BAFRA Newsflash

Issue: 23/14

12th June 2014


Over 28th and 29th June 29 games are scheduled all over the country, seven will be ‘double headers’ and it is easily the busiest weekend of the season so far.

We need as many officials as possible to be available to assist us in covering this heavy demand. We have 4 games in Scotland and one in Cornwall so it may be necessary to ask officials to travel long distances.

Your kind assistance is requested to help us cover these games.

Richard Vernon


Applications for the Elite Programme close on 20th June. If you are considering applying and need further information please contact Richard Vernon at

If you have applied and have NOT received a response from me about your Expression of Interest then you need to contact Richard again as soon as possible.

The next Elite training clinic will be held at the Ramada Encore Milton Keynes ( on Saturday 26th July 2014. All BAFRA members are welcome to attend and all Elite programme members are expected to attend. Numbers are limited so please register by emailing me.

Ben Griffiths



On 28th June at Essex Spartans there may be 2 tournaments taking place at the same time so help is doubly required there.

Manchester Titans Tournament

Salford Stadium, 1 Stadium Way, Eccles, Greater Manchester, M30 7JL

Date: Saturday 14th June 2014

Contact: Verity Brawn (07725 590069),

London Warriors Tournament

Streatham-Croydon RFC, 159 Brigstock Road, Thornton Heath, Surrey, CR7 7JP

Date: Saturday 14th June 2014

Contact: Gerry Anderson (07771 921653),

Birmingham Bulls Tournament

Holly Lane Sports Center, Holly Lane, Erdington, Birmingham, B24 9LH

Date: Saturday 21st June 2014

Contact: Rob Amor (TBC),

Chorley Buccaneers Tournament

Chorley RUFC, Chancery Road, Chorley, Lancashire, PR7 1XP

Date: Saturday 21st June 2014

Contact: Ian Nicholson (07759 208718)

Essex Spartans Tournament

Hannakins Farm, Rosebay Avenue, Billericay, Essex, CM12 0SY

Date: Saturday 28th June 2014

Contact: Steve Mitchell (07737 016037),

Richard Vernon


The minutes from the May Board meeting are available in the member’s area of the website at:

Paul Sutton


I will be on leave from 18th to 26th June. Please direct all enquiries to Tim Ockendon during this period.

Richard Vernon


The next Regional Development Clinic will be held in North London on the 12th July 2014; there are no games in the South East on this date. Although the clinic is aimed at newish officials, all BAFRA members will gain from it and are encouraged to attend. Places will be limited so please register as soon as possible at

Pete Thom


East Kilbride Pirates 38 – 6 Lancashire Wolverines

Lincolnshire Bombers 18 – 35 Leicester Falcons

Shropshire Revolution 26 – 7 Oxford Saints

Aberdeen Roughnecks 0 – 33 Clyde Valley Blackhawks

Chester Romans 36 – 9 Walney Terriers

Crewe Railroaders 19 – 40 Manchester Titans

London Hornets 20 – 14 Kent Exiles

Solent Thrashers 58 – 6 Farnham Knights

Swindon Storm 52 – 12 Cornish Sharks

Yorkshire Rams 6 – 24 Coventry Jets

Birmingham Bulls 30 – 0 Gateshead Senators

London Blitz 52 – 26 London Olympians

South Wales Warriors 17 – 14 East Kent Mavericks

Colchester Gladiators 0 – 62 London Warriors









New this week – none

Previous weeks

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

Julian Tovar


Watford Cheetahs



Player head butted an opponent after a play was over.

15/06/14 v Maidstone Pumas

Adewale Oyemade


South London Renegades



During the fourth quarter, after a touchdown by the opposing side, the head coach came on to the field to complain at the HL and BJ and was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct. During the enforcement of this penalty the coach insulted the HL as he returned to his sideline and received a second USC flag.

15/06/14 v Colchester Gladiators

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. At the conclusion of the game, player was waiting for the officials, physically blocking the tunnel leading to the changing rooms. He approached the crew in a very threatening and intimidating manner, and confronted them for a considerable amount of time.

22/06/2014 at Bury Saints and 29/06/2014 v Watford Cheetahs





New this week

London Hornets

The game was played as Farm Road recreation ground, a location with no changing rooms and one abandoned and derelict building with a barely-operational toilet. The crew were informed upon arrival that changing facilities were apparently available a short drive down the road, but since only 1 official of the 7 had a car we decided it was more practical to simply change in the shade of the trees.

Field had only one set of hashmarks right down the middle of the playing area, yard line marks were on only one side of the field. The field appeared to be marked out in combination of yards and metres, such that the chains sometimes matched the marks on the field and sometimes didn't. The chains were used for all determinations of 1st downs. The field was an apparent 100 yards long, though it was likely longer.

The goal posts were unacceptably small and so they were removed before the game with the consent of both coaches, we played a 'no posts' game.

Chains broke several times throughout the game. The home team management provided the crew with chilled energy drinks at half time, which was much appreciated.

Dean Wright #553

29/06/14 v Bury Saints

Swindon Storm

No Limit Lines. Changing room not locked.

Peter Parsons #321

29/06/14 v Bournemouth Bobcats

Solent Thrashers

American Football markings were white and the same colour as the English football markings. End zones are 9 yards and the crossbar of the goals are 2 yards in bounds. Both this game and the junior game were played in good spirits by all four teams.

David Knight #135

15/06/14 v Portsmouth Dreadnoughts

Lincolnshire Bombers

Only one set of goal posts were available so the game was played with both teams attacking the one set of posts when their offences were on the field.

Muz Gibson #268

17/08/14 v Sandwell Steelers

South Wales Warriors

With 8:40 remaining in the 3rd quarter, the game was suspended for 40 minutes due to lightning.

Amir Brooks #593

29/06/14 v Cambridgeshire Cats

Yorkshire Rams

90 yard field. No nine yard marks or numbers. No team area or coaches box. No limit lines. No coat hooks in the changing room.

Dan Holt #371

10/08/14 v Nottingham Caesars

Outstanding items from previous weeks

East Kent Mavericks

With agreement of both head coaches the 2nd half was reduced to a 10 minute fully running clock for the 3rd quarter and an 8 minute fully running clock with a further 2 minutes played to normal regulation time; this was due to a number of injuries sustained through play to the Essex squad. An official was injured during the 3rd quarter so the game coverage was dropped to a 4 man crew for the remainder of the game. Field markings were faint in places, particularly the middle of the field.

Following on from the Junior game, the 1st half was officiated with a 4 man crew due to the injury sustained to an official but was restored to a 5 man crew for the 2nd half. The chain crew changed entirely at half time requiring another briefing, and one of the ball boys was also changed at half time. The problem with the field markings got progressively worse during the senior game causing some delays in accurately spotting the ball and issues with penalty enforcement.

Phil Clarke #262

22/06/14 v Bristol Aztecs (Senior) 22/06/14 v Kent Exiles (Junior)

Bournemouth Bobcats

Some patches of the field were very sandy. Chain crew and one ball boy changed at half time. Kickoff delayed 30 minutes due to late running junior game.

Jim Briggs #31

20/07/14 v Portsmouth Dreadnoughts

Merseyside Nighthawks Seniors

On arrival at the pitch the field was marked the full width of a rugby league pitch with hash marks too wide. The home side was requested to rectify the problem. This resulted in the game being delayed for some 45 mins, meaning that there were no team areas and no 9yrd marks. To the groundsman's credit the pitch was perfectly marked after the alterations and the game kicked off at 1545 instead of 1500.

Tony Newsham #302

15/06/14 v Crewe Railroaders

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

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

Merseyside Nighthawks Juniors

Field was a shortened adult pitch and too wide. Short yard extensions iffy one side. Team areas not adjusted for shorter length. No three yard marks or numbers/9 yard marks.

James Meredith #547

19/07/14 v Lancashire Wolverines Colts

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

Staffordshire Surge

Changing room hardly big enough for two let alone four officials. Waited for the teams to go on to the field before using their changing areas. One ballboy provided, and three changes during game.

Mike Cavangh #465

10/08/14 v Crewe Railroaders

Tamworth Phoenix

The pitch at Tamworth was only 80 yards

Muz Gibson #268

29/06/14 v Birmingham Bulls

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

Bristol Apache

No team area line, no numbers or nine yard marks, limit lines at 6ft.

