BAFRA Newsflash

Issue: 19/14

15th May 2014

EXAM 2014

The exam period is now over. However, as the Director of Training has granted a small number of extensions, I am able to receive answer papers up to 5:00pm on Saturday 17th May. The results will be sent out on 18th May by e-mail.

The Examination Committee has declared question 26 void. There was a typographical error in the scenario, only noticed towards the end of the exam period, which should have stated that Team B have no timeouts remaining in the half (not Team A), Whilst this strictly made the answer “false” since Team B could have taken a timeout and obviated the need for the player to leave the field for one play, it was felt that the wording of the question may have misled some people and, possibly for it to be seen as a “trick” question. In the interests of fairness, all who attempted this question have been given a mark for it whichever answer they gave.

Paul Sutton


Now that the Annual Examination is complete the process of selecting the 21 members of the BEP can commence. Should you wish to be considered then you must apply in writing to the Director of Operations at The opening date for accepting applications is Monday 19th May and closing date is Friday 20th June 2014.

Applications will only be considered from Qualified BAFRA members who meet specific criteria. Full details of the criteria can be found in the Elite Programme Policy in Section 7 of the Members Handbook. The next Elite Training Day will be in Mid to Late July, it is hoped this date will be confirmed very shortly.

Also, as part of the criteria includes your rating on the Selection Spreadsheet, which must be 80% or above, I would also recommend you read the Scheduling and Selection Policy which can be found in Section 6 of the Members Handbook. If you wish to know your current rating on the Selection Spreadsheet before making your decision on whether or not to apply, please send an email to and I will come back to you very quickly.

If it is your intention to apply then I would recommend that you read the document in full. If you are considering applying and would like an informal discussion please contact either me or Ben Griffiths who is the BEP Co-ordinator.

Richard Vernon


In the Adult leagues the following teams have prepaid: Leicester, West Coast, Bristol Apaches, Birmingham Bulls, Lancashire (senior and junior), Essex, Bristol Aztec, Sandwell, Merseyside, Portsmouth and Burnley Juniors

I will let you know if anybody else prepays.

Charlie Dean Young


The following 5 on 5 tournaments are happening in May





Cornish Sharks Tournament

Reviglas Sports Hub, Newquay TR7 3JA

Brian Smallworth (07885 277691)

17/05/14 (Sat)

Newcastle Academy Tournament

Park View, Chester le Street, County Durham DH3 3QA

Brian Carmichael (07940 564455)

17/05/14 (Sat)

Colchester Gladiators Tournament

Colchester Rugby Club, Mill Road, Colchester, CO4 5JF

Tom Burridge (07745 863891)

17/05/14 (Sat)

Your support is needed to assist with coverage of these events. Please let us know if you are able to help out.

Richard Vernon


As voted by the membership, the BAFRA charity for 2014 is Cancer Research UK. It has now been agreed that the weekend of 28th and 29th June will be designated as the Charity Weekend. As in previous years, members will be invited to donate all or part of their game fee to this very worthy cause. We have raised over £1200 in each of the past two years – let’s see if we can improve on that this year.

Paul Sutton


It is clear that the field audit form as currently designed is not suitable for the 8 v 8 junior games this season. Although the forms are administered by BAFRA officials, they are designed by the BAFA Rules Committee and they have not produced one taking the field required for an 8 v 8 game into account. It is clear that officials at games have been attempting to make the best of it by adapting the forms but this has led to some bizarre variations in marks. As it is not possible to retrospectively remedy this situation, it has been decided that for this season only, the field audit will not be conducted for any junior games. Officials present should still give game management feedback on any problems and plaudits for well-marked fields but need not complete and return a form (either 8 or 11-a side).

Please note that audit forms must still be returned for all senior games and the John Slavin award will be presented in this category as normal.

Paul Sutton


A second Merseyside Nighthawks player was disqualified from their game this week. However the disqualification has been cancelled after the calling official withdrew their report.

The procedure for doing this is in Article 2-12 of the BAFA Disciplinary Code and is intended for use in rare cases when you see a video of the incident and realise you got it wrong. If that is ever the case, simply email me with the details, a copy of the video (or where to find it) and details of what the video shows and how that differs from your original report.

Jim Briggs


Congratulations to Susannah Taylor on completing all of the requirements necessary to become Qualified. Thanks to C K Nam and all those who are helping with Susannah‘s training.

Pete Thom


Susannah Taylor and I are planning to have an exam review and social on Saturday 17th May 2014 from 6pm. The venue is The Sovereigns pub, Guildford Road, WOKING, Surrey, GU22 7QQ. This event is open to all officials that have submitted their exam papers, those that are not required to sit it this year or prospective BAFRA members.

The venue has good food and drink, a car park and is about 10 minutes walk from the train station. Please bring your exam answers with you.

Please let me know if you can make it or if you have any questions. Contact me via or via my mobile number which is available through Arbiter.

C K Nam



Peterborough Saxons 19-8 Sandwell Steelers

Edinburgh Wolves 38-46 West Coast Trojans

Glasgow Tigers 39-0 Aberdeen Roughnecks

Chester Romans 0-20 Merseyside Nighthawks

Watford Cheetahs 7-6 Bury Saints

Essex Spartans 36-8 London Hornets

Ouse Valley Eagles 13-14 Kent Exiles

Solent Thrashers 66-0 Torbay Trojans

Gloucester Centurions 47-0 Portsmouth Dreadnoughts

Farnham Knights 61-6 Cornish Sharks

Nottingham Caesars 14-6 Doncaster Mustangs

Tamworth Phoenix 12-0 Coventry Jets

Yorkshire Rams 11-8 Sheffield Predators

Lancashire Wolverines 19-12 Birmingham Bulls

Bristol Aztecs 52-0 South Wales Warriors

Berkshire Renegades 18-23 London Olympians









New this week

Vasco Dias


Ouse Valley Eagles



Threw a punch at an opposition player.

18/05/14 v Maidstone Pumas

Bart Bashary


Farnham Knights



On the second last play of the game #29 targetted an opponent.

18/05/14 v Bristol Apache

Julian Tovar


Watford Cheetahs



After a pile had formed on top of the loose ball, player forcibly pulled an opponent out of the pile and then pushed him aggressively in the chest, a dead-ball contact foul. The player was pulled away from the incident and then, while still on the field, removed his helmet and forcibly threw it to the ground. This sequence of events contained two separate unsportsmanlike conduct fouls.

18/05/14 v London Hornets

Jack Higgins


Watford Cheetahs



Player made a late hit out of bounds on an opponent and was flagged for a Personal Foul. Shortly afterwards, he made another late hit out of bounds against an opponent. This hit was extremely late and approximately 2 to 3 yards off the field. The player directed the hit to the opponents knee. The four officials who threw the flag conferred, and agreed, based on the players first personal foul and where he hit the player on the second personal foul, that he was trying to injure the opponent. Thus, we deemed this a Flagrant Personal Foul, resulting in a disqualification.

18/05/14 v London Hornets

Ryan Martin


Sheffield Predators



Player was seen to throw a punch at the helmet of an opposing player.

18/05/14 v East Kilbride Pirates

Adam Stephens


Merseyside Nighthawks



Player threw two punches and aimed two kicks at an opponent who had just fouled him.

18/05/14 v Staffordshire Surge

Previous weeks

James Walter


Oxford Saints



Video evidence of targeting foul. Penalty issued 30/04/2014.

18/05/14 v Leicester Falcons

John Kelly


Bournemouth Bobcats



During a kick play and whilst the ball was in the air, player punched an opponent in the head whilst running passed him.

25/05/14 v Solent Thrashers

Anthony Ellis


Essex Spartans



Act of unsportsmanlike conduct immediately after the game that was his second UNS. This was his third disqualification offence within 12 months hence a 12 month ban.

Suspended until 06/06/14

Dave O Connell


Ipswich Cardinals



Player punched an opponent in the side of the head.

01/06/14 v Bury Saints

Clarence Guishard


London Blitz



Threw a punch at an opponent;s head.

08/06/14 London Olympians

Luke Boggs


Cambridgeshire Cats



After being punched in the head by an opponent (see above), player retaliated by punching the opponent back.

18/05/14 v London Warriors





New this week

Berkshire Renegades

Berkshire had one of the fields I have ever seen in the UK. Aside from the slight slope (that became more pronounced in one end zone) the field was 100 yards long with almost perfect markings - only the reference points for the chains were missing. In addition to this, the groundsman had also painted the team logo into each of the end zones!

Dean Wright #553

25/05/14 v South Wales Warriors

Yorkshire Rams

The Field was reduced to 80yds with 1 x 10 yd End zone and 1 x 7 yd end zone. There were none of the following lines marked: 9 yard marks or numbers or limit lines. There are no private changing rooms available, therefore the officials changed in the members bar area. The game management were as welcoming as ever, with drinks offered at half time and food after the game.

Chris Jarvis #10

01/06/14 v Birmingham Bulls

Pennine Panthers

The Field was marked as for the senior game above. 2 members of the chain crew decided they would not work the chains after the briefing by the HL and were replaced just before KO.

