2020-21 Officials Registration Underway

June 8, 2020

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

The Michigan High School Athletic Association is accepting registrations online or by mail for game officials for the 2020-21 school year.

The MHSAA annually receives registration by more than 9,000 officials, and had 9,256 during the 2019-20 school year. The highest total of officials registered for basketball, 3,960, with football also with more than 2,000 registered officials during this past school year.

For all new and returning officials, those who register online again will receive a $5 discount off their processing fees. A $16 fee is charged for each sport in which an official wishes to register, and the online processing fee is $40. Officials submitting registration forms by mail or on a walk-up basis will incur a $45 processing fee. Officials registered in 2019-20 will be assessed a late fee of $30 for registration after Aug. 14. The processing fee includes liability insurance coverage up to $1 million for officials while working contests involving MHSAA schools.

Online registration can be accessed on the MHSAA Website. Forms also are available online that can be printed and submitted by traditional mail to the MHSAA Office at 1661 Ramblewood Drive in East Lansing. More information about officials registration may be obtained by contacting the MHSAA by phone at (517) 332-5046 or by e-mail at register@mhsaa.com.

There is an officials' registration test for first-time officials and officials who were not registered during the past school year. The test is derived from the MHSAA Officials Guidebook, which also is available on the Officials page of the MHSAA Website. Additional exams must be taken by those registering for football or basketball for the first time or those who were not registered for those sports during the previous school year. Manuals for both sports are available on the Officials page. New officials and those who didn’t officiate during 2019-20 also must complete the online MHSAA Principles of Officiating course, also available on the MHSAA Website.

There also are opportunities to officiate for students at least 14 years old and in grades 9-12 through the MHSAA Legacy Program. Juniors and seniors may officiate subvarsty contests, while freshmen and sophomores may officiate contests at the middle school/junior high levels. Mentor officials will work events with Legacy participants to provide guidance and support. Find information on the Legacy Program by clicking here.

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