Be the Referee: Intentional Grounding

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

September 9, 2021

This week, MHSAA assistant director Brent Rice explains football intentional grounding at the high school level. 

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 – Intentional Grounding – Listen 

A quarterback is under heavy pressure and immediately throws the ball away. International grounding, right? Maybe. And maybe not.

What goes into an official deciding if grounding has occurred?

First, there is no such thing as a “tackle box” in high school football as it pertains to grounding. A quarterback scrambling outside of the tackle box who throws the ball away could still be penalized for grounding – even if it reaches the line of scrimmage.

Any pass can be penalized for grounding if there is no receiver in the immediate area. Behind the line, inside the tackle box – none of that matters – it only matters if there’s a potential receiver nearby. If there is – no grounding. If there’s not – there will be a flag on the field.

Previous editions

Sept. 2: Pass Interference – Listen 
Aug. 26: Protocols and Mechanics  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