RACINE, Wis. — The National Association of Sports Officials (NASO) Board of Directors, in conjunction with the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA), have made the difficult decision to postpone the 2021 Sports Officiating Summit scheduled to be held in Grand Rapids, Mich., this coming July.
The national Summit and the accompanying statewide “Officiate Michigan Day” event were expected to draw more than 500 officiating leaders from across the country as well as more than 1,500 working officials throughout the state of Michigan. The two events are postponed until July 2026. Summit sites for 2021-25 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.”
Mark Uyl, MHSAA Executive Director, said, “Having been directly involved with every NASO Summit since 2004, the MHSAA realizes the amount of advance planning and organization required to put on another first-class Summit in Michigan. With so much current uncertainty regarding interstate travel, indoor gatherings and group events, we support the NASO Board’s decision to delay this summer’s in-person event in Grand Rapids and we are already planning for the Summit’s return to Michigan in 2026.”
While having a traditional in-person Summit is not possible, NASO is already working on another Summit-based virtual educational program, as it did in 2020.
Mano said, “We had a resounding success with the 2020 Summit @ Home virtual event. More than 10,000 registered for it. For the 2021 event, we fully intend to outdo that success, both in presentation quality and in attendance. We are looking forward to summiting that mountain. Please stay tuned.”
Uyl added, “The MHSAA will be a contributor to this summer’s virtual event, and we will take this extra time to make sure the return of the Summit in 2026 will be the best one possible.”
MHSAA Assistant Director Brent Rice, who manages the 10,000 MHSAA registered officials, added, “While it is unfortunate that we are unable to celebrate officiating in the venue we’d prefer, the MHSAA and NASO remain committed to the support and development of officials across Michigan and the rest of the country, and we look forward to the opportunity to host in 2026.”
The Summit has been held annually across the nation since 1981.