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Update on Adult Flag Football

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

2020 Mixed Adult Flag League to be cancelled

Following consultation with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and other sporting bodies, and having reviewed the latest information available to us, we have today (23 June 2020) taken the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Mixed Adult Flag League – in addition to the adult contact season as previously announced. Communications around this have been sent to Team Leads/Contacts.

This decision only impacts the 2020 Mixed Adult Flag League – a decision has not yet been reached with the Cadet and Youth Leagues, which are due to attempt a restart in later months. For additional clarity, the Opal League is being managed separately and presently remains unaffected.

Whilst we believe we have done our best to keep flag football alive for our community, given the knowledge available to us presently we feel it is in everyone’s best interests to formally cancel this year’s league and refocus on next season.

The main considerations behind this decision are as follows:

- The slow pace at which lockdown is easing and the likelihood of us actually being able to play without limitations/fundamentally altering the game

- Providing our community with sufficient notice to ensure people are not putting their lives on hold for football when we do not have certainty that league action will be possible under evolving government guidance

- The complexities/differences in guidance between the different nations in the UK making the logistics of our national league unclear

- Prioritising the health and wellbeing of our community

In line with this decision, the BAFA Board have reviewed the situation around membership refunds and repayments will be made to players in the coming days in line with the model used for contact football and detailed below. Players will remain insured until the 2020/21 registration deadline (1st October which will remain static as the league is no longer being extended) and refunds have been calculated based on incurred BAFA costs to date – membership fees contribute towards operational costs in addition to the organisation and running of the competitive season.

Refund model
In line with the calculation made for contact football, players will be refunded 50% minus the standard transaction processing fee which was charged to BAFA when the registration fee was paid. The aforementioned transaction processing fee is 2.9% of the total fee paid plus a static 20p charge. This is standard for an online payment processor/intermediary which most sport organisations use and sits behind the Go Membership/Azolve system.

Therefore for a flag player who registered at a fee of £30, the refund will be 50% or £15.00 less the processing fee (2.9% plus 20p = £1.07), resulting in a refund of £13.93. Where a flag player has only paid the £5 upgrade for the mixed season, no refund will be made due to the small amount at play and the manual effort required to achieve this.

Practice and staying safe
Whilst we appreciate we have taken longer to come to this decision than with contact football, given the additional flexibility of flag football we believe it was the right course of action to do whatever we could to try and enable a competitive season to take place. However, the time has now come for us to make a determination on how to proceed and presently there is not sufficient evidence to suggest league style play would be possible prior to September at the earliest. This unfortunately rules out the possibility of effectively running the planned Mixed Flag League this summer without having a detrimental impact on other formats or the 2021 season.

For now, we would like to encourage teams, where they are comfortable to do so safely, to keep practicing under the recent lockdown easing guidelines, as we hope to enable friendlies later this year subject to the continued improvement of the national situation and government guidance.

We will continue to keep our community up to date on how our situation progresses this year but, in the meantime, we hope everyone remains safe and well and we look forward to when we can once again enable play for our beloved sport.

Pete Ackerley, BAFA Chief Executive, Clive Dobbin, BAFA Operations Director & Kyle Taylor, Adult Flag Commission Lead




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