BAFA Q&A on the Rule Changes

In an earlier article we looked at the new competitions rules and regulations changes that were being implemented by BAFA. We reached out to BAFA Operations Director Steve Rains for comment/clarification on a few of the changes. Steve emphasised that BAFA will be open and responsive as best as it can moving forward, wanting to communicate with you, the Britball community, about all aspects. We at Gridiron Pulse want to help you understand the changes and from the comments left on yesterday’s post we can see that there are still questions people would like to have answered.


Will the yellow card carry over for those teams that forfeited games in the 2018 season?

Steve confirmed that indeed they would be. That means that the following teams all have yellow cards, and should they forfeit a game this season face associate status:

·         Jurassic Coast Raptors

·         Farnham Knights

·         Bury Saints

·         Carlisle Sentinels

·         Worcestershire Black Knights

The Etone Jaguars are at status unknown due to their merger with the Coventry Jets. They may well face time as an associate status. There is currently no word on their Facebook of their current status, though they have run offseason workouts for senior players.


Reading the new competition rules it looks to us that if a Premier or Division 1 team forfeit (thus getting awarded a yellow card) they will automatically be relegated at the end of the season – is that correct?

Steve Rains: “Yes – we want to eradicate forfeits from the league completely – but we certainly cannot have them in our top tier products – hence the strengthening of this rule”


Is it just a single league relegation or is it associate status next season for these clubs?

Steve Rains: “Red Card (for anyone) means Associate status the following year. With this change a yellow card for the top two tiers means a single tier relegation (Prem to Div1 and Div1 to Div 2)”


Currently players are forbidden from being paid. Does this extend to coaches?

Steve Rains: “No – Coaches can be paid as that is not an Insurance issue”


If a player takes up the Player-Coach rule are they eligible to be paid?

Steve Rains: “We strongly advise against clubs putting themselves into a difficult situation by attempting to bend this rule. The Insurance is vital to all of the teams in BAFA putting it in jeopardy by trying to manipulate the situation puts us all at risk. The answer is therefore ‘no’ as the insurance company may determine that the individual was in part being paid to play.”


Teams that are in possible transition periods (Leicester Falcons are my local example) where they are looking to move Stadiums. Will they face penalties for not having a confirmed location, will they face penalties if they change? How much wiggle room do teams have?

Steve Rains: “No – there will be no penalty for a fully operating existing club simply moving to a different venue close to its existing location – such as the proposed Falcons move, providing that doesn’t disrupt their whole schedule.”


The hard deadline of 18 Nov for fixtures etc, will there be updates on this, i.e. with what was said above will the fixtures be subject to change?

Steve Rains: “Our aim is to come out of the Scheduling meeting on the 8th December with an agreed schedule for the Adult League. The Youth/Junior process will happen before that so that we can fit double headers together based on the Junior Schedule. We are aiming for that to be the final product – but we are also not unreasonable if issues arise – the key to any subsequent changes will be the agreement of both teams and a “fit” to the potential for us to cover the game with referees on the changed date.”


Where will the Schedule Meeting take place?

Steve Rains: “We are currently sourcing a venue for the 8/12 and will release that as soon as we have it”


So, there it is, words from the Director of Operations. This already looks positive for the Britball community. Clarification is something that will help streamline the game as teams become more aware of their boundaries. It’ll also make the league in general more accountable as we are all armed with the knowledge of what status teams are in. If you’re in one of the teams mentioned above you know now what is at stake this season. We can all do more to hold each other accountable thereby increasing the competition in this country. Look forward to more releases as the season nears.

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