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Whistling Zebra

Northern Officials Association
WINTER 2011 Edition    03/23/2011
Jerry Blum --Editor
(847) 438-2231

Welcome to the WINTER edition of the Whistling Zebra for the 2010-2011 school year. Please feel free to send me suggestions on how to make this publication work for you.  If there is anything you want to have printed send it to me.


NOA Officers (2010-2012)
General Chairman:
Rocky Nelson
Jerry Blum
Randy Steen
Membership Chairman:
Bruce Ruttenberg
Football President:
  Darrell Schrag
Basketball President:
  Troy Whalen
FB Assignment Chairman:
Bob Brown
BB Assignment Chairman:
Mike Babicz




NOA BANQUET      May 7th 2011 at Lamb’s Farm, Libertyville

More information will follow in a separate e-mail.


Fund Donations- Donations for The Norm Geske Fund, and The Bob Brown Fund can be made any time by writing a check to NOA and sending it to:
Randy Steen at 2157 N. Dogwood Ln., Palatine IL 6007

Membership Chairman Report- Bruce Ruttenberg
Members your dues will be due for the 2011-2012 school year on Aug. 1st. Please send your dues to:
Bruce Ruttenberg, 447 Harmony Dr., Wheeling, IL   60090. Make the check out to NOA.


FB Header Football
From President--- Darrell Schrag


  BK Header
President – Troy Whalen  or
NOA Basketball Members:


Another high school basketball season has wrapped and I wanted to share some highlights and thoughts from the 2010-2011 season and the upcoming off season:

> Record Meeting Attendance - Our meeting attendance and membership (148 basketball members and counting)  continue to increase.  It has become the norm that you better get to the meetings early if you want a seat.
 > The NOA was more than well-represented(33 in the Girls and 26 in the Boys) during the IHSA State Tournament Series. See list provided and congratulations to everyone
 > The NOA banquet is set for May 7th at Lamb's Farm.  This is a special night and an opportunity to meet and socialize with NOA members.  Please make every attempt possible to attend.
 >Remember to make it a personal goal to attend a summer clinic.  This provides each of us with additional training and also exposes you to assignment chairmen throughout the area. Try to attend a different one each summer if you serious about working in as many conferences as possible.
 >There is also a lot of spring and summer leagues basketball games to officiate. This is a great way for you to stay sharp and in basketball shape.
 Thanks again for being a member of the NOA.  I hope you enjoyed the season and are taking positives away from being a basketball official. Enjoy the offseason.

Troy Whalen

From Darnell Jones:
The mentoring program is being revamped/ revised.  A new form will be emailed by Darnell Jones to officials requesting mentoring before the first basketball meeting.  You will need to input your officiating dates into the spread sheet and email it back to Darnell. This is a great idea for anyone not working a full Varsity schedule. Get your requests in early. Having someone watch and evaluate you is a great way to advance. The NOA has a camera that you can get your game filmed. Seeing yourself is a shocking way to see just how you really look. There is no better way to see your  pluses and minuses than to see it on film.

Summer Basketball Camps

Rocky Nelson will be holding summer camps at Zion (2 person), CLC (3 person), and Crystal Lake South (3 person).
Jim Bernardi will be holding a summer camp at Stevenson.
The dates for both of these sets of camps will be sent out as soon as they are confirmed.
Make sure you plan on attending at least one camp this summer. The State says you need to attend 1   camp every three years. If you wish to advance and do Varsity and State Tournament games it is to your best interest to attend a clinic every year. You will receive 5 power points when you attend a clinic each year and 3 power points if you skip a year and 1 power point if you attend once every 3 years. It is to your best interest to attend a yearly clinic.

Basketball Members:

State Tournament Assignments


Tom Vogan 2A, 4A, Dave Butts 2A, 4A, Jerry Blum 2A, Ron Lorenzo 1A, 4A, Ethan Nussbaum 1A,3A,
Jerry Ming 1A, 2A, Ken Pink 2A, 4A, Troy Whalen 2A, Bruce Ruttenberg 4A, Keith Barth 4A,
Mark Havlic 1A,3A,4A, Tom Brophy 2A, 3A, Pete Merkel 4A, Darnell Jones 3A, Mike Babicz 3A,
Randy Steen 4A, Cabrina Williams 4A, Tim Robbins 3A, Jim Bernardi 4A, Jim Kaus 4A, Al Smigiel 4A,
Bob Selz 4A, Jim Steiner 3A, Steve Gibble 4A, Jay Lampel 2A, 4A, Al Hitzke 4A,
Rich Petersen 4A, Carl Majeski 4A 1st Time, Mark Leffler 4A, Greg Burton 4A, Robert Miller 3A,
Tim Robbins 3A, Paul Brown 3A
Jerry Blum 1A, Ron Lorenzo 3A, Jerry Ming 2A, Mike Babicz 4A, Steve Gibble 3A, Jim Bernardi 3A,
Ken Pink 3A, Troy Whalen 3A, Randy Steen 4A,
Jerry Blum 2A, Steve Gibble 4A, Jim Bernardi 4A
State Finals
Jerry Blum 1A/2A, Jim Bernardi 3A/4A

Jerry Blum 4A, Bruce Ruttenberg 4A, Mike Babicz 3A, Ron Lorenzo 4A, Jerry Ming 3A,
Mike Snodgrass 4A, 1st time, Rich Petersen 3A, Don Swanson 3A, Randy Steen 4A, Ken Pink 4A,
Mark Leffler 3A, Mark Havlic 3A, Keith Barnett 4A, Phil Schmidt 4A, Pete Merkel 3A,
Rocky Nelson 4A, Tom Brophy 4A, Jeff Pearson 4A, Troy Whalen 4A, Peter King 4A, Mike Geske 4A,
Ken Molinari 4A, Craig Bunton 3A, Scott Klingberg 3A, Tom Vogan 4A, Bob Selz 4A,
Robert Miller 3A, Randy Steen 3A, Phil Schmidt 4A, Mike Geske 3A, Mark Leffler 4A,
Rocky Nelson 4A, Scott Klingberg 3A, Craig Bunton 3A,
Mike Geske 4A, Craig Bunton 4A
State Finals
Craig Bunton   3A/4A

Let me know if I have forgotten anyone. I don’t want to miss your selection to the tournament.

