Be the Referee

Football, Officials

Be the Referee: Catch or No Catch

By Brent Rice
MHSAA Assistant Director

September 16, 2021

Be The Referee is a series of short messages designed to help educate people on the rules of different sports, to help them better understand the art of officiating, and to recruit officials.

Below is this week's segment – Catch or No Catch - Listen

Catch … or no catch. It’s a decision that must be made in a split second and can be one of the most difficult decisions a football official has to make – especially one along the sidelines.

In high school, for a catch to be considered complete the receiver must:

Have possession and control of the ball AND

One foot or other body part must first come down in bounds.

This means that if you are forced out of bounds while in the air and with possession of the ball, it is NOT a catch. A defender can legally knock an airborne receiver out of bounds to prevent a completion. The receiver has to get one foot – or other body part – down in bounds for it to be ruled a complete catch.

Previous editions

Sept. 9: Intentional Grounding – Listen 
Sept. 2: Pass Interference – Listen 
Aug. 26: Protocols and Mechanics  Listen