The Official View: All in This Together

By Brent Rice
MHSAA Assistant Director

November 5, 2018

“The Official View” has received significant positive feedback, from both officials and non-officials – and we thank you for your interest in learning more about this essential avocation.

This week, we discuss a promising effort to recruit Legacy officials and another “get-to-know-you” opportunity at MHSAA Sportsmanship Summits, plus dive into rules scenarios in volleyball and swimming.

It’s Official!

MHSAA officials will be presenting over the coming weeks at the annual Sportsmanship Summits held around the state. Renewed focus will be concentrated on the effect that poor sportsmanship has on the challenge of recruiting and retaining officials. Discussions will be led by noted officials in those areas to allow students to discuss the concerns and solutions to these issues.

Improving sportsmanship is a priority of the MHSAA Officials Program, and officials should be looking for new initiatives to support this goal. They include new policies on protecting officials, providing schools with framework to institute a Game Day Ambassadors Program, “Official Thanks” nights and several others.

Some efforts already have proven successful. “The Official View” continues to serve its purpose in humanizing the folks that officiate MHSAA contests. On that note, keep sending those photos and stories to [email protected] for features in The Official View. Ideally, submissions will be for in-season sports and include photo(s). Don’t forget to add the who, what, where, and when.

Rule of the Week

VOLLEYBALL As A1 tosses the ball in the air to serve, she realizes she is the improper server and catches the ball in attempt to force a re-serve. The proper server (A2) then immediately takes her place and makes a legal serve, scoring a point. A2’s toss for her second serve is bad and she catches the ball.

Ruling: This is an illegal serve and loss of rally/point. The re-serve privilege was used up by A1 since this was during A2’s term of service.

It’s Your Call

SWIMMING In the clip, the swimmer in Lane 5 begins to stray in her backstroke and ends up incidentally contacting the lane divider. She ultimately continues and wins the race. What’s the call?

Last Week’s IYC Ruling: In the clip, as the attacker and the keeper approach the ball, the attacker strikes the keeper’s ear. Since this is outside of the penalty area, a direct free kick would be awarded and the attacker would be assessed a yellow card. (Click to see last week's video.)

Official View: We’re All in This Together

The MHSAA Legacy Program has produced some terrific officials since its inception in 1992, many of whom are still officials today. We feel that recruiting eager and qualified officials is a collective partnership between the MHSAA, schools and officials associations around the state.

For our part, the MHSAA offers a reduced registration fee for enrolled-student officials to get them started into officiating. We suggest that the schools and associations further alleviate these new officials from their startup costs by taking on this reduced fee. Schools benefit because they can then utilize these officials’ services at middle school and junior high school contests, and associations benefit because they are able to add a new official to their rosters for years to come.

Fowlerville has taking the lead in this area by recently hosting a Legacy clinic where veteran officials were paired with newly registered (paid for by Fowlerville Schools) Legacy officials and assigned to a volleyball match with local middle school Red Cedar League teams. This event allowed experienced mentor officials to provide on-the-spot constructive feedback in live game scenarios.

Other schools are following suit by hosting clinics and other events to draw new officials into the fold, including adding curriculum in officiating to next year’s course load. Schools interested in adding officiating to their curriculum can contact Brent Rice of the MHSAA for a curriculum outline and guides to make it a success.

PHOTOS: (Top) Fowlerville Legacy officials and mentors work a recent middle school volleyball match; left to right: John Garrison, Kelli Hart, Lindsey Darby, Jackie Jarvis, Dalaija Franklin, Rodney Horton and Tyler Hover. (Middle) Hart (mentor) instructs Franklin, far right, while Darby shadows. (Photos courtesy of the Fowlerville athletic department.)

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.)