BAFRA Newsflash

Issue: 29/14

24th July 2014


The purpose of this item is to update information regarding the appointment of officials for the three NFL Chain Crews in 2014.

I am pleased to report that we have had an outstanding response to the opportunity to work on the Chain Crew for the NFL Games at Wembley this year. We have had 45 expressions of interest. However due to the specific requirement from the NFL to ensure that chain crews are experienced, we will need to ensure that all chain crews have no more than half the crew working their first game; the remainder of the crew will have already worked a game.

The BAFRA Selection Committee, which meets this week, will therefore only be able to select around 12 officials who have never worked an NFL game before. This means that regrettably the majority of the excellent applications will not be successful this year.

Once the selection process is completed all officials selected to work one or two of the games will be notified personally by me. It is then hoped to publish details of the three chain crews in Newsflash as soon as possible.

Richard Vernon


Thank you to all those who have already made a generous contribution to this year’s BAFRA charity – Cancer Research UK. It looks as though we are likely to exceed the amount raised in previous years. We are closing the collection on 2nd August so, if there are any final contributions, please send them with the paperwork for this coming weekend’s games. Thanks.

Paul Sutton


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

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)

Richard Vernon


Congratulations to Andrew Murrell on completing all of the requirements necessary to become Qualified. Thanks to Martin Gibson and all those who are helping with his training.

Pete Thom


Can all newly qualified officials remember to include their shirt size when sending in their completed log book.

Pete Thom









New this week

James Bowles


Staffordshire Surge



The player was unhappy with being legally blocked below the waist and, while lying on the ground, responded by kicking the now prone opponent who had just blocked him.

27/07/14 v Chester Romans

Brandon Lester


Kent Exiles



Player was seen to head-butt an opponent

27/07/14 v Ouse Valley Eagles

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

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





New this week

Newcastle Vikings

Associate fixture Cramlington Learning Village!! Next home game venue/date unknown. Field was only 86yds with 11 yard Endzones resulting in 43yds from GL to midfield . Game management advised to reduce endzones to 9yds for next fixture to allow a 90yd field to be marked out. No coaching areas or 9yd numbers marked. Rugby posts appeared to have crossbars higher than 10ft

Ian Cubitt #457


Birmingham Bulls

During half time interval, lighting flashes were visible close by, half time was extended to 45 minutes to allow the storm to have passed. The game was completed without any further issues.

Ian Wainwright #567

27/07/14 v Sheffield Predators

Balby Carr Mustangs

The field was very much improved from last week due to the marking of the 5 yard lines and the team areas. The game was suspended at half time for 1 hour due to the thunder and lightening which occurred as the 1st half finished.

Chris Jarvis #10


Manchester Titans

Upon arrival at the venue it was noted that the groundsmen had not marked any pitch at all for football. The home team managed to mark the pitch in just under two hours and scored a pretty respectable 34 on the field audit! There where white Rugby markings within 1 yard of both goal lines.

Ben Griffiths #228


London Warriors

KO delayed by 30 minutes due to late arrival of visiting team coach. No team areas, numbers or 9-yard marks.

Tim Ockendon #481

27/07/14 v London Blitz

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

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

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

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



New this week

Play: A's ball, 4th and goal, on B's 8. The score is A27-B28. A33 advances to B's 4 and fumbles. Before the fumble hits the ground, B55 bats the ball backward on B's 3. The ball goes into and out of Team B's end zone. Two seconds remain in the fourth quarter.

Last week

Play: A's ball, try, on B's 3. Holder A16 rises with the ball and throws a legal forward pass to A80. B21 intercepts the pass in B's end zone and sets sail for A's goal line. When B21 is at A's 5, the Line Judge blows his whistle thinking that B21 has crossed A's goal line. Ruling?

Ruling: Try ends. A's ball, free kick, on A's 35. The try ends when the ball becomes dead by rule. A ball becomes dead by rule when there is an inadvertent whistle. There is no provision for a retry when an inadvertent whistle sounds after Team B gains possession on the try (4-1-2-b-4).


New this week

Game Situation: 1st and 10 on the A40. QB A3 throws a legal forward pass to A88 on the B45. A88 rises to catch the ball and falls to the ground holding the ball. On a 4 man crew, the only official with a view of the catch is the Linejudge. As A88 comes to the ground the Linejudge can see that the player has possession of the ball until he hits the ground. The ball then disappears from the Linejudge's view as A88 contacts the ground heavily. A88 then gets up and is holding the ball. Ruling?
Answer next issue...

Last week

Play: With 3 minutes remaining in the 2nd quarter, team A are losing by 10 points and are driving in team B's half of the field. Team A have no timeouts remaining. The weather is extremely hot. The team A captain tells the Referee that his players are hot and need water, he requests a Referee's timeout to get water on to the field. Team B seem happy with this. What should the Referee do?
Answer: M-5-3-5. The Referee should not permit the officials timeout. In hot weather, encourage players to drink water during stoppages in play by reminding them of the opportunities. Never call a Referee's timeout solely for the purpose of allowing players to take in water. Stopping the game at an arbitrary point will always benefit one team over the other in terms of momentum. Instead, use the opportunity of an injury or penalty enforcement to allow players to go towards the sideline for a quick drink.




Contact for details


July 26th (Sat)

BAFRA Elite Training Day

Ben Griffiths

September 14th (Sun)

BAFA Senior Finals

September 20th (Sat)

BAFA Junior Final

September 28th (Sun)

NFL @ Wembley (Miami v Oakland)

October 26th (Sun)

NFL @ Wembley (Detroit v Atlanta)

November 9th (Sun)

NFL @ Wembley (Dallas v Jacksonville)

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: