Be the Referee: Illegal Football Kick

October 22, 2020

This week, MHSAA officials coordinator Sam Davis presents a "You Make the Call" on the legality of a kicking scenario.

Be The Referee is a series of short messages designed to help educate people on the rules of different sports, to help them better understand the art of officiating, and to recruit officials.

Below is this week's segment - You Make the Call: Illegal Kick - Listen

Here’s a you-make-the-call situation today. It’s fourth down and a field goal is being attempted – but the holder muffs the snap. With the loose ball rolling around, the kicker swings his leg at it and boots it through the uprights. You make the call – is this legal?

There are only two ways a ball can be legally kicked for points on a play which starts with a snap from center. One is a place kick being held by another player – the other is the rarely seen drop kick.

Had the kicker picked up the ball, dropped it to the ground and kicked it on the bounce through the uprights, the result of the play would have been a field goal. In this instance, though, a 10-yard penalty is assessed from the line of scrimmage for illegal kicking, and the opposing team takes over from that spot.

Past editions

10/15: Toe the Line on Penalty Kicks - Listen
10/8: Disconcerting Acts - Listen
10/1: Ball Hits Soccer Referee - Listen
9/24: Clocking the Ball from the Shotgun - Listen

Be the Referee: Over the Back

By Sam Davis
MHSAA Officials Coordinator

January 31, 2023

Be The Referee is a series of short messages designed to help educate people on the rules of different sports, to help them better understand the art of officiating, and to recruit officials.

Below is this week's segment – Over the Back - Listen

Did you know there is no such thing as “over the back” in basketball? If two players are going for a rebound and the player behind another player is able to grab it over the top of the player in front – that’s not necessarily a foul. He or she did not go over the back.

The player behind another player may have committed a foul such as bumping the player in front, or pushing that player – gaining an advantage to grab the rebound – but that would be whistled for a push or grab. Not over the back.

A taller player or player who can jump higher grabbing a rebound is not a foul. It’s only a foul if they create an advantage by pushing, bumping, or any other kind of illegal contact while in the process of going for a rebound. Fans yell over the back all the time, but an official will never call a foul for going over the back.

Previous Editions:

Jan. 24: Competitive Cheer Judges - Listen
Jan. 17: More Lines - Listen
Jan. 10: On the Line - Listen
Jan. 3: Basketball Measurements - Listen
Dec. 13: Pregame Dunks - Listen
Dec. 6: Gymnastics Judges - Listen
Nov. 22: Football Finals Replay - Listen
Nov. 15: Back Row Illegal Blocker - Listen
Nov. 8: Swim Turn Judges - Listen
Nov. 1: Soccer Referee Jersey Colors - Listen
Oct. 25: Cross Country Tie-Breaker - Listen
Oct. 18: Soccer Shootouts - Listen
Oct. 11: Safety in End ZoneListen
Oct. 4: Football Overtime Penalty - Listen
Sept. 27: Kickoff Goal - Listen
Sept. 20: Soccer Timing - Listen
Sept. 13: Volleyball Replays - Listen
Sept. 6: Switching Sides - Listen
Aug. 30: Play Clock - Listen
Aug. 23: Intentional Grounding Change
- Listen