Official Results

August 15, 2017

We enjoy some privileges serving on the Michigan High school Athletic Association staff. However, one privilege we do not have is to ignore rules when we don’t enjoy their application.

One of the rules of Michigan school sports for very many years is that there is no protest of or appeal to the decisions of contest officials. Whether it is a traveling call in basketball, a safe/out call in baseball or softball, a five-yard illegal motion call, a 10-yard holding call, or a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct call in football with player or coach ejection, the call is final; and if the penalty calls for next-game disqualification, that is final too.

If after a contest, an official wishes he or she could take back a call, it’s too late. If after a contest, folks pressure an official to rescind the next-game disqualification, the outcome is unchanged: ejection from one contest for unsportsmanlike conduct requires suspension from the next day of competition.

The finality of high school officials’ calls has been challenged multiple times in courts across the country – twice in Michigan – and the nearly unanimous result nationwide has been that judges will not allow themselves to become super-referees, second guessing onsite contest officials.

On some higher levels of sports – e.g., college and professional – where there are dozens of cameras covering a handful of contests each week, league offices may review some decisions. But our level of sports lacks sophisticated cameras positioned at all angles, and it involves many hundreds of contests in several different sports every week. We have neither the time nor the technology at every venue to be involved in reviewing the calls of contest officials.

Last school year, there were nearly 1,000 player ejections and more than 200 coach ejections. School sports is not equipped to review 30 to 40 of these situations that arise each week; nor should we do so.

Officials see a play and make an instantaneous decision. Their calls are final; and living with the outcome is one of the valuable lessons we try to teach and learn in school-based sports.

Be the Referee: Softball Interference

By Paige Winne
MHSAA Marketing & Social Media Coordinator

June 6, 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 – Softball Interference - Listen

We’re on the softball diamond today for a “You Make the Call.”

Runners are on the corners with no outs. The batter hits the first pitch in the air and into foul territory near the first-base line.

The runner on first interferes with the first basewoman attempting to make the catch, and the ball falls to the ground.

What’s the call?

  • Is it the runner on first and the batter are out?
  • The batter is out and the runner stays at first?
  • Or the ball is dead immediately, the runner on first is out and the batter is charged with a foul ball?

If you said the ball is dead immediately when the interference takes place and that the runner is out, with the batter returning to the batter’s box with a one-strike count … you made the right call!

Previous Editions:

May 30: Officials Registration - Listen
May 23: Soccer Offsides or Goal? -
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 by Gary Shook.