By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
More than 35 aspiring baseball and softball umpires met for instruction from a number of veteran officials as part of the Mid-Michigan Clinic on Jan. 21 at Bullock Creek High School.
High school-aged umpires who received instruction are part of the MHSAA Legacy Student Officials Program, which works to provide opportunities and mentoring to high schools interested in becoming part of the officiating avocation.
Saturday’s instructors included 10 who worked at the college level and three who worked in the minor leagues last season. The clinic received financial support from the Mecosta-Isabella-Clare, Midland and Bay Metro officials associations, plus all adults who attended including those who presented. All legacy umpires also received indicators, brushes and hats as part of their clinic experience.
“An excellent staff provided a full day of training, and it was wonderful to see so many faces young and old,” said MHSAA assistant director Mark Uyl, who serves as director of officials. “This is one of the largest clinics of its kind in our state, and we’re thankful for the work of all who had a hand in such a great event to provide instruction for our next generation of umpires.”
Officials also received assistance from the Lancers’ baseball and softball programs, and in return all revenues from the clinic were donated to those programs.
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 – Football Finals Replay - Listen
For the second consecutive season, coaches will have the ability to challenge plays during the 11-Player Football Finals. All potential scoring and turnover plays will continue to be automatically reviewed.
But again this year, coaches will be allowed to challenge one play per regulation and one in overtime, with some restrictions.
First, a team must have a timeout available and call it to initiate a review.
Second, there are a limited number of items that can be reviewed. Those include catch or no catch. Ball carrier in or out of bounds. Forward or backward pass. And a handful of others.
If successful, the coach will be given back the timeout.
In overtime, coaches can challenge once, no matter how many overtime periods are played – and only if they have a timeout.
Nov. 14: Volleyball Unplayable Areas - Listen
Nov. 7: Pass/Kick Off Crossbar - Listen
Oct. 31: Cross Country Interference - Listen
Oct. 24: Soccer Overtime - Listen
Oct. 17: Tennis Spin - Listen
Oct. 10: Blocked Kick - Listen
Oct. 3: Volleyball Double & Lift - Listen
Sept. 26: Registration Process - Listen
Sept. 20: Animal Interference - Listen
Sept. 13: Feet Rule on Soccer Throw-In - Listen
Sept. 6: Volleyball Jewelry - Listen
Aug. 30: Football Rules Similarities - Listen
Aug. 23: Football Rules Differences - Listen