The Official View: Just the Beginning

By Brent Rice
MHSAA Assistant Director

September 24, 2018

This week’s “Official” View features a Legacy official who received a couple of very cool letters of encouragement from some very important people in recognition of his first MHSAA football contest.

Noah Lewis, out of Iron River, plays wingback and cornerback for West Iron County. This past Thursday night he served as a head linesman for a subvarsity game with close monitoring from his dad from the sidelines and the rest of the crew.

However, letters from NFL veterans Ed Hochuli and Bill Carollo also provided him some unexpected sage advice. Hochuli told Noah to “Just relax and have fun,” while Carollo offered to be there for Lewis for guidance or to provide a listening ear.

It’s Official!

Report Writing 101: Officials should be submitting incident reports whenever documenting ejections, unusual situations, or sportsmanship praises or concerns. While we certainly don’t need reports that would challenge Dickens in the writing department (we do get some of these), we do need enough detail that a clear picture is painted of the event for those administrators and directors in the Association office who are not present for the actual incident.

The who, what, where, when, and why of writing all apply. We need to know who is involved (name and number), what occurred leading up to the incident, when it occurred during the contest and why the official took the action he or she did.

Language counts … while we appreciate your discreetness when foul language occurs, please write what was said and done in detail – this includes writing out profanities in the report rather than “#^$*@^~!” or “bleeping.”

As Joe Friday would say, “Just the facts.” We don’t need any fluff or opinion. This means you don’t need to say that the play was close, that you got it right, the day was “blustery” or that “the coach was clearly out of control.” Tell us just the things we need to know to create the setting and what was said and done that led to your action.

Finally, you must complete the report within 48 hours of the end of the contest. Sooner would be better. There is nothing worse than trying to speak to a coach or administrator about an incident when we don’t even have the side of the official(s) yet.

P.S. Run your report through spell and grammar check before submitting if you have the opportunity.

Rule of the Week

CROSS COUNTRY One of the visiting coaches approaches the referee and points out to her where logs have been placed across the course to make it more challenging. This coach objects to these artificial barriers.

Ruling: These artificial barriers on the course must be removed so the course is clear of these obstructions.

It’s Your Call

FOOTBALL This week we look at the enforcement of the blindside block foul in football. It’s 3rd-and-21 on Team A’s 26-yard line. The slot receiver, #8 for white, clearly commits a blindside block in violation of the rules. With forceful contact, he blocks an opponent who does not see the blocker approaching.

One of the keys to look for in this play on the field is offensive players returning back towards the line of scrimmage. The question this week is: What is the down and distance if Team B (a) accepts (b) declines the penalty?

Last Week’s IYC Ruling: The swimmer did not make a legal turn since he took additional strokes after turning toward the breast. While swimmers may turn and independently kick or glide after their head passes the backstroke flags, they may not take any additional arm pulls other than in the actual turning action (8-2-f-1).

The Official View

Here's a closer look at those notes received by Noah Lewis, the aspiring Legacy Program official from Iron River:

Be the Referee: Over the Back

By Sam Davis
MHSAA Officials Coordinator

January 31, 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 – Over the Back - Listen

Did you know there is no such thing as “over the back” in basketball? If two players are going for a rebound and the player behind another player is able to grab it over the top of the player in front – that’s not necessarily a foul. He or she did not go over the back.

The player behind another player may have committed a foul such as bumping the player in front, or pushing that player – gaining an advantage to grab the rebound – but that would be whistled for a push or grab. Not over the back.

A taller player or player who can jump higher grabbing a rebound is not a foul. It’s only a foul if they create an advantage by pushing, bumping, or any other kind of illegal contact while in the process of going for a rebound. Fans yell over the back all the time, but an official will never call a foul for going over the back.

Previous Editions:

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