From Mike Babicz NOA Assignment Chairman

Personal Info- Please send me any promotions or other information you would like to share with the NOA members

The following members have been promoted in basketball:

Mike Snodgrass from Recognized to Certified.
Alan Levine from Registered to Recognized.
Mike Herlihy from Recognized to Certified.
Jim Steiner from recognized to Certified.
Ron Kaye from recognized to Certified.
Bill McIntee from recognized to Certified.
Bob Selz from recognized to Certified.
James Galbavy from registered to recognized.
Colin Baldonieri from registered to recognized.
Pete Androus from recognized to Certified.
Debbie Ferrell from registered to recognized.
Jeff Schell from registered to recognized.


Peter King and his crew were assigned to the Division III National Championship
Football Game.

 Don Swanson was assigned as the alternate in the Pinstripe Bowl played in Yankee Stadium.

Congratulations to John Widmayer- John Widmayer was inducted onto the Woodstock H. S. Hall of
Fame on Jan. 22, 2011.  John was honored for his 42 years of service to Woodstock H. S. Great job
John, from all of the NOA members.

Congratulations to Jim Kruschwitz-  Jim Kruschwitz was inducted into the Semi-Pro Football Hall of


Special Olympics
Many thanks to the following members who gave of their time and efforts to make the Special Olympics
Tournaments a success: Ron Lorenzo, Shane Cannon, Mike Babicz, Jim Kruschwitz, Tom Vogan, Julian
Magdeleno, Mark Havlic, Jerry Blum, Al Levine, Matt Rapaport, Larry Yasdick, Ken Molinari, Kurtis Kleine,
Tim Coleman, Craig Bunton, Eric Barger, Mike Roseman, Dan Sawchuk

Posted: 2011-03-07
This weekend, 126 Special Olympics basketball teams from around the state will be playing their hearts out for medals, trophies and respect at the 2011 State Basketball Tournament in Bloomington-Normal.
Officials Gerry Blum, Bill Duffy and Kevin TrowAlongside the athletes will be dozens of Illinois High School Association (IHSA) officials who legitimize the competition and enhance the overall experience for the athletes. This dedicated group of volunteers – men and women – officiate at local, district and state competitions in a number of sports, ensuring a safe and fair environment and adherence to the rules of the sport.  Some Illinois officials like Bill Duffy of Jacksonville have also officiated at past USA National Games and World Games events for Special Olympics.
“It is important to have IHSA officials on the court, field and pool to reinforce to the athletes, coaches, families and spectators that these are athletes who work and train hard and deserve a sports experience that is comparable to their non-disabled counterparts said Amy Kaylor, Manager of Sports and Competition for the Special Olympics Illinois Far West Suburban/Area 2 program.                                   
Official calls game at State Basketball TournamentIt is clear to any spectator watching the competition that the officials relish the work they do with the Special Olympics athletes. Official John Jansky said, “It’s great to see how the athletes respond to what I can teach them – for instance, how to dribble the right way or shoot the right way or why a foul is a foul.”  Jansky began officiating at Special Olympics events as soon as he graduated from Waubonsie Valley High School in 1978.  “They appreciate the knowledge and expertise they receive from me and I enjoy tremendously seeing them improve their skills so they can get to the next level. It’s an honor for me to be involved,” Jansky said.                                      

Many Illinois officials keep coming back year after year to help where they are needed. For some, officiating at Special Olympics runs in the family. Jerry Blum of Lake Zurich has inspired both his daughter and son to carry on the tradition.  Blum was also responsible for starting a new tradition at State Basketball:  the Ron Knisley Spirit of the Game Award, nOfficial Brian Hebert with Ron Knisley Spirit of the Game Award winneramed in honor of the late Special Olympics Illinois Director of Sports.  After each of the games played during the 3-day tournament, officials present the Ron Knisley award to the player on each team who has demonstrated the best sportsmanship during that game.
The sportsmanship displayed at Special Olympics events is a true model for high school teams according to many of the volunteer officials.  Special Olympics Illinois board member Marty Hickman, who is Executive Director of the IHSA, said, “Special Olympics basketball is very competitive and utilizing officials that have access to our training programs makes a great deal of sense. And, we can all learn from the outstanding sportsmanship displayed by the coaches, the fans and the athletes participating in Special Olympics.”
The IHSA motto “Do what’s right! Sport a winning attitude” will certainly be evident by the smiles and high-fives of athletes, coaches and officials at the upcoming competition. Click here for more information about the Special Olympics Illinois State Basketball Tournament March 11-13 at Illinois State University and Illinois Wesleyan University.
If you have never worked a Special Olympics game you need to give it a try. You will never feel better as an official after a game as you will after a Special Olympics game. I will put out dates and times of next year’s tournaments when they become available.

Board Meetings
The next Board Meeting will be May 16, 2011. If you have anything you
want to be discussed please send me an e-mail.