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 [email protected].
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 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.
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