BAFRA recruitment successes
By BAFRA PR team
Feb 4, 2024 - 11:58:11 AM


BAFRA has achieved unprecedented success in recruiting new officials over the last few months.

In the first six months of 2008, we received 21 enquiries about membership, typical of the rate over the past couple of years. Of those, nine have turned into members who have already worked games and three further ones are still doing their training.

However, in the second six months of 2008, we had a total of 108 people made enquiries – an amazing 500% increase! Of those, by the end of the year, 11 had already taken to the field, 17 more were undertaking training, and a further 29 were participating in our pre-membership taster sessions. Of the 17 undertaking training, some have no doubt made their on-field debuts in the last couple of weeks. Many of them were among 23 members who attended a training event aimed at newer officials held in Milton Keynes on 31st January.

The benefit to the sport from this flood of applicants is that we have:

·          20 new officials who have already been on the field

·          20 who are currently in training, the majority of whom we can expect to be on the field by the start of the senior contact season, and

·          another 20-30 who we hope will start training soon

If that gives us 60 new officials in 2009, it will almost double BAFRA's active membership compared with only a year ago.

It is clear that many teams have helped us in raising the profile of officiating. We have benefitted from them pointing more and more people towards the BAFRA website ( We are keen to further develop this way of working and will be providing more resources for teams to use. Television coverage pointing people to the Get into American Football website ( has also helped us.

The aim is to have enough trained BAFRA officials by August to cover the peak in fixtures, and at a time when school holidays can reduce the number of officials available. Provided growth continues, and teams continue to cooperate on scheduling, we do not anticipate any need for team judges to work contact football this summer. If we can recruit a further 20-30 officials before October (giving us about 150 in total), then it should be possible to cover all BUAFL games next winter as well.

To encourage people to don the stripes, BAFRA has long had a policy of waiving the BAFRA and BAFA membership fees for new applicants in their first year. This removes some of the financial barriers for new people who want to try officiating.

We would like to welcome all the new members to BAFRA and thank all the "older" members who have participated in their training.

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