Be the Referee: Most Important Line

October 31, 2019

This week, MHSAA officials coordinator Sam Davis explains what the goal line means for offenses, defenses and special teams in high school football. 

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 - Most Important Line - Listen

There’s an old saying in football officiating that the most important line on the field is the goal line.

This is certainly true when it comes to touchdowns, as the high school rule is just like that at the college and pro level, where all the ball has to do is break the plane for the score.

One unique part of the goal line under high school rules deals with kicks. Whenever a kickoff or a punt breaks the plane of the goal line, it becomes a dead ball with an automatic touchback. Now, whenever the defense gets possession of the ball in the end zone, it can return a fumble or interception out of the end zone for advancement, except if it’s on an extra point or any time in overtime.  

Past editions

Oct. 24: Automatic 1st Downs - Listen
Oct. 17: Catch Momentum - Listen
Oct. 10: Golf Rules Changes - Listen
Oct. 3: No Tackle Box - Listen
Sept. 26: You Make the Overtime Call - Listen
Sept. 19: Swimming Finishing Touch - Listen
Sept. 12: Curbing Gamesmanship By Substitution - Listen
Sept. 5: Football Safety Rules Changes - Listen
Aug. 29: 40-Second Play Clock - Listen

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