Summit Torch Passed on to Louisiana
The fabled Crescent City of New Orleans has been host to many big athletic events from Super Bowls, to NCAA Final Fours to NCAA national championship football games.
Still, with all that experience, Louisiana High School Officials Association (LHSOA) Executive Director Paul LaRosa is going to search for all the help he can get as his organization prepares for the 2018 NASO Officiating Summit on July 29-31.
It’s the first time that the Summit has been in New Orleans since 1992 and LHSOA wants to make a good impression, said LaRosa.
First and formost in his mind is utilizing NASO itself.
“What we’re going to do is use them as much as possible,” he said. “It’s a bit of a cost issue and NASO does such a good job with the technical issues. It would be difficult for us to replicate that kind of work.”
To be held at the Marriott on Canal Street, the theme will be “Say Yes to Officiating.”
According to NASO Founder Barry Mano, it will seek to reinforce a positive view of the profession, especially as it concerns recruiting and retention. It’s unofficial sub-theme is: “Why Officiating Is Cool.”
Co-hosts include NASO, NFHS and the LHSOA.
It will look to carry over the great energy that was built at the Louisville Summit.
“There was a lot to like,” said LaRosa. “The vendor set-up was attractive and really brought in the officials. The organization was really good too. Everything was staying on time going from session to session so things didn’t get too crowded.”
All the material related to high school officiating and sports was a big hit in LaRosa’s eyes too, especially the way the organizers dedicated a day to highlighting Kentucky prep officials from throughout the state.
“I thought the segment recognizing the officials was a great idea,” LaRosa said. “They get very little of that, so we’re going to do that too. We’ll gather that data and put together a good list (of Louisiana officials).”
Louisville Summit officials said they were happy to set a good example.
“I think we really accomplished what we hoped to do,” said Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) Associate Commissioner Butch Cope one of the co-organizers of the event. “We weren’t trying to drill down too much but we really wanted to explore a wide range of topics from what’s going on in the high schools to questions concerning the media and liability.
“We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback.”
Cope was particularly impressed by the turnout at the Marriott Louisville Downtown.
“Considering we were hoping for about 400 people and we wound up with around 720 we were absolutely thrilled,” he said. ‘We wanted to come off well on both the state and NASO level. Working with the NASO, vendors and staff was a great benefit to us.”
It was the first time in the 37-year history of the NASO Summit that it was held in Kentucky and Cope felt it was a big success. More than 80 sports and officiating organizations provided financial support.
“We wanted everyone to leave with a great feeling about how things went and I think we did that,” Cope said. “We wanted to keep the light burning and have everyone leave feeling invigorated.”