The Official View: We Are Family

By Brent Rice
MHSAA Assistant Director

September 8, 2020

Camaraderie – and a feeling of being part of a bigger sports family – is among draws for nearly 10,000 officials who register with the MHSAA each school year.

As “The Official View” returns today for the 2020-21 school year, we feature a trio of sisters who have embraced the avocation and also announce a social media opportunity to further draw Michigan’s officiating community together as we play again for the first time in nearly half a year.

It’s Official!

Officials Awards and Alumni Banquet: Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get together this spring as a group for the annual Officials Awards and Alumni Banquet. Because of the importance of recognizing officials for their service, dedication and contributions to the MHSAA, John Johnson and Faye Verellen-Brown in our office created an excellent virtual stand-in for the traditional banquet. Check out the short video montage HERE.

For those receiving 20-, 30-, 40-, 45- and 50-year service awards, they have been received in the MHSAA office after a delay in production by our supplier due to COVID-19, and they are being sent to you via USPS.

Mark your calendars for May 8, 2021. This is the scheduled date for next year’s Officials Awards and Alumni Banquet. Plan on joining us in person to honor and recognize accomplishments by MHSAA officials across the state.

Officials Deadlines: The registration deadline for officials has been extended until Sept. 14. Consideration for further extensions will be made as necessary.

Other officials deadlines (i.e., MIGS, schedule submission, rules meetings and exams as applicable) for all fall sports remain in place for Sept. 17. The MHSAA has provided Local Approved Associations with flexibility for the 50 percent minimum-attendance requirement. Officials in those sports should submit the schedule they were assigned to start the season. While this may change as the season progresses, it will suffice for the purpose of providing the MHSAA with the assignments each official receives.

MHSAA Officials Facebook Page: To better engage and communicate with officials, the MHSAA has created a Facebook page specifically for all things officiating. Here, you’ll be able to get updates, connect with other officials and discuss rules, mechanics and plays for the high school sports you officiate. Please take some time to connect with us and others by visiting this new resource HERE.

Know Your Rules

FOOTBALL In high school football, in what ways can a team score using a kick?

Ruling: There are two categories of kicks – free kicks and scrimmage kicks. Free kicks include kickoffs (place kick or drop kick), safety kicks (place kick, drop kick or punt) and fair-catch kicks (place kick or drop kick). Of these, only fair-catch kicks can score (because the receiving team may attempt a field goal from the spot of the catch).

Scrimmage kicks include field goals (place kick or drop kick), tries (place kick or drop kick) and punts (punt). Of these, only field goals and tries can score.

NOTE: In high school an attempted field goal that does not score has the same effect as a punt.

It’s Your Call

SOCCER This newest IYC involves a trick play by the team in red. On this corner kick, players of the red team begin running out of play and around the back of the net. Then, one of those players reenters the field just as the corner kick is made, heading the ball into the net. Does the goal count? What’s the call?


The Official View: We are Family

If you were to ask any of the Bedrosian sisters a way that young women can stay physically active, learn skills that can be applied to their daily lives and make some money doing it, they undoubtedly would tell you “officiating.”

Each of the women (Sara Bauman, Leslie Bedrosian and Alex Bedrosian), who all graduated from New Lothrop, spend much of their winters on the hardcourt doing just that – officiating MHSAA basketball games. And last season, before COVID-19 caused a premature end to the basketball season, the sisters were able to work a three-person crew together for the first time.

Sara, 23, said she started officiating after meeting veteran official Mike Clark, and as a way to stay connected to the game she loved. “At that point in my life I had already coached, but I wanted something closer to what it felt like to play,” said Bauman, now a third-year law student at the MSU College of Law.

Leslie and Alex, both current college students themselves, said they each started officiating after following in their older sister footsteps and for similar reasons. Leslie said, “I love being a part of the game. In addition, refereeing has been my income while I attend college. I’m thankful for all of the friendships and connections I’ve made and the people I’ve met who are appreciative of the work that goes into officiating.”

The impact officiating has had on their lives is not lost on the sisters. Alex, 19, looks at officiating as a challenge.

“Being a female official can be tough, but I feel like it only makes me more confident and has given me a desire to show people what I am capable of doing,” says the youngest Bedrosian sister.

Similarly, 20-year-old Leslie says that officiating has “helped me become more assertive, ready to talk to people and handle difficult situations head on.”

Sara said she hopes displaying those same traits will inspire women to also take up officiating: “It is truly the best feeling to have a female player come up to you in awe because they have yet to have a female officiate (her) game.”

This trio of officiating sisters gives credit for their quick starts to the camps they attended and all of the veteran mentor officials who have helped them along the way, namely Clark and Sharon Sawyers. Bauman and the Bedrosians are committed to continued improvement, working their way up the high school ranks and maybe even working at the college level. It’s clear they enjoy everything officiating has to offer, and we expect long and successful careers from all of them.

If you have an interesting story or an official you’d like to see featured, send details and pictures to

PHOTO: Sisters Leslie Bedrosian (left), Sara Bauman (middle) and Alex Bedrosian are MHSAA-registered basketball officials and last year worked together as a crew for the first time. (Photo by Ashley Breiler.)

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