15th Annual IHSA Officials Conference Slated For July 18-19 In East Peoria

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The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) will hold its 15th annual Officials Conference on Friday and Saturday, 18-19 in East Peoria. The event will unfold at the East Peoria Embassy Suites and the East Peoria Community High School. The theme of this year’s conference is “The Sportsmanship Puzzle – The Officials Piece.”

The Officials Conference is expected to draw over 500 IHSA officials to the Peoria area, where they will team with other officials to contribute in general and sport-specific workshops, reflect on their experiences to help teach others and participate in networking activities. 

Walk-up registration is welcome for any official who does not register in advance. The official conference program can be viewed by clicking here.

“We are one of the few high school state associations in the country who have an official’s education program of this magnitude,” said IHSA Assistant Executive Director Craig Anderson. “We have worked very hard on the Officials Conference curriculum and offerings. Our goal is to improve the event each year by adding new and relevant topics and speakers. We look forward to another successful event in 2014.” 

The conference begins Friday with educational sessions for IHSA officials serving as Clinicians and also features a golf outing 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 2013-14 school year. The opening session concludes with keynote speaker Jim Bain, former NCAA Basketball Official & MVC Coordinator of Men’s Basketball, who officiated five Final Fours.

“This is a special event that continues to grow and get better each year, said five-sport IHSA official Chris Long.  “It’s something every official should experience at least once, but the educational and social experiences will likely keep you coming back each summer.”

Saturday will be comprised of over 40 breakout sessions in 11 IHSA sports, ranging from topics such as “How To Officiate Smarter”, “New Director(s) and Direction for IHSA Softball” and “Improving Your Overall Game Communication Skills W/Your Crew, Coaches & Players”. 

The 2014 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) and the IHSA Officials of the Year (listed below).

Football - Octavio Herrera, Jr., Melrose Park
Boys Swimming & Diving - Lou Estes Gantz, Northbrook
Girls Swimming & Diving - Janice L. Plack, Des Plaines
Boys Soccer - Randy S. Brickman, Deerfield
Girls Soccer - Gregory R. Shierling, Quincy
Girls Volleyball - David A. Sands, Salem
Boys Volleyball - Mark D. Trapp, Villa Park
Cross Country - David A. Mitchell, Peoria
Competitive Cheerleading - Becky L. Weslow, Orland Park
Dance - Candace M. Gadomski, Decatur
Girls Gymnastics - Barbara Oczkowicz, Carol Stream
Boys Gymnastics - Gregg B. Didech, Barrington
Boys Basketball - Samuel K. Moran, Lewistown
Girls Basketball - Tom Daugherty, Bloomington
Wrestling - Jeff A. Sorensen, Bloomington
Boys Track & Field - Jamero J. Rainey, Edwards
Girls Track & Field - Robert A. Rice, Danville
Baseball - Bob Copas, Elmhurst
Softball - Christopher J. Schaefer, Chicago
Water Polo - Michael A. Mitchell, Palatine

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