Michigan High School Athletic Association seeks more game officials

By Journal Sports Staff

EAST LANSING — The Michigan High School Athletic Association is accepting registration online or by mail for game officials for the 2021-22 school year.

The MHSAA annually receives registrations from more than 9,000 officials, but in part due to COVID-19 precautions had just 7,968 during the 2020-21 school year — a decrease of nearly 14 percent from 2019-20.

That’s according to a news release from the high school sports governing body last week.

“We are thankful for the leadership shown by our officials as they worked together to provide coverage of all levels of school sports events during this unpredictable year, but certainly we’re looking forward to refilling our ranks and taking some of the pressure off the many officials who worked nearly daily during the pandemic seasons,” said MHSAA assistant director Brent Rice, who supervises the officials program.

“With the elimination of restrictions this spring and the return of full schedules anticipated this fall, there’s no better time for experienced officials to return and those interested in registering for the first time to become part of this essential and valued group.”

For all new and returning officials, those who register online again will receive a $5 discount off their processing fees. A $16 fee is charged for each sport in which an official wishes to register, and the online processing fee is $40. Officials submitting registration forms by mail or on a walk-up basis will incur a $45 processing fee.

Officials registered in 2020-21 will be assessed a late fee of $30 for registration after Aug. 15. The processing fee includes liability insurance coverage of up to $1 million for officials while working contests involving MHSAA schools.

Online registration can be accessed by clicking “Officials” on the home page of the MHSAA website at https://www.mhsaa.com. Forms also are available online that can be printed and submitted by traditional mail to the MHSAA Office at 1661 Ramblewood Drive in East Lansing.

More information about officials’ registration is available from the MHSAA by phone at (517) 332-5046 or e-mail at register@mhsaa.com.

There is an officials’ registration test for first-time officials and officials who were not registered during the past school year. The test is derived from the MHSAA Officials Guidebook, which also is available on the Officials page of the MHSAA website.

Additional exams must be taken by those registering for football or basketball for the first time or those who were not registered for those sports during the previous school year. Manuals for both sports are available on the Officials page.

New officials and those who didn’t officiate during 2020-21 also must complete the online MHSAA Principles of Officiating course, also available on the MHSAA website.

There also are opportunities to officiate for students at least 14 years old and in grades 9-12 through the MHSAA Legacy Program. Juniors and seniors may officiate sub-varsity contests, while freshmen and sophomores may officiate contests at the middle school or junior high levels. Mentor officials will work events with Legacy participants to provide guidance and support. Find information on the Legacy Program by clicking “Register Now” on the Officials page of the MHSAA website.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.