Chris Jarvis #10

01/06/14 v Doncaster Mustangs

Watford Cheetahs

After a player injury, the ambulance parked too close to the sideline and we could not play. The medic did not want to move his vehicle while attending to the player (the Game Manager asked him to do this). We had a delay of 40 minutes before resuming the third quarter.

Paul Haddad #5

15/06/14 v Maidstone Pumas

Farnham Knights

The field was marked as 90 yards by 53 1/3 yards. Prior to the game we shortened it at one end to give an 80 yard field but were unable to reduce the width to the regulation 40 yards for the junior game. One ball person was changed at half time. No numbers or 9 yard marks. No limit lines. Game management on both the junior and senior games was very good.

Pete Parsons #321

15/06/14 v Swindon Storm

Solent Thrashers

Field well marked, except no numbers. End zones were each only 9 yards deep and the goals overhung the end zone by about 1 yard. Torbay had borrowed Exeter Demons' jerseys, some of which had faded numbers. Plaudits to Solent for their facilities.

Jim Briggs #31

08/06/14 v Farnham Knights

Chester Romans

Balboys changed in 2nd quarter and again at half time

Mike Cavanagh #465

25/05/14 v Crewe Railroaders

Lancashire Wolverines

90 yard field with no numbers, other than that, very well marked field. Home team supplied three game balls before the game and then three more dry ones at half time, due to the terrible weather.

Dan Holt #371

24/05/14 v Yorkshire Rams

Tamworth Phoenix

80 yard field with faint but visible rugby markings in addition to football lines

Brian Yates #29

25/05/14 v Doncaster Mustangs

Outstanding items from previous weeks

London Olympians

Field was marked in metres so the chains were definitive. 90-metre field with 5-metre end zones so goal lines moved to 5-metre lines and field length reduced to 80-metres. Inbounds lines 30-feet from sidelines rather than the usual 60. Team areas were too close to the field and marked between the 15-metre lines. Normal goal padding not available but a suitable alternative was engineered by game management by lashing smaller pads together and secured to the posts.

Tim Ockendon #481

22/06/14 v London Warriors

Merseyside Nighthawks

Walney Terriers arrived 12.45 for a 13.00 kickoff. Actual kickoff at 13.40 and away team assessed a 15 yard DOG penalty on the kickoff in acc. with Rule 3.4.1a.

Mike Cavanagh #465

01/06/14 v Staffordshire Surge

Manchester Titans Junior

Prior to the game Manchester queried the minimum roster size; Chester only had 15 registered players and only 14 in kit. Officials stated that they were aware BAFANL has minimum roster sizes, but it was a league rule and not a playing rule.

Later the the Manchester game day manager asked me to take a phone-call on her phone from Steve Whitter (BAFANL Junior Contact). He stated that as Chester did not meet the minimum roster requirements they automatically forfeited that game. However if both coaches agreed the game could still take-place as a non-competitive/non-league game (with the result not counting towards the league standings). Steve Whitter stated that the officials did not have to officiate the game if they wished not to. All the officials were happy to officiate the game whether it counted towards the league standings or not. Both coaches agreed to play and the game was played.

The game was played under 8-a-side rules on a pitch marked up for an 11-a-side game (90 yard pitch). One end zone was used and for the other end zone the 10 yard line was used as the goal line and the goal line was used as the endline, this meant the short yard extension marks extended into one endzone. The field of play was 40 feet too wide. There were right rugby markings within one yard of the goal line. The team area was not marked between the 25 yard lines. The coaching line was 8 feet from the side line and the team area marking was only 10 feet from the side line.

Ben Griffiths #228

22/06/14 v Burnley Tornadoes

Lincolnshire Bombers

All field markings were in red, with other sports markings in white and blue. 90 yard field, end zones were reduced to 7 yards because the end line was too close to the perimeter fence. No nine yard marks, no limit lines, no coaches box or team area. Only one set of goal posts. Changing room not big enough for more than two people and not lockable.

Dan Holt #371

18/05/14 v Peterborough Saxons

London Blitz

Well marked field with several small areas that were potential trip hazards attended to by game management prior to kickoff. Fixed athletics equipment within the limit lines by one corner of the field was well padded, plane of goals not in the plane of the end line and team area lines were replaced by 6-foot wide tarpaulins staked into the ground.

Tim Ockendon #481

08/06/14 v London Olympians

South Wales Warriors

Chain crew was changed at half time, with a further change made in the 3rd quarter.

Amir Brooks #593

08/06/14 v East Kent Mavericks


Play of the week is suspended during the exam period.




Contact for details


July 19th (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

September 14th (Sun)

BAFA Senior Finals

September 20th (Sat)

BAFA Junior Final

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: