BAFRA Newsflash

Issue: 40/14

9th October 2014


Thank you to all who have renewed. As at 2:00pm on Wednesday 8th October 2014 we have had 45 members register for 2015. They are:

Mark Allen, Robert Banks, Andrew Binns, Mark Burrows, Mike Cavanagh, Graham Coleman, Ian Davies, Stephen Egan, Mike Fenton, Greg Freeman, Barry Gent, Martin Gibson, Muz Gibson, Ray Grace, Sam Gretton, John Griffin, Paul Haddad, David Hewitt, Jason Mead, Adrian Miller, Lee Mills, Richard Moger, Tim Ockendon, Pete Parsons, Euan Paterson, Colin Payne, Richard Prattley, Stephen Quick, Larry Rigby, Tony Rivers, John Roberts, Nobby Scott, Kevin Stanton, Keith Stevens, Paul Sutton, Lee Taylor, Pete Thom, Steve Tonkinson, Harald von Sydow, Sean Welsh, Richard Whitby, Mark Wilson, Dean Wright, Brian Yates, Stuart Young.

If your name is not on the above list and you believe that I should have received your renewal by that time, please contact me. I acknowledge all renewals when received. Please note that those who are renewed automatically are yet to be added to the list.

Finally, a number of people are making their renewal payment either electronically or by some other arrangement with the Director of Finance. May I remind those people that I also need the renewal form sent to me (either electronically or by post) so that we can finalise the renewal.

Paul Sutton


A BAFA Appeal Committee has considered appeals by Portsmouth Dreadnoughts against convictions on 9 charges of bringing the game into disrepute.

The convictions related to instances earlier in the 2014 season. Three of the charges related to the Dreadnoughts using unregistered personnel in coaching and game management positions at games. The fourth related to them permitting someone to participate in club activities while banned for safeguarding reasons. The club was fined a total of £375 and suspended from competition for the rest of the season (4 games, which was not part of the appeal).

In addition, Phil Marter (the club welfare officer and head coach) was suspended totally for 6 months (with a further 6 months deferred) for his part in breaching a BAFA safeguarding ban.

The other two defendants are not currently registered with BAFA. One, who acted as a coach without registration, will have to pay a fine of £100 before being eligible for registration. The other, who is banned for safeguarding reasons, will not be considered for registration for 3 years.

The club appealed each conviction and sentence. In a detailed consideration of their case, the Appeal Committee found no merit in any of their arguments. The appeal sought to challenge BAFA rather than provide new evidence: in fact no new evidence that people were in fact registered was brought to light, and some of the evidence submitted in fact confirmed their guilt. The Dreadnoughts denied receiving information while at the same time acknowledging its receipt. Their appeal said BAFA was wrong in bringing charges. The Appeal Committee disagreed, affirming that it is the responsibility of BAFA as national governing body to ensure the integrity of the sport is maintained by the clubs and individuals within it. When anyone signs up to play in an organised league, they agree to abide by a set of rules and regulations, but when brought to account the Dreadnoughts demanded to be judged by a different set.

The appeals having been denied, the outstanding penalties now come into effect, including the club fine and Mr Marter's suspension from all BAFA-related activities. BAFA will be reviewing the club's activities with its officers before deciding whether the Dreadnoughts will be readmitted for competition in 2015.

Jim Briggs


Last Sunday, due to last minute sickness, three of our newer officials, David Hewitt, John Graveling and Adrian Miller worked a 3 man crew, officiating a game between two teams who were both playing their first ever game. The teams report that the officials did a great job in what was a close fought game.

On behalf of the BAFRA Directors can I thank all three for dealing with this challenging situation with such confidence and professionalism. Thanks especially to David, who is the first official that joined BAFRA as a result of attending last Octobers NFL Officiating Academy to Referee a game.

Richard Vernon


The programme and speakers for the SOUK national conference and awards evening on Thursday 30th October have now been confirmed. Both events take place at Staverton Park, near Daventry.

The keynote speaker for the conference will be sports psychologist Duncan Mascarenhas. He will be followed by workshop sessions on e-learning for sports officials; managing people and situations; psychology of officiating; and the art of communication. The programme is designed to be invaluable to officials from all sports, especially those wishing to improve their officiating and rise up the ranks.

The awards dinner will feature an all-star speaker line-up: Howard Webb (football), Waynes Barnes (rugby union) and Richard Illingworth (cricket). Awards in various categories will be presented during the evening.

It would be good to see a good turn out of BAFRA members there. More details at or contact me. Book online at £150 for both events, or £100 for the conference and £60 for the dinner. Let me know if you do so that we can co-ordinate.

Jim Briggs




New this week

Play: A's ball, 4th and 1, on B's 6. The score is tied with 13 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. A4's attempted Field Goal is wide. Team B was offside at the snap. The penalty is enforced with seven seconds on the clock. The referee starts the clock on the ready for play and time expires before the ball is snapped.

Last week

Play: 4th and Goal on B's 15. Team A attempts a field goal. The kick is partially blocked by B25 at B's 21. The ball falls well short and bounces on B's 13. It rolls to B's 9 and is muffed by B82. The muff causes the ball to roll to B's 18, where it is recovered by A45. A45 advances to B's 13 and steps out of bounds. Next Play? Clock?

Ruling: 1st and 10 for Team A on B18. Clock starts on the snap. The scrimmage kick has crossed the neutral zone and was touched by team B. Therefore team A are eligible to recover the kick, but not to advance it. The ball is dead where recovered by team A and belongs to team A with a new set of downs since the continuity of downs was broken (5-1-4-b). The clock runs on the snap since the last play was a kick (3-3-2-d-8).


New this week

Game Situation: Mid-way through the 2nd quarter and during a timeout, the Head Linesman notices that the head coach of the team on his sideline is standing 5 yards on the field talking to his players. The coaches on the other side of the field are remaining in their coaching area during the timeout. How should the official respond to this situation?
Answer next issue...

Last week

Play: A 4 man crew are covering a passing play. Both wingmen have left the line of scrimmage to cover deep receivers. The quarterback throws a pass out wide to an eligible receiver behind the line of scrimmage. The pass falls shorts though and hits the ground. Due to the relative positions of the officials and the players there is doubt over if the ball was passed forwards or backwards. Ruling?
Answer: Although we endeavour to cover all plays in full, there is sometimes doubt over some action in a play – especially when working a small crew. 'When in doubt principles', M-6-1, apply in this situation. When in doubt the pass is forward rather than backward behind the neutral zone – this should be ruled a forwards pass and incomplete unless the covering official is in no doubt that it is backwards. On a 6 / 7 man crew these situations will be covered better as the Linejudge will stay on the line of scrimmage during passing situations. In this situation a Referee should look at his wingmen to check if they have ruled a backwards pass using Sup5, before applying the 'when in doubt' principle.




Contact for details


October 26th (Sun)

NFL @ Wembley (Detroit v Atlanta)

November 1st (Sat)

Xplosion 2014 – Birmingham v Hertfordshire

November 9th (Sun)

NFL @ Wembley (Dallas v Jacksonville)

November 15th (Sat)

BAFRA Board Meeting

March 28th & 29th

BAFRA Annual Convention

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: