BAFRA Newsflash

Issue: 30/14

31st July 2014


The BAFRA Selection Committee received 45 requests from officials to work on these important assignments. It has chosen the following officials to perform chain crew duties at the three NFL games at Wembley this year:

Miami Dolphins at Oakland Raiders

Detroit Lions at Atlanta Falcons

Dallas Cowboys at Jacksonville Jaguars

28/09/14 at 18:00

26/10/14 at 13:30

09/11/14 at 18:00

Russell Newton (Crew Chief)

Colin Edwards (Crew Chief)

Les Connor (Crew Chief)

Simon Young

Albert Lambert

Shawn Sombati

CK Nam

Murray Gibson

David Knight

Andrew Lovell

Lee Taylor

Ellis Bowyer

Colin Edwards

Alun Price

Graham Hedges

Albert Lambert

Les Connor

Roger Brown

Murray Gibson

Shawn Sombati

Ian Davies

Lee Taylor

David Knight

Liam Wooton

All selected officials must notify me as soon as possible if they become unavailable as individual accreditation is required for each member of the chain crew.

The Committee and Directors would like to thank all the members that applied for this role. We realise some of you have applied several times before but unfortunately it is not possible to offer a position to everyone due to the overwhelming demand.

Richard Vernon


As you can imagine, the BAFRA Annual Convention takes a considerable amount of planning and preparation before the event to ensure it is a success each year. In the past, the bulk of this responsibility has fallen on the President and the Director of Training. For 2015, it has been agreed that a small working group will be established consisting of these two directors and two other members. In addition to sharing the workload, this will allow some fresh ideas to be injected into the process.

If any member would like to be considered for this working group, please let me know by 22nd and include with your expression of interest a short statement indicating what you think you can bring to the role.

The group will conduct all of its meetings and discussions electronically so no travel for meetings will be involved.

Paul Sutton


The BAFRA Selection Committee is pleased to announce the following crews for the 2014 BAFANL Bowl Games.


Premier Bowl

National Bowl

Junior Bowl


Keith Wickham

Les Connor

Amir Brooks


David Parsons

Graham Hedges

Martin Gibson

Head Linesman

Pete Thom

Graham Coleman

Norman Cox


Dean Wright

Russell Newton

Ian Wainwright


Jim Briggs

Henry Richardson

Alan Dobson


Peter Parsons

Stuart Young

Dan Holt


Mike Cavanagh

Ben Griffiths

Shawn Sombati

The Premier and National Finals will be at South Leeds Stadium on Sunday 14th September. The Junior Bowl will be at the Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster on Saturday 20th September. Please join with the selection committee in congratulating the crews on their appointments

Richard Vernon


The rules on blocking below the waist in 8-on-8 football are exactly the same as in 11-on-11. Therefore (subject to the usual restrictions inherited from 11-a-side football) blocking below the waist is permitted in all junior football.

Blocking below the waist is prohibited (except against the runner) in 5-on-5 football.

Jim Briggs


Congratulations to Mark Allen and Michael Prentice on completing all of the requirements necessary to become Qualified. Thanks to Gordon Galloway, Les Connor and all those who are helping with their training.

Pete Thom


A second Chester Romans player was disqualified from their game this week. However the disqualification has been cancelled after the calling official withdrew their report.

The procedure for doing this is in Article 2-12 of the BAFA Disciplinary Code and is intended for use in rare cases when you see a video of the incident and realise you got it wrong. If that is ever the case, simply email me with the details, a copy of the video (or where to find it) and details of what the video shows and how that differs from your original report.

Jim Briggs









New this week

Josh Ashmore


Coventry Jets Junior



At the end of the game the player swore at an official.


Yomi Okuboyejo


Ouse Valley Eagles



Punched an opponent.

03/08/14 v Bury Saints

Gerrard Banks


Chester Romans



Chester #35 was flagged for Unsportsmanlike conduct for taunting by laughing in an opponents face. Staffordshire #10 responded by punching Chester #35. Both players were disqualified for fighting.

03/08/14 v Manchester Titans

Ryan Adams


Staffordshire Surge



As Above

10/08/14 v Crewe Railroaders

Andrew Tyler


London Olympians



Coach was penalised for 2 unsportsmanlike conduct fouls.

10/08/14 v South Wales Warriors

Previous weeks

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

East Kent Mavericks

No coaching box, limit lines, team areas, 9 yard marks (or limit lines) were present.

Phil Clarke #262


Merseyside Nighthawks

No team areas marked due to constraints of field surface, although coaches were able to stand 6' outside sidelines, and players behind coaches. Only one goal post, so as teams wished to kick, all drives were towards the one set of posts

Mike Cavanagh #465


Chester Romans

This was the home team's first time using this venue. The field was marked as a 90-yard field with 6 yard end-zones. It was decided to use the 5 yard line as the goal line and reduce the field of play to 80 yards. This change meant the team areas were marked between the 20 yard lines (however as originally marked they were correct). The field was marked in blue and there were white rugby marking within 2 feet of the goal line and a number of other white rugby markings very close to the football line markings. There were no number of 9 yard marks however there were rugby marks approximately 12 yards from each sideline. There were no trip hazards however, there were a few small divots that, should the dry weather continue, could break up and create trip hazards.

We were told that the officials changing room could be accessed by the public and they may use it to change in. However during the entire time we were there, no members of the public entered the changing room (I think the Sports Centre may have been closed). The changing rooms were not lockable. Other than that the changing rooms were ideal for a Football officials crew.

The scheduled kick-off time was 1430 however due to the preceding junior game being scheduled as part of a double header a 1500 kick-off time was agreed upon. However the preceding Junior game was late kicking off due to game management issues and then was delayed significantly for an injury. The chain crew were only provided at 1530 so the kick-off was delayed while they were briefed and the game kicked off at 1535. The home team only provided one ball person, the visiting team had to provide the other.

Ben Griffiths #228

03/08/14 v Manchester Titans

East Kilbride Pirates Junior

With 2 mins to go in the second quarter both coaches agreed to abandon the game following injuries to key players from East Kilbride Pirates. The quarterback was taken to hospital with rib and shoulder injuries. At the time the game was abandoned Highland Wildcats were winning by a score of 50 points to nil.

Ian Sneddon #427


Birmingham Bulls

Field markings were in blue, but reasonably clear. However, the sideline yard marks were extremely short and were barely visible in places. No 9-yard marks.

Amir Brooks #593

17/08/14 v Doncaster Mustangs

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

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

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

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



New this week

Play: A's ball, 3rd and 10, on A's 30. QB A10 is trapped on A's 22 so he tosses the ball backwards to A72 who catches it on A's 21. A72 runs to A's 24 where he fumbles the ball out of bounds on A's 28. Back A42 was illegally in motion at the snap. After the loose ball was out of bounds, A67 clipped B78. Ruling?

Last 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.

Ruling: B's ball, 1st and 10, on B's 20. Touchback. The batting by B55 was legal since the ball was batted backward. B55 does not impart new impetus since the ball had not hit the ground (8-7-2-b). The result of the play is a touchback since A33's fumble provided the impetus. B55 would have commited an illegal batting foul if he had batted the ball in B's end zone. The 10-yard penalty would be enforced from B's 4 with Team A retaining possession.


New this week

Game Situation: Name 4 game situations in which it is reasonable for none of the officials on the crew to be looking at the position of the ball. Note that these are all stated in one location in the Mechanics Manual.
Answer next issue...

Last week

Play: 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: Although officials must make use of positive knowledge, there will always be situations when there is doubt over a call. If there is doubt over whether the ball touched the ground during a catch, then the ball is ruled to have not touched the ground. In this case the Linejudge should seek input from the other officials, though if all their views are blocked must make use of 'in doubt' principles. Since all the conditions of a legal catch have been met in this instance, the Linejudge should award the catch. A's ball, 1st and 10 on the B45. This situation highlights the importance of the Umpire and wing officials all having a view on a catch on a 4 man crew. (M-6-1-2).




Contact for details


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.

All Incident Reports to be submitted via

Deadline for articles submitted by email ( is midnight Tuesday.

Editor: Dean Wright - Email: