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NASO Announces Postponement Of Annual Sports Officiating Summit




4-18-2020 — The National Association of Sports Officials (NASO) Board of Directors, in consultation with the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA), have made the difficult decision to postpone the 2020 Sports Officiating Summit scheduled to be held in Montgomery, Ala., this coming July.

The national Summit, and the accompanying statewide “Officiate Alabama Day” event were expected to draw more than 500 officiating leaders from across the country as well as more than 1,000 working officials throughout the state of Alabama.

The two events are postponed until July 2025 when Officiate Alabama Day is scheduled for Saturday, July 26, 2025, and the NASO Summit will be July 27-29, 2025. Summit sites for 2021-24 have already been determined.

“This was not an easy decision,” said NASO President Barry Mano. “I don’t have to belabor the matter about the virus and its impact. Absent some extraordinary progress, we do not believe people will be coming together for sporting events, concerts, or gatherings like a Summit or State Day. The health and safety of all our attendees, sponsors, vendors and staff are at the forefront of our minds. This is the prudent decision.”

“It is most unfortunate that we will not be able to host the 2020 NASO Summit,” added AHSAA Director of Officials Mark Jones. “We were looking forward to hosting this prestigious event for the first time in Alabama. However, we do understand and agree with the decision. I want to thank Executive Director Steve Savarese and the AHSAA staff for all their support in preparing for this event.”

While having a traditional in-person Summit is not possible, NASO is already working on creating a Summit-based virtual educational program to be delivered digitally on the Internet based on the theme of the 2020 Summit, “Good Sports, Bad Sports, Better Sports Through Officiating.” As it takes its final form, the program will be free and accessible to all, distributed at no cost to sports officials and officiating organizations that want to participate.

“Despite the pandemic and all that it has cost those of us who work in athletics, NASO’s mission to provide education by bringing the officiating industry together to roll up our sleeves and tackle the unique challenges officials and officiating leaders face, is still in our minds,” said Mano. “We feel we can create something that will still resonate and provide real value to this industry, albeit in virtual form and delivery.”

The AHSAA and NASO originally agreed to partner in 2016 to bring the annual Sports Officiating Summit to Montgomery in 2020.

AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese said, “We understand the need to (postpone) this year’s Summit. However, we are very excited to still be able to host the Summit in 2025. Some of the greatest minds in sports officiating serve as clinicians. It affords the AHSAA and our state’s sports officials an incredible opportunity.”

The Summit has been held annually across the nation since 1981.