BAFRA Newsflash

Issue: 27/14

10th July 2014


The following officials have all been selected for membership of the BAFRA Elite Programme 2014/15. I am sure you would like to join the BAFRA Directors in congratulating all of them on their appointment

· #575 Andy BINNS

· #31 Jim BRIGGS

· #593 Amir BROOKS

· #465 Mike CAVANAGH

· #345 Martin COCKERILL

· #152 Les CONNOR

· #228 Ben GRIFFITHS

· #219 Graham HEDGES

· #371 Dan HOLT

· #135 David KNIGHT

· #324 Russell NEWTON

· #481 Tim OCKENDON

· #425 Davie PARSONS

· #321 Peter PARSONS

· #25 Henry RICHARDSON

· #15 Shawn SOMBATI

· #200 Pete THOM

· #423 Keith WICKHAM

· #553 Dean WRIGHT

· #29 Brian YATES

· #33 Stuart YOUNG

A copy of the BAFRA Elite Programme Policy is available in the Members Handbook on the BAFRA Website.

Richard Vernon


The BAFANL Premier and National Division Bowl games will both be played on 14th September in Leeds. The BAFANL Youth/Junior/flag finals will all be on 20th September in Doncaster. The BAFRA Selection Committee will meet shortly to assign crews to all these games.

It is therefore most important that you update Arbiter for these dates in order that the Committee can select only from officials who will definitely be available for these games.

Richard Vernon


This promises to be a very busy day for us with 9 double headers and 30 games. Please make every effort to be available on this date as we fully expect to use all available officials.

Your continued help is much appreciated.

Richard Vernon


Volunteers are urgently required to assist with officiating at the following tournaments. Please make an effort to cover one of these during the season

East Kilbride Pirates Tournament; Hamilton Rugby Club, 121 Bent Road, Hamilton, ML3 6PY

Date: Saturday 12th July 2014

Contact: Amanda McDonald (07920 252 604)

Berkshire Renegades Tournament; Location - TBC

Date: Saturday 12th July 2014

Contact: Oliver Raffle (tbc)

Kent Exiles Tournament; Orpington Rugby Club, Lessons Way, St Paul's Cray, Kent, BR5 2QB

Date: Saturday 19th July 2014

Contact: Julius Hobbs ( 07970 228926)

Sandwell Steelers Tournament ;Tipton Sports Academy, Wednesbury Oak Rd, Tipton, West Midlands DY4 0BS

Date: Saturday 19th July 2014

Contact: Steve Hannington (tbc)

Chester Romans Tournament ;Chester Rugby Club, Hare Lane, Vicars Cross, Chester, Cheshire CH3 7DB

Date: Saturday 19th July 2014

Contact: Mark Hamer (07971 835973)

Edinburgh Wolves Tournament; South Queensferry Rugby Club, Dundas Avenue, South Queensferry, EH30 9JN

Date: Saturday 26th July 2014

Contact: James Collins (07773 041 397)

Doncaster Mustangs Tournament; Balby Carr Community Academy, Weston Road, Balby, Doncaster, DN4 8ND.

Date: Sunday 27th July 2014

Contact: Steve Whitter (07931726646)


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



The closing date to inform me of your interest to be considered for the Chain Crew for NFL Wembley games is next Friday 18th July 2014. Please submit all requests to me before the deadline, 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.

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 (eight officials at each game)

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 on Chain Crews for any of these games are now open to all BAFRA members. Officials 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 already had lots of requests to be a part of this.

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

Richard Vernon


British American football provides a range of challenges to those of us tasked with administering the sport. Another one arose this week.

Last week's Newsflash reported two disqualifications of Chester Romans Youth players from their 29th June contest against Lancashire Wolverines Youth. In fact, these were the Junior teams, not the Youth teams. It also turned out that Chester only had 15 players (lower than the league minimum for an 8-a-side game) so forfeited the game before kickoff. The contest then proceeded as a controlled scrimmage between the two teams, with the BAFRA crew officiating it.

Because it was a scrimmage, not a game, the disqualifications are not covered by the BAFA Disciplinary Code. Therefore the players do not have to serve a one-match suspension nor do their club need to pay a fine.

The distinctions between games and scrimmages are one of a number of things we are reviewing with the BAFA Disciplinary Code at the moment. If anyone has any suggestions or ideas for changes, they can contact me at the email address below.

Jim Briggs


The Severn chapter of BAFRA is holding a training day in South Wales this Sunday 13th July starting at 13:30 and running until 16:00. The location will be Unit 2, Talbot Green Business Park, Heol-y-Twyn, Talbot Green, CF72 9FG. If any BAFRA members would like to attend, they are most welcome.

Daryl Morton



Congratulations to Barbara Jacquin and Adrian Miller on completing all of the requirements necessary to become Qualified. Thanks to Albert Lambert Jr., Stuart Young and all those who are helping with their training.

Pete Thom


I received this information today through the post with my car tax renewal, the information will probably be useful to officials who are likely to make use of the Dartford crossing east of London in the future (tunnel and bridge).

From October 2014 new remote payments for the crossing will be introduced, known as Dart Charge, which will change the way you pay. You will no longer be able to pay the Dartford Crossing charge at the barriers. There will be several ways to pay the charge, including online, by text, at selected retail outlets or by phone. You can pay in advance of your journey or by midnight of the following day. Drivers who don't pay the charge will face a penalty. There will be changes to the road layout at the Crossing. For more information visit

Phil Clarke










New this week – none

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

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

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





New this week – none

Outstanding items from previous weeks

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

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

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: Team A punt. B23 is in a position to catch the kick in flight. B23 makes a legal fair catch signal and the ball then bounces on the ground. The ball bounces up into the air and B23 attempts to recover it. He muffs the ball at the Team B 30 yard line and the ball flies forwards to the Team B 35 yard line where B23 recovers it on the ground. Ruling?

Last 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?

Ruling: If a scrimmage kick goes out of bounds between the goal lines, or comes to rest inbounds and no player attempts to secure it, the ball becomes dead and belongs to the receiving team at the dead-ball spot (6-3-7). Therefore team B will get the ball, 1st and 10 on the B40. The clock will run on the snap (3-3-2-d).


New this week

Game Situation: After having a false start called against him, snapper A67 complains to the Umpire that the defensive signals are interfering with the snap count. On the next play the Umpire listens carefully to the defensive calls being made by linebacker B54. Though his calls are loud and some of them are being called out during the QB's cadence, they do not appear to be simulating the QB's signals. How should the Umpire approach this situation?
Answer next issue...

Last week

Play: 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: M-5-5. Officials who disagree on a call must be called together to discuss the matter with each other. In this instance the Umpire should probably ask the Back Judge if he thought the pass was catchable. If the Back Judge says yes then the call must stand – conversation over. If the Back Judge says probably not, then the flag may need to be waved off. If the Back Judge seems unsure or put off by the question, then it is important to remember the 'when in doubt' principles – specifically in this case M-6-1-4 “the forward pass is catchable”. Doubt should never overrule positive knowledge, and in this case we should probably go with the Back Judge's call since he has primary responsibility for the action (M-5-5-9-f).




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: