to appear on the cover of the respective book. Entry to the competition implies that you grant BAFA/BAFRA an unlimited licence to use your photograph in perpetuity. You will be credited in the book (unless you wish otherwise). The Editor's decision is final!

Send your entries to me electronically at Closing date is midnight on Saturday 22nd February 2014.

Jim Briggs


Napier Knights 13-7 Glasgow Tigers

UWS Pyros 6-20 Edinburgh Predators

Leeds Carnegie 0-28 Durham Saints

Newcastle Raiders 3-15 Hull Sharks

Sunderland Spartans 27-12 Bradford Bears

York Centurions 24-14 Huddersfield Hawks

Hallam Warriors 70-8 Lancaster Bombers

Sheffield Sabres 10-6 Derby Braves

Staffordshire Stallions 8-34 Bangor Muddogs

UCLan Rams 30-0 Manchester Tyrants

Birmingham Lions 9-6 Loughborough

Warwick Wolves 24-0 DMU Falcons

Bristol Barracuda 6-42 UWE Bullets

OBU Panthers 21-6 Reading Knights

Brighton Tsunami 7-6 Portsmouth Destroyers

Southampton Stags 33-0 Sussex Saxons

Brunel Burners 48-2 City Sentinels

RHUL Bears 41-8 Greenwich Mariners

Cambridge Pythons 62-0 Essex Blades

Canterbury Chargers 16-0 ARU Rhinos

Hertfordshire Hurricanes 23-6 Kent Falcons









New this week – none

Previous weeks – none





New this week

Brunel Burners

Field was very faintly marked and cut up badly due to recent rain. Chains were in poor condition and needed to be repaired in the first quarter by the Head Linesman

Chain crew were poor, box operator was replaced in 1st quarter. Next box operator was a player not playing due to injury. He aggravated his injury and was replaced in 4th quarter.

Richard Vernon #103


Staffordshire Stallions

Narrow field (46 yds) and NFL style hashmarks in middle. No sideline hashmarks. One goal - with agreement of both coaches a "no post" game was played. Ballboy and chain crew changed once during game. No nine yard marks, numbers marked too close to sidelines.

Mike Cavanagh #465


Leeds Met Carnegie

80 yard field with faint markings and some confusion between rugby & football markings. Not enough space at sidelines to mark coaches and players' boxes. Changing room hardly adequate for two officials to change, let alone five, although private shower was available.

Game suspended with eight mins remaining in 2nd quarter to treat neck injury. Half time taken at that point with agreement of head coaches and officials. Total suspension of 55 mins plus 20 mins half time. Third and Fourth Quarters shortened equally to accommodate required closing time of facility. Chain crew and ball persons changed at half time

Mike Cavanagh #465

15/02/14 v Hull Sharks

Brighton Tsunami

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 remained unlocked. We were offered a lockable changing room, but this would only have accommodated 20% of the crew! Ball persons not very good.

Jim Briggs #31

23/02/14 v OBU Panthers

York Centurions

No nine yard marks, no 3 yard mark, no team areas. All markings except the halfway line are in red. We were provided with three games balls that were all above the legal pressure!

Dan Holt #371

16/02/14 v Northumbria Mustangs

Warwick Wolves

Game switched to an artificial pitch due to recent rain. Field marked out using duct tape and a number of lines were missing. There were also no posts. Warwick played in a mixture of different white shirts as both teams usually wear red. Plaudits must go to Warwick though for their efforts in ensuring that this game was played.

Jed Brookes-Lewis #395

23/02/14 v Coventry Jets

Bristol Barracuda

Game played on an 80 yard field with yellow markings on a green surface. The field had other "non-football" markings in white.

Colin Edwards #76

16/02/14 v Tarannau Aberystwyth

UCLan Rams

The home team only provided two footballs (and no towels), the visiting team provided the third football. The home team provided no ball-persons. The visiting team provided one ball-person and BAFRA provided the other (a trainee official). The chain crew were provided less than 5 minutes prior to the scheduled kick-of time. The crew were not paid and should have been.

