BAFRA was one of the initial organisations that were formed in the early 1980s to meet the needs of a growing interest in American football in Britain. It is now the longest standing, continuously operating organisation in British American football.
After the initial enthusiasm, football went through a contraction in both teams and officials. Now with the renewed growth of the sport from the youth, university and senior leagues we have a shortfall in the number of officials available for games.
We are therefore running a recruitment campaign to encourage people interested in American Football to get involved. Whether you are an ex-player, coach or just someone with an interest in the sport we would like to hear from you if you feel you have the desire to become an official.
We offer full training and a ‘buddy’ system that allows a new official all the support that will help in the transition from spectator, to ‘rookie’, to seasoned official. The initial requirements needed are time and commitment.
No membership fee is payable on joining. However, there is an initial payment of £30 to cover the cost of training material and a Criminal records bureau check, but £15 of this is refunded through a reduced membership fee in the first renewal after achieving qualified status. In addition, your first two game fees earned are paid directly to BAFRA to cover the cost of insurance and BAFA registration. Please note that no payment is required for those applying for temporary membership.
Training consists of a step-by-step induction and stages to help to understand where to stand and what to look for. The Rule Book is a lengthy document that should be digested in easy chapters. Once the training has been successfully completed the official can then take to the field. We will allocate the official to a game where their training officer, or an experienced official, will ‘buddy’ them.
The fee for the first ten games is £25, after which it rises to £40 per game. There is also a travel expenses scheme in operation.
What to do next
If you are interesting in applying for membership or simply want to find out more, complete the form below and BAFRA will contact you. The minimum age for officials is currently 18, but we welcome enquiries if your 18th birthday is in the next few months.