History being made at the Super Bowl 2021
Sarah Thomas to become first woman to officiate at Super Bowl
Sarah Thomas will cap her sixth NFL season by becoming the first female to officiate the Super Bowl in the league’s history.
Thomas, a down judge, is part of the officiating crew announced on Tuesday by the NFL.
“Sarah Thomas has made history again as the first female Super Bowl official,” said Troy Vincent Sr, the NFL’s executive vice resident of football operations. “Her elite performance and commitment to excellence has earned her the right to officiate the Super Bowl. Congratulations to Sarah on this well-deserved honour.”
Thomas, 47, is is no stranger to breaking gender barriers. She was the first woman to officiate a game in Mississippi’s top high school division, first to referee a major college football game after joining Conference USA’s full-time staff in 2007, and first to officiate a bowl game when she worked Marshall’s win over Ohio in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl in 2009.
Before becoming the NFL’s first permanent official in 2015, Thomas spent time in the New Orleans Saints’ and Indianapolis Colts’ training camps and officiated a 2013 preseason game between the Saints and Oakland Raiders.
Thomas, who missed playing sports after college, was first intrigued by football officiating when she accompanied her brother to a Gulf Coast Football Officials Association meeting in 1996.
“I got involved in officiating football because I was intrigued when these guys took it seriously,” she told ABC’s Good Morning America in 2013. “But then I was more challenged at, ‘Hey, I really don’t know the game of football,’ and, being a competitor, I really wanted to see, ‘Hey, what’s in store with this?’”
Referee Carl Cheffers will lead the seven-person crew of on-field game officials for the Super Bowl on 7 February at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Cheffers has been a game official for 21 seasons in the NFL and was promoted to referee in 2008. He has worked 17 playoff games, including the Super Bowl in 2017.
This will be the first Super Bowl for Coleman as well as Thomas and second for Cheffers, Bryan, Baynes, Hall and Paganelli.
“Their body of work over the course of a 17-game season has earned them the honour of officiating the biggest game on the world’s biggest stage,” Vincent said. “They are the best of the best.”
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Story Source >> The Guardian