Ben Griffiths #228

16/02/14 v Bangor Muddogs

Sheffield Sabres

Field Markings: 3G 80 yard Field, markings in white, yellow and red with red for football. NFL marked hash marks to centre of field, no 9 yards marks of numbers.

Team Area: Team areas or Coaching areas not marked.

Goals Only 1 set of goal posts were available, therefore all series of downs were played towards that end.

Chris Jarvis #10

16/02/14 v LJM Fury

Kent Falcons

Game moved to Hertfordshire home ground due to Kent's field being out of action due to the recent weather conditions. Hertfordshire supplied game balls and officials assistants as agreed with Kent. To ensure the game went ahead due to the 3G field only being available between 12:00 - 15:00 the league and both teams agreed 10 minute quarters with a revised kick off at 12:30 and a shortened half time interval.

Phi Clarke #262


MMU Eagles

Due to limited availability of the field, game was reduced to 10 min quarters.

All lines were present, albeit a little feint. Hash marks were difficult to see unless stood right on them, but visible enough for the game to continue. With less than a minute remaining in the 4th quarter, the ambulance was forced to leave to transport a number of injured players to hospital. As the result was not in doubt, the game was ended and the result declared final.

John Roberts #145

16/02/14 v Staffordshire Stallions

Outstanding items from previous weeks

Kingston Cougars

Played at Orpington RFC as Kingston's regular ground was not available. Pitch was 80 yards in length and 170 yards in width with 9 yard end zones. Hashmarks only on one sideline. No 9-yard marks or inbounds lines only marks on the main yard lines to mark the inbounds spot. No team area markings. Game suspended with 3 minutes remaining in the first half as the ambulance wanted to ferry injured players to hospital leaving the game without medical cover. After a discussion with their base and both head coaches the ambulance crew agreed to delay transporting the injured players and remain and cover the game.

Timm Ockendon #481


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

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

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

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

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


Leeds Celtics

All markings were in pink/red. No limit lines. Team areas were marked between the 20 yard lines. Balls were provided around 15 minutes before kick off and all three were below the recommended pressure. The official's assistants were not provided as early as we would have liked and one of the ball boys was very unresponsive,

Dan Holt #371

23/02/14 v York Centurions

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

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, free kick, on A's 30. The kicked ball bounces on A's 38. The ball is over A's 42 when A66 bats the ball backwards to A's 40 where A55 recovers. No Team B player touches the ball and the ball never touches the ground beyond B's 40. Ruling?

Last week

Play: A's ball, 2nd and 6, on B's 25. There are 23 seconds remaining in the second quarter and the clock is running. QB A18 intends to "spike" the ball immediately after the snap but muffs the ball. A33 catches the loose ball and immediately throws it forward directly into the ground on B's 29.

Ruling: A's ball, 3rd and 6, on B's 25. The clock starts on the snap. The pass was thrown to conserve time immediately after the ball was first controlled after the snap. The pass was not thrown after the ball had touched the ground. This is a legal forward pass (7-3-2-e).


New this week

Game Situation: Name the 6 fouls that are 'obvious' – i.e. fouls that although are not serious and do not create a significant advantage, they are so obvious to anyone watching that officials would look foolish to not call them.
Answer next issue...

Last week

Play: Team A's ball, 1st and 10 on the B30. Team A run a sweep left. Tight-End A88 is lined up on the right hand side of the formation. A88 clearly holds defensive end B72 at the line of scrimmage after the runner has run out to the numbers on the left hand side, A88 falls down to the ground and drags B72 with him.
Answer: M-3-3-1-e. A takedown in the open field is an obvious enough hold that it must be called whether or not its affects the play. A88 is guilty of holding, penalise team A 10 yards from the previous spot.




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: