The NFL announced its crew for Super Bowl LV, including Sarah Thomas as a down judge
Sarah Thomas became the league’s first female referee in 2015. NFL officials are required to have a minimum of 5 years experience to work a Super Bowl.
Sarah Thomas becomes the first woman to work on an officiating crew in the Super Bowl https://t.co/5p14xW86Y2
— Lindsay Jones (@bylindsayhjones) January 19, 2021
What does a down judge do?
As the down judge, Thomas will be tasked with watching for encroachment and offsides penalties before the snap. She will also be responsible for marking forward progress and working with the chain crew to ensure accurate measurements, among other tasks.
Sarah Thomas, a mom of three, has made NFL History before…. In 2015, Thomas became the first full-time female official in the NFL. In 2019, Thomas became the first woman to officiate a playoff game.
Thomas had been officiating for over 20 years in high school and college football before her entrance into the NFL , so there is no doubt about her qualifications. Shannon Eastin became the first woman to work a regular NFL season game during the 2012 referee lockout but Thomas, who continues to work as a representative for a pharmaceutical company, became the first woman to officiate an NCAA match in 2007. Two years later she was one of five female officials in major college football.
Super Bowl LV will kick off Feb. 7th from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL.
Susan Saunders 1/20/21