Pete Parsons #321

22/06/14 v Bournemouth Bobcats

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

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

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

Gateshead Senators

On arrival the field was an absolute quagmire and in some places the water was 2”+ deep in one of the endzones. The home team management were frantically trying to squeegee the water away and remove the water with dustbins. The main area of the field was sufficiently dry so the game could proceed. To allow this youth game to proceed it was agreed to reduce the field to 70yds with 2 x 10 yard endzones, this allowed the game management to continue to remove the water from the end zone for the Senior Game that followed. The "Dial a Down" Chain Set has a malfunction where the 1st and 2nd down positions get confused, but downs 2 – 4 show as correct.

Following on from the Youth game, after the heroic efforts of the home team, the endzone that was under water was cleared of the majority of lying water and the game could proceed with a 90yd field and 2 x 10 yard endzones. Of the 4 balls that were presented all were well worn and 3 were deemed as adequate.

The game KO was delayed 15 minutes to allow the officials some rest time between the 2 games. The Burgers and Drinks provided by the Home Team was very welcomed. Plaudits to both teams who played the game with good sportsman like attitudes throughout the game.

Chris Jarvis #10

22/06/14 v Yorkshire Rams (Senior) & 15/06/14 v Newcastle Vikings (Junior)

Essex Spartans

Chain crew changed at half time, several delays for injured players during the game with one of them lasting for just over 5 minutes.

Phil Clarke #262

19/07/14 v Kent Exiles

South London Renegades

Field markings were very inventive. Marked out in metres. The chain was 10 yards so this was used for assessing yardage gains while penalties were marched off manually. Hash marks were present but 10 yards from the sideline and extended into the end zones. The 3 yard mark was 2 yards behind the goal line (8 from the endline). Chain crew and ball persons were poor with numerous changes. At one point a young boy (less than 14 years old) appeared holding the chain as one of the chain crew had walked off to get a drink. He was swapped immediately.

Ellis Bowyer #502

22/06/14 v Sussex Thunder



New this week

Play: A's ball, 3rd and goal, on B's 12. A33 takes a handoff, advances and fumbles on B's 4. A82 receives the ball with one foot touching B's goal line pylon. The ball is completely over the field of play when touched by A82.

Last week

Play: Team A line up to attempt a PAT with A15 positioned as a holder and A7 positioned as a kicker. Snapper A63’s snap is high and A7's place kick is blocked at the line of scrimmage by B98, the ball then lands at Team B’s 5-yard line. A7 is about to pick the ball up when B60 bats it backwards and it rolls into Team B’s end zone where B44 picks it up and runs it all the way back across Team A’s goal line. Ruling?

Note: this was question 12 on this year's BAFRA exam.

Ruling: The ball becomes dead and belongs to the team defending its goal line when a scrimmage kick that has crossed the neutral zone is subsequently untouched by Team B before touching the ground on or behind Team B’s goal line (6-3-9). A7's legal kick is untouched beyond the neutral zone when it rolls into the end zone, since the legal bat by B60 happens behind the line of scrimmage. Therefore the ball is dead as soon as it touches the ground in the end zone, and all subsequent action is with a dead ball. The impetus for the ball being in the end zone is charged to Team B, since the ball was batted after it hit the ground (8-7-2-b-1). Therefore the ball is dead in Team B's end zone, with Team B responsible for it being there – the result of the PAT play is a safety. Team A score 1 point (8-1-1).


New this week

Game Situation: Team A punt from midfield. Team B line up with two punt returners, B23 is on the the Head Linesman's side of the field while B80 is on the Linejudge's side of the field. The punted ball is caught by B23 and he begins to run upfield with it. On a 5 man crew, how should the officials work together to ensure that the forward progress of the punt returner is covered?
Answer next issue...

Last week

Play (from issue 12/14): Team A punt from midfield. Team B line up with two punt returners, B23 is on the B10 line on the Head Linesman's side of the field while B80 is on the B5 line on the Linejudge's side of the field. On a 6 man crew, how should the deep wing officials work together to ensure that the punt returners are covered?
Answer: M-14-7-c-2. The Field Judge is responsible for the deepest receiver and the Side Judge is responsible for all shallower receivers except those near the Line Judge. If there are two deep receivers, the Field Judge and Side Judge each take responsibility for their nearest man. In this case, the Field Judge will take B80 while the Side Judge will take B23, since there are two deep receivers and they must take the player closest to them.




Contact for details


July 12th (Sat)

BAFRA London Region Development Clinic

July 19th (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

July 26th (Sat)

BAFRA Elite Training Day

Ben Griffiths

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: