2017 IHOA Scholarship application available

The IHOA scholarships are awarded each spring to student officials who exhibit in school, on the ice and in their community the true spirit of USA Hockey, AHAI and IHOA. This scholarship, awarded to student officials annually, is applicable towards college tuition at an accredited college or university.



TONIGHT at the IHOA Board of Directors monthly meeting,

it was decided to add a

late season seminar!


*LEVEL 1 (1PM- 8PM) with ice*

**LEVEL 2 (1PM- 7PM) with ice**



**If you are a LEVEL 2, 3 or 4, have not attended a seminar yet, and wish to register,

YOU WILL NOT BE CERTIFIED and ELIGIBLE to work USA Hockey games by

NOVEMBER 30, 2016 (when your crest expires)!

*You MUST also make sure that the level you register for with IHOA matches with your USA Hockey registration. FAILURE TO DO THIS WILL DROP YOU TO THE NEXT LEVEL LOWER!

For further information on the IHOA’s registration process, click here: Register with IHOA

When ready to register: Click here to register with IHOA

Click here to register with USA Hockey

2016 USAH Development Camp participants

Congrats to the following officials on being selected to participate in USA Hockey’s Development Camps this past summer. The USA Hockey Officiating Program offers many programs each season for officials to develop. Whether your goals are to progress to higher levels of the game (Junior, NCAA, Pro, IIHF, etc.), or to become a better officials in your local grassroots hockey community, there are programs available to those officials who wish to reach the top of their game. For more information, go to: USAH Advanced Development Programs.



Cameron McCambridge, Matt Bleck, and Richard Faron

OBJECTIVE – This camp is an intense and thorough review of the fundamentals of amateur ice hockey officiating.  The camp establishes the existence within each participant of a practical understanding and a consistent application of the fundamentals of ice hockey officiating as recommended by the USA Hockey Officiating Program.  These areas include positioning, rules knowledge and game management.  This camp focuses on instructing the fundamentals and reinforcing all of the basic techniques an official needs to manage all levels of amateur hockey.  Supporting areas of instruction will include skating technique, physical conditioning and mental preparedness.

PARTICIPANTS – All participants must be USA Hockey members who are between 18-28 years old.  12-18 participants will be selected for each of the futures camps.


Shane Gustafson and Anthony Vikhter

OBJECTIVE – To continue to advance the educational process of the amateur official who has successfully proven his proficiency and application of the fundamentals of ice hockey officiating as presented at the Futures Camp level.  To review and refine the lessons learned at the Futures Camp as the participants attempt to advance to the higher levels of hockey.  This camp is focused on the advance techniques that officials must master to effectively manage hockey games at the highest levels, but in doing so re-emphasizing the need to master the fundamentals of officiating.  Additional supporting areas of instruction will include power skating. nutrition, physical conditioning and mental preparedness.

PARTICIPANTS All participants must be USA Hockey members who are between 20-30 years old and it is preferred that they had previously attended a Futures Camp.  They should have some experience at the Tier III Junior Level and/or the NAPHL or USA Hockey National Tournaments.  18-24 Participants will be selected to the High Performance Camp.

IHOA at 2016 USAH Annual Congress

IHOA represented at the 2016 USA Hockey Annual Congress- June 8-11 in Colorado Spring, CO

2016 USAH Prez Dinner

Front row: (L-R) Craig Welker, Carl Sassolino, Mike Barrett

Back Row: (L-R) John Oldenburg and Dave Zednik


  1. Please be aware of the DATE, TIME, and LOCATION of what you want.
  2. If you’re unsure of the requirements, please read Register with IHOA
  3. Click here to Register for an IHOA SEMINAR.


Questions? Contact the IHOA Registrar (Jameson Gronert).

Questions? Contact the IHOA Registrar (Jameson Gronert).


Lifetime Achievement and “Pass the Torch” Awards; Scholarship Recipients

At the IHOA Annual Meeting on May 9, 2016, two awards and the IHOA Scholarships were given out. It was the inaugural year for both The Lifetime Achievement Award and the “Pass the Torch” award.


The Lifetime Achievement award was given to Andy McElman and Al Stensland for their dedication to officiating, starting locally in IHOA.

Andy McElman Andy McElman                              stensland_200 Al Stensland

The “Pass the Torch” award was given to four up and coming officials by Andy McElman and Al Stensland. This year’s recipients were (L to R): Cameron Conner , Justin Pirard, Cameron McCambridge , and Shane Gustafson.

Pass the Torch...Lifetime Awards




The 2016 IHOA Scholarship Awards were also given out. This year’s recipients were (L to R): Nick Jones, Max Gruenberg, and Ian McCambridge ; Scholarship Chairman Geoff Schlender.

2016 IHOA Scholarships


CONGRATULATIONS to all our recipients this year!

IHOA Annual Meeting and Election results- May 9, 2016

IHOA members:

On May 9, 2016,  IHOA conducted its Annual Meeting to recap the past year’s activities and conduct the membership election of 5 Board Members to the IHOA Board of Directors.

At the Annual Meeting, the membership elected the following 5 people, including 2 new Board members: Michael Barrett, Eric Cowsill, Nicole Davis, Don Mrozik and David Zednik. Each of these members will serve a three year term on the IHOA Board. They will join the following people as the 2016-2017 IHOA Board of Directors:

The 2016-2017 IHOA Board of Directors is:

(Term ending in 2017):
Larry Clark, Len Edling, John Oldenburg, Geoff Schlender, Mason Strom

(Term ending in 2018):
Erin Blair, Steven Drews, Jameson Gronert, Carl Sassolino, Craig Welker

(Term Ending in 2019):
Michael Barrett, Eric Cowsill, Nicole Davis, Don Mrozik, David Zednik

The Board convened and elected the following people to the Executive Board:
President: John Oldenburg
Vice President: David Zednik
Secretary: Nicole Davis
Treasurer: Geoff Schlender
Registrar: Jameson Gronert
RIC: Michael Barrett

As a Board, we are discussing many issues in an attempt to continue the fine tradition of IHOA. Some of the current issues we are discussing include expanding evaluations, mentoring, development and others, all of which are designed to help each and every official become the best official they can be. Additionally, there are ongoing discussions regarding seminars for the coming season and a likely dues reduction. More information will follow as it becomes available.

As part of the Board’s processes, we fill positions among the many committees which are vital to the administration of IHOA. I firmly believe that participation from all officials will continue to make IHOA a leader in the nation among the officiating community. Therefore, I encourage each and every official to participate in IHOA by volunteering for a committee.

In the next few weeks or so, John Oldenburg, President of IHOA, will appoint the Chairperson(s) to all of the IHOA committees. In addition, we will update the IHOA website and place contact information for officers, board members and committee chairs on the website. Please send an email to the committee chair for which you would like to participate and shortly thereafter he/she will send a return email to you.

As a Board, we represent you, the official, and we are here to help you in any way we can. Communication is the key to solving problems and making the organization stronger so please let us hear from you.

Please note the USA Hockey Annual Congress is set for June 8-11 in Colorado Springs and the AHAI Annual Meeting is Saturday, June 25, 2016. At the conclusion of the USAH meeting, IHOA will report back to you to discuss the decisions rendered by USAH with respect to IHOA and the officiating community.

More information will be sent out as it becomes available. In the meantime, have a safe and happy summer!

IHOA BoD Nominations and bios

Ladies and gentlemen of the IHOA membership:

The following people have been nominated and accepted such nomination as of May 1, 2016, in accordance of the IHOA by-laws:

Michael Barrett, Eric Cowsill, Nicole Davis, Don Mrozik, and Dave Zednik.

In alphabetical order, you will find the biography for each candidate below. Please read, and be ready for the IHOA Annual Election on

May 9, 2016,  at 7:00pm at the AHAI Center in Bensenville, IL.


Hello all: Thank you for the opportunity to run for the IHOA Board of Directors.

My tenure on the IHOA Board of Directors started in 2007 and I served as a Board Member continuously since then.  Over that time period, my responsibilities included Chairman of Referee Oversight Committee; Chairman of Rules Committee; Chairman of Financial Overview Committee; and Chairman of the Nominating Committee.   I was Vice President for two years, President for three years and I am in my third year as Referee in Chief.

