State Stories


18th Annual IHSA Officials Conference Set For July 21-22 in East Peoria

Bookmark and Share

The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) will hold its 18th annual Officials Conference on Friday and Saturday, July 21-22 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 “Embrace Higher Standards”.

The IHSA Officials Conference is expected to draw over 500 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.

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.

The conference begins Friday with educational sessions for IHSA officials serving as Clinicians, while a golf outing will also unfold at Coyote Creek Golf Course in Bartonville on Friday morning. Following conference registration, Friday evening features a workshop for first-time officials in all sports and an opening session that will honor all of the state final officials from the 2016-17 school year.

IHSA Assistant Executive Director and Officials Department administrator Sam Knox, a 20+ year IHSA baseball and basketball official, will open the festivities. He will be followed by Michigan native Bill Gomoluch, a long-time NCAA Division I softball official and successful junior college basketball coach, who will serve as the keynote speaker.

“There has been a great deal of coverage lately on the shortage of high school officials nationally,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “As we deal with our own challenges in Illinois, we hope that events like this that celebrate officiating show our officials how valued and respected they truly are. 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 FIFA Women's World Cup referee Margaret Domka providing tips on advancement, Peoria native Kevin Moss discussing the importance of mentoring new swimming & diving officials, and Fowler resident Ray Eickelschulte helping fellow wrestling officials improve their communication with coaches and wrestlers on the mat. Many include video review and interactive “you make the call” type scenarios from actual IHSA games.

In addition, the IHSA will hold overview sessions on Saturday to introduce potential officials to its newest sports, boys lacrosse and girls lacrosse, which will debut with inaugural state finals in the spring of 2018.

The 2017 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 years) and the IHSA Officials of the Year (listed below). Among the honorees are Dance Official of the Year Paula Hess, who will be honored posthumously.

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

Official of the Year
 Boys Soccer
John Martelin  Rockford
 Girls Soccer
Richard Geati  Arlington Heights
 Football Kevin McMurray
 Willow Springs
 Boys Basketball
William DePue
 Girls Basketball
Robert Brendel  Fairview Heights
 Baseball Keith Medema  Sterling
 Softball Rick Howarth
 Girls Volleyball
Ruth Holliday
 Boys Volleyball
Stan Wiedeman  Morton Grove
 Boys Swimming & Diving
John Mulsoff
 Girls Swimming & Diving
Bob Graf
 Water Polo
Patrick Bauer
 Cross Country
John Betteridge
 Boys Track & Field
Keith Jacobi
 Girls Track & Field
Don Hackler
 Ridge Farm
 Wrestling Roy Snyder
 Boys Gymnastics
Scott Hagel
 Girls Gymnastics
Carol Myers
 Lake Forest
 Competitive Cheer
Tiffany Michaels
 Competitive Dance
Paula Hess