BAFA Disciplinary Code

Issue 2.0 -- March 1996

NOTE: all monetary figures given here may be halved in junior and student leagues.

Scope and Registration

ARTICLE 1. a. This code applies to BAFA games, viz:

1. all regular season and playoff games played by teams in affiliated leagues;

2. any other game played in Great Britain where at least one of the teams is a member of an affiliated league, excluding European competition games and games played against US base teams on US bases;

3. any "all-star" or exhibition game played in Great Britain involving persons who are normally registered with BAFA.

b. All players, coaches, sideline personnel and officials must be registered with BAFA each year. BAFA shall determine and announce the deadline for registration that applies to members of each affiliated organisation. BAFA may delegate the implementation of registration to an affiliated organisation.

c. No person may transfer their registration after the registration deadline has passed for members of the affiliated organisation to which the person wishes to transfer.


ARTICLE 2. a. Teams shall provide the referee with a roster of their players and sideline personnel (showing forename, surname and jersey number or sideline role) before each game. A player may appear on the roster under more than one jersey number to enable him to change number during the game (informing the referee when he does so).

b. The roster must clearly state the names and NFCA registration numbers of all team coaches.

c. Persons serving a suspension or for whom an appeal has been lodged must be included and clearly marked. If a suspended person is not so marked, he shall not be considered as having served the suspension.

d. Additions to the roster form shall not be permitted after the game has kicked off.

e. The referee shall provide each team with a list of the officials.

f. The game shall not start until all lists have been provided.

g. If a person does not appear on his team's roster form then, upon discovery, he shall be ejected from the game. (If discovered after ejection for another offence it will count as two ejections.)

Incident Reports

ARTICLE 3. a. The referee shall report to BAFRA all incidents of:

1. ejected persons and persons not appearing on the roster form;

2. allegations that teams played unregistered or suspended players;

3. breach of mandatory game management requirements;

4. misconduct by players or other persons affiliated with teams.

b. Referees' reports must be made in the first instance by telephone by 8pm on the Monday following the game. A written report must be submitted to arrive on or before the following Wednesday.

c. BAFRA shall forward reports to the appropriate disciplinary authority by telephone within 24 hours of receipt and by post within seven days.

Disciplinary Principles

ARTICLE 4. a. BAFA, as national governing body of American Football in Britain, will be the final arbiter of discipline within the sport played in Britain.

b. Any individuals of team in affiliated leagues or organisations may appeal to BAFA as a final appeal in the event of dissatisfaction after complete exhaustion of the appeals process within their affiliated league or organisation.

c. Any final appeals shall be subject to the same procedure as the appeal of an ejection as stated in Article 5.

d. All affiliated leagues or organisations will endeavour to uphold disciplinary decisions of other affiliated leagues or organisations for any individual who seeks membership of that affiliated league or organisation.

e. Affiliated leagues or organisations may determine the disciplinary processes and penalties to be applied to their member teams and players and other personnel subject to meeting BAFA minimum requirements stated in Article 5.

Disciplinary Action


a. Ejected persons shall be suspended and fined:
First offence 1 game 20 (No suspension if the ejection was simply for being "not on roster")
Second offence 2 games 50
Third offence 12 months 100
An ejection shall be considered as "spent" 12 months after it takes place.

b. A suspension must be served in the next available game(s). This will normally be the next game on the team's schedule, however suspensions resulting from ejection from a regular season or playoff game will apply only to a regular season or playoff game. If there is any question as to a team's schedule, the one notified to BAFRA will take precedence. The suspended person must be marked on the roster form for the suspension to count.

c. Schedules cannot be rearranged to alter the game(s) for which a suspension is served. If a regular season or playoff fixture is arranged to take place before the date of the game, the suspension will apply to the original game and the person will be eligible to participate in the re-arranged game. Further, if a fixture is cancelled at any time up to its kickoff, the suspension will carry forward to the next available game.

d. A person who has not completed a suspension may not transfer registration without BAFA's permission.

e. Suspensions will have immediate effect and fines will become immediately due unless an appeal is lodged with the appropriate disciplinary authority by telephone by 8pm on the second day following the game, and followed up in writing (with copies to BAFA and BAFRA) to arrive on or before the fifth day following. Any appeal not so notified will be void.

f. Appeals must be accompanied by a 50 fee which will be retained if the appeal is unsuccessful. Any appeal not accompanied by the fee will be void. The appeal may be made either by the person himself or on his behalf by his team.

g. Appeals may only be made on the grounds of mistaken identity (the person who committed the foul was not the one ejected) or that no foul was committed (there must be clear evidence that the official misapplied a rule). No appeal will be upheld on the grounds that a foul was committed but was not flagrant enough to warrant ejection (this must be left entirely to the judgement of the official). All appeals must be supported by video or other evidence.

h. Appeals will be heard by an appropriate disciplinary committee within 14 days of the ejection and the result notified to the person, his team, and BAFA. Results of hearings will be circulated widely within the sport (including to the news media) to promote consistency. It is the responsibility of BAFA to inform Refereeing Associations of the results of any hearings.

i. A team that plays a suspended player or who has a person suspended from the sideline on their sideline will forfeit the game and be fined.

j. For failure to include a player or member of sideline personnel on the roster form, the team shall be fined 20 for each person omitted.

k. Teams that have more than 5 persons ejected during a 12 month period will themselves be subject to a 20 fine for the sixth and each subsequent ejection.

l. Leagues may choose to suspend fines against individuals and teams for a first offence in any category. Should a second offence occur, the fine for the first offence will become due in addition to the fine for the second. Appeal fees may not however be waived.

m. Appeals for any sanctions levied by affiliated league or organisation, other than player ejection, may be heard within the timescales set down within the procedures of that affiliated league or organisation. BAFA final appeals shall be heard within 21 days of the appeal being registered.

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Editor: Jim Briggs, BAFA/BAFRA Rules Committee