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Interested in officiating local sports? There's an 'Officiating 101' class coming up in Du Quoin just for you

Submitted by Aaron Wright
updated: 4/10/2022 10:57 AM

How many times in recent years have you heard, "We need more officials"?

"The officials shortage is real," said IHSA Administrator Sam Knox.

"We're experiencing a significant decrease in officials for a variety of reasons," Knox added. "Without officials, sports can't happen. Our schools need sports-minded people as officials so our students can continue to enjoy positive experiences in education-based athletics."

Numbers in Illinois back this up:

• 10 years ago: 13,700 officials licensed in 20,900 sports.
• Five years ago: 12,000 officials licensed in 19,000 sports.
• Today: 9,500 officials licensed in 15,000 sports.

Here is your chance to get out of the stands and into the game. The Illinois High School Association is offering a free introduction into the officiating fraternity. This is a great opportunity, if you are interested in being a high school sports official, to hear all about what that means.

At Officiating 101 you'll get information on why you would want to be an official, how to become a licensed official, how to purchase sport specific equipment, the financial gains from officiating and the joy you get from officiating the youth in your area.

You will also have the opportunity to talk to local veteran officials that will help answer any questions you have.

Officiating 101 meetings will be held at the following high schools here in Southern Illinois:

Du Quoin High School: 7-9 p.m. on Wednesday, April 27 in the auditorium. Use the high school's Main Entrance.
Marion High School: 7-9 p.m. on Thursday, April 28 in the Lecture Hall on the 1st floor of C Hall. Use the school's Main Entrance.
Mt. Vernon High School: 10 a.m.-noon on Saturday, April 30, in the cafeteria. Use the back doors by the gym.

"Officiating is a fantastic way to stay involved in sports and earn extra income," Knox said. "I encourage those who have ever considered becoming an official to attend an Officiating 101 session to learn how to get started."

For more information or to schedule an interview, contact: Aaron Wright, IHSA official and meeting facilitator, at (618) 318-2506 or; or Sam Knox, IHSA administrator, at (309) 663-6377 or