The Official View: Steps Away, Starts Anew

By Brent Rice
MHSAA Assistant Director

October 29, 2018

By Brent Rice
MHSAA Assistant Director

As “Official View” returns this week, we say good-bye and a big thank you to a longtime football official – but only for the fall as he’ll be continuing to serve on basketball courts in southwestern Michigan.

We also consider a few soccer scenarios and explain changes on the way at designed in part to provide more resources for officials.

It’s Official!

The use of regular bulletins for officials in each sport was rolled out for this past fall season in football, soccer and volleyball. Each of these weekly bulletins provides readers with a few topical items (rules and mechanics) which includes common issues observed, points of emphasis or tips, and hints. It also provides a rules challenge and other tidbits of beneficial information in the specific sport. Full implementation of this tool will be started this winter in basketball, competitive cheer, gymnastics, hockey, swimming and wrestling.

Expect to see some changes in the coming weeks to the Officials page of the MHSAA website. The primary goal of this revamp is to reduce redundancy, separate and organize general officials information from sport-specific information and provide a new resource area for each sport’s officials to receive bulletins, approved rulings and interpretations and to access the new video rules library currently in development. If there are specific things you would like to see included, please let assistant director Brent Rice know.

Rule of the Week

SOCCER During A1’s throw-in, the ball first hits the touchline and then continues immediately out of play.

Ruling: This is a legal throw-in and Team B will be awarded a throw-in at the spot at which the ball left play.

It’s Your Call

SOCCER This week’s clip has the attacker in white and defender in blue racing to retrieve a ball headed near (but just outside) the penalty area. The goalkeeper charges and both he and the attacker attempt to make a play on the ball. What’s the call?

Last Week’s IYC Ruling: Last week we were presented with a prime example of how not to run the “Swinging Gate” formation from scrimmage. The play had a number of potential fouls – let’s run through them (click to see the video):

• Illegal formation – Snapper’s shoulders must be squared to the line of scrimmage.

• Illegal formation – It appears only the snapper is on the line of scrimmage. This leaves 10 in the backfield.

• Illegal shift – While the cluster of players are attempting to get set, the near receiver goes in motion. The ball is snapped without having all 11 set for at least one second.

• False start – The back that receives the snap starts to move before the snap.

Official View: A Step Back

For the last 42 years, Wayne Patterson has roamed the high school gridirons serving as a strong, hardworking and dependable official, crewmate and mentor to young officials. Patterson has decided that after years and years of fall Fridays blocked on the calendar, it’s time to spend more time with his family and allow other officials to take his place.

It’s not a step out though, only a step back. He will continue to officiate both boys and girls basketball in the winter, working alongside his daughter.

In the adjacent photo, Patterson sits with his regular crew for a postgame meal and discussion. The crew took the top photo together during his final career football game, at Sturgis High School. (Top photo, from left: Mitch Reynolds, Pete VanGeisen, Wayne Patterson, Tim Latta and Mike McKenzie).

Be the Referee: Softball Base Runner Interference

By Paige Winne
MHSAA Marketing & Social Media Coordinator

April 23, 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 – Softball Interference - Listen

We’re on the softball diamond today, and we’ve got runners on the corners with one out. The batter hits a pop-up in foul territory near the first base line. The runner on first interferes with the first baseplayer attempting to make the catch. What’s the call?

  • If the pop-up is caught, both the batter and runner on first are out?
  • The batter is out and the runner on first stays at first?
  • The ball is ruled dead immediately, the runner on first is out and it’s a foul ball to the batter?
  • Or, if the pop-up is caught, the batter is out and interference is ignored?

If you said it’s an immediate dead ball – you are correct. The runner on first is ruled out for interference and the batter is charged with a foul ball.

Previous Editions

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