US Lacrosse and the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) announced a partnership centered around officials development efforts in the IHSA’s newest sports, boys’ and girls’ lacrosse, on October 4, 2017.
“We’re excited to work together with the IHSA to help ensure the quality of officiating for high school lacrosse in the state,” said Charlie Obermayer, senior manager of officials development for US Lacrosse. “This relationship is a testament to the great resources that our men’s and women’s training groups have developed to meet the needs of the sport. The IHSA has taken a leadership role in helping to provide access for its officials to continue their development.”
US Lacrosse, the sport’s national governing body, provides educational resources, certification and professional development opportunities to more than 16,000 officials nationwide on an annual basis. The resources include classroom curriculum, observation programs, a video library, training manuals and online courses.
In order to officiate IHSA lacrosse matches, officials will need to hold an active license from the IHSA and be in good standing with the Association. Officials completing initiatives like educational clinics and annual exams conducted by US Lacrosse will be provided reciprocal credit, satisfying their IHSA requirements in those areas.
“US Lacrosse has been influential in helping the IHSA reach this point for many years, so we are excited to announce a formal partnership,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “No other group in the sport of lacrosse is as vested or respected, so it was a natural fit to work with US Lacrosse to give our officials, coaches and student-athletes the best experience possible.”
The IHSA will conduct its inaugural State Series and state championships in lacrosse in the spring of 2018. The sport had an emerging status under the IHSA for over a decade, before the IHSA Board of Directors voted in April 2016 to host the first IHSA state championship in the spring of 2018.
“There is both a great value and tradition for our officials to be a part of US Lacrosse,” said Anderson. “Which is why we will encourage all of our officials to consider continuing their membership, or joining US Lacrosse’s officiating development program.”
Additional benefits of US Lacrosse’s officiating membership and certification include the ability to officiate lacrosse at all levels, including youth and collegiate games, as well as receiving additional insurance coverage, an annual rulebook, as well as on-field training, mentoring and development.