$60 million sports complex announced in Mattoon

Rendering of Lincoln Land of Sports bridge connecting fields to retail space (stores and restaurants)

Today’s Journal Gazette newspaper announced the Lincoln Land of Sports, a $60 million sports complex, will be developed in Mattoon, IL. The complex will be located just west of I-57 and will cover nearly 96 acres.

The complex is planned to have the following facilities:

  • Indoors (126,000 sq. ft.)
    • 8 basketball courts
    • 16 volleyball courts
    • A family entertainment center

  • Outdoors (86 acres)
    • 4 baseball/softball fields (300 ft. fence)
    • 4 baseball/softball fields (400 ft. ence)
    • 12 multipurpose turf fields
    • 4 multipurpose grass fields
  • 2,000 parking spaces

The goal is to attract traveling teams from Chicago, Indianapolis and St. Louis. The center is projected to generate 580,000 visitors, more than $23.8 million in direct spending and more than 59,000 hotel room nights each year.

Journal Gazette-Times Courier

Development is expected to begin in 18 months with the facility completed in two years.

Diagram of the proposed sports complex

What’s the Weather?

CISassigning is partnering with Tomorrow.io to bring you the most accurate weather information and forecasts.

Tomorrow.io is a unique weather intelligence platform used by the New England Patriots, Chicago Cubs, NASCAR, the French Open, and countless major companies to enhance their event and operational planning through accurate weather forecasts.

While more advanced integrations are in the works, you can immediately take advantage of current weather and six-day forecasts now by visiting www.cisassigning.com/weather. A link is also available in the main menu bar of the website.

screenshot of the weather page on the CISassigning website

IESA Post-season Update

Congratulations to area schools that qualified for the state tournament via wins this past weekend! These schools will play on Friday, Sept. 24 at Champion Fields in Normal. Championship play will begin Saturday, Sept. 25 at 9:30am. A full game schedule is available on the IESA website.


  • Brimfield
  • Corpus Christi
  • Lexington


  • Illini Bluffs
  • Metamora


  • Chatham Glenwood
  • Washington Central


Congratulations to local umpires and UICs working the state tournament this upcoming weekend! If you have free time Friday or Saturday, you are encouraged to support your fellow blues and watch some good ball games.

  • Chris Smith
  • Emory Appleberry
  • Jim Bauser
  • Roger Nichols
  • Jason Sprout
  • Rick Birkelbaw
  • Roger Holzhauer
  • Ron Helgeson
  • Phil Byrne
  • Fred McNeely
  • Jon Carls
  • Johnny Chance
  • Lyle Meador

Changes to Behind the Mask

In March 2020, CISassigning started a podcast, Behind the Mask, which is currently available on CISassigning.com, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeart Radio, and a number of additional podcast platforms.

Though there have only been nine podcasts to date, the podcast has been downloaded nearly 900 times. Due to financial constraints, we’re making a minor change to the retention policy of those podcasts.

Currently, episodes remain active and available in perpetuity as long as the monthly subscription is active. Behind the Mask was intended as a supplement to the website, so we’ve never asked anyone to pay a subscription fee to listen.

Starting October 1, 2021, CISassigning will no longer pay for podcast hosting.

What does that mean for the listener?

  • Beginning October 1, any episode over 90 days old will be deleted any listeners will no long be able to access them.
  • Any new episode published on or after October 1 will only be available for 90 days.
  • You will still be able to listen to active episodes on CISassigning, Apple Music, Spotify, iHeart Radio, and Amazon for the 90-day duration.

How can we keep the episodes from being deleted?

The only way to keep episodes from being deleted after 90 days and remain available is to pay the monthly subscription fee ($20). If listeners enjoy the podcast, want to hear it more often, and want to keep older episodes published, they may donate on the Support CISA web page.

Any donations received on that page will be used for the podcast. Anything in excess of the monthly subscription fee will be carried forward for the next month.

2022 U-High Softball Games Posted

University High School Banner

The Spring 2022 varsity and junior varsity schedules for U-High have been posted for umpires to apply to games.

Games will start being assigned on Friday, September 10 in order for everyone to have a chance to get their names in. Umpires, please make sure your blocked dates in Arbiter are up-to-date. You may apply via Airtable, or by emailing me directly.

Currently, all U-High home games will be played at Fairview Park in Normal and are varsity/junior varsity doubleheaders. U-High does intend to add a few additional games which will be posted to the Open Games list.

Umpires: IESA Post-Season Availability

It’s that time of the year where the IESA state softball series is just around the corner.

If you haven’t submitted your availability for sections or state semi-finals and finals, now is the time to do it!

To submit your information visit www.iesa.org and click School & Officials Log In.

After signing in, select Girls Softball under the Availability Forms

Complete the information, indicating which dates you’re available, and submit the form.

2022-2023 NCAA Major Rules Changes

The 2022-2023 major rules changes from the NCAA is now available on the Rules Changes page.

There are a number of files changes this year. Some are immediately applicable while others won’t take effect for a couple of years. Umpires, I encourage you to review these rules if you work NCAA or NJCAA contests. I’m sure assignors will discuss them more in-depth, but it never hurts to have a frame of reference for that discussion.