The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Officials Conference will return as an in-person event for the first time since 2019 when the event unfolds on Friday and Saturday, July 8-9, 2022, at Normal West High School in Normal.
The theme of this year’s conference is “RPM: Rules, Philosophy, Mechanics”.
The IHSA celebrated the 20th year of the conference in East Peoria in 2019, but the 2020 edition was canceled, and the 2021 version conducted virtually, due to the pandemic. The 2022 conference will also mark the first time the event will be conducted in Bloomington-Normal.
“We are really excited to have the IHSA Officials Conference back in-person,” said IHSA Assistant Executive Director Sam Knox, who helps oversee the IHSA Officials Department and has officiated IHSA baseball and basketball for over 25 years. “There is a significant amount of officials education that can be conducted virtually, but a big part of what draws so many dedicated individuals to officiating is the camaraderie of meeting and working with their fellow officials.”
The IHSA Officials Conference is expected to draw nearly 600 officials from across the state to the Bloomington-Normal 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.
“I learn something new every year,” said Joe Ewers, a veteran basketball and football official from Bourbonnais. “I’ve been an official for 30-plus years and the conference never fails. It’s a great opportunity to learn new and better ways of officiating, as well as reconnecting with fellow officials from all sports.”
Walk-up registration is welcome at Normal West (enter via the north parking lot) for any official who does not register in advance.
The conference begins Friday with invite-only training sessions for IHSA officials serving as Clinicians, while a golf outing will take place at Illinois State University’s Weibring Golf Club beginning Friday morning. Following conference registration, Friday afternoon features a workshop for first-time officials in all sports, as well as Certified Clinics in multiple sports.
The conference will officially kickoff with a welcome from current IHSA and IESA staff members and be followed by recognition for all State Final officials from the 2021-22 school year. The stage will then belong to keynote speaker Gordon Corsetti. Corsetti is a nationally acclaimed speaker and accomplished lacrosse official who owns and operates Mental Agility, a mental health and wellness website that features blog posts, workshops, resources, and speaking engagements led by Corsetti.
“Mental health and wellness is obviously a very topical issue given all that we have endured over the past few years,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “We are excited to welcome Gordon to shed further light on these issues with his unique style. The fact that he is a respected official and will be able to connect and provide further perspective to our audience is an added bonus.”
Saturday will be comprised of over 40 breakout sessions in nearly a dozen IHSA sports, with many sessions including video review and interactive “you make the call” type scenarios from actual IHSA games.
“I began attending the conference as a young official in order to learn as much as I could about officiating and how to become a better official,” said Joe Meyer, a Springfield native and four-sport official (baseball, basketball softball, volleyball) who will be honored on Saturday as the IHSA Softball Official of the Year. “As a veteran official, I continue to attend the conference to see friends I have grown to know and to network. I continue to learn things each and every year.
The 2022 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). For an event program with a full schedule, click here.
The Officials of the Year who will be recognized on Saturday include:
IHSA OFFICIALS OF THE YEAR
||Official of the Year
|Boys Swimming & Diving
|Girls Swimming & Diving
|Boys Track & Field
|Girls Track & Field