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EAST LANSING, Mich. – July 23 – More than 1,100 Michigan High School Athletic Association officials are scheduled to attend “Officiate Michigan Day” on Saturday, July 27, at the DeVos Place Convention Center in Grand Rapids, where they will receive training from 40 of the best in the officiating field.
Officials representing the amateur, collegiate and professional ranks will speak and provide training during four instructional workshops throughout the day plus additional sessions mid-day and at the end of the afternoon. “Officiate Michigan Day” is the kickoff event to the National Association of Sports Officials’ (NASO) annual Sports Officiating Summit, which will follow July 28-30 in Grand Rapids.
MHSAA Executive Director John E. “Jack” Roberts and Barry Mano, founder and president of NASO, will give the opening address. Four-time Super Bowl official Jerry Markbreit will speak to close the event. Four instructional sessions will focus on sport-specific training in officiating the following: baseball, basketball, competitive cheer, football, gymnastics, lacrosse, ice hockey, soccer, softball, track & field, volleyball and wrestling.
“We’re expecting this to be one of the largest gatherings of sports officials ever held in the United States,” said MHSAA assistant director Mark Uyl, who oversees the association’s officials program. “It will be a historic day of learning and training for our officials.”
Among scheduled clinicians are current National Basketball Association officials Joe Crawford and Bill Kennedy, NCAA National Coordinator of Volleyball Officials Joan Powell, National Hockey League Senior Vice President and Director of Officiating Terry Gregson and official Dan O’Halloran, and National Football League officials Perry Paganelli, Carl Paganelli, Jr., and Dino Paganelli. All three Paganellis have officiated Super Bowls, and O’Halloran is coming off working his fourth straight Stanley Cup Final. Crawford and Kennedy both officiated during the recent NBA Finals, and Powell also served as team leader of the U.S. women’s national volleyball team that won the silver medal at the 2008 Olympics.
“Officiate Michigan Day” is open to all officials, including those not registered with the MHSAA, and cost to attend is $35. It is recommended officials sign up online by 5 p.m. Thursday, July 25. To register for the conference or see the schedule and list of presenters and clinicians, visit the MHSAA Website at www.mhsaa.com, click on the “Officials” tab in the top menu bar and then on the “Officiate Michigan Day” link.
The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,500 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract approximately 1.6 million spectators each year.