Be the Referee - Unique Kickoff Option

September 27, 2018

This week, MHSAA officials coordinator Sam Davis explains a little-known option unique to high school football regarding kickoffs. 

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 – Unique Kickoff Option - Listen

Here’s a football rule you may not know about or have ever seen applied. 

After a touchdown or a field goal, the opponent of the scoring team may designate which team kicks off. That’s right! The team just allowing the points can decide who will kick off.

Now why would a team want to do that? Strategically, a team may elect to pin the other team deep in its own end with its own kicker late in a close game rather than risk successfully receiving an onside kick. 

Though it is not often used by teams, it is a very clever way to manage the game. I’m sure the national rules makers had other reasons, but now you know about a unique rule that’s unique to high school football.

Past editions

September 20: Uncatchable Pass - Listen
September 13: Soccer Rules Change - Listen
September 6: You Make the Call: Face Guarding - Listen
August 30: 40-Second Play Clock - Listen
August 23: Football Rules Changes - 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