BAFRA – Working Football in Britain

Want to work football in Britain?

BAFRA extends a warm invitation to football (gridiron) officials anywhere in the world to come and officiate a game in Britain.
If you’re in Britain on business or pleasure we can almost certainly find a game for you to watch. If you have appropriate experience, we may be able to incorporate you into one of our crews and let you officiate a game.

When do you play?

Most games in Britain take place on Sunday afternoons, though a few games are played on Saturdays.
We have two seasons: the main British American Football Association National league (adult, junior and youth club teams) season run from April to September. The British Universities American Football League runs from October to March with a break over Christmas/New Year. That means we are working football virtually all year round.

What is the standard like?

All our teams are amateur and the standard varies enormously. At the top end, our best teams compete with the best teams in Europe – a standard that is comparable with Division III college or junior college in the US.

What rules do you play to?British games are played to virtually the same rules as NCAA. There are differences, but these all relate to facilities and game management aspects.What mechanics do you work to?

We use the BAFRA Mechanics Manual which is the de facto standard for mechanics outside the US and Japan. These are based on CCA manuals.

Our uniform requirements are essentially the same as CCA’s.

What level of qualification or experience do I need to work a game in Britain?

To work a game, you need to become a member of BAFRA – this is free for the first year. You also need to pass our basic competency test – this should be fairly straight forward for an experienced official.

People with experience of working games to NCAA rules (e.g. college games in the USA, high school games in Texas, or the highest level of play in other countries) should encounter few problems.

What do I do next?Contact our International Liaison Officer (Keith Wickham) to discuss things. He will be able to advise on whether you have the appropriate experience, and which games might be available to you.What I do need to do after that?Before you can go on the field, you need to:

  1. Register as a member of BAFRA
  2. May be required to complete a competency test depending on your level of experience
  3. Let us know where in the UK you will be located and when (for our scheduling)

Our International Liaison Officer will guide you through the process.