2014 Program





2014 Sports Officiating Summit Grand Opening

The kickoff for the 32nd Sports Officiating Summit begins at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Albuquerque. Industry-leading keynote speakers will set the tone for Whole New Ballgame: Safe, Secure, By the Rules.


Welcome Reception

Directly following the Grand Opening, join us for the welcome reception. Filled with a great mix of hors d’oeuvres, cash bar and networking opportunities, spend the evening with some of officiating’s most notable leaders. The Welcome Reception is included with your registration fee.



M1: Whole New Ballgame

Sport and the culture of sport are changing at a pace few could have imagined. In the maelstrom of those changes is Dean Blandino, NFL’s vice president of officiating. He’ll cover player safety, shrinking rules-based gray areas, ever-increasing use of technology in officiating, management transparency, and the limitations inherent in officiating.

Take away: Understand how our dynamic sport culture impacts officiating at all levels. This session sets the stage for the entire Summit educational program.


M2: Player Safety Rules and Enforcements: Are They Working?

Player safety is Job #1. Concussions and other player safety issues have been under intense scrutiny in recent years. Officials are required to enforce unfailingly. It is our mandate. Now, what does the evidence show? Have the tightened rules and heightened focus on enforcements yielded the results desired? Is it a safer game and one with less liability exposure for schools, governing bodies and the officials?

Take away: Learn if officials are actually having an impact on safety.


M3: What I Learned From That Play

Your call, your explanation. Each presenter breaks down video of a noteworthy personal call. It is first-hand learning writ large! Learn what actually happened, why the call was made or not, and the ramifications. Frame-by-frame analysis.

Take Away: The Summit’s dose of “reality officiating” served up to you.


M4: Game Changers

Something new and exciting for this Summit! Each of these shorter presentations will focus on a topic of unique importance. Presented in a way that attendance at more than one session is encouraged. Tightly run, contemporary, impactful, late-breaking.

Take Away: State of art information from a broad array of expert presenters.


 M5: Officiating Industry Luncheon (OIL)

The annual sports Officiating Industry Luncheon has developed into the largest attended event of every Summit. Catered lunch followed by remarks on the state of sports and officiating from Bob Gardner, executive director of the NFHS, and Barry Mano, president of NASO. The OIL will also feature Master of Ceremony Jerry Markbreit.

Take Away: The state of the officiating industry served up with a wonderful meal.


M6: It’s Your Game: Sport-By-Sport Breakouts

Basketball, football, volleyball, baseball, softball, soccer and others. Each sport with offer a full-length targeted, hands-on session. Discussion will be led by renowned and respected officials in each sport. The breakouts are record-breakers at every Summit. Video support, audience interaction, session leadership like none other. Guaranteed.

Take Away: Get into your game. Tips, techniques, tested methods.


M7: Mistaken Identity: The Burden of Transparency in Officiating

It would be a joke to say “the best refereed game is when you don’t know the officials are there.”  The world wants to know what we do and why. Transparency is now a requirement for officiating administration. Officials at all levels of sport are now “public persons,” subject to the media scrutiny normally reserved for politicians and celebrities. This new reality is having an impact on how officials are judged, how they view the game and how they view themselves. The publicness of every assignment calls for a fresh look at the deep and lasting impact on officiating. This is the panel that will deliver just that.

Take Away:



T1: What Are We Afraid Of?

Some officials like the path of lesser resistance. The fewer waves created the better. But often such a path conflicts with primary responsibilities: to enforce the rules as written; to keep boorish behavior in check; to provide credible after-action reports. Officiating takes courage — to do the right thing when all pressures lobby against it. It takes a frame of mind that transcends a full schedule. It takes extraordinary restraint and personal discipline.

Take Away: You will see yourself and your officials in the mirror this session displays.


T2: Out of Harm’s Way: The Security Chiefs’ Approach to Game Security

 The major professional leagues have invested serious resources aimed at providing state-of-art security for participants, officials, fans and the game site itself. Their approach is based on proven principles that apply at all levels of sport. Concern about security at sporting events transcends one level or sport and officials are integral to the security of any game. There is much that can be learned and enacted, even with very limited resources.

Take Away: How officials can improve their own security and that of the games they work.


T3: Calls Worth Talking About

Let’s celebrate some really terrific calls! Supervisors and coordinators showcase great calls made by staff members. It is more than just getting the play right … though that sure helps. This session bears witness to officials at their very best and in ways only those in officiating can best appreciate. It’s a wonderful way for us to enjoy the fruits of our labors.

Take Away: You will want to stand up and cheer these plays!


T4: The Lawsuit and Liability Landscape

This session is presented every year and it is one of the most popular and important of each Summit. Legal liability and risk exposure are two things every official is familiar with today. The best defense is a good offense. Alan Goldberger and Drew Smith play offense for you. Goldberger is the most widely known and respected officiating-law attorney in the country. Smith, with American Specialty Insurance, is without parallel in his knowledge of officiating and risk.

Take Away: They talk. You listen. You get to have your questions answered.


T5: Lunch Workshops: Eat, listen, discuss all at the same time!


T6: The Louisiana Lockup: A Case Study

Two high school football officials were handcuffed and led from the field while a district-level playoff game was in progress. They were booked, fingerprinted and mug shots were taken and posted. Then law enforcement realized it had committed a serious error in judgment. Now we get to hear from the officials themselves. Step-by-step we get to hear the untoward tale unfold. We listen and learn. The cooperative effort of the officials, their association, their state high school association and NASO is now the playbook.

Take Away: “It can’t happen,” but just in case it does again the ground will be familiar.


T7: They’re Called Superstars for a Reason

 An all-star cast led by an all-star moderator. Every person on that stage is visible and vibrant. They are personalities in the best sense of that word. They love to talk officiating and because of that, we listen, we are captivated. Yet it is not just entertainment and fun. There is learning going on — teachable moment after teachable moment for you to consider.

Take Away: What would the Summit be without going to the summit itself?


Celebrate Officiating Gala

An event not to be missed. Join us as we celebrate the best that officiating has to offer during an elegant evening banquet. NASO is privileged to recognize the efforts of outstanding people and outstanding calls through the Gold Whistle Award, Mel Narol Medallion and the NASO Great Call Award. Former NBA referee Steve Javie will serve as the emcee.

You’ll feel enormous satisfaction and overwhelming pride in knowing you are a part of the officiating community — while at the same time helping to recognize those being honored.