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  • BAFA offer 10 extra games for the 2021 season in reaction to failed 2021 season
  • All games played Oct 2nd or 3rd and teams must nominate themselves
  • Excludes Scottish Teams, the Bristol Aztecs, South Wales Warriors and Associate Teams
  • BAFA say that games cannot be played when NFL Games are in London
  • Decision adds more pressure on many BUCS teams
  • Gesture considered weak and not adequate as it only applies to 20 selected clubs
  • A partial refund would have been a more fitting offer

BAFA have sent an email to a number of Adult Contact Clubs in which they outline a number of failings in the 2021 season then go on to highlight that there have been a ‘large number’ of cancelled games meaning that many clubs have not been able to complete their 8 game season.

They recognise that the lack of playing time is a problem and offer up the chance for 20 teams to play each other on October 2nd or 3rd, where BAFA will cover the referee’s costs. The concept is that teams will nominate themselves and then BAFA picks their opponent. This seems fatally flawed as some teams may want to only play at Home and others may only be able to play Away. It also opens up the possibility of teams backing out after finding out who they are playing, but there’s more on that in the next paragraph. BAFA will not cover the travel costs for the Away team but they have said they will contribute to ‘Gameday costs’ assumingly on the part of the Home team, but no amount or percentage has been mentioned (spending money has always been a topic that BAFA are mysterious about).

BAFA have moved to address one of the biggest issues that surfaced this season regarding their failed league structure by introducing 2 measures. The first is that these games will not be regional and that teams from anywhere can play each other. The second is that there is no playing up or down allowed – Prem must play Prem, Div 1 must play Div 1, and Div 2 must play Div 2. There is thankfully no mention of Associate sides which I assume is because they are excluded. (arguably this addresses another issue from this season).

Speaking of exclusions, none of the 8 Scottish Teams nor the Bristol Aztecs, and South Wales Warriors are also not able to take up this terrible opportunity as they all have scheduled games on the weekend of October 2nd and 3rd and the deadline for nominations is 5pm Sept 4th.

The email confirms that what we already knew about there being no Bowl Games, Promotions, Relegations, or Champions this season but also confirms that considerations were made for Bowl Games but that given the unfair league structures and vast amount of cancelled games and controlled scrimmages, this was no fair or consistent way to qualify participants.

Perhaps one of the more obscure parts of the email is BAFA’s justification for only being able to offer this limited, weak gesture on a single weekend. They explain that the 2 weekends following are when there are NFL games in London. That’s it. That’s why no games can be played, because a professional league that has nothing to do with the operation nor existence of Britball is hosting games in London. Is it to be assumed that BAFA think the entirety of Britball will be in attendance? Or enough to make games not viable? If people are seriously putting watching an NFL game over playing then they need to find a new sport or a new hobby.

Another element that BAFA have perhaps overlooked in their haste and infinite wisdom is that many Adult Contact players and coaches also play or coach for BUCS teams. Adding another game so close to the BUCS season is likely to upset a lot of BUCS Head Coaches as they experience further return to team delays, given them even less time to work with a squad containing what is essentially 2 years worth of rookies having lost 2 years worth of vets.

The above show just how detached from the realities of the sport BAFA really are.

It’s a case of too little too late, this is a weak gesture that in no way atones for the failings of this season. Why should their corrective measures come in outside of the season and more importantly, why are BAFA trying to do something that only benefits a maximum of 20 teams? It’s poor decision making on top of poor decision making. All they needed to do was refund some of the membership fees and it would have been job done. It perhaps not known widely enough or had much attention but this bust of a season (which BAFA have finally admitted was bad enough for them to have to atone for) actually cost us Members more in membership fees than any other in the History of Britball.

BAFA increased Member’s fees from £35 in 2020 to £50 in 2021 and then said ‘because we care we are offering a 25% reduction for the 2021 season.’ So people paid £37.50 this season, meaning the reduction was calculated based on BAFA’s own increased number of £50 and not the previous £35. They weren’t able to deliver what they sold, padded out the numbers with Associate teams that are not ready to compete, offered no refunds, didn’t course-correct as the shit hit the fan, stayed radio silent throughout, and now are offering a select group of team 1 extra game. This is on top of keeping 100% of Player-Coaches’ member fees for the cancelled season in 2020 and a portion of Player Member fees.

Below is the actual email sent by BAFA, please excuse the overlap between some of the screenshots. This has been done intentionally to show continuity and proof that nothing has been tampered with.

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