The 2022 NASO Sports Officiating Summit in Denver is just around the corner. This year’s event, which will be held July 31-Aug. 2, will be back in person for the first time in more than two years, as the COVID-19 pandemic forced the last two events to go virtual.

This year’s program features something for everyone. Whether you’re an association leader or an official at any level, it is an event you will not want to miss.

Sure to cover a wide range of valuable information, this year’s Summit tackles topics related to the theme of “Make Officiating Count.” Right off the bat, the Summit will feature “Why Officiating Counts More Than Ever” and celebrate the ability to get back together in person and salute this avocation that is near and dear to all of us.

If you are an officials association leader or a state or league administrator, you especially won’t want to miss the “Say Yes to Officiating” and “Give Them a Chance to Succeed” sessions. Those discussions will tackle the officiating shortage that is plaguing the nation and will give insights into how to best recruit, train and retain their officials.

State association leaders can also attend the “State High School Association Executive Forum,” which allows leaders the chance to share ideas and best practices related to topics such as registration, requirements for officials, state-tournament selections and budgeting.

Officials will have the opportunity to participate in valuable sessions that will help them develop a sense of belonging and appreciate the avocation in a whole new way. “Believing in Belonging” is a session that will tackle the issues of expanding the recruiting-reach in officiating to include everyone, especially those from a number of under-represented groups. This session will tackle that issue with thoughtfulness, sensitivity and creativity.

Officials will also have a chance to gain insights in “Working Through the Noise.” Officiating has never been more difficult and calls have never been more scrutinized. This important session will teach officials how to have character, commitment and courage to be effective in today’s challenging climate.

All attendees will also benefit from the opportunity to participate in workshops geared toward the “Business of Officiating.” These breakout workshops will give attendees the tools to handle negotiations, manage the social media experience, navigate training through technology, community involvement initiatives and many more topics.

One of the highlights of every Summit is the session dealing with legal and liability issues. This session gives attendees details about the critical issues facing the officiating industry from a legal standpoint and makes the concepts easy to understand.

The main portion of the Summit program wraps up with “Referee Voices.” This session can tug at the heart strings as officials and leaders share their personal stories under the bright lights.

These stories will give attendees an insight and allow them to share in a moment to reflect, think deeply and connect on what is important in officiating.

The Summit wraps up with the Celebrate Officiating Gala, a night to celebrate those who have given so much to the officiating industry. We will recognize the Gold Whistle, Mel Narol Medallion and Inspire Award recipients and share their impact with attendees.

Whether you have participated in every Summit in the past or have never had the opportunity to attend, this year’s event will be a must-see experience.