My contributions to IHOA along the way include drafting the 2008 and 2009 Amendments to the IHOA By-Laws to conform them to Illinois law and drafting a complete revision to the election policies and procedures to clarify and streamline the election process.

My passion for officiating and ice hockey drives me to participate at the Board level and I believe as a Board Member these past years I contributed a positive experience for all officials.

My hope is that the officiating community has benefitted from my participation.  I will continue to make a difference by offering my experience and knowledge to IHOA.  This is why I am seeking another term as a member of the IHOA Board of Directors.

Thanks for your participation at the Annual Meeting.

Mike Barrett



My name is Eric Cowsill.  This is my 9th year as an IHOA official.  I have been part of the Mentor, Evaluation/Supervisory, Performance, Education & Development and Rules & Ethics committees, in efforts to better myself and those around me throughout each season.

In previous seasons I’ve enjoyed assisting in the seminars, both in class and on ice.  Last year I had the privilege to attend Instructor training in Colorado Springs and worked my first seminar as a certified instructor.   Each season I challenge myself to innovate and enhance the seminar experience for all involved, especially our new officials.  I believe by allocating assets to seminars, general and advanced development and mentor programs we can increase our overall knowledge base as a membership and increase overall retention.

I greatly enjoy the ability to serve in these roles allowing me to give back to the IHOA membership where possible, and would appreciate the opportunity to become more involved and serve on the Board of Directors for you, the membership.

-Eric Cowsill



I am honored to have been nominated again. Thank you for this opportunity to run  for a second term on the IHOA Board. Having already been involved in numerous aspects of our association: certified seminar instructor, mentor, evaluator, Performance- Education- Development committee, Rules and Ethics, and Development committee, I wanted to do more. So, I started working for our membership on the Board after being elected in 2013.

I’m passionate about developing our members into officials that hold the integrity of the game to the highest of standards. I believe that this is the greatest game, and it should be fun, fair, and safe for everyone involved. Through the opportunities, education and experiences I’ve had over the past 20 years as an official, the only natural path for me to continue to take is to give back to the association that helped me; to edify and lift our officials to their next level, and to provide the opportunities for bettering ourselves.

I have enjoyed every minute working and interacting with our membership, and have learned so much. I hope that I have helped our membership in the same way. I am excited to continue to work hard, and speak up for the concerns and rights of you, our members.



My name is Don Mrozik.  In January of 2016, I was selected to take the Board position vacated by Mike Nargie and I would like to continue to serve Illinois officials.  I bring many important elements to the Illinois Hockey Officials Association.  First, I have a strong desire to serve others and to make our game the best and safest it can be for all participants.

Aside from the desire to serve others and help make our game the best it can be, I bring a high level of officiating experience and professionalism to the Board.  I was selected to a USA Hockey Regional Camp and National Camp.  I was a member of the USA Hockey Junior Officiating Program where I served as a full-time referee for several years.  I was selected to referee in several USA Hockey National Championships, including the final game of the tier I midget national championship game in 2005 and I was also selected to referee two Illinois high school championship games.  I officiated in the United Hockey League and I had a “cup of coffee” in the East Coast Hockey League.

In addition to officiating, I also scheduled referees for the Geneva Cyclones.  Serving as a scheduler, I had annual meetings with the Cyclone organization and shared the importance of respecting the game and all participants involved.  I took the role of scheduling very seriously.  I was always available to answer questions the organization had, serving much like a liaison for their coaches, managers, and parents.  I attended a host of games that I scheduled providing feedback and mentoring to officials, many of whom I helped in their overall development by providing them with opportunities to officiate higher level games when other schedulers didn’t make it a priority to develop officials and to handle their role as scheduler in the manner that was in the best interest of officials.  I was able to help develop young as well as older officials through my mentoring, the use of experienced partners whose responsibility was to help less experienced officials and through my communication with the Cyclones as to what my goal was.

I recently became involved in coaching.  I coach my son’s developmental team out of Canlan Ice Arena in Romeoville.  I am a level three coach and I coached my son during his peewee and now bantam years.  In that time, I was selected to coach a tournament team made up of the top developmental players, giving them an opportunity to play against travel players.  I was selected as the BMO Harris Chicago Blackhawks Coach of the Month in January 2016, which was a tremendous honor.

