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.
Today we’re going to talk about one of the most difficult calls for any football official—pass interference. It’s important to know that whenever a forward pass is thrown beyond the line of scrimmage that both players—the offensive receiver as well as the defender—each have an equal right to make a play on the football.
Now, not all contact will automatically result in a pass interference foul. The official must judge if that early contact before the ball arrives has placed one of the two players at a distinct disadvantage. When that contact does create the disadvantage, you have a foul for pass interference. When the contact is minimal and is simply incidental, no foul has occurred.
Asst. Director Mark Uyl oversees the MHSAA’s officiating efforts, and is an accomplished collegiate official in two sports. He also umpired the NCAA College World Series in 2014.