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  • February 08, 2018 5:59 AM | Deleted user
    Ken Priest Honored by SLOA Board of Directors

    I am very pleased to announce that Ken Priest has been unanimously selected to receive the:

    • 2018 SLOA Board of Directors "Hall of Fame" Choice Award

    Ken will honored at the spring banquet and his name will added to the distinguished rolls of the SLOA Hall of Fame.
  • January 11, 2018 7:43 AM | Deleted user

    January 10, 2018 / Athletic Administration • Football

    The National Federation of State High School Association’s Football Rules Committee meets in less than two weeks, and among the considerations will be adding a play clock and the use of instant replay.

    Bob Colgate, the NFHS director of sports and sports medicine, said at this month’s American Football Coaches Association convention that the committee will consider 47 proposals during its three-day meeting, beginning Jan. 19 in Indianapolis.

    Two of the most anticipated considerations are the use of instant replay and the addition of a 40-second play clock. Colgate said the latter was rejected last year by a single vote.

    Colorado, Michigan and Indiana in 2016 began using a 40-second play clock as part of a three-year experimental program. Texas, which follows NCAA rules, has been using it since 2014.

    Few schools have had the opportunity to use instant replay, which would likely be more complicated than implementing a standardized play clock. In 2016, the Alabama High School Athletic Association partnered with Hudl to experiment with instant replay during two spring football games. State officials planned to analyze the results and gather feedback from coaches.

    Instant replay could be a hefty expense for schools, especially for those that already struggle to adequately fund their programs.

    In 2016, Coach & Athletic Director polled coaches and athletic administrators, asking whether instant replay should be used in high school sports. More than 80 percent said “no.”

    “There are enough controversial calls that cause fans and coaches to behave inappropriately, without adding overturned calls and delays for fans to get more excitable,” said one reader. “Referees live in the community, they work, and some fans and coaches have difficulty drawing the line that allows for safety and security for all, as it is now with no replays.”

  • August 14, 2017 7:07 AM | Deleted user

      PDF File Copy of 2017 Rules Meeting

    2017 Interpretations Meeting (JKR).pdf

  • April 15, 2017 5:17 PM | Deleted user
    Recruiting, Retaining Officials Challenges State Associations

    By Tim Leighton 

    Long odds stare at an official before he or she even takes that first step onto a court, field or sheet of ice. New officials face a journey filled with criticism and angst that, ultimately, lead most to quickly and defiantly blow the final whistle on the avocation.

    The rewards of officiating aren’t immediately realized in the face of sportsmanship issues that have created an exodus of officials that is at an alarming rate.

    National surveys reveal an average of about only two out of every 10 officials return for their third year of officiating. The low return rate is paving the way to a nationwide shortage of officials that has high school administrators scrambling to cover games. It is also prompting high school associations across the country to formulate creative ways to retain the officials they have rostered.

    “Year 3 is when we cross our fingers,” said Mark Uyl, an assistant director with the Michigan High School Athletic Association. “It is like the freshman year in college. It is a make-or-break kind of year. Every state association in the country is feeling the effects of an officials’ shortage. It is getting harder and harder, not only to recruit new officials, but to retain them for years to come. That is the challenge that confronts us.”

    Solutions can’t come soon enough for Matt Percival, the activities director at Eastview High School in Apple Valley, Minnesota, in suburban Minneapolis-St. Paul. With game-time looming, it is common for Percival to be scrambling, moving quickly to fill officiating vacancies, primarily at the sub-varsity levels.

    Percival said moving games to different days of the week has been implemented, and this travel may continue to ensure that games will be staffed with officials.

    “The problem isn’t new,” he said. “It’s gotten progressively worse over the years. One of the most stressful things for an AD is when officials aren’t assigned or don’t show up. When that happens, no one benefits.”

    Programs to combat the challenges of recruiting and retaining officials are popping up throughout the country by state associations.

    The Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) has offered discounted registration fees to new officials, as well as reduced rates when they return for their second and third seasons of officiating. In 2015, the MSHSL launched a “Thank A Ref” campaign encouraging its member schools to show support for officials.

    Schools responded with public-address announcements during games, news releases to newspapers and on-court recognitions. Establishing and strengthening existing mentorship programs with Minnesota officials’ associations is ongoing.

    The MHSAA website is dotted with photos of officials posing with mentees and sharing their purpose statements.

    The South Dakota High School Activities Association advertises the need for officials with a classified adstype section on its website, identifying games that need officials.

    “We are losing officials because of sportsmanship issues from participants, coaches and fans,” said Pete Vrieze, commissioner of the Middle Border Conference in northwestern Wisconsin. “We certainly lose officials to other things as well, but for the most part, on-court issues are driving newer and younger officials away. They say ‘the heck with it’ and aren’t interested in spending their free time in oftentimes volatile situations.”

