About The IBOA

In March of 1985, a group of five East Central Illinois high school and college basketball officials met and were determined to improve the abilities of and opportunities for young and/or inexperienced officials in the area. The original Charter members, Roger Quinlan, Bill Vangel, Joe Tomlinson, Sam Banks, and Howard Owens believed: "There is a need for an association that is devoted to promoting and developing quality basketball officiating in our area." It was for this reason that they met and decided to form an association that would develop and maintain excellent basketball officiating through the careful selection of members, the diligent studying of the rules of the game, the proper use of officiating mechanics and techniques, and the fostering of close personal fellowship among its members. Out of that meeting grew the Illini Basketball Officials Association (IBOA) based in Champaign, Illinois. Area basketball officials were invited to attend the first official meeting of the IBOA held on April 17, 1985 at Centennial High School in Champaign, Illinois. The agenda for that first meeting included discussion of plans for a basketball officials workshop to be held in the fall of 1985, new memberships, and election of officers.

The IBOA decided that it was important to focus on basketball and not be an association with diverse sport interest groups. The association also agreed that it would not be primarily a "scheduling association" where officials paid their dues and were given games to officiate without first proving that they could actually officiate. IBOA members would be given the opportunity to attend clinics, rules meetings, and receive positive criticism from officials who have officiated at the varsity high school and college levels.

Therefore, the IBOA was formed with two membership levels (Associate and Executive) to which officials could enter. All approved Illinois High School Association (IHSA) registered and recognized officials were required to pay dues and enter at the Associate level. The Executive level was reserved for IHSA Certified officials who worked at the varsity high school level and college officials. Associate members could apply for membership at the Executive level after they had obtained a Certified rating from the IHSA.


Today the IBOA maintains its original structure and commitment with over 80 men and women as members and encourages and instructs officials who work both boys and girls games at all levels. Over the past fourteen years, many members have advanced their officiating skills to a new level, which has dramatically improved their schedule. They have moved up from grade school and freshmen/junior varsity schedules to varsity schedules. Several have even secured college schedules ranging from Junior College to NCAA Division I. A number of IBOA members have been assigned by the IHSA to work the annual Boys and Girls Class "A" and "AA" State Finals Tournament Series. One member has even advanced to the professional level having officiated in the ABL women’s professional league during its existence.

There are several factors, which have contributed to the success of IBOA members:

  • The IBOA has regular meetings during the basketball season for officials to attend and learn about officiating mechanics, discuss situations, and review basketball rules. Members are required to attend at least one half of those meetings.

  • The IBOA sponsors an officiating camp which provides officials with intensive meetings, guest speakers, on court officiating experience in a tournament setting, critique sessions and on court instruction from IHSA Certified Clinicians and IBOA Executive members.

  • The IBOA encourages Executive members to attend regional and national basketball officiating camps during the summer to improve their expertise and skill and to also bring new ideas, mechanics, and knowledge back to the IBOA.

  • The IBOA sponsors an annual Fall Clinic in the Champaign/Urbana area where college conference commissioners, well known high school and college officials, and IHSA representatives speak to officials about the personal and technical aspects of officiating.

  • The IBOA provides members with access to up-to-date video tapes of controversial play situations and explanations of the same.

  • The IBOA encourages Executive members to attend games worked by Associate members to positively critique their officiating and provide feedback to them immediately following the game.

  • The IBOA encourages all of its member officials to establish goals, but being the best at the level where one officiates at is the primary focus.

The Illini Basketball Officials Association is dedicated to providing an atmosphere in which every official can become the best official that he/she can be. As such, a more advanced schedule will result, if that is the personal goal of the member. The IBOA is committed to helping officials secure their schedule based upon knowledge, excellence, performance, and skill; not on a sign-up sheet displayed at a meeting.