My training and experiences in amateur and professional hockey are important assets that can benefit our organization.  Another important asset is the professional strengths that I can bring to IHOA.  I worked very hard to earn a Doctorate Degree in Educational Leadership.  Earning any terminal degree requires perseverance and focus, which are important leadership qualities.  I serve as a principal of an elementary school where I lead a team of educators, students, parents, and community members.  As principal, I deal with many difficult situations and I deal with those situations in solution seeking ways that maintain the dignity of those involved.  My officiating career and my professional career are assets to our organization and I hope to offer my time, energies, and wisdom to IHOA and AHAI to best support our organization and Illinois hockey.



It is with great honor and respect that I accept the nomination to run for the Illinois Hockey Officials Board of Directors. My nomination has filled me with a strong sense of pride and I would like to thank you and the entire IHOA membership for this singular honor. I understand fully the responsibilities of this position and look forward to interacting with the membership and representing IHOA in a professional manner.

I have been an IHOA member for over 30 years and within that time I have seen IHOA grow into one of the leaders of USA Hockey not only with on ice officiating , but also off ice in the preparation and teaching of our officials.

I have been a seminar instructor, mentor and evaluator for the last ten years and within that time I have put the education and well-being of each official at the forefront. At the same time I have been chairman of IHOA’s Rules & Ethics committee. I have and hopefully will continue to put the official’s rights first in any case that is brought before the committee.

Just recently I was asked to join the AHAI assigning group, within the last few months I have worked with Erin Blair to ensure that the officials in the Advanced Development programs are assigned to the proper games, therefore, they can use new knowledge and apply it in high level game situations.

IHOA is entering a challenging and exciting time, the success of the Blackhawks spurred an expansive growth of youth hockey that is second to none. There are more games with high quality play than ever before, the opportunities to move to higher levels of officiating are there for the taking. I am excited to continue in the roles that I have now as well as getting into the dynamics of creating new events for IHOA. My enthusiasm for the position is evident in the long list of ideas I have already created in the past and the new ones that I hope to present in the next three years.


Kraft Hockeyville™ USA Announces Top 10 Finalists: Includes Fox Valley Ice Arena in Geneva, Illinois!

Community pride and the love of hockey are alive and well across the country and now 10 communities, including Geneva, Illinois’ Fox Valley Ice Arena, are one step closer to being named Kraft Hockeyville™ USA 2016. The Kraft Heinz search for America’s most passionate hockey community, in partnership with the National Hockey League (NHL®) and National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), led to more than a thousand local rink nominations across the United States. Now that the nominations have been narrowed down to 10 finalists, the first round of public voting will begin on April 12 and run through April 14. Kraft Heinz will award funds to each of the finalists for arena upgrades and the grand prize winner will be awarded $150,000 and the opportunity to host an NHL® Pre-Season game televised live on NBCSN.

The 10 communities advancing to the first round of public voting include:


Bridgewater Ice Arena – Bridgewater, Mass.
Lake Placid Olympic Center Arena – Lake Placid, N.Y.
Lakeview Arena – Marquette, Mich.
Rockville Ice Arena – Rockville, Md.
Twin Ponds Family Complex East – Harrisburg, Pa.


Fox Valley Ice Arena – Geneva, Ill.
MAYSA Arena – Minot Park District – Minot, N.D.
NYTEX Sports Centre – North Richland Hills, Texas
Pagel Activity Center – Minnetonka, Minn.
Rushmore Thunderdome – Rapid City, S.D.

The first of three rounds of voting to determine the Kraft HockeyvilleTM USA 2016 winner will begin on April 12. The voting schedule is as follows:

Round 1 (April 12-14) – Top four communities chosen to move on to the next round; remaining six each receive $10,000 toward arena upgrades.
Round 2 (April 19-20) – Top two finalists selected; remaining two each receive $25,000 toward arena upgrades.
Round 3 (April 25-26) – One community will emerge as “Kraft HockeyvilleTM USA” 2016; runner-up will receive $75,000 toward arena upgrades.

The grand prize winner will be announced on or around April 30 and will receive the top prize of $150,000 and the opportunity to host an NHL® Pre-Season Game broadcast on NBCSN.


Click here to VOTE NOW!!