    Veteran officials and officiating administrators agree that establishing strong mentorship programs are vital to helping new and younger officials cope with negative on-court situations. Those relationships
    help provide stability to a new or younger official and provide a sounding board to help get through troublesome times.

    “When things go south for an official, you’ve got to have that sounding board, someone that knows and understands what they are going through,” Uyl said. “The biggest thing you do as a mentor is listen and then reinforce all of the positives of officiating. Ninety- to 95-percent of the officiating avocation is a great, great thing.”

    Vrieze oversees the mentorship program as the director of basketball operations for the Minneapolis Officials Association, a pioneer organization in Minnesota that for decades has provided football and basketball officials for the MSHSL.

    “As officials, if we don’t get a pat on the back once in awhile, it can be a discouraging thing,” Vrieze said. “We need mentors with passion, someone that wants to help others. We aren’t interested in veteran officials that are worried about losing their assignments to new and younger officials. We need officials to have the mentality that I need to train officials not to replace me, but to work with me.”

    Not advancing through the officiating ranks quickly enough is also contributing to the avocation’s struggles to maintain a strong roster of officials.

    “We are in the ‘I’ generation and them asking why I wasn’t there yesterday,” said Harry Kitts, a retired Minnesota educator who officiated and was an assignor for more than four decades.

    Kitts officiated for four years in Iowa before beginning his officiating journey in Minnesota in the 1969-70 school year. Most of the officials in that era were educators who would work games following the school day. If officials weren’t available, coaches would be recruited to work games.

    Working a doubleheader was commonplace, too. There was no such thing as just a varsity assignment as is the case now. If you were a varsity-caliber official, you were also required to work the B-squad game prior. Kitts said officials accepted all and any assignments given to them, unlike today when officials present specific criteria of the games they will work to their assignor.

    Despite his experience in Iowa, Kitts was not assigned a varsity game in his first season in Minnesota. His first varsity game would not come until his second season. He credits working with a veteran official who gave him his chance to show his skills. Kitts would move on to work 20 MSHSL state tournaments.

    “Officials are too anxious these days to sprint right to the top and to do a state championship game right away,” Kitts said. “Officials need training. They must learn and work their way up, just like anything else. When officials don’t feel like they are climbing the ladder quickly enough, they often quit out of frustration.”

    State association administrators remain focused and diligent that the campaigns to recruit and retain officials will be a success.

    “Our success and experience in officiating give us the confidence moving forward,” Uyl said.

  • April 15, 2017 4:58 PM | Deleted user

    New Blocking, Kicking Rules Address Risk Minimization in High School Football

    By NFHS 

    New rules on blindside blocking are the most recent steps taken by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Football Rules Committee in minimizing the risks associated with the sport.

    The establishment of a new definition of a blindside block in Rule 2-3-10 and the addition of Rule 9-4-3n prohibiting a blindside block were two of 11 rules changes recommended by the NFHS Football Rules Committee at its January 20-22 meeting in Indianapolis. All rules changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

    “The NFHS Football Rules Committee’s actions this year once again addressed risk minimization, officiating, competitive balance and game administration,” said Bob Colgate, director of sports and sports medicine at the NFHS and staff liaison for football.

    The definition of a blindside block established by the committee is “a block against an opponent other than the runner, who does not see the blocker approaching,” and now results in a 15-yard penalty.

    The committee stated that the blindside block “involves contact by a blocker against an opponent who, because of physical positioning and focus of concentration, is vulnerable to injury. Unless initiated with open hands, it is a foul for excessive and unnecessary contact when the block is forceful and outside of the free-blocking zone.”

    “As has been the case for many years, the NFHS Football Rules Committee continued to place their main emphasis on risk minimization,” said Todd Tharp, chair of the NFHS Football Rules Committee and assistant director of the Iowa High School Athletic Association. “With this new definition of a blindside block and the penalty to be assessed, the committee stresses the importance of proper coaching techniques under the rules and accurate enforcement by the game officials.”

    Another significant risk-minimization change was elimination of a pop-up kick in new Rule 6-1-11. A new definition of a pop-up kick in Rule 2-24-10 is defined as “a free kick in which the kicker drives the ball immediately to the ground, the ball strikes the ground once and goes into the air in the manner of a ball kicked directly off the tee.”

    The committee implemented this change in an effort to reduce risk of injury due to the increased use of the pop-up kick on onside kickoffs. Such kicks will be penalized as a dead-ball free-kick infraction, as noted with new Rule 6-1-11 PENALTY.

