2018 Softball Clinic

Posted on December 10, 2017 / Posted under Announcement, Softball

Saturday, March 10, 2018 at Fenton High School.

The clinic will begin at 8am and run until 2pm. Some of the items covered include new rules, points of emphasis, and questions about the IHSA Part 1 test. A pizza lunch will also be served. At 2pm, officials may go to the small gym, where newer umpires can “get behind the plate” as high school pitchers and catchers will participate.

Sunday, March 18 at the Rosemont Dome Field #1.

AOA has the field from 5 to 7pm, when high school teams will scrimmage while newer umpires can “work” an inning or two. Veteran umpires will also be on hand to help serve as mentors. Umpires should plan on having full umpire equipment for both clinics if they are going behind the plate.


IACO Learn to Officiate Football

Posted on June 20, 2017 / Posted under Announcement, Football

The IACO Football Officials Training Class prepares the participant by covering game rules, play situations, penalty enforcement, game timing, and mechanics (positioning) through presentations and game film review. After completion of the class and earning an IHSA (Illinois State High School Association) sports officiating license, you will be given the opportunity to be assigned to officiate high school football games for the upcoming season. Officials with 1-2 years experience also find this class very advantageous and are welcome to attend.

Download IACO Learn To Officiate High School Football Flyer

Full information and registration form

Football Division Meetings

Posted on May 9, 2017 / Posted under Announcement, Football

New Meeting Format

6:50 – 7:10          Minutes with Mentors/Announcements

7:10 – 7:30          Take 5 (5 video clips for review and discussion with Craig Reges)

7:30 – 7:45          Rules Review with Ted Lepucki

7:45 – 8:30          Guest Speaker

Date Time Topic Presenter
July 27, 2017 7:00–9:00pm Introductions, Mechanics Overview - Gary Grohovena
Aug 03, 2017 7:00–9:00pm Kicking Game - Tim Kiefer
Aug 10, 2017 7:00–9:00pm Conflict Resolution and Professionalism - Dennis Doyle
Aug 17, 2017 7:00–9:00pm Penalty Enforcement - Octavio Herrera
Aug 24, 2017 7:00–9:00pm New Rules review - Chris Terpstra
Aug 31, 2017 7:00–9:00pm Force/Red Zone - Mark Cunningham

Pioneer Sports Group Turns 100

Posted on February 3, 2017 / Posted under Announcement, General

Chicago, Illinois (February 1, 2017) – The Athletic Officials Association (AOA), the oldest referee training organization in Illinois, and thought to be the oldest in the United States, celebrates its 100 year anniversary in 2017.

In the 1920’s the AOA Advisory Board included Alonzo Stagg, Knute Rockne, and other Midwestern college coaches and administrators that helped lead the AOA in training referees for basketball and football.  Today the AOA has 465 members with training programs in baseball and softball as well as basketball and football. The AOA referees are all registered with the Illinois High School Association, with many members working multiple sports just as their predecessors did.

All members are trained in rules, mechanics, professionalism and philosophy with extensive use of video as part of the training process. “Any organization that thrives for 100 years or more has to periodically reinvent itself to remain relevant” said Ted Lepucki, Chairman of the Board of Directors that oversees all the sports divisions.  “For the last two years, AOA has provided its football members on-line video of the games that they work.  Now the training is much more timely and relevant. It’s very personal and humbling, but the end result is continuous improvement.  Our goal is to have the best officials on the games.”

Many AOA alumni worked collegiate and professional contests in games with Red Grange and Bronco Nagurski, including the 1932 Bears-Packers game. Today AOA continues to have member officials appointed to state finals in all of the 4 sports divisions.  These officials build on a deep tradition of excellence and pride.  Here are a few examples:

Walter Eckersall University of Chicago All American Quarterback and worked as Referee for the First Tournament of Roses Game, was the First AOA Football Division President in 1917.  He was a reporter for the Chicago Tribune and instrumental in forming the Chicago Tribune Athletic Association that recognized sports officials.

