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Tag Archive | "Mark Uyl"

MHSAA Representative Council Selects Mark Uyl as Next Executive Director


 

Mark Uyl

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Mark Uyl, formerly a high school teacher, coach and administrator and currently an assistant director for the Michigan High School Athletic Association and one of the nation’s most respected voices in sports officiating, has been selected as the next executive director of the MHSAA by its Representative Council.

He will succeed retiring Executive Director John E. “Jack” Roberts in August. Roberts, who has served as executive director since the fall of 1986, announced his retirement April 24.

Uyl (pronounced yule), 44, joined the MHSAA staff in January 2004 and coordinates the Association’s nearly 10,000 officials in addition to serving as director of baseball and administrator of the MHSAA’s catastrophic and concussion care insurance plans. He also has served as director of cross country and wrestling during his tenure.

As assistant director, Uyl was instrumental as the MHSAA became the first state high school athletics association to offer concussion care insurance, which provides gap coverage to assist in covering costs for athletes who are injured while participating in MHSAA-sponsored sports. As an official himself, Uyl has worked to build a stronger relationship with those working high school events that has included an increase in training and support. As a sport director, Uyl has sought to create the best experiences for Michigan high school teams, including with the move of the MHSAA Baseball and Softball Finals to Michigan State University in 2014.

“The foundation built here by Jack Roberts over the last 32 years is the strongest in the country, and I’m honored to have the opportunity to lead our staff in building on that foundation,” Uyl said. “There will be many ways we’ll continue to protect the same values of educational athletics, while also looking for new ways and new opportunities to best serve the students and our member schools in Michigan.”

In addition to his full-time MHSAA duties, Uyl has officiated collegiate baseball since 1997 and is regarded as one of the best at that level. In addition to umpiring major conference baseball all over the United States, Uyl was part of the crews for the 2014 and 2017 College World Series. He also officiated college football for 12 years with several NCAA postseason assignments, and did serve as coordinator of officials for the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association. He was registered with the MHSAA for at least three sports beginning in 1992 and worked the Baseball Finals in 1999.

Additionally, Uyl served on the board of directors of the National Association of Sports Officials (NASO) from 2012-15 and as its chairperson during his final year. Currently, he serves as the high school representative on the Officiating Development Alliance (ODA), which consists of the supervisors of officials for the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, CFL, MLS and NCAA Division I sports.

The Council made its decision at the conclusion of its annual Spring Meeting on May 7 in Gaylord. Uyl will become only the fifth full-time executive in the MHSAA’s 94-year history, following Charles E. Forsythe (1931-42, 1945-68), Allen W. Bush (1968-78), Vern L. Norris (1978-86) and Roberts.

“Mark has spent the past 14 years as a highly effective assistant director for the MHSAA,” said Representative Council President Scott Grimes, who serves as Assistant Superintendent of Human Services for Grand Haven Area Public Schools. “He is a proven leader in the organization committed to providing outstanding service to both internal and external constituents. The positive relationships he has fostered with school administrators will help make this a very smooth transition.”

Prior to his time at the MHSAA, Uyl first taught and coached and then served as athletic director and assistant principal at Middleville-Thornapple Kellogg High School, the latter from 2001-03. Before becoming an administrator there, Uyl served as athletic director at Caledonia High School in 2000-01.

During his tenure as an assistant director at the MHSAA, Uyl also served a four-year term on the Baseball Committee for the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).

“Mark was the obvious choice to become the next executive director of the MHSAA,” Roberts said. “Mark has the proper student-focused perspective of educational athletics, excellent person-to-person communications skills and a deep practical understanding of what is happening day to day in school sports in our state and nationally.”

Uyl graduated from Caledonia High School in 1992, and from Calvin College in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in history and physical education. He later received a master’s in educational leadership from Grand Valley State University. At Calvin, Uyl was a four-year starter on the baseball team, earning all-conference honors twice and serving as team captain.

Uyl resides in DeWitt with his wife Marcy, an accomplished educator and coach who has served as a high school varsity basketball coach since 1994. They have three children: Jackson (17), Grant (15) and Madison (11).

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,500 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract more than 1.4 million spectators each year.

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Be the referee: Concussions 


 

By Mark Uyl, Asst. Director, MHSAA

In all contact sports, the biggest issue of the day continues to be concussions. Game officials play a vital role in keeping athletes safe on the field, court, ice and mat. While officials are never placed in the position to diagnose a possible concussion, the officials can often see when a player first becomes injured. When that possible injury is noticed by an official, all game rules require the contest be stopped and the student is evaluated by the school’s health care team. It then becomes the call of the school to determine if the player has suffered a possible concussion. If yes, the player is out for at least the rest of that day. If no, the player can return to the contest.

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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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.

Tournament Selection 

Today we are going to talk about how officials are selected for the MHSAA Football Playoffs. Just as the best teams advance in the tournament week after week, the best officiating crews advance in the tournament in much the same way.

For a crew to be eligible for assignment, many requirements have to be met prior to the season. Verification that the crew has worked a full schedule, making sure that the crew has completed the annual rules meeting, as well as a football rules test. Much weight is given to ratings — each crew is rated by schools on a 1-5 scale following each game as well as observation reports where officiating experts go out and either watch crews work live or on video in making sure that the best crews advance throughout the tournament.

 

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Be the referee


 

By Mark Uyl, Asst. Director, MHSAA

 

Automatic first downs 

 

Today we are going to talk about one of the biggest rule difference areas in high school football, from those rules used in college and pro games, and that deals with automatic first downs.

When watching that college game on Saturday or the pro game on Sunday, all of us know there are several defensive fouls that give the offense an automatic first down. However, under high school rules, the opposite is true most of the time.

The only high school fouls that result in an automatic first down for the offense are the roughing fouls—roughing the passer, the kicker, the holder and the long snapper. Fouls such as defensive pass interference or any other personal foul do not bring an automatic first down under high school rules.

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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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.

Pass Interference 

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.

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