IACO offering free class to train individuals to officiate high school football

Photo via Gary Grohovena -- Individuals interested in becoming an IHSA licensed football official can refer to the form attached. Classes will be held at various high schools across the state for any interested parties, with the classes coming free of cost.

MOUNT CARMEL -- Plagued by a current shortage of football officials in Illinois high school football, the Inter-Athletic Council of Officials has begun outreach and will have training classes in the coming weeks for those interested in the opportunity of becoming a licensed IHSA official.

IACO Recruitment Chair released this on the potential opportunity:

The IACO is an organization comprised of 17 sports officials associations throughout northeast Illinois. Member officials of these associations officiate most IHSA sanctioned sports. IACO's mission is to recruit and train new as well as veteran officials in standardized methods and techniques of officiating high school sports. Our football training classes have "graduated" hundreds of officials over the last 15+ years from the 8 county Chicagoland area. Training classes in basketball are offered in the fall as well as baseball and softball classes in the winter. The IHSA supports our efforts and these classes.

Classes are forming now to fill the shortage of high school and youth league sports officials. The class is FREE. No prerequisites. Earn your IHSA officials license. Training covers rules, penalty enforcement, positioning, and timing through game film review. The class gives you the opportunity to work games this upcoming season. The six week course of training begins July 9 thru Aug. 13, Tuesdays from 7-9 p.m. Classes are held at eight locations including Elmwood Park and Haas Park. For further info and locations and to register online: www.iaco-official.org

The classes the IACO is offering have been operating over the last 15 years, having expanded from a single location and three students interested, to now eight locations from eight different counties and 155 registrants. You'll be taught by licensed and certified football officials.

Their mission divides into two primary goals -- recruit brand news prospects into high school officiating, and continuing education for the first and second year official.

IACO works with the member official associations, coordinates with high school athletic departments as well as collegiate athletic departments, intramural departments, send info to media, and market existing officials to opportunities.

As aforementioned, the class offered is free. Graduates of the program have a higher retention rate than their average IHSA first year official counterpart. Graduates will enter ahead of the learning curve and well prepared for any challenges associated with officiating the sport. The opportunity is open for men and women ages 17-60.

The classes will tentatively be hosted as Bremen High School - Midlothian, Plainfield Central High School, Lisle Park District, Elmwood Park High School, Haas Park - Chicago, Libertyville High School, Kishwaukee College - Malta and Prince of Peace Lutheran Church - Palatine.

Classes will run every Tuesday from 7-9 p.m. on July 9 - Aug. 3. Times and dates should be confirmed at the website, as some times can varied. Coupled with the class, there'll be two Saturday on-field sessions, scheduled for July 27 and Aug. 3.

New officials will be mandated to fill out an IHSA application form at the first class, along with a check or money order for the IHSA for $35, the cost for license (discounted from the regular price of $70). After completion of the class and having received their IHSA license, new officials will be given the opportunity to officiate high school football games for the upcoming season.

Any additional information and registration can be found at www.iaco-official.org. All questions should be directed to sportsofficiating@yahoo.com

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