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: Soccer Offside

By Paige Winne
MHSAA Marketing & Social Media Coordinator

June 4, 2024

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 – Soccer Offside - Listen

We have an offside situation in soccer to talk about today. The offense sends a long pass from their own half of the field to a teammate way down at the defensive team’s 18-yard line … but she’s offside.

The assistant referee raises her flag and the referee blows her whistle for offside, and an indirect free kick is given to the defense. Where do they take the kick from?

  • Is it the spot where the offside player was when the assistant referee raised her flag?
  • The spot where the ball was when play was stopped?
  • The point of the infraction?
  • Or the spot from where the ball was originally passed?

If you said “at the point of the infraction” you are correct. In this case, the defense gets an indirect free kick where the offside occurred.

Previous Editions

May 28: Appeal Play - Listen
May 21: Lacrosse Foul in Critical Scoring Area - Listen
May 14: Avoiding the Tag - Listen
May 7: Baseball Pitch Count - Listen
April 30: Boys Lacrosse Helmets - Listen
April 23: Softball Interference - Listen
April 16: Soccer Red Card - Listen
April 9: Batted Baseball Hits Runner - Listen
March 12: Basketball Replay - Listen
March 5: Hockey Officials - Listen
Feb. 27: Less Than 5 - Listen
Feb. 20: Air Ball - Listen
Feb. 13: Hockey Penalties - Listen
Jan. 30: Wrestling Tiebreakers - Listen
Jan. 23: Wrestling Technology - Listen
Jan. 9: 3 Seconds - Listen
Dec. 19: Unsuspecting Hockey Hits - Listen
Dec. 12: No More One-And-Ones - Listen
Nov. 21: Football Finals Replay - Listen
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

(Photo by Gary Shook.)