Top Female Sports Officials in 2017
Referees and Umpires
on International Women’s Day 2017
Celebrate the contributions of the Top Female Sports Officials around the world. Today is the day to take a moment to think about the struggles and the triumphs that female referees and umpires are experiencing every day. The mothers, daughters, and sisters who have taken a step into the unknown and lead the way for women in sports everywhere. They are creating an environment where girls can have hope for equality and respect on the fields, arenas and courts on our televisions and in our local neighbourhoods. With the explosive growth in participation, it is an exciting time to be involved in Women’s Sports! So, let’s get to it. Who are the Top Female Sports Officials in 2017?
A couple of the top women’s sports officials are putting away the whistle for 2017. Although they will no longer be controlling the flow of top level games, it would be a huge oversight not to point out the contributions of NBA basketball referee Violet Palmer and international fieldhockey umpire, Michelle Joubert. These two women have been leading the way and breaking barriers by earning respect and setting standards that women and girls in all sports will need to strive to reach in the years to come.
Lauren Holtkamp and Sarah Thomas are creating opportunities for women in professional leagues as Holtkamp carries the torch that was lit by Violet Palmer in the NBA, and Thomas paves the way to the NFL for female football referees and umpires. While there are dozens of top female sports officials that should be mentioned in this article, we need to make a note of Kjersti Arntsen, Guro Roen and Chelsea Roffey. These women are all strong leaders in their respective sports and will continue to carve new paths for the future. Arntsen and Roen are top handball referees who were on the world stage calling the gold medal game for the 2016 Olympics as two of the incredible #RefsofRio. Roffey has been busy in Australia setting new standards and opening doors in AFL football.
I think it is important to note that female umpires are really starting to make some progress in cricket. Baseball continues to move at a very slow pace. Soccer, rugby and field hockey all have phenomenal international programs for their female officials and lead the way for all others. Basketball and hockey are making exciting progress. Netball continues to set the standard for female officials having fun in sports.
So, who are the Best of the Best? The Tops of the Top? In no particular order, the Top Female Sports Officials in 2017 are Rugby Referee Alhambra Nievas, Carol Anne Chenard, Football Referee, and Laurine Delforge, FieldHockey Umpire. All 3 of these women have been selected as the best by their respective sports and associations. They each participated in the top games of 2016 including 3 Olympic gold medal games. These women are leading the charge for female sports officials and have all earned the respect of their colleagues, players and fans in games around the world.
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