the story

Have you ever thought about the life of a referee? You know – grocery shopping, getting stuck in traffic, getting married? Or the personal challenges that a typical referee faces being in the spotlight of decision making. As well as the rewards. What about the humble beginnings of a referee. What are the steps to join the ranks? And what are the reasons for becoming a ref? Have you thought about women referees?

Since the dawn of professional sports, women have been missing not only as referees, but from every aspect of the game. On the playing field, on the sidelines as coaches, in the announcement booth and in the stands. Times have changed. Nearly half the fans of professional sports are now women. A cultural shift is happening. Women are now becoming referees. This subject matter has yet been documented on film. I’m currently in the pre-production phase. I’m researching and conducting interviews with women referees around the nation (in-person and on the phone). Identifying potential people to follow, engage, and document their process.

Intended audience reaction: To rethink about the game through the lens of a referee, increase awareness about their roles, and ignite conversations about how it’s important to consider officials as part of the game. Overall, reflect about what it’s like to be a referee — the ultimate authority in a game and how it’s important for women to continue to strive, show that they are an expert, and working just as hard as any other official on the field.