Be the Referee: Preparation for Officials

September 21, 2017

This week, MHSAA assistant director Mark Uyl explains how football officials also prepare all week for Friday's big games, while lending their talents to various levels every weekend.

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 – Preparation for Officials - Listen


Football is a game of preparation. During the week, the teams involved, the cheerleading squads and members of the marching band put in a great deal of work to be ready for Friday night. Officials are no different.

All across the state on Monday nights, referees attend local association meetings where they review film from the previous week’s game, talk about rules, coverages and mechanics, so that our team of officials are just as prepared and ready to go as the teams playing each and every Friday night.

In addition to Friday nights, many officials also work freshman and junior varsity games on Thursday, and will often work games on the weekend – whether it be small college all the way down to youth games – to give those young people on the field the best officiating possible.

Past editions
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