BAFCA Provide Clarifications in Response to Community Feedback Re: Coach Registration Warnings

Earlier this week the British American Football Coaches Association shared an important message with its members, revealing the results of a recent audit of the member registration system. The message, however, lead to a fair amount of confusion and concern across the community. DC reached out to BAFCA for further clarification, and in response to this and wider community feedback, BAFCA have shared a further statement and handy infographic, aimed at clearing up a number of concerns.

Reaching out to their members on Sunday afternoon, BAFCA’s initial message shared the results of their audit of the Associations Go Member Registration System, which revealed a large number of coaches had not fully completed the registration process by uploading their qualifications. The Facebook post, shared on the BAFCA page and via the Association’s member group, reminded all BAFCA coaches of the need to fully complete their member registration process, as well as highlighting the need for a number of BUCS teams to ensure they met the league minimum Coaching requirements, else risk penalisation, setting a deadline of 1 January 2019 for these issues to be resolved.

However, many in the coaching community felt the statement was unclear in some areas, and ‘moved the goalposts’ by accelerating previously shared deadlines.

The new statement from BAFCA President Wayne Hill is intended to allay these concerns, and provide greater information and insight into a number of queries raised:


“Dear All,

I appreciate Social media is not the most ideal situation to communicate this information and BAFCA are working behind the scenes to rectify the situation by not only using our social media channels to communicate information but also email members directly. However, as a coach up until this year I would hope that you would agree there has been more communication from BAFCA to its members in that last 6 months than previous.

I have responded to a lot of comments relating to the statement released and had a number of emails that I have also responded to directly.

I hope you understand that we are trying to provide a robust education, qualification, auditing system that not only provides a safer game for our players, but also ensure you as coaches are fully insured. And those that are not following the rules and regulations set out are not only putting you, our players and themselves at risk and we need to do a better job of identifying these people and putting in appropriate sanctions.

Before I get into the statement I would just like to say that football is changing rapidly. How we teach contact system within the sport have changed from last year to this. Hence the updating from Heads Up to the New Youth Tackle Certification. I have taken this course, plus the free Shoulder tackling course and have just completed the online Contact System course. All of these are cutting edge developing new techniques, reinforcing prior knowledge and developing a more scientific approach to contact systems. This is a continuing evolving system that is further adapted from Hawk tackle, Heads Up and defiantly how we used to coach. ALL of this is to provide a safer game for our players regardless of age and gender. Contact is contact regardless of code.

Clarification elements on the statement:

“Upon auditing the Go Membership Registration System over the last few days it has come to our attention that on a positive note we have 570 coaches registered.
However, only 1/5 of these coaches have stated their qualification level on their membership. ALL Coaches must check their registrations and ensure that their qualification level completed on their registration.
BAFCA – This is a simple process stating if you are Level 1, Level 2 or Unqualified.

Also, coaches must ensure that certificates pertaining to the qualification level are uploaded. For all Pre 2016 Level 1 and 2 coaches this should also include your USA Football Youth Tackle Certification.
If qualification status and uploads are not completed by 1st January 2019 then we will presume that the coaches registered are unqualified and then will not be able to be on the sidelines come February.”

There are two points to clarify here:

  1. There is no change to the December 2019 date for completion of USA Football Youth Football Contact Certification. The 1st of Jan 2019 date is there to state that coaches should upload the certification documents they currently have. This could be current Level 1 or 2, Pre 2016 Level 1 or 2 and the USA Football Youth Tackle Certification. If a coach is UNQUALIFIED and awaiting the next Level 1 course they should complete and upload their USA Football Youth Tackle Certification immediately hence the December 2018 deadline.
  2. We need to ensure both BAFCA and BAFA can prove members qualifications. Hence why we need certificates uploaded.

“If coaches do require a replacement certificate to upload, these can be obtained using the below link. Replacement certificates cost £5.50.”

The situation with replacement certificates is beyond what anyone on the current board envisioned. We are working behind the scenes to develop a robust solution for replacement certificates electronically and free in the short term. This will hopefully be a long-term solution for the rollout of electronic certification in the short term.

A couple of things to be noted:

  1. We do have people who have faked certificates.
  2. We do have people who have been coaching for a length of time without a qualification.
  3. We need your support in identifying these people.
  4. BAFCA have being offering replacement certificates for free for 2 years.

“Also, there are a number of teams that have not registered the minimum required amount of three Level 1 coaches for the BUCS season. Russ Hewitt the Age Groups Commission Lead is currently reviewing this and will be contacting AU’s and Teams to ensure that ALL teams have the required minimum number of Level 1 coaches.
Obviously, if this is not completed by to 1st Jan 2019 then teams will be reported to BUCS and this may affect further participation in the BUCS season.”

This is a BUCS regulation and has been for a couple of years. We are just trying to support the enforcement of this rule. There was some grace given with the change over registration system but we have teams who a 1 coach registered, some teams who do not have their Head Coach registered, some coaches registered that are not qualified, some teams that have 8 coaches and only 3 registered. This is a big issue that we are trying to resolve with a team of volunteers that have day jobs.

Please bear this in mind when requesting responses and also when making comments on decisions that are being made in good faith for the betterment of our sport, players and yourselves.

I hope this clears up some of the questions and issues raised.

Kind Regards,

Wayne Hill”

One key takeaway from this is that that deadline for completing the USA Football Youth Tackle Certification has not changed. Coaches who qualified prior to the course being added as a minimum standard will still have until December 2019 to complete this training.

Alongside this, BAFCA have also shared an infographic detailing the processes members may need to complete, and the deadline details for each:

If there are further queries regarding these or other BAFCA matters, Coach Hill emphasised that individuals should contact him via [email protected].




Nick 'Willy Tee' Wilson-Town hails from the South West where he's spent the last decade bouncing around various teams at the university and senior level. He came to fame on the now departed unofficial forum thanks to his regularly irreverent Uniball predictions and general 'BUAFL wafflage'. Follow him on twitter @WillyTee1