If you watched the playoff game between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Chargers on January 13th, 2019, you might have noticed something different: the first woman to officiate an NFL playoff game. Sarah Thomas, one of the down judges on the crew, was already a trailblazer after being the first full-time female official in NFL history four years ago.
In case you’re curious, one of the requirements to be an NFL referee is a minimum of ten years of experience officiating football games, and at least five of those years should have been with a professional level or collegiate team. Being a referee requires extensive training, experience, dedication, and traveling. Referees should be up to date on all of the latest rules of the game and capable of running up and down the field, making physical fitness an essential part of the job.
Nowhere in the job description does it say that candidates must be male, yet it’s only now, in 2019, that a female referee has officiated an NFL playoff game. Nice going, Sarah!
Would you make a good referee or player?