As we at the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) and the Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) bring to a close our fall activity seasons and begin to embark upon our winter activities, we would like to remind everyone about the importance of sportsmanship by all who participate and/or attend interscholastic contests.
The lack of sportsmanship on display by those attending our contests has become an increasing concern to both of our Associations. All too often, this lack of sportsmanship is directed toward the contest officials. Officials are people who may be your relative, neighbor, co-worker, or friend. They put in a lot of time learning the rules of the game and the mechanics of how to officiate contests. They are required to attend an annual rules meeting and rules clinic on officiating every three years. They are hired by the schools competing in the game to make sure the game is played fairly. The schools would not hire someone to referee who was not capable of doing an adequate job.
Do officials occasionally miss a call? Absolutely they do. But they never miss one on purpose and like the coaches and athletes, do the best they can with the ability they have been given. We hope that parents, fans, and even some coaches, will take a deep breath and think before they speak negatively when in attendance at a contest.
Please attend the contests and cheer hard for your team. Encourage players to do their best and let the officials officiate, the coaches coach, and the kids play. It will enhance the experience for everyone.
We thank you for your support of the education-based activities provided by our member schools.
Marty Hickman Steve Endsley
Executive Director Executive Director
Illinois High School Assn. Illinois Elementary Assn.