BAFRA Newsflash

Issue: 20/14

22nd May 2014

EXAM 2014

Results were sent out electronically on Sunday to all who sat this year’s exam. If you have not received yours, please contact me.

Paul Sutton


Now that we have the results of the annual exam, officials who meet all the requirements necessary may apply to the director of training to move to the next level in the BAFRA Development Programme, you can find out your level by looking at the members listing on the BAFRA website and the necessary requirements for advancement can be found in the Training section of the members handbook under BAFRA Membership Categories.

If you have any questions, please contact the director of training.

Pete Thom


North West Officials are holding a regional meeting on Tuesday 3rd June starting 8pm. The meeting will be held at The Brinsop Inn, Westhaughton, BL5 3NJ. The event is open to all BAFRA officials, if you're in the area please come along, fingers crossed this will be the first of many.


For further info please contact Tony Newsham, on 07475 076003 or

Tony Newsham



Congratulations to Stephen Quick on completing all of the requirements necessary to become Qualified. Thanks to all those who are helping with Stephen‘s training.

Pete Thom


Lincolnshire Bombers 9 – 15 Peterborough Saxons

Dundee Hurricanes 32 – 46 West Coast Trojans

Staffordshire Surge 6 – 28 Merseyside Nighthawks

Walney Terriers 0 – 54 Manchester Titans

Kent Exiles 37 – 6 Essex Spartans

London Hornets 8 – 38 Watford Cheetahs

Bristol Apache 6 – 70 Farnham Knights

Torbay Trojans 7 – 22 Cornish Sharks

Portsmouth Dreadnoughts 12 – 39 Swindon Storm

Sheffield Predators 0 – 41 East Kilbride Pirates

Gateshead Senators 18 – 10 Nottingham Caesars

London Warriors 62 – 6 Cambridgeshire Cats

East Kent Mavericks 37 – 40 Colchester Gladiators









New this week

Nick-Nige Western


Manchester Titans Flag



Player tackled an opponent full contact style, at pace and with aggression. The refereeing side said that it was a calculated act, not simply a misunderstanding of the rules. He was subsequently ejected.

07/06/14 fixtures at Calderdale

Matt Crespo


Nottingham Caesars



Involved in unsportsmanlike acts of shoving and pulling that resulted in another player (#26 Gateshead) retaliating. Both players failed to separate when asked by officials and continued their shoving and grabbing.

15/06/14 v Birmingham Bulls

Matt Kidd


Gateshead Senators



After being subject to unsportsmanlike act by #35 Ceasars (above), player retaliated by grabbing player and attempting to throw him to the ground. Both players failed to separate when asked by officials and continued their shoving and grabbing.

25/05/14 v Sheffield Predators

Gary Marshall


Gateshead Senators



1st unsportsmanlike act was for foul language while on the field. 2nd act was for simulating being roughed during a punt. Player was asked to leave team area even though he was listed as head coach, this was because he was disqualified as a player.

25/05/14 v Sheffield Predators

Stephen Morrison


Kent Exiles



Used insulting language towards an opponent in Q2, and committed a dead-ball contact foul that was obviously not part of the game action in Q3.

08/06/14 v London Hornets

Ruben Cruz


East Kent Mavericks



Directed two separate instances of verbal abuse at an official.

25/05/14 v London Warriors

Previous weeks

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

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.

25/05/14 v Colchester Gladiators





New this week

Sheffield Predators

The home team only supplied 2 ball persons, one of whom went absent during the 2nd half after the balls could not be retrieved after the kicked ball went behind a fence. After this happened twice, the away team supplied 1 ball to make the compliment back up to 3 balls.

The following field markings were missing: 3 yd PAT marks and Limit Lines.

Game Management supplied cold drinks and snacks in the officials changing rooms before the game which was very much appreciated.

Chris Jarvis #10

22/06/14 v Tamworth Phoenix

London Hornets

This was London Hornets first competitive home game and was played at Esher RFC. On arrival, there were no hash marks at the inbounds lines, but after having notified game management, they were marked before kickoff. As a result of the speed of doing this, both inbounds lines wiggled, and one was marked about 3 yards too close to the sideline. Some yards were longer than others.

The chain set provided was in very poor condition and had to be repaired before kickoff. The down box was only 3 feet tall and had to be extended by lashing a mop to it.

Field was a worn rugby pitch with uneven surface and lots of dusty patches. Hornets played in black jerseys with gold trim and numbers. Cheetahs played in gold with black trim and numbers.

Changing room only had seating for 3, but we managed to find extra chairs in a neighbouring room. Chain crew and ball persons provided very late and required a lot of supervision all through the game. Kickoff delayed 15 minutes due to the marking of the hash marks and the repairs to the chain and down box.

