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Hey Pete,

I know that I mentioned this to you yesterday, but you really have done a great job with the training, consistency, and setting expectation levels with your crew of refs.  In general, all refs arrived on time, looked professional, acted professional on the field, had knowledge of the specific rules for the tourney we were running, etc.

Andy Thompson/New Wave (12/1/13)


We lost some games , we won some games . In the end , you argue what you feel is right at the time. Then you realize that others were correct in a judgement.

Meaning , our organization could have even sent more teams. We sent the teams we felt deserved to go. I am sending you this email. Soooo beat ;) But , the RVOA deserves much credit for this being a great success. We will be back and we want to help it grow. Ask Pete , I m the guy who can help you do that. The RVOA has the worst job. You could be a coaches favorite and the next game he hates you. Pete and his crew were outstanding as always. Yes, I disagree at times with Pete, in the end he usually is right ! OK All the time, but they did an outstanding job.

I can stay boldly, you don't have the RVOA.  You lose people. 

Great job by you Robin and your crew. Best ran tourney I have been at in 18 years.

Thanks for the weekend.
Jim Lasky
Carmel HS coach
WCS co-founder
Illinois catholic schools board member


I am a new official to lacrosse and it is a very new game to me. I was at your Lyons Township High School training yesterday and could not have been more impressed with your veterans there.  I have a background in officiating baseball and volleyball. I can tell you, from experience, they are not the most conducive to helping the newbies, rookies.  These guys made us all immediately feel welcome, and were completely selfless in their approach to helping us and getting us involved. - Ed H. 4/2013

I really love the self assign way to pick games.  I am thankful for the on field training and continued refereeing through summer tournaments. Looking forward to attending a full rvoa training program and definitely interested in working year round.
Angela, your payment schedule is outstanding and very appreciative.
Overall a very positive thumbs up!! - Ed I. 8/2012

Just wanted to send out a BIG Thanks to both of you for the assignments this year,  I really appreciated everything that you did for me . As a first year official it means a lot to have the confidence of the assigners to work the level games you put me on and it helped me become a better official .  I'm already looking forward to next season and being part of the RVOA Family !!! - Greg S. 7/2012

I just wanted to let you know how much I have appreciated your communication this season, and how much effort you have put in to help Illinois lacrosse officials improve and meet the demands of this growing sport. I know that because of my schedule and geographic limitations, I don't see much of you these days, but I did want you to know that I have really valued your communications, and think that the weekly tips are an EXCELLENT idea! Kudos!

Not every official has the interest to spend hours on the various message boards, or has the stamina to read and re-read the rule books. However, these tips, are clear, easy to digest, and really helpful. Thank you for helping us get better via training and throughout the season. It has been appreciated... at least by me.

Burgie 5/21/12


I know most of the time you get feedback on refs the focus is on their mistakes and misjudgments.I am an assistant coach for Downers Grove and wanted to let you know that the two refs for the Downers Grove v. Jacobs Varsity game over the weekend were outstanding.  This is my fourth year
coaching HS lacrosse in IL and I think that was probably the best officiated game I've been a part of. 
Please let them, as well and Pete, know that they did a great job. 

Bill Harris


Hey Pete,
Just wanted to say, "thanks" for hosting that event last night (Lacrosse Coaches/Officials Round Table). 
I really enjoyed it and was happy to help out.  I thought it was very professional and well done. 

Andy Thompson
Lacrosse Head Coach
St. Charles North


Pete and Angela,
Great job with the Coaches Round Table last evening. I found the coaches/officials comments very
beneficial. One theme I heard very clearly from the  coaches was - Control the game, communicate with them and be consistent. Those three elements will definitely be on my 2012
Lacrosse Officiating goals to achieve list.

Thanks again and congratulations to you and RVOA!

D. Dooly


Angela & Pete,
I officiate 5 different sports and have been involved with many assignment organizations over the years. You both are EXTREMELY professional and care for the officials and their well-being. You always respond in a timely manner and strive to continually educate us and help to improve our performance. (10/31/11)

I am actively promoting RVOA to other officials and I hope that a number them become lacrosse officials.

Rick K.


Thank you for supporting Lax-4-Leukemia this past weekend. Yuor guys did a terrific job and we couldn't have done it without you.

Sean McFarland
True Lacrosse

Hi Pete,
I just want to let you know that I appreciate your work and dedicationn in forming the RVOA. As an old high school football coach here in Rockford I'm expsed to many poorly trained officils over the years,. It is great to see the proffessionalism RVOA stresses with it's members.

Todd C.

Great meeting last week.  For a 1st year FB official, I felt very welcomed and look forward to a great season.  Also knowing that there is an opportunity to be assigned some games helps a great deal, nothing like game action. Thanks Tom H

The Lacrosse America staff is grateful to you and your referees for doing a great job this past weekend at the Pipe City Lacrosse Festival.  The organization and coordination of the referees made the games run smoothly both days.

The positive communication between the referees and Lacrosse America staff made it possible for games to be played on 8 fields, in two different venues.  The referees were always aware of their next field assignment or break, which gave Lacrosse America staff the ability to have transportation available.  Your referees communication helped ensure that each and every game began on schedule.

With it being such a warm weekend, we were happy to see that everyone was able to keep cool in the shade.  The referees do a great job on the field, in the hot sun.  The least we could do was show our appreciation by providing food and making sure everyone stayed hydrated.

Also, I wanted to highlight the fantastic job the referees did on the field.  They made great calls during every game, and really upheld the standards of lacrosse.  We received positive feedback from many of the spectators and coaches about the job well done.  You referees really made a huge impact on the success of Pipe City.

Thank you again for a providing quality referees at our tournament.  You and your referees helped make this a flagship tournament in the Midwest.

Lacrosse America/SMP Staff

Pipe City Lacrosse Festival

I had the pleasure of coaching a U13 team at the Pipe City Lacrosse Festival this past weekend and wanted to recognize the officials we saw as having done a great job of keeping play safe and fair. Lots of these guys were running 7-10 games in a day and managed to maintain a great demeanor and continue to do their job very well.

Well done fellas!
-Lane Meyer

Hey Pete,

Hope you've had the opportunity to rehydrate after geting cooked all weekend!

Two quick things.  First, I wanted to let you know that the officiating this weekend (at least on the U13 level) was quite good.  Many of the officials were very good about explaining to the players why fouls were called and willing to give the coaches heads-up about any issues.  They were also very good about keeping things safe both in play and with the heat. Please forward my compliments.

Chris Larson
Team MN U13 Coach
UMLOA Secretary
District 7 Official

Hi Pete,

I believe you were the referee at our game (FVLC v. Elmhurst) at Berens park on Sunday morning.  If so, I'd like to thank you for the fantastic job you did explaining the rules to us and calling a great game.  I have been around lacrosse for 35 years (girls--still don't quite get the boys, but I have 4 of them so I'm learning :)--playing, coaching and parenting and I so appreciate when we are fortunate to have professional and knowledgeable officials.  So, thank you!!

Leigh Ann B.


Thanks for giving me the opportunity to work theThe Chicago Lacrosse Cup tourney yesterday. Kudos for landing the event!  Wish I could have worked more days.  As a former Illinois high school lax player from 30 years ago, it was way cool to see so many teams in one spot.  The competition was great.

I especially enjoyed seeing so many of the guys that I usually only see once or twice a year on training nights. Buckley did a band up job!  Hope you took some pictures. The only thing missing was a shirt pocket : - ).

Thanks for thinking of me.
Mark M.

"I just want to let you know that the [RVOA]referee this weekend was OUTSTANDING! he went above and beyond to explain everything to the kids, and even took the time during the half time to explain the game to the parents and answer our questions about the rules.... and what a referee looks for in violations.

This was a guy who truly LOVES what he is doing." - Yael R. - LAX Youth League

"Reffed a lacrosse game in which the ref walked 85% of the game and kept his hands in his pocket most of the game!! The coach from 1 team complained that the "OTHER" refs didn't call half of what i did and also questioned the "2" min penalty for a slash to the HEAD. Then i heard that they put a 1st year on a Very competitive JV game that they weren't ready for. Keep up the Great job in training & assigning refs that are ready for certain levels."

"Next season I will get an early start on joining RVOA and devote myself exclusively to Pete and your association as I am very pleased with the way it is run and how the officials are trained and treated.." - John P.

“…I want to take this opportunity to express my thanks for the efforts you and the RVOA have put into developing and training new officials. As you continued to give them experience and evaluate and critique them on the fly, I truly believe that we will have a good pool of experienced young referees to choose from in the next couple of years. I appreciate your enthusiasm and the professionalism of the guys that I had the pleasure of working with these past two years.

I started reffing in 1984 after 20 years of playing and/or coaching. Back then, it was call the IHSA, get a uniform, call an AD and good luck. I was fortunate to have a good foundation in the game of football, but I certainly had no idea how to be a good ref. I wish I could have had the training and mentoring that you are providing these young guys now.”  - Dan P.

“I wanted to take this opportunity to extend my sincere appreciation for all of your hard work, relentless dedication, and positive attitude with regard to helping me become a better football official!  It is because of you and the entire support/training of the RVOA that I am able to improve greatly from year to year as a football official!  Your willingness to always take the time to answer any and all of my questions is an example of your dedication to the sport of football and also your dedication and selflessness in wanting to see others around you succeed! Thank you for the time and energy you put into the RVOA as it is a great organization!”  - Mark K.

“What I like most about RVOA and its members is the camaraderie. I feel everyone has a voice and there is no intimidation feeling when you walk into a meeting. I believe that the philosophy that is being taught through the organization gives us direction and focus. Having a weekly tip or rule discussion is really helpful. .. The reason I joined RVOA is to build a strong and positive organization for officials and the game of football. To become the best official I can…  RVOA has improved my officiating by honing my mechanics and increasing my rules knowledge by having meetings that I truly learn from. RVOA has also helped me achieve getting a 2nd round IHSA playoff game…  I feel the mentoring program should be a must for all officials. The program helped become the official I am today.

The on-field training helped me apply my rule knowledge in a live game situation and not have the fear that I made an incorrect call. The games taught me to truly watch the ball and learn mechanics by watching other officials. The meetings help teach/emphasize rule knowledge through discussions of plays that happened during the week. Also having NFL and college officials come speak every year is an outstanding resource to have and help promote RVOA.

What I like the least about RVOA is simple, NOTHING. What I LOVE is the fact that everyone has a voice and is equal. Also that RVOA is evolving with the game of football and it is truly a learning tool for rookie and veteran officials…  RVOA should assign games for all levels of football and conferences because all the officials are trained with the same philosophy. That means whatever crew is assigned to the game the will be officiated in the same way with the same respect for the game and the organizations involved… I only belong to RVOA. When I was a rookie official I belonged to a different local organization, but all they did was take my money, provide me with little training and made me feel unwelcome.” – AJ G.

“I am a first year football official and even though I love and played the game as a young man I never had any idea of the finer points of the rules and how to officiate the game. I learned so much about these points in our meetings and with the opportunity to have so many games assigned to me this year. I feel I accomplished a lot and became a decent official this year. I know I still have a lot more to learn and to refine some of my mechanics, but I feel the RVOA has given me a very solid foundation to build on for next year. I look forward to next season (almost wish this season was not over- even though it will be nice to have my weekends free again). And as I worked with another organization’s officials in several games this year I must say that the mechanics, communication, and mentoring between the RVOA officials is a step above that organization. Thanks again for the opportunities provided to me this year and I am excited to continue my tutoring from the RVOA for many years to come.” - Rusty T.

