How Many Female NFL Referees Are There?

There are currently eight female NFL referees. As the NFL continues to strive for gender equality, this number is sure to increase in the coming years.

The current state of NFL referees

The current state of NFL referees is that there are only a handful of female referees. As of the 2019 season, there are only 5 full-time female NFL referees. Sarah Thomas is the first and only permanent female referee in NFL history, having been hired in 2015.

The lack of diversity among NFL referees has been brought to light in recent years, with many people calling for more female and minority representation. Despite the calls for change, the majority of NFL referees are still white males.

The history of female NFL referees

The first female NFL referee was Shannon Eastin, who worked a preseason game in 2012. She became the first woman to officiate a regular season game later that same year.

There are currently four full-time female NFL referees: Sarah Thomas, Clete Blakeman, Judy Battista, and Terri Valenti.

The benefits of having more female NFL referees

While the NFL has not yet reached gender parity among its referees, the league has made significant strides in recent years in hiring more female officials. As of the 2019 season, there are 21 female NFL referees, up from just two in 2015.

The benefits of having more female referees are numerous. For one, it helps to change the culture of an NFL locker room, which has been notoriously hostile to women. Having more female officials also helps to break down gender stereotypes surrounding football and show that women can be just as competent at officiating a game as men.

Beyond the cultural benefits, there are also practical advantages to having more female referees. Studies have shown that women tend to be more accurate than men when it comes to officiating football games, and they are also less likely to throw flags for unnecessary roughness or other penalties.

In a sport that is increasingly reliant on accurate officiating, the NFL would be wise to continue hiring more female referees. Not only would it be good for the league’s image, but it would also improve the quality of officiating on the field.

The challenges faced by female NFL referees

There are currently no full-time female NFL referees, but there have been some in the past. Sarah Thomas became the first woman to officiate an NFL game in 2015, and in 2019, she became the first woman to officiate an NFL playoff game.

However, there are still many challenges faced by female NFL referees. One of the biggest is the lack of full-time positions available. This means that women have to maintain other jobs in order to support themselves and their families financially. This can make it difficult to find the time to train and stay up-to-date on all the rules changes.

In addition, due to their lack of experience, female referees are often not seen as credible as their male counterparts. This can make it difficult for them to get assigned to big games or receive recognition for their work.

Despite these challenges, there are many women who are passionate about officiating football and who are working hard to break down these barriers. With continued effort, it is hopeful that we will see more female NFL referees in the future.

How to become a female NFL referee

In order to become an NFL referee, you must first complete an training program approved by the NFL. There are currently two accredited programs for aspiring referees, one run by the National Football League Referee Association and the other by the Major College Football Referees Association.

Once you have completed an accredited training program, you must then pass a comprehensive exam administered by the NFL. Following that, you will be interviewed by a panel of current NFL referees. If you are successful in the interview process, you will be placed on a list of eligible officials from which future hires will be made.

There are currently no female officials in the NFL, but that is not to say that there have never been any women on the list of eligible officials. In fact, Sarah Thomas became the first woman to officiate an NFL game in 2015 when she served as a line judge during a pre-season game between the San Diego Chargers and the Detroit Lions.

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