Nationally known sports officials and officiating leaders are confirming to speak at the 2019 Sports Officiating NASO Summit, which will be held July 28-30 in Spokane, Wash. With numerous significant sessions in the works, this year’s Summit, with the theme “Training in Transition,” will highlight knowledge, belief and behaviors in successful training programs. Educational sessions will build on this topic so attendees can return home with useful programs and helpful information to share with their state and local associations.

Among those confirming to speak at the NASO Summit include: Mike Pereira (former NFL VP of officiating, and currently a Fox Sports football rules analyst); Dr. Karissa Niehoff (NFHS executive director); Mark Uyl (executive director of the Michigan High School Athletic Association); Pati Rolf (director of officials development at USA Volleyball); Joe Crawford (former NBA official and current NBA director of referee performance); Jason Nickleby (director of officials for the Minnesota State High School League); and Bill Carollo (coordinator of football officials for the Collegiate Officiating Consortium, which includes the Big Ten Conference). Additionally, on hand to represent the International Association of Approved Basketball Officials will be Tom Lopes (current executive director), Felix Addeo (incoming executive director) and Donnie Eppley (associate executive director).

One of the innovative training sessions on tap for July 30 is “The First Three Years.” The panel will focus on why 70 percent of officials do not return for their third year, based on the NASO National Officiating Survey of close to 17,500 sports officials in 2017.

“We need to change that number if we hope to increase the number of officials we retain over the long term,” NASO President Barry Mano said. “The turn-ons and turn-offs will be on full view during this session.”

Many barriers stand in the way of retention, and the experienced panel on this session plans to begin knocking them down — expensive uniforms, onerous meeting requirements, old-school delivery mechanisms, dated instructors, out-of-touch materials for a mobile world, bureaucratic testing materials. The list goes on.

Other educational sessions scheduled for the 2019 Summit include:

Training in Transition — How the landscape to train sports officials has changed, and is training keeping pace and staying relevant?

Get Them to Believe — Teaching the elements of what should be in a good training program.

Training on Track Workshops — Fourteen workshops will be held with participation by attendees, addressing a specific training issue.

Sport-by-Sport Training Forums — Video breakdown sessions to immerse you in the subject, run by respected and renowned officials of various sports.

Call ‘Em the Way You See ‘Em — An array of plays on the huge screen and you get to vote on the ruling. Let your clicker be your guide.

After Further Review with Mike Pereira — Expect Pereira to have highly entertaining guests, exploring inside officiating topics with his signature humor and insights.

Leading the Way — Who’s doing officiating the right way? Learn innovative, out-of-the box initiatives to jump-start your officiating program back home.

Training on Track — We reveal results from the earlier workshops.

Landscape Change — Previewing the independent contractor vs. employee debate for sports officials. Several high-profile cases will be examined and discussed at this session. State cases could be affecting the national picture.

RefereeVoices — It’s NASO’s version of “TED Talks.” Come hear some of the industry’s finest riff on their experiences and the issues facing the officiating industry.

In addition to these educational sessions, annual staples like the Officiating Industry Luncheon, GameChangers and Working Lunch Breakouts (Industry/Legal and State High School Leadership Forum) will be included in Summit activities.

Don’t miss your chance to be a part of the premier industry event of the year. To register for this year’s NASO Sports Officiating Summit, go to Or you can call 800-733-6100 for more information.