Mildred Ball Award
Mildred Ball Women’s Official of the Year (Complete Historical Listing Below)
High School: Gary Roosevelt 1953
College: INDIANA UNIVERSITY 1960
Inducted into the Hall of Fame 1998
IBCA/MILDRED BALL AWARD
Mildred Morgan Ball served as an IHSAA assistant commissioner from 1977 through 1997, responsible for the licensing and training of contest officials. In addition, she worked with the National Federation of State High School Associations’ rules committee. Ball is a 1953 graduate of Gary Roosevelt High School and a 1960 graduate of Indiana University. She was a teacher at East Chicago Washington High School before joining the IHSAA staff. She was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1998. The IBCA has presented an award to an outstanding basketball official in Mildred Ball’s name since 1997.
Ron Day of Plymouth is the winner of the 2023 Mildred Ball Award.
Now in his 32nd as an official, Day began officiating in 1991 and has worked at least one State Finals’ game in each class for both boys and girls. Among those games, he called the 2009 Class 4A girls’ title game in Lucas Oil Stadium between Ben Davis and South Bend Washington, a game considered a mythical national title game as the teams were ranked first and second in national polls. It was among the best attended girls’ basketball games with a crowd of 13,449.
During his time as a official, Day has worked 26 sectionals, 16 regionals, seven semi-states, five State Finals (2007, 2010, 2013, 2016 and 2021) for boys’ basketball as well as 26 sectionals, 18 regionals, eight semi-states and five State Finals (2006, 2009, 2012, 2015 and 2019) for girls’ basketball. He also called the 2004 girls’ Hall of Fame Classic in New Castle.
Day as been a member of the Northern Officials Association of Indiana for 30 years and also the Lake County Association for 15 years. Has served as a clinician for a number of years and mentored many younger officials.
A 1981 graduate of Plymouth High School, Day participated in basketball and track, was a two-time all-conference honoree in track and part of a 400-meter relay that held a school record for more than 25 years. He went on to Indiana University, where he was a 1986 graduate of the Kelley School of Business. He has been a self-employed contractor in a family business for 33 years.
Day and his wife, Lori, have two adult children – Katie (husband Brendan) and Eric (wife Kristen) – as well as two grandchildren with a third grandchild due in June. In his free time, Day enjoys spending time with family as well as traveling, reading, golfing and cheering the Minnesota Vikings.
As for officiating, Day said: “I was fortunate to have three excellent regular partners in officiating – Tim Filson, Brian Allen and Tom Hinz. They made it fun each and every night. Also, a shout out to my son, Eric, who attended hundreds of my games and is the best observer I ever had.”
IBCA/MILDRED BALL AWARD
1997: Theresia Wynns, Indianapolis
1998: Sue Ross, Fort Wayne
1999: Judy Schneider, Indianapolis
2000: Mike Crouch, Marion
2001: Tim Smith, Mentone
2002: Rhonda McGee, Floyds Knobs
2003: Rosie Leedy, Thorntown
2004: Barbara Guhl, Indianapolis
2005: Greta Hawvermale, Indianapolis
2006: Patty Broderick, Indianapolis
2007: John Patterson, Indianapolis
2008: Gene Butts, Warsaw
2009: Kim Yelich, Schererville
2010: Judy Phillips, Indianapolis
2011: Kelly Dennis, Whiteland
2012: Roger Holder, Greenfield
2013: Mike Smith, New Palestine
2014: Phil Vidito, Indianapolis
2015: Jay Smith, Syracuse
2016: Bob Frye, Indianapolis
2017: Larry Sintz, Brookville
2018: Michael Zehr, Dubois
2019: Andy Simpson, Crown Point
2020: Gary Wier, Plainville
2021: no winner named (winner from 2020 honored in 2021 because of COVID-19 pandemic).
2022: Michael Stoffers, Terre Haute
2023: Ron Day, Plymouth