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British American Football Coaches Association (BAFCA) Urges Strict Adherence to Player Safety Protocols

In recent weeks, the British American Football Coaches Association (BAFCA) has been made aware of concerning reports regarding breaches in player safety during training sessions across various clubs. These reports include instances of players participating in incorrect kit, engaging in full contact sessions without proper equipment, and undertaking drills such as Oklahoma, which have been banned due to safety concerns.

It is imperative that player safety remains a top priority for all coaches within the British American Football community. The welfare of our athletes is paramount, and any negligence in this regard is unacceptable. We urge all coaches to uphold the highest standards of safety protocols to protect the well-being of our players.

To ensure the safety of all participants, BAFCA strongly recommends the following measures:

Equipment Inspection: All players’ equipment must be thoroughly checked to ensure it is safe and fitted correctly, regardless of whether it is provided by the team or owned by the player.  It is also recommended the age and condition of the equipment is audited and ensured safe for use.  This is the coach’s responsibility.

Consistency in kit: Players should not participate in drills where some are fully kitted while others are not. Consistency in equipment is essential for maintaining a safe training environment.  This is mandatory for insurance cover.

Appropriate Drill Selection: Coaches must tailor drills to the ability level of the players and ensure they are as game-specific as possible. This includes avoiding drills such as Oklahoma and Bull in the Ring, which pose significant safety risks.

Enforcement and Accountability: Any coach found breaching player welfare aspects will be subject to formal BAFA disciplinary procedures. Penalties may include suspensions or even complete bans from coaching activities.

We remind all coaches that their qualifications, insurance coverage, and potentially their livelihoods depend on their commitment to player safety. It is incumbent upon each coach to uphold the highest standards of care for their athletes.

In addition to promoting a culture of safety, the British American Football Coaches Association (BAFCA) is committed to tackling poor or negligent coaching practice. Everyone should be aware of the importance of preventing and eliminating this within our sport. Any players or coaches (or parents/guardians of young players) who wish to report inappropriate coaching practices, safeguarding, or welfare issues are encouraged to do so by contacting or as appropriate so these can be investigated and properly dealt with.

BAFCA remains committed to promoting a culture of safety and excellence within British American Football. Together, we can ensure that our sport remains enjoyable and safe for all participants.


Wayne Hill
BAFCA President