Membership Mentality

September 16, 2014

The Michigan High School Athletic Association is a membership organization – an association of schools, not individuals – that usually doesn’t think of itself as such. Most member-based organizations work hard to recruit and retain members because member dues are an important revenue source.
That’s not true for the MHSAA which charges no membership dues, no sport sponsorship assessments and no tournament entry fees. The MHSAA is free to join and its tournaments are free to enter.
But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t think like a member-based organization or that none of the dynamics of membership-based organizations apply here.
For example, we are in the business of recruiting and retaining contest officials; and while we registered approximately 10,600 officials last year, that number is significantly lower than six years ago, and the average age is increasing. So, like any other member-based organization, we need strategies for attracting and holding new, young officials.
A new tactic launched this fall is the “Be The Referee” feature (Click Here) on a Lansing-based sports talk daily radio show and weekly television show. Our staff explains rules and points of emphasis, and then we make a pitch for new officials.
But the most fundamental strategy for recruiting and retaining officials is consistent, ceaseless efforts to improve officials’ working environment. This means improving the assigner-official relationship before events and the sportsmanship at events.
Ultimately, if assigners treat new officials unprofessionally and spectators treat them abusively, we have no chance to increase the numbers and decrease the age of MHSAA registered officials.

Be the Referee: 11-Player Football Finals Replay

By Paige Winne
MHSAA Marketing & Social Media Coordinator

November 21, 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 – Football Finals Replay - Listen

For the second consecutive season, coaches will have the ability to challenge plays during the 11-Player Football Finals. All potential scoring and turnover plays will continue to be automatically reviewed.

But again this year, coaches will be allowed to challenge one play per regulation and one in overtime, with some restrictions.

First, a team must have a timeout available and call it to initiate a review.

Second, there are a limited number of items that can be reviewed. Those include catch or no catch. Ball carrier in or out of bounds. Forward or backward pass. And a handful of others.

If successful, the coach will be given back the timeout.

In overtime, coaches can challenge once, no matter how many overtime periods are played – and only if they have a timeout.

Previous Editions

Nov. 14: Volleyball Unplayable Areas - Listen
Nov. 7: Pass/Kick Off Crossbar - Listen
Oct. 31: Cross Country Interference - Listen
Oct. 24: Soccer Overtime - Listen
Oct. 17: Tennis Spin - Listen
Oct. 10: Blocked Kick - Listen
Oct. 3: Volleyball Double & Lift - Listen
Sept. 26: Registration Process - Listen
Sept. 20: Animal Interference - Listen
Sept. 13: Feet Rule on Soccer Throw-In - Listen
Sept. 6: Volleyball Jewelry - Listen
Aug. 30: Football Rules Similarities - Listen
Aug. 23: Football Rules Differences - Listen