The Official View: Steps Away, Starts Anew

By Brent Rice
MHSAA Assistant Director

October 29, 2018

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 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.