Jim Briggs #31

08/06/14 v Kent Exiles

London Warriors

By consent of the Head Coaches and the Referee the 2nd half was shortened

Keith Wickham #423

29/06/14 v Bristol Aztecs

Walney Terriers

The game balls provided were still in their wrapping and were not inflated to a legal pressure. There was crash on the M6 resulting in the motorway being completely closed in both directions. Two officials were delayed for three hours and arrived shortly before half-time. The remaining three officials were slightly further back in the queue and were able to leave the motorway and were only slightly delayed. Thus the first half of the game was officiated using three-man mechanics.

Ben Griffiths #228

29/06/14 v Staffordshire Surge

Portsmouth Dreadnoughts

On arriving at the venue it was noted that the teams were in very similar colours, Portsmouth in dark blue and Swindon in black. The black of Swindon was a change strip as they normally also play in dark blue. It was accepted that there was enough of a difference for the game to proceed.

When Checking the medical provision it was clear that this did not meet rule 13, since the appointed medical person stated that he was not a registered Paramedic but an Ambulance technician. Game Management was informed and the began the process of trying to replace the medical provision. In talking to the away team it was clear that one of their supporters (a players wife)was a registered Physiotherapist who normally is the cover for Swindon home games - Evidence of this was shown and both teams agreed that she would be the medical provision for the game. The game therefore kicked off 23 minutes late.

Prior to KO and during the game Swindon coaching staff had complained that unregistered coaching staff had been coaching the Portsmouth team. During the game it was witnessed by the line judge that the Portsmouth coach had been in conversations with people outside of the team area (supporters) though the crew have no idea what these conversations were about.

Field markings were good at the beginning of the game but some lines did become invisible during it. It was very difficult to see the side lines. During the game one ball boy was changed because the first had to go home and in the 4th quarter the officials requested a change in one of the chain crew because he could not stay impartial. We also had a dog on the field at one point during the game. The changing facilities were not very good without showers, we were in a padded room normally used for kung fu. It must be said that the game was played in a very good spirit and the crew did an excellent job.

David Knight

22/06/14 v Torbay Trojans

Clackmannanshire Ravens

After kicking off 30 minutes late to allow 5 yard lines to be marked the game was abandoned at half time with the Wolves winning 54-0. On the agreement of both HC's the game was abandoned as the Ravens had lost a number of players to injury and had too few players left to safely play the remainder of the match

Henry Richardson #25


Gateshead Senators

Field was marked 80 yards long but normal width for senior game of 53yds due to double-header. Game started 15mins late waiting on official's assistants being provided and the card check.

Shawn Sombati #15

25/05/14 v Sheffield Predators

Bristol Apache

Team areas not marked, coaches box not the correct specifications. No nine yard marks or numbers on field. Otherwise, game management was superb.

Mike LeFevre #341

01/06/14 v Portsmouth Dreadnoughts

East Kent Mavericks

90-yard field with 10-yard end zones. Main yard lines were manually remarked prior to kickoff (although not all were straight) but sidelines and endlines were very faint. Also main yard lines were not always the same distance apart so the chains were definitive. Team areas were not marked until just before kickoff and were so inconsistent as to be unusable. No numbers or 9-yard marks and hashmarks and inbounds lines were not always at the same level which made transferring a spot from the sideline to the inbounds lines difficult on occasion.

Tim Ockendon #481

25/05/14 v London Warriors

Outstanding items from previous weeks

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

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

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

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

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

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



New this week

Play: Team A are going for a PAT after a touchdown. The ball is kicked legally and partially blocked at the line of scrimmage. The ball travels through the air at about head height into the end zone, where B20 is standing 1 yard in the end zone. B20 reaches out and touches the ball. The ball the falls to the ground in the end zone. A56 reacts fastest and falls on the ball. The Back Judge then blows his whistle. Ruling?


Last week

Play (from issue 12/14): A's ball on B's 40, 4th and 20. The score is tied with ten seconds remaining in the 4th quarter. A18's legal forward pass is complete to A88 who advances to B's 18 where he fumbles. A74 recovers on B's 17. B67 roughs the passer. Two seconds remain on the clock. Ruling?

Ruling: The ball is returned to the spot of the fourth down fumble. The clock is stopped to award a first down to Team A. The penalty for roughing the passer is enforced from the end of A88's run. A's ball on B's 9, 1st and goal. The clock starts on the ready for play. There is no 10 second run-off as the clock did not stop as a result of the penalty.


New this week

Game Situation: Following on from the question asked above, True or False: the Umpire should give a tipped ball signal (S11) when the kicked ball is partially blocked at the line of scrimmage.
Answer next issue...

Last week

Play (from issue 12/14): On a 6 or 7 man crew, which officials should escort the team captains into the centre of the field for the coin toss?
Answer: M-8-4-3-b. The Referee and Umpire shall take up position in the centre of the field. The Field Judge and Side Judge shall escort their respective captains on to the field and introduce them to the Referee. Once they have done this they should retreat to join the remaining officials. It is a good idea for the Side and Field Judge to agree how they will retreat from the field, so that one does not jog backwards while the other turns around and walks off.




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: