19th Annual IHSA Officials Conference Set For July 20-21 in East Peoria

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19th Annual IHSA Officials Conference Set For July 20-21 in East Peoria

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The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) will hold its 19th annual Officials Conference on Friday and Saturday, July 20-21 in East Peoria. The event will unfold at the East Peoria Embassy Suites and East Peoria Community High School. The theme of this year’s conference is “Choose Greatness!”.

The IHSA Officials Conference is expected to draw nearly 700 officials to the Peoria area, where they will collaborate with other officials by participating in general and sport-specific officiating workshop sessions. In addition, they will share firsthand experiences to better prepare fellow officials, while also enjoying a variety of networking activities.

“As a younger official, the conference is a great place to network with officials from all over the state,” said Travis Guess, a basketball and football from Pawnee, who started officiating 14 years ago as a teenager. “So many times we see officials names via email but never see a face. This conference is a great place to meet fellow officials.”

Walk-up registration is welcome (Friday at Embassy Suites 3 p.m. – 7 p.m., Saturday at EPHS 7 a.m. – 2 p.m.) for any official who does not register in advance. IHSA partner Minerva will also offer IHSA t-shirts (left) for sale during the conference for $20.

The conference begins Friday with invite-only training sessions for IHSA officials serving as Clinicians, while a golf outing will be played at Coyote Creek Golf Course in Bartonville on Friday morning. Following conference registration, Friday afternoon features a workshop for first-time officials in all sports.

IHSA Assistant Executive Director and Officials Department administrator Sam Knox, a 20+ year IHSA baseball and basketball official, presides over Friday evening's Opening Session, where the IHSA will honor all the State Final Officials from all sports during the 2017-18 school year.

“This conference is a celebration of officials and officiating,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “Passion, camaraderie and a desire to improve remain a common thread among our officials, so we are proud to be able to offer an opportunity for them that aids in the development of each. Officiating is a great vocation and an incredible way to give back while staying connected to the sports you love. We hope more individuals will consider getting involved as officials."

Saturday will be comprised of over 40 breakout sessions in 11 IHSA sports, ranging from topics such as Dwight resident Tina Butterbrodt advising fellow track & field officials on managing weather at meets, Benton native Chris Kays discussing the back row and net play in volleyball, and Sugar Grove resident Nate Kessen helping fellow wrestling officials improve through the use of technology. Many include video review and interactive “you make the call” type scenarios from actual IHSA games.

"I love seeing old friends from previous conferences and meeting new officials,” said Laurie Jordan, a Warrenville native who has officiated football since 2003. “It is especially unique to be able to explore other sports and compare officiating mechanics."

The 2018 IHSA Officials Conference culminates with a reception and awards program early Saturday evening. The honorees include officials who reached milestone years of service (15, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60 years) and the IHSA Officials of the Year (listed below).

The Officials of the Year who will be recognized on Saturday include:

Official of the Year
Boys Soccer
Chris Rudolph
Girls Soccer
Gary Stephens
Football Ted Lepucki
Arlington Heights
Boys Basketball
Brian Cuffle
Girls Basketball
Gerard Blum
Lake Zurich
Baseball Donald King
East Peoria
Softball Linda Wilson
South Jacksonville
Girls Volleyball
Karen McNaught
Boys Volleyball
David Perillo
Boys Swimming & Diving
Mark Anderson
Arlington Heights
Girls Swimming & Diving
Kevin Moss
Water Polo
Victor Rarau
Mt. Prospect
Cross Country
Dave Feldhake
Boys Track & Field
Jason Gray
Girls Track & Field
Mark Schall
Wrestling James Carnahan
Rock Island
Boys Gymnastics
Frank Navakowski
Carol Stream
Girls Gymnastics
Lora Boehne Kalka
Pingree Grove
Competitive Cheer
John Powers
St. John (IN)
Competitive Dance
Gina Dryden


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