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Categorized | Sports

Be the referee


By Mark Uyl, Asst. Director, MHSAA

Be the Referee is a weekly message from the Michigan High School Athletics Association that is designed to help educate people on the rules in different sports, to help them better understand the art of officiating, and to recruit officials.

Correcting A Down 

For anyone that has followed football for a long time, perhaps the most famous “5th down” game was back in 1990 between Colorado and Missouri. In that game, the officials mistakenly gave Colorado an extra down while trailing by four points.

On the “fifth down” play, Colorado scored a touchdown on the final play of the game to win 33-31.

Under high school rules, the officiating crew has the ability to correct an error of the wrong down as long as it is done before the next snap. For example, if the crew realizes a team has been given an extra down, that play would be nullified and the ball would correctly go over to the other team.

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