    The NFHS Football Rules Committee also expanded Rule 2-32-16 regarding a defenseless player by adding specific examples of a defenseless player. Those examples include, but are not limited to:

    a)      A player in the act of or just after throwing a pass;

    b)      A receiver attempting to catch a pass who has not had time to clearly become a runner;

    c)      The intended receiver of a pass in the action during and immediately following an interception or potential interception;

    d)      A runner already in the grasp of a tackler and whose forward progress has been stopped;

    e)      A kickoff or punt returner attempting to catch or recover a kick, or one who has completed a catch or recovery and has not had time to protect himself or has not clearly become a ball carrier;

    f)       A player on the ground including a ball carrier who has obviously given himself up and is sliding feet-first;

    g)      A player obviously out of the play or not in the immediate vicinity of the runner; and

    h)      A player who received a blindside block with forceful contact not initiated with open hands.

    “A great deal of time was spent by the committee creating specific criteria to define exactly what a defenseless player is,” Tharp said. “Coaches can use these examples to focus on the proper mechanics of blocking and tackling, and game officials now are able to use this expanded definition to focus on continued risk minimization of the players.”

    Changes to Rule 7-1-6 expand on the situations required for encroachment to occur after the ready-for-play and after the snapper has placed his hand(s) on the ball. The rule previously stated that encroachment occurred if “any other player breaks the plane of the neutral zone.” In addition, now defensive players are restricted from contacting the ball prior to the end of the snap or making contact with the snapper’s hand(s) or arm(s) until the snapper has released the ball.

    The remaining changes approved by the NFHS Football Rules Committee touched on a new ball specification (1-3-1h), uniforms [(1-5-1b(3)], game officials (1-5-4), post-scrimmage kick fouls (2-16-2h), penalty time clock management (3-4-7), prosthetic limbs (4-2-2l) and forward-pass interference (7-5-10), in which the previous foul for non-contact face guarding was eliminated as forward-pass interference.

    Regarding the uniform change in Rule 1-5-1b(3), effective with the 2021 season, “the jerseys of the home team shall be a dark color that clearly contrasts to white.”

    “The committee revised the rule to provide schools and manufacturers more clarification regarding the game’s current trend of utilizing lighter gray shades,” Colgate said. “The requirement for teams to wear contrasting colors to white is not a new rule, and it is the committee’s expectation that this new clarification will allow changes to be made during normal replacement cycles.”

    A complete listing of all rules changes will be available soon on the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org. Click on “Activities & Sports” at the top of the home page, and select “Football.”

    According to the 2015-16 NFHS High School Athletics Participation Survey, football is the most popular sport for boys at the high school level with 1,083,308 participants in 11-player football. Another combined 28,943 boys participated in 6-, 8- and 9-player football. In addition, 2,140 girls participated in one of the four football offerings during the 2015 season.

  • April 11, 2017 4:33 PM | Deleted user

     Football Rules Changes - 2017

    By NFHS on March 08, 2017

    1-3-1h (NEW):  Added that commercial advertising is not permitted on the ball.

    Rationale:  The ball cannot have commercial advertising added to the surface. The only permissible items on the ball are the ball manufacturer’s name and/or logo; school name, logo and/or mascot; conference name and/or logo; state association name and/or logos; and NFHS name and/or logos.

    1-5-1b(3):  Further clarifies that the jersey of the home team shall be a dark color clearly contrasting to the white jersey required for the visiting team.

    Rationale:  Home game jersey specifications were further revised to provide schools and manufacturers additional clarification regarding the current trend of utilizing lighter gray shades. The implementation date of 2021 affords schools and manufacturers the opportunity to ensure that newer dark jerseys will clearly contrast with white. The requirement for contrasting colors to white is not a new rule, and this new clarification will allow changes to be made during normal replacement cycles.

    1-5-1a(2) NOTE, 1-5-4:  This change nowpermits any of the game officials to accompany the referee to meet with the head coachfor equipment verification.

    Rationale:  Member state associations may determine the game official who is to accompany the referee during the required pre-game meeting with each head coach.

    2-3-10 (NEW), 9-4-3n (NEW), 9-4 PENALTY:  Added a new definition for a blindside block and specifies a penalty for an illegal blindside block.

    Rationale:  Continuing with the focus on risk minimization, the committee created a definition for a blindside block. This block involves contact by a blocker against an opponent who, because of physical positioning and focus of concentration, is vulnerable to injury. Unless initiated with open hands, it is a foul for excessive and unnecessary contact when the block is forceful and outside of the free-blocking zone.

    2-16-2h:  Clarified that illegal participation fouls by R occurring during the kick are now enforced under post-scrimmage kick fouls.

    Rationale:  Illegal participation fouls by R occurring during the kick are now enforced under post-scrimmage kick fouls. Illegal substitution and illegal participation fouls by R occurring at the snap continue to be enforced from the previous spot.

    2-24-10 (NEW), 6-1-11 (NEW), 6-1 PENALTY:  Added a new definition for a pop-up kick and specifies a penalty for a pop-up kick.

