The Official View: It's In Our Blood

By Brent Rice
MHSAA Assistant Director

September 10, 2019

Some have said that officiating has to be in your blood.

The avocation runs through the veins of nearly 10,000 officials in this state, and “The Official View” returns this week not only to inform those valuable contributors to school sports, but also to provide an inside look at some of the people wearing the stripes – including a daughter who has followed her dad onto the court.

It’s Official!

The MHSAA Officials Guidebook is the main source for rules and regulations and policies and procedures to which MHSAA Registered Officials are to adhere. For the first time in several years, the document has been updated and revised for clarification and the removal of redundancies. It also has a new look and format that will hopefully make it easier for officials to read and review. The updated Guidebook can be found by CLICKING HERE.

Officials Bulletins for the fall season have started. Check out your specific officials sports page for this and more. You can find documents, helpful links and sport-specific information. CLICK HERE.

Rule of the Week

VOLLEYBALL After the first set comes to a close, the coach approaches the officials’ table and removes the lineup sheet to prepare the lineup for the next set.

Ruling: This move is legal … between sets. However, the lineup sheet, along with the roster sheet, must remain at the officials’ table throughout each set.

It’s Your Call

FOOTBALL This week’s clip questions the legality of a block. In the video, No. 64 in white immediately at the snap cut blocks No. 54 in blue.

Is this a legal block? What’s the call?

Official View: A Family Tradition

Interested in getting a job before she headed off to college, Frankenmuth native Megan Jarlock noticed it was difficult to find one that fit around her busy schedule and that could give her the level of saving (or spending) money she sought.

She started officiating at the suggestion of her dad, Mark, who has served as an MHSAA official for nearly 20 years himself. Mark informed Megan she could make twice as much per hour officiating as she could working in traditional college-student jobs, and she could determine for herself what games she did and didn’t want to accept.

Besides the side cash and schedule convenience, officiating provides Megan additional benefits as well. Megan is able to remain around sports she loves, stay active and keep healthy and happy. She officiates volleyball in the fall and basketball in the winter, and has even done some softball in the spring. The most important thing, though, is that she gets to officiate with her dad.

“I am also very lucky to have my dad by my side to help me learn and grow as an official and a person,” says Megan.

One of the best parts of working with her dad is the car rides, where they have a chance to catch up on each other’s busy lives. And like a lot of mentor officials, Mark often takes his daughter out to dinner after the game to discuss things she did well and areas she can improve. She is grateful for the ability to share time with her dad, both doing what they love.

Of her dad and experience, Megan said, “He is a great sports official, but an even better father and role model. I’m really enjoying being an official, and these are the moments with my family that I will remember for the rest of my life.”

PHOTO: Megan Jarlock and her dad, Mark, prepare to work an MHSAA contest. (Photo provided by the Jarlock family.)

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.