The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) will hold its 16th annual Officials Conference
on Friday and Saturday, July 17-18 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 “Big Game. Big Stage. Be Ready!”
The Officials Conference is expected to draw over 500 IHSA officials to the Peoria area, where they will collaborate with other officials in participating in general and sport-specific officiating workshops. 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 3pm-7pm, Saturday at EPHS 7am-2pm) for any official who does not register in advance.
“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 2015.”
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 2014-15 school year. The opening session features a welcome from outgoing IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman, who will retire in January. Hickman has been an ardent supporter of officials
during his 25-year tenure at the IHSA, which has included working with officials as the administrator of numerous IHSA sports. Hickman will be followed by keynote speaker Joan Powell, the NCAA Volleyball Coordinator of Officials, who has served five terms as President of the Professional Association of Volleyball Officials and is a member of seven different Halls of Fame.
“Some of my fondest moments of working at the IHSA have come from interacting with IHSA officials,” said Hickman. “There will be things I miss about working at the IHSA and others I won’t. Being around the officials at this conference, and at state final events, is one I will certainly miss. I am grateful for and admire the dedication that our officials have for high school sports.”
Saturday will be comprised of over 40 breakout sessions in 11 IHSA sports, ranging from topics such as “Developing a Successful IHSA Football Crew” to “Introduction to Electronic Linear Lazer Measurements” for track & field officials. NFHS Director of Sports and Sports Medicine Bob Colgate will also be in attendance to lead sessions that provide a national perspective on high school football and wrestling, respectively.
The 2015 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).
2015 IHSA OFFICIALS OF THE YEAR
Joe Bean, Boys Soccer, Springfield
Tony Baines, Girls Soccer, Virden
Geza Ehrentreu, Boys Track & Field, Rockford
Fred Gafrick, Boys Swimming & Diving, Bartlett
Alan Galatte, Boys Gymnastics, Palatine
Lynn Gelatka, Competitive Dance, Beecher
Jim Hayden, Baseball, Rockford
Larry Haywood, Softball, Country Club Hills
Andrew Mattson, Water Polo, Madison (WI)
Vicki Munch, Girls Gymnastics, Arlington Heights
Keith Nykiel, Girls Basketball, Bolingbrook
Jason Palmer, Boys Volleyball, Chicago
Lonnell Poole, Cross Country, Richton Park
Leonard Sanford, Boys Basketball, Matteson
Richard Skirball, Girls Track & Field, Granite City
Doug Surch, Girls Swimming & Diving, Wheaton
Julie Terstriep, Girls Volleyball, Industry
John Widmayer, Football, Woodstock
Jack Wiesneth, Wrestling, Libertyville
Angie Wilmington, Competitive Cheerleading, Chillicothe