Be the Referee: Respect for Referees

January 1, 2016

This week, MHSAA assistant director Mark Uyl discusses the importance of respecting the referees who are learning as well while working with our youngest athletes.

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 - Respect for Referees - Listen

Over the past three years, I’ve gotten to attend my share of middle school athletic events with my oldest two children being involved in a variety of sports at this level.

In just about every game, there have been times where I have shaken my head in watching how the some of the adults involved conduct themselves, especially those adults sitting in the stands.

Middle school sports should have the focus of kids participating, learning the game and having fun. In these games, you have the most inexperienced players, newer coaches and often times officials just starting out. Everyone is learning at this level, and a critical eye could identify numerous things done by each of these groups that could be improved upon.

Adult spectators at subvarsity games need to be positive people … cheer for your team and child, and avoid the second-guessing and criticism of officials. We need to give these officials a chance to gain experience and become a good referee.

Past editions:
Dec. 24: Basketball Instant Replay - Listen
Dec. 17: Basketball Communication - Listen
Dec. 10: Basketball Excessive Contact - Listen
Nov. 26: Pregame Communication - Listen
Nov. 19: Trick Plays - Listen
Nov. 12: 7-Person Football Mechanics - Listen
Nov. 5: Make the Call: Personal Fouls - Listen
Oct. 29: Officials Demographics - Listen
Oct. 15: Make the Call: Intentional Grounding - Listen
Oct. 8: Playoff Selection - Listen
Oct. 1: Kick Returns - Listen
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: 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