Counting On Officials

August 26, 2014

It is sometimes the most maligned who do the most good; and that might be said of high school sports officials.
Many MHSAA registered officials are key contributors to the quality of life in their communities; and as a group, MHSAA registered officials are key contributors to pediatric medical care in this state.
This year is the tenth that the MHSAA has been engaging its 11,000 registered officials in raising funds for Michigan’s four Children’s Miracle Network facilities: Beaumont Children’s Hospital, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, Sparrow Hospital and Hurley Medical Center.
Primarily through voluntary self-assessments during their annual registration process, officials have contributed approximately $60,000 to these four facilities.

In addition, a half dozen local officials associations have developed programs that regularly support their closest CMN facility. For example:

  • The Metro Detroit Officials Association sponsors the Referees for Reading Program at Beaumont where monies raised help fund a pediatric ward book cart which is replenished annually with new titles for patients and parents to enjoy. The MDOA has sent its members to the pediatric unit to read to young patients. This year, the Eighth Annual MDOA Officials for Kids Golf Outing was held in Livonia, benefiting Beaumont Children’s Hospital and the reading program.

  • The West Michigan Officials Association has included Officials for Kids in its annual community service initiatives for several years, assisting with a Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital event for visually impaired pediatric patients in Grand Rapids.

  • The West Michigan Volleyball Officials Association has used the proceeds of an annual volleyball invitational it hosts to support Officials for Kids.

  • Several associations, including the Capital Area Officials Association this spring, have sponsored a “Give-A-Game” event during the season where all officials on the same day contribute their game fees to Officials for Kids.

People can say what they want about sports officials. For my part, if my car breaks down anywhere in Michigan and I’m in need of quick assistance, I’ll check my officials directory. I know there will be an official nearby that I can count on.

Be the Referee: Officials Registration

By Sam Davis
MHSAA Officials Coordinator

May 30, 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 – Officials Registration - Listen

We talk a lot about the need for registered officials. But how do you sign up? What does it take to become a referee, umpire, or judge?

The steps are simple. Go to to the Officials Tab, and identify the sport or sports you are interested in. Next, complete the MHSAA Principals of Officiating and the Officials Guidebook exams.

The Officials Guidebook covers basic elements and procedures for becoming a sports official. This first step of the process covers playing rules, ejection protocols, game assignments, and payment of game fees.

Once you pass the exams, it’s time to connect with a locally-approved officials association. The local associations are the ones that provide the training – whether it’s on the court, on the field, on the mats, or video training – to get that person completely immersed in the rules, mechanics, and coverages of what it takes to become a good official.

Previous Editions:

May 23: Soccer Offsides or Goal? - Listen
May 16: Track & Field Exchange Zones - Listen
May 9: Girls Lacrosse Self-Start - Listen
May 2: Baseball/Softball Overthrow - Listen
April 25: Fifth-Quarter/Third-Half Rule - Listen
April 18: Soccer Referee in Play? - Listen
April 11: Softball Strikeout - Listen
March 14: Basketball Instant Replay - Listen
March 7: Hockey Overtime - Listen
Feb. 28: Baker Bowling - Listen
Feb. 21: Ski Finish - Listen
Feb. 14: Swimming Touchpads - Listen
Feb. 7: In or Out-of-Bounds in Wrestling - Listen
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

PHOTO: Officers confer during a soccer match early this season. (Photo by Chris Mudd/National Photo Scout.)