Be the Referee: Kick Returns

October 1, 2015

This week, MHSAA assistant director Mark Uyl explains the difference in high school kick return rules from those in the college and professional games. 

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 - Kick Returns - Listen



One of the biggest differences in high school football rules and those in college and pro deal with kick returns. In the high school game, once a kick (a punt or kickoff) breaks the plane of the goal line, the ball is dead and a touchback is awarded. 


The key is the position of the ball … if it breaks the plane of the goal line, it is a touchback. It does not matter where the feet of the returner are located. That is why the longest kick return possible under high school rules is 99 yards.

Past editions:
Sept. 24: Concussions - Listen
Sept. 17: Automatic First Downs - Listen
Sept. 10: Correcting a Down - Listen
Sept 3:
Spearing - Listen
Aug. 27: Missed Field Goal - Listen

Be the Referee: In or Out-of-Bounds in Wrestling

By Sam Davis
MHSAA Officials Coordinator

February 7, 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 – In or Out-of-Bounds in Wrestling - Listen

Two wrestlers are near the out-of-bounds line – the offensive wrestler is completely out of bounds, while holding the defensive wrestler on his back. Only the defensive wrestler’s shoulder is on the out-of-bounds line, and nothing else is touching in-bounds. What’s the call?

The official should continue to let them wrestle. Wrestlers are considered in bounds if a total of two supporting points of either wrestler are inside or on the boundary line. They are also in bounds if a shoulder of the defensive wrestler or hip of the offensive wrestler is inside or on the line – as both these situations count as two points of contact. With the shoulder, it’s also the scapula making contact – and with the hip, it’s also the thigh.

But if there are two contact points inside or on the line, wrestling can continue. And that includes the possibility of a pinfall.

Previous Editions:

Jan. 31: Over the Back - Listen
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