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Categorized | Sports

Be the Referee

By Mark Uyl, Asst. Director, MHSAA

Misunderstood Football Rules – Kicking 

Some of the most misunderstood high school football rules revolve around the kicking game.

At the high school level, on both kickoffs and punts, the rules are unique to what’s seen at the college and pro levels. When a kick breaks the plane of the goal line, it does not matter if it’s a punt or a kickoff. When that ball breaks the plane, the ball is dead under high school rules and it results in an automatic touchback.

And an even more unique set of rules deal with field goals. Under high school rules, whenever there’s a missed field goal, it’s treated just like a punt, so that long field goal that comes up well short and goes out of bounds at the 2-yard line means the other team gets the ball, first and 10 at the 2.

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.

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