“Being a first year official, it was very helpful be attend mandatory on-field training prior to being assigned games.  This not only helped me put into practice what I learned from the book, but it also gave me confidence that I could do a good job.  I also liked the instance on doing proper mechanics.  Being new, it really simplifies things when those you work with are consistent… [RVOA] has helped me understand the importance of being punctual, professional (both appearance and actions), and helped me focus on mechanics.  In addition, I was able to grow and gain more confidence throughout the season moving from umpire, to wings, and even refereeing a few flyweight games which really helps you see the game from a different perspective.  I think I improved each week and received tremendous feedback from many of my fellow RVOA members which helped me as well…The mentoring program was excellent.  I did basketball last year and worked some HS football and neither offered me anything close to the support that was provided to me through the RVOA.  This was confirmed through the constant positive feedback I received from members inside and outside the organization… I think the on-field [training] was the single biggest help to me.  When you’re new and unsure this is the perfect time to create proper behaviors.  To have the opportunity to work live game situations with an experienced person next to you is wonderful.  And this says a lot about the experienced folks in the organization who take their time to come out and provide that support.

 Here are the reasons why you should give the RVOA an opportunity to serve your programs:

1.  The leader of the organization is passionate about what RVOA has to offer the leagues we service and the game of football.

2.  The members are punctual, appropriately dressed, experienced, and truly enjoy working games.

3.  This organization has a mentoring program that is unmatched locally.

4.  This organization offers a method of feedback (anonymous) that allows each member to continue improving regardless of your time as an official.

I belong to another association and worked HS freshman games.  Not once, in 6 games did I know what uniform we were wearing.  In the RVOA, we had a standard dress code.  In the other association I belong to, I could have officiated my first game with no on-field experience.  The way games were assigned was basically by signing up on a spreadsheet.  I was offered a short positioning tutorial in the cafeteria on a local high school but that doesn't come close to the on-field experience mandatory training from the RVOA.  In the other association, I never heard from a single crew person prior to a game.  In RVOA, I had the responsibility of confirming my attendance to the game with the referee either by phone or email and if he didn't hear from me, he had the responsibility to contact me.  In the other association, I'm not aware of any feedback mechanism other than if I asked one of the officials I was working with.  For the RVOA, not only can my fellow officials provide immediate feedback, but they can also so so through our assignment website, which can be used be coaches as well.  In short, I believe the RVOA is simply more professional than the other association.  Again, this was my first year and I took this very seriously and clearly, the RVOA did more to prepare me than the other association did.” - Eric C.  

“As a new year official I began going to classes somewhere else. After the first two I thought they were so disorganized and did not cater to new officials that did not understand what they were talking about. Man was I lost! When I asked a fellow official to recommend another organization, he recommended RVOA. I was hesitant at first since it was quite a drive for me. Joining RVOA was the best decision I ever made. Pete took the time not just to train us, but train us properly. When I attended the IACO clinic, I felt like I was way ahead of everyone else based on Pete’s training in the class room and through the scrimmages. Thanks Pete and RVOA!!!!!!”  - Ralph R.

“We have a smaller group of officials and this makes it easier to help newer
officials . We work the games the same way, no matter who is on the crew .
I have worked with other officials from different assoc. and they do not measure
up to our guys. The most fun I have is when I tell a first year official that he will
be working the white hat spot, and if they hear someone laughing they have made a mistake and I will yell at them ( this is just good nature fun to help them to relax ).” - Mike M.

“I wanted to take a minute to share some of my rookie year stories. For the most part my season went well (from my point of view). I had a few missed calls with veterans such as the veterans Billy and George had to chew my ass a little after the play. The most memorable (for Billy Rusty and George) had to be in the final week of the regular season. During the pre game George briefs us with the normal assignments and information. The last thing George says to Russ and I on the wings is, “In the younger kids games do not let the kids beat you to the end zone”. So I take all the information in and on the first play of the game the kid breaks of about a 60 yard run. I take off to watch the runner, and I’m running as fast as a 50 year old guy can run! At about the 25 yard line I get my feet crossed and I tumble ass over apple cart.  I spring up, again, as fast as a 50 yr old can, and continue my run. I was hoping that no one would notice. Of course I turn and my colleagues and the chain gang are laughing their respective asses off at me. Chain gang rode me the whole rest of the game. On a serious note, all of the veterans that I worked with this season were very helpful and I thoroughly enjoyed my games that I worked. I can’t wait for next year. Thank you to Pete and all of the guys I worked with.” - Dean P.

“Congrats to all those who got post season. Big thanks to Pete for a

Slashing #5 (slow motion)

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