    Rationale:  Continuing with the committee’s efforts to minimize risk, a pop-up kickoff has been defined. A pop-up kick is a free kick in which the kicker drives the ball immediately to the ground, the ball strikes the ground once and goes into the air in the manner of a ball kicked directly off the tee. Such kicks will be penalized as a dead-ball free-kick infraction.

    2-32-16:  Expands the definition of a defenseless player by incorporating specific examples.

    Rationale:  The committee adopted specific examples of a defenseless player. By adding these examples, the committee continues to focus on risk minimization and responded to requests on the annual NFHS football rules questionnaire from participating coaches, game officials and state association representatives.

    3-4-7 (NEW):  Added a new option to the offended team to start the clock on the snap for an accepted penalty inside the last two minutes of either half.

    Rationale:  The committee added an option for the offended team on an accepted penalty inside the last two minutes of either half. The referee continues to have the authority to start or stop the clock if a team attempts to conserve or consume time illegally.

    4-2-2l (NEW):  Specifies that the ball is declared dead if a prosthetic limb comes completely off of the runner.

    Rationale:  With this change, the ball becomes dead when a prosthetic limb comes completely off of the runner.

    7-1-6:  Now stipulates that it is encroachment to strike the ball or the snapper’s hand/arm prior to the snapper releasing the ball.

    Rationale:  Defensive players are restricted from contacting the ball or the snapper’s hand(s) or arm(s) until the snapper has released the ball.

    7-5-10:  Removes non-contact face guarding from the pass interference restrictions.

    Rationale:  This change eliminates the previous foul for non-contact face guarding forward-pass interference.


    Facilities Statement; 1-3-2; 1-5-1a(1); 1-5-1a(2) NOTE; 1-5-2b; 1-5-3b(6); 1-5-3c(2); 1-6-1; 1-6-2; 2-5-3; 3-4-8; 3-5-7f; 3-5-10b; 3-5-10c; 4-2-2k; 7-5-6a; 9-3 PENALTY; 9-4-3k; 10-5-1c; FOOTBALL FUNDAMENTALS – VI-2; PENALTY SUMMARY; INDEX.


    1. Responsibility on Players to Avoid Illegal Contact
    2. Illegal Helmet Contact
    3. Sideline Management and Control, Professional Communication Between Coaches and Game Officials
    4. Proper Enforcement of Penalties for Violations of the Equipment Rules
  • April 11, 2017 6:57 AM | Deleted user

    All, The Missouri High School Football Officials Clinic staff is excited about our program this year.  We will continue our on field training in the morning, discuss game changing plays, dead ball officiating, the kicking game and much more.  

    We would appreciate sending the attached invitation/registration information to the clinic and agenda to your membership.

    We look forward to seeing everyone at the clinic this year!

    If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact either Emry Dilday, or Mike Hoffman.

    Mike Hoffman, Missouri Football Officials Clinic Staff Member


  • January 18, 2017 10:34 AM | Don Meyer

    On Friday evening February 17th., referees are needed for a charity event that is more fun than work.  It is a Dodge Ball Tournament to benefit Good Shepard Charities and will be held at St. Mary's High School at 4701 South Grand in the city.  The pay is great, all the food you can eat and beer, soft drinks, or water you can drink.  Plus a tee shirt.  It is a good cause and I did this last year and had a good time.  There are some other benefits that I will go into to whom ever volunteers.  Simple dodge ball rules will be distrubuted.  I need about 6 to 8 refs.  Contact me at 314-471-7552 or at crew1ref@sbcglobal.net.

  • November 08, 2016 6:31 AM | Deleted user

    Please join me in celebrating the newest inductees into the St. Louis Officials Associaltion Hall of Fame

    2016 Class members

    Bruce Hook 

    Steve Barth

    Both of these members are well deserving snd will be celebrated at the annual Banquet and Awards Ceremony. Please feel free to pass your congratulations to them directly.

  • October 25, 2016 6:05 AM | Deleted user

    Rule of the Day - Does This Ever Happen?


    SITUATION: With Team A leading 51 to 50, a held ball is ruled. A6 ­properly reports and enters the game. A time-out request is granted to Team B. The clock shows two seconds remaining in the game. After play is resumed by a throw-in, the officials: (a) recognize that A has six players competing, but cannot get the clock stopped; or (b) do not notice Team A has six players on the court. Following the throw-in, time expires. Team B now reports to the officials that Team A had six players on the court. RULING?

    In (a), since one of the officials had knowledge that Team A had six players participating simultaneously and this was detected prior to time expiring, a technical foul is assessed against Team A. In (b), since it was not recognized by either official, but was called to their attention after time had expired, it is too late to assess any penalty.


    SITUATION: A1 requests and Team A is granted a time-out late in the fourth quarter. Team A had already used its three 60-second time-outs and its two 30-second time-outs. RULING?

    Team A is granted the time-out and is charged with a technical foul. No indirect foul is charged to the head coach.

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