Hugh Ray AOA Football Division Rules Interpreter, Division President (1929-‘35), Vice Chairman of the Board (1930-’32) and only Football Official Inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame.  Recommended by George Halas and worked as Technical Rules Advisor for the NFL from 1933 to 1952.  Developed rules by example that became the official’s casebook. Mr. Ray was an AOA Football and Basketball official.

Irv Kupcinet AOA Basketball and Football official, who had a brief career as an NFL player.  In 1940, Mr. Kupcinet was the Head Linesman for the historic Bears – Washington NFL championship game where the Bears scored 73 points, the largest winning margin in NFL history.  He was a Chicago radio and TV personality and worked for the Chicago Sun Times.

Tommy Kouzmanoff  AOA Basketball and Football Official worked IHSA state Basketball finals in 1953, ’54 ’55 who served as the longest running Football Division President for 15 years.  He was a newspaper reporter who worked for the Chicago American and he covered 31 IHSA state final basketball tournaments.

Press Release

AOA Centennial Celebration

Posted on December 30, 2016 / Posted under Announcement, Baseball, Basketball, Football, Social, Softball

Save the Date

Calling all AOA Members, Alumni, & Friends

The AOA is celebrating 100 years of Officiating Excellence and will be recognizing this memorable event with all of our divisions, Hall of Fame members, former members, and guests. Come join us for this milestone event on Saturday, May 20th , 2017 and save the date on your calendar.

In addition we need your help to contact any of our alumni members so please reach out to former AOA officials and have them send us a note so we can include them on our email list for this event. Please send any contact information to Ted Lepucki at lepuckited [at] aol [dot] com

You won’t want to miss this gala event as we have a great agenda planned along with our banquet at the Diplomat West, 681 West North Avenue, Elmhurst, Illinois 60126.

We will be contacting you with more details in the near future and look forward to seeing you at the Centennial Celebration!!

– AOA Centennial Planning Committee

Basketball Meeting Schedule

Posted on September 7, 2016 / Posted under Announcement, Basketball

York High School
355 W. St. Charles Rd, Elmhurst 60126

Enter Building through the “Academic Entrance” near the Flag Pole.
Room is on the second Floor A290.

Meeting dates 10/6, 10/13, 10/20, 10/27, 11/3, 11/10.

Week 1 (Thursday 10/6 @ 7:30 PM): Points of Emphasis & Mentor Program
Week 2 (Thursday 10/13 @ 7:30 PM): Tax Liability for Level 1 (Mark Cladis) & When to give a T (Hartzheim & Palmer)
Week 3 (Thursday 10/20 @ 7:30 PM): 20 Rule Test (Joe Spagnolo)
Week 4 (Thursday 10/27 @ 7:30 PM): Rule 4 (Spagnolo)
Week 5 (Thursday 11/3 @ 7:30 PM): IHSA Test review & SFO Panel
Week 6 (Thursday 11/10 @ 7:30 PM): Anticipate the Play not the Call & Preventative Officiating

2016 Football Division Clinic

Posted on July 8, 2016 / Posted under Announcement, Football

July – September 2016
Fenton High School
Bensenville, IL

Members/Participants must attend 4 out of 6 meetings to qualify for clinic credit

Online Membership Registration

July 28, 2016 7:00 – 9:00 pm

Mechanics Overview
5A State Final Crew, Chris Head, Larhone Miles, Mike Outten, Ivan Palamore, Andre Golston

August 4, 2016 7:00 – 9:00 pm
IHSA overview
Sam Knox, IHSA Head of Football
Doug King (HUDL)

August 11, 2016 7:00 – 9:00 pm – Room 218/220
Kicking Game
Mark Cunningham

August 18, 2016 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Conflict Resolution and Professionalism
2A State Final Crew: Michael Zuckerman, Tom Cappelen, Tom Lowe, Darrell Schrag, Kevin Lindell

August 24, 2016 7:00 – 9:00 pm – WEDNESDAY
New rules and applications
Bill Laude

September 1, 2016 7:00 – 9:00 pm
You Make the Call – video clip review
Ted Lepucki

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