Be the Referee: Goal Line Rules

October 18, 2017

In this week's edition, assistant director Mark Uyl explains a pair of rules that govern the football goal line when the defense gets the ball.

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 – Goal Line Rules - Listen

At all levels of football rules, the most important line on the field is always the goal line. At the high school level, there are some very unique rules that govern the goal line, especially when the defense gets possession of the ball.

First is on a normal scrimmage play. If the defense gets possession of the ball in the end zone, either by picking up a fumble or intercepting a pass, that ball remains in play and the defense can return it all the way for a score.

However, on an extra point play or on any kicking play, once the ball is possessed by the defense in the end zone, the ball is dead, and no return or advance can be made.

Past editions
October 12: No 1st-Year Fee - Listen
October 5: Athletic Empty Nesters - Listen
September 28: Misunderstood Football Rules: Kicking - Listen
September 21: Preparation for Officials - Listen
September 14: Always Stay Registered - Listen
September 7: Other Football Rules Changes - Listen
August 31: Pop-Up Onside Kicks - Listen
August 24: Blindside Blocks - 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