2019 Basketball Banquet

Posted on February 12, 2019 / Posted under General

Tuesday March 19, 2019

Alta Villa,
430 N. Addison Rd.
Addison, IL 60101

Chicken Parmigiana or Ribeye Steak
Cost: $25 per person

HOF Inductions: Joe Fritsch & Sal Vasta

Nov 8 Basketball Division Meeting

Posted on November 7, 2018 / Posted under Basketball, General

Location: York High School in Elmhurst

Thursday, November 8

6:45 – 7:25 p.m. – Check-In
7:30 – 8:00 p.m. – Breakout Session: Split Meeting Schedule
Breakout Session # 1: “Two Person Court Coverage” (Joe Spagnolo) – Room A278
Breakout Session # 2: “Rule 6: Live & Dead Ball” (Bryce Cann) – Room A290
8:00 – 8:05 p.m. – Break
8:05 – 8:35 p.m. – Keynote Speaker: Harry Bohn, State Final Coordinator of Officials – Room A290
8:35 – 8:45 p.m. – Meet Your Assignor: Harry Bohn, South Suburban, Southwest Suburban, West Suburban Conferences
8:45 – 8:50 p.m. – Play of the Week Review
8:50 – 9:00 p.m. – Announcements
9:00 – 10:00 p.m. – Social Event at The Silverado Grill, 447 Spring Road – Elmhurst, IL

Breakout Session Synopsis

Breakout Session # 1: “Two Person Court Coverage”
Knowing what to look for when officiating the lead and trail positions are key examples in having success on the court. IHSA Clinician Joe Spagnolo will break down both the lead and trail and will provide best practices for each position. Concepts of proper positioning along with tips for officiating both positions will be covered.

Breakout Session # 2: “Rule 6: Live and Dead Ball”
Long-time AOA member Bryce Cann details the Live/Dead ball rule and covers jump balls, alternate possession and provides case plays to make you an expert at situations that occur more frequently on the court than any other action. The reasons of why the rule is important to properly administer penalties and the dreaded correctable error rule will also be discussed.

Keynote Speaker Address
State Finals Coordinator of Officials and Chief IHSA Basketball Clinician, Harry Bohn, brings his words of wisdom and reviews the proper way on how to work on the court. Harry will also speak on selected topics covered in the online rules video as well as bring his state final video clips from the last few years. Don’t miss this informative presentation.

A Tutorial on How to Use HUDL

Posted on October 26, 2017 / Posted under Basketball, General

Make sure you advise Art Kasak or Joe Fritisch of the following information:

  • The day you are working
  • The level you are working
  • The Home Team (and location if not at home)
  • The Away Team

If you want to send your schedule on a week by week basis, that is fine but try to get it to them before your game happens so they can request the film for you. Teams have responded within minutes of a request.

Don’t be shy about sending me your entire schedule.  Do request sophomore or freshman games.  We can get those.

Only members of the AOA get film through this system.

Basketball Meetings – Schedule of Topics

Posted on October 12, 2017 / Posted under Basketball, General

Thursday October 5:
Jeff Rutledge will go over new Rules and Mechanics for the up coming basketball season
Greg Hartziem – Will discuss the Mentor Program

Thursday October 12:
Mark Cladis – Will discuss Taxes and Liability
Craig Davelis – Mentor Program

Thursday October 19:
Joe Spagnolo – Video 50 plays in 30 minutes
Bob Copas – Mentor Discussion

Thursday October 26:
Joe Spagnolo – Observing Illegal Activity
Art Kasak – Mentor Program

WEDNESDAY November 1:
Part 1 Rules test
Level 2 official Jeff Rutledge – Video Review
Level 1 officials Tim Loughnane – Working with Assignors
John Marino – Mentor Program

Thursday November 9:
Harry Bohn
Sal Vata – Mentor Program

2017 Basketball Division

Posted on September 6, 2017 / Posted under Basketball, General

AOA Basketball Division will be hosting our annual membership meetings again this year at York High School.  Meeting dates are Thursdays: October 5, 12, 19, 26, & November 9 – Meeting originally scheduled for November 2 has been moved to Wednesday, November 1 at 7:30 PM.

All meetings will start promptly at 7:30 PM.

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


Posted on October 8, 2015 / Posted under General

9/28/15 – As a new official I walked into the locker room for a game and found out I was working with a two-time state finals ref. After a good pregame, I was confident that he would be able to get us out of any trouble that happened during the game. There were two important plays that were in between us that I let go, because I thought that he should make “the big calls.” It turns out I had much better looks at both plays and should have gotten them. I was hurting the crew because I did not cover my area or help out when my partner needed me. If you find yourself as the more experienced partner, let your partners know that you need them to cover their area and call their game. They should be comfortable and confident to make the big calls.

Passing of Ray Brooks

Posted on January 23, 2014 / Posted under Announcement, General

Ray Brooks, long time Football and Basketball official and AOA mainstay passed away Friday, January 17th in Florida at age 94. He held various office positions in both AOA divisions and on the Board of Directors.Ray will be waked  at Bormann Funeral Home 1600 Chicago Avenue in Melrose Park, IL on Jan.23rd between 3pm – 9pm.  Funeral mass will be Friday @ 10am at Sacred Heart Parish in Melrose Park located at 819 N. 16th Avenue.  A celebration of Ray’s life will follow immediately at Tom’s Steak House located at 1901 W North Ave, Melrose Park, IL 60160.

When the IHSA first started the football playoffs in 1974, with 6 classes, Ray worked the 4A game.  He was one of the first AOA football members to work state playoffs. He also worked in the 5A in 1980, and the 5A in 1982.

Ray worked the basketball state Series in 1967, 1968, and worked the AA final game in 1973. During the 1980’s Ray served as the basketball interpreter at AOA meetings.

In 1984 Ray Brooks, Al Scheel, Barry Mano were featured in Referee Magazine. In 1989 Ray received the Abe Glick award and in 2007 was elected to the AOA Hall of Fame.

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