By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Lyle Berry began this track season with about 10-12 events on his officiating schedule.
But when administrators he’s known for decades called for help, that slate quickly doubled in size for this year’s MHSAA Vern L. Norris Award winner.
The Rockford resident has been an official for more than a half century, and was honored for his service at Saturday’s annual Officials’ Awards & Alumni Banquet at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing.
Second Half caught up with Berry a few minutes before he left for another track meet Monday. Click for our Q&A session, including conversation about what keeps him coming back every season and how he continues to mentor and recruit of new officials.
Berry has been a long-time member of both the West Michigan Officials Association and the Association of Track Officials of Michigan. He received ATOM’s Presidential Leadership Award in 2009 and its Bob Bloomer Award in 2010. Berry was the WMOA Basketball Official of the Year in 1988. Next month he'll return to the Division 3 Track and Field Finals, and later this month will officiate Division 1 and 2 Regionals.
Previous recipients of the Norris Award are:
1992 – Ted Wilson, East Detroit
1993 – Fred Briggs, Burton
1994 – Joe Brodie, Flat Rock
1995 – Jim Massar, Flint
1996 – Jim Lamoreaux, St. Ignace
1997 – Ken Myllyla, Escanaba
1998 – Blake Hagman, Kalamazoo
1999 – Richard Kalahar, Jackson
2000 – Barb Beckett, Traverse City; Karl Newingham, Bay City
2001 – Herb Lipschultz, Kalamazoo
2002 – Robert Scholie, Hancock
2003 – Ron Nagy, Hazel Park
2004 – Carl Van Heck, Grand Rapids
2005 – Bruce Moss, Alma
2006 – Jeanne Skinner, Grand Rapids
2007 – Terry Wakeley, Grayling
2008 – Will Lynch, Honor
2009 – James Danhoff, Richland
2010 – John Juday Sr., Petoskey
2011 – Robert Williams, Redford
PHOTO: Lyle Berry speaks to the audience during Saturday's Officials’ Awards & Alumni Banquet at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing.
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
There’s a change to the instant replay process for the Football Finals at Ford Field.
All potential scoring and turnover plays will continue to be automatically reviewed. But new this year, coaches will be allowed to challenge one play per regulation, with some restrictions.
First, a team must have a time-out 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 and can make one more challenge in regulation.
In overtime, coaches can challenge once, no matter how many overtime periods are played – and only if they have a time out.
Nov. 11: Back Row Illegal Blocker - Listen
Nov. 4: Swim Turn Judges - Listen
Oct. 25: Soccer Referee Jersey Colors - Listen
Oct. 18: Cross Country Tie-Breaker - Listen
Oct. 11: Soccer Shootouts - Listen
Oct. 11: Safety in End Zone - Listen
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