More than 20 IHSA football officials came out to Belvidere High School for their third annual live-action clinic on Saturday. On top of learning in the classroom, this adds another way for the officials to get comfortable before the mayhem begins, but they aren’t the only ones benefiting from the partnership. Players also get a chance to get comfortable with talking to the officials before the real thing this season.
“Probably the biggest benefit for the officials is they have a learning environment where there’s no pressure,” Bill Evink, clinician for IHSA football officials said. “They get their timing, the speed, their focus is all happening when there’s no pressure. There’s not a game going on. For the players, they’re getting to see officials on a field who aren’t in an intense situation and it really opens up a lot of lines of communication between players and officials and coaches.”
Officials are required to attend at least one clinic every three years in the state of Illinois. Belvidere’s head football coach Darin Wecker came up with the live-action partnership three years ago when he saw it done in Texas.