BAFRA Newsflash

Issue: 26/14

3rd July 2014


Will all officials ensure they have updated their availability on Arbiter for both these dates, as it looks like being the busiest weekend of the season.

Twenty eight games are planned for this weekend and only 4 (x2) of them are double headers. So we need as many of you as possible to be available. There are games at five different venues on Saturday 19th so it is quite likely that some of you will be asked to work on both days. Which is why it is so important to get your Arbiter availability correct. Your co-operation and assistance is much appreciated.

Richard Vernon


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



In previous years BAFRA has supplied officials for the Chain Crew for these games (eight officials at each game). I am pleased to report that we have been asked by the NFL Vice President Operations to provide Chain Crews for all three games this year.

The games are as follows:

Please note the earlier start time for the game on 26th October although accommodation near the stadium is provided for all chain crews members at every game.

Expressions of Interest to be part of the Chain Crews for these games are now invited from all eligible officials. All BAFRA members who have either never worked on a Wembley NFL Chain Crew, or have only done it on one occasion are welcome to apply. Please clearly state for which games you will be available as we ideally want to schedule officials for two games in a row to ensure crew continuity. The criteria for selecting officials is explained in the members area of the website and I would encourage all eligible officials to consider applying although we are usually heavily over-subscribed.

If you require further information please contact me directly for an informal discussion.

The closing date to inform me of your interest will be Friday 18th July 2014. Please submit all requests to be considered to me, you will receive a reply from me acknowledging your expression of interest. If you do not receive a reply then contact me to ensure your application has been received.

Richard Vernon


This is your last chance to register for next weekends Regional Development Clinic as we need to know final numbers by Wednesday 9th July. The clinic will be held on the 12th July 2014 at The Arkley Club, 64 Barnet Road, Barnet, Herts. EN5 3EY between 10:00 and 14:00; then moving to Herts University where some of those attending will officiate the Diamond series game originally scheduled for Litchfield but now being played in Hatfield.

Although the clinic is aimed at officials with less than 5 years experience, all BAFRA members are welcome and like all Regional Development Clinics it’s free to attend. Refreshments will be provided and places are limited so please register by Wednesday 9th July at

Pete Thom


No games are scheduled to be played between 4th and 6th July as the Coaches' Convention is being held. If you are contacted by a team about officiating this weekend please refer the enquiry directly to me.

Richard Vernon


I spoke with Robert earlier this week and I am pleased to report that he is now home from hospital, his operation was successful and he is now convalescing. He has asked me to pass on his thanks and those of Susan for the kind messages of support received.

I am sure we all wish to join in wishing Robert a speedy recovery.

Paul Sutton


Sandwell Steelers 28 – 42 Peterborough Saxons

Oxford Saints 20 – 21 Shropshire Revolution

Dundee Hurricanes 7 – 52 Edinburgh Wolves

Glasgow Tigers 0 – 27 Clyde Valley Blackhawks

Walney Terriers 7 – 66 Staffordshire Surge

Crewe Railroaders 27 – 47 Chester Romans

Kent Exiles 7 – 14 Watford Cheetahs

London Hornets 28 – 6 Bury Saints

Ipswich Cardinals 6 – 75 Ouse Valley Eagles

Swindon Storm 47 – 40 Bournemouth Bobcats

Tamworth Phoenix 20 – 0 Birmingham Bulls

Coventry Jets 0 – 7 Lancashire Wolverines

London Warriors 62 – 0 Bristol Aztecs

London Blitz 79 – 0 East Kent Mavericks

South Wales Warriors 21 – 20 Cambridgeshire Cats









New this week

Ben Firman


Ipswich Cardinals



After a score by the opposition player called 2 officials cheats – for which he was ejected. On his way to the sideline he made an obscene gesture to the officials. Player was then escorted out of the stadium.

20/07/14 v Ouse Valley Eagles

Aliko Mwambingu


Chester Romans Youth



Player accidentally threw a ball at an official's face. When the official asked him to be more careful he responded aggressively and was penalised for an unsportsmanlike foul. Player then committed a second unsportsmanlike foul during the enforcement of the first.

03/08/14 v Merseyside Nighthawks Youth

Jamie Hodgson


Chester Romans Youth



During the penalty enforcement announcement for the above, player was penalised for an unsportsmanlike conduct foul. Player was then penalised for swearing at an official later in the game, and was ejected.

03/08/14 v Merseyside Nighthawks Youth

Richard Colin


Chester Romans



After the play was over; player deliberately kicked a prone opponent in retaliation for a perceived infringement.

27/07/14 v Staffordshire Surge

Sebastian Januszewicz


Crewe Railroaders



Player deliberately kicked an opponent in the groin.

27/07/14 v Walney Terriers

David Gregson


London Hornets



While the ball was dead, player threw a punch at an opponent as retaliation for being fouled.

20/07/14 v Bury Saints

Reece Anderson-Watson


Watford Cheetahs Junior



Player struck an opponent. Player then held on to the facemask of an opponent for a prolonged period a few seconds later.

03/08/14 v Cambridgeshire Cats Youth

Previous weeks

Ayotunde Oshibote


London Olympians



After the play was over, the individual concerned threw punches at an opponent.

27/07/14 v Cambridgeshire Cats





New this week

London Blitz

Field markings very faint. Coaching box marked by tarpaulin. Goals overhang end zones. Field surface uneven in patches. No toilet facilities in officials' changing room.

Play clocks were ordered turned off early in the game because they were being operated inaccurately. We persevered with the stadium game clock, though it had to be corrected several times via the referee's microphone.

Jim Briggs #31


London Blitz Juniors

Field markings very faint. 8-on-8 played on full width field, though shortened to 80 yards by moving pylons and yardage markers. Coaching box marked by tarpaulin. Goals overhang end zones. Field surface uneven in patches. No toilet facilities in officials' changing room.

Watford forfeit the game with the score 66-0 with 4:20 remaining in the 2nd quarter. Their coach said they were down to 11 fit players.

Jim Briggs #31


Sandwell Steelers

Kickoff delayed until 15.00 awaiting arrival of medical staff. Neither officials, nor away team were prior informed of the delay in kickoff time, until arrival at venue.

No field numbers or nine yard markings. End zones questionable depth - one end very close to natural barrier (tree branches and fence), home team requested to provide crash mat for this corner of the End Zone. Game management generally good with home team providing assistants in very good time, and with hi-viz jackets

Mike Cavanagh #465

10/08/14 v Shropshire Revolution

London Hornets

Game played at Farm Road, Morden. No changing rooms available at the venue; however, game management has secured changing rooms elsewhere and can give lifts down the road to officials if there are not enough cars.

The field is mostly metric and is approximately 100m long with main lines every 5 metres; the end zones are slightly larger than 10m. The chain set agrees with the field markings. The field is also slightly too wide. There are no team areas, and no goals.

Alan Dobson #308

27/07/14 v Maidstone Pumas

Crewe Railroaders

Serious injury to visiting team player occurred at 00:12 in Q2. Both Head Coaches and Officials agreed to call half-time at that point as an ambulance was required to move the player. The total delay was 68 minutes (which included half-time). There were 2 disqualifications just prior to this injury so the long delay also helped diffuse the situation to some extent. Field was 90 yards in length. Some lines very faint.

Stuart Young #33

17/08/14 v Merseyside Nighthawks

Lancashire Wolverines Youth

At approximately 11.00 the officials were informed by the home team that the away team had trouble with their transport and would not be ready for the scheduled 12.00 kick off. We agreed to delay the KO until 12.30. At about 12.00 the away Head Coach informed the Referee and Head Coach of the Home Team that there was one player who was going to be late but he could say exactly what time he would arrive, since this was an 8 vs 8 game and the away team had only 15 players, this left them with an under-strength team according to the leagues regulations.

The HC of the Home team contacted Mr Steve Witter, who is a league director, and explained the situation. After consultation with everyone the referee agreed that the game would KO of at 13.00 to allow the missing player to arrive. If however the missing player had not arrived at that time the game would be played as a controlled scrimmage with the league applying any sanctions they saw fit. The missing player eventually arrived at approximately 14.00.

Chris Jarvis #10


Kent Exiles

This game was abandoned in the 3rd quarter with 12.20 left on the clock. The pitch markings were very faint to start with and when the rain came they became hardly visible. After a meeting with both Head coaches to see how this could be rectified it was clear the home team game management would not be able to rectify the situation because they did not have immediate access to a line marker other than a small brush which was not adequate. The Watford HC was, after consulting with his coaches not prepared to continue with the game and the game was abandoned in the 3rd quarter.

Muz Gibson #268

27/07/14 v Ouse Valley Eagles

Farnham Knights Youth

Field was marked excellently for an 8 on 8 game. Both teams played the game in the correct spirit.

David Knight #135


Burnley Tornados

Changing room not available when officials arrived there because there was only one changing room between both teams and the crew. Officials had to wait for both teams to finish getting changed before we could use it. Game was delayed for around 8 minutes for an injury.

Daniel Holt #371


Outstanding items from previous weeks

Portsmouth Dreadnoughts

Changing rooms is a martial arts room and not an actual changing room with no separate showers. One of the goal posts had been vandalised in the week and one goal post was shorter than the rest. No gaps between the hash marks and the side line. The field grass was cut very short but the cut grass had laid on the field - this had been pushed to the side lines but needed to be moved as there was about a foot of cut grass all along the side line where the chains needed to be, this was cleared before the start of the game. Game kicked of 15 minutes late because of the late arrival of the away team. Also team was asked to clear the side lines at half time because lines were becoming obscured by cut grass. Game was played in a good spirit.

David Knight #135

27/07/14 v Cornish Sharks

Solent Thrashers Junior

Officials turned up at the game an hour and a half prior to the scheduled kick off, only to be told by the home team that Watford had forfeited the game. Crew waited around for the following senior game to start.

David Knight #135

03/08/14 v London Blitz

Solent Thrashers

Game kicked off 20 minutes early as the previous Junior game had been cancelled and both teams and the officials were ready to play. Field markings were in white and this clashed with the Association football markings. Endzones are only 9 yards and the plane of the crossbar is approx. 1 yard into the endzones. Game played in a very good spirit and a pleasure to officiate.

David Knight #135

03/08/14 v Bristol Apache

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

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

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

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

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

London Olympians

Team areas marked to 18 yard lines. Extra point lines marked at 2 yards rather than 3 yards. Team areas marked to 18 yard lines. Extra point lines marked at 2 yards rather than 3 yards. No limit lines. Changing rooms not lockable. Multiple changes to ball persons and chain crew occurred during the game.

Peter Parsons #321

17/08/14 v Colchester Gladiators

East Kent Mavericks

Pitch had been marked out by ground staff to rugby width (approx 200 feet). Game management were able to mark sidelines and hashmarks both at sidelines and inbounds lines. No limit lines, numbers or 9-yard marks and, although there were lines marked that approximated as a coaching lines, there were no team area lines. Entire chain crew changed at half time so the second half KO was delayed.

Tim Ockendon #481

27/07/14 v Berkshire Renegades

Sheffield Predators

Further to previous reports the PAT and limit lines are still missing. On a positive note, 3 balls were supplied and the ball persons were available throughout the game. Excellent game management including the prevision of drinks, snacks and cool box for use of the officials.

Richard Whitby #136

10/08/14 v Lancashire Wolverines

South London Renegades

Field was marked to 11 v 11 dimensions rather than those for 8 v 8. The crew shortened the pitch to 80 yards by moving one end zone from the goal line to the 10 yard line. Kick off delayed by 20 minutes with the agreement of both head coaches to enable the late arrival of some South London players so that they met the minimum team size requirement. With 9 minutes 30 seconds left in the 4th quarter the Sussex head coach stated that he was too short of players and wished to forfeit the rest of the game. With South London winning at this point, the score was declared final.

Graham Hedges #219

06/07/14 v Bournemouth Bobcats

Merseyside Nighthawks

Changing room was too small and we were unable to use it before the game due to rugby officials using it too.

Dan Holt #371

27/07/14 v Manchester Titans

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



New this week

Play: A's ball, 3rd and 10 on the B30. Time is starting to run out in the half and team A decide to go for a field goal. The attempted field goal is blocked by B90 before it crosses the line of scrimmage. The ball flies back towards midfield and goes out of bounds at team B's 40 yard line. There are 2 seconds left on the game clock. Ruling? Clock?

Last week

Play: 4th and 4 on the Team B 10 yard line, Team A attempt a field goal. During the attempt, which is good, B90 charges forwards and roughs holder A5. What are team A's penalty enforcement options?

Ruling: To accept points on a successful field goal, Team A must decline penalties for Team B live-ball fouls. By accepting the penalty for a Team B live-ball foul, Team A elects to cancel the score and have the penalty enforced at the previous spot. In this case Team A can either accept the points, or take the ball at Team B's 5 yard line, 1st and goal. There is no option to accept the score and enforce the penalty on the subsequent kick off. 10-2-5-d.


New this week

Game Situation: 1st and 10 at team A's 30 yard line. Quarterback A4 drops back to pass and throws a pass over the centre of the field towards A84. The pass is quite high, but before A84 has a chance to jump for the ball his right arm is grabbed by B23, which puts him off balance. The ball flies about a yard over his head. The Back Judge throws a flag for DPI, however the Umpire – who has swiveled to watch the end of the pass – thinks the ball might have been uncatchable. How should officials work together to make the right call?
Answer next issue...

Last week

Play: How should the officials efficiently change ends at the end of the first and third periods after the Referee has signalled the end of the period?
Answer: M-20-4. The Linejudge should move to the succeeding spot (both yard line and lateral position) in the opposite half of the field. The Referee and Umpire should go to the succeeding spot and record (in writing) the yard line on which the ball is placed, its lateral position, the number of the next down and the distance to the line to gain. The Head Linesman should record the yard line on which the chain clip is set, the yard line on which the the ball is placed, the number of the next down and the distance to the line to gain. Then he should grasp the chain and the clip, and keeping hold of it, reverse the chain and move it and its crew to the corresponding yard line in the other half of the field. The down box should be moved to its new position at the same time. The Backjudge should move downfield with the players.




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.

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Editor: Dean Wright - Email: