BAFA development programmes operate on a number of levels to address the needs of the sport. The overarching aims of BAFA’s development work are to grow participation; sustain participants through a valued and rewarding experience, and provide opportunities for participants to excel through a tiered structure of competition and international representative teams.

Strategic development

BAFA is currently carrying-out a review process of its systems, structures and policies to better define the shape of future strategy for development. Alongside this, BAFA continues to engage with strategic partners to gain insight into the evolving sports landscape in which we operate. BAFA supports the personal development of those within its governance structure through CPD opportunities.

On a lower level, BAFA delivers development projects in association with partners, to develop the grass roots game. The BAFA Kick-Start initiative, supported by IFAF, is a programme aimed at fast-tracking the growth of more teams and individuals at the youngest ages of competition.

League development

The competition bodies within BAFA, the BUAFL and BAFACL, are charged with the development and delivery of the BAFA competition programmes.


BAFA’s coaching arm, the British American Football Coaches Association (BAFCA), is tasked and supported to deliver services for coaches including education, licensing, shared good practice and support. The BAFCA Coach Education Programme continues to develop to deliver affordable and effective qualifications for coaches. The annual convention and regional clinics provide opportunities for informal learning and CPD. The BAFCA regulates coaching practice through its Code of Ethics.


The British American Football Referees Association (BAFRA) oversees the recruitment, training and deployment of game officials. BAFA supports the development of officials through contribution to; the BAFRA annual convention training event; the Elite Official programme and the officials for international games programme.