Sunday, February 7, in the 55th edition of the Super Bowl of American football in Tampa, there will be a woman within the referee crew for the first time in history: it is Sarah Thomas, 47 from Mississippi who will hold the role of down judge in the team led by the expert Carl Cheffers. Waiting to know the two teams that will compete for the ring (the conference finals are scheduled for this Sunday), the NFL has announced the group of eight referees who will share the work on the field in the most anticipated and followed game of the year. and referring to Sarah Thomas spoke of a designation that would make history. Another barrier demolished, a few months after what Uefa had done in football: the designation of Sarah Thomas goes in the wake of what happened to the French Stephanie Frappart, who in August 2019 was the first woman to direct a European Super Cup final , refereeing Liverpool-Chelsea, and in December 2020 he did the same in a Champions League match between Juventus and Dinamo Kiev.
Also the career of Sarah Thomas, who began refereeing in 1996, was marked by the goals achieved and the distrust defeated in an almost exclusively male sector: she was the first woman to referee a university football bowl, in 2015 she became the first permanently inserted among the Nfl referees and debuted in a competition of regular season between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Texans, while in 2019 she was the first to be designated in a playoff crew for the challenge between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Chargers. His high-level performance and his icommitment to achieve excellence they earned her the right to referee at the Super Bowl – congratulations to Sarah on this well-deserved honor, said Troy Vincent, NFL executive vice president of football operations.
Sarah Thomas a highly respected referee within the league and she has also shown NFL players to be tough, in a game that often reserves even the referees painful contacts with physically overflowing players: in 2016, in a regular season game between Green Bay and Minnesota, Sarah was overwhelmed by the tight end of Vikings Kyle Rudolph (1.98 per 120 kilos) during a reception and on contact he fractured his wrist. Despite this, after a brief visit to check that he had not suffered a concussion, he returned to the field and finished refereeing the match despite the fracture. In American football, the referee crew made up of eight referees: the head referee, or referee, the one who explains decisions over the microphone and with him there are seven other elements. The role of Sarah Thomas, “down judge”, foresees her lateral positioning on the scrimmage line (ie the point where every action starts) and the possibility of imposing penalties – throwing the yellow handkerchief, the so-called flag – on different aspects of the game in case of infringement. In the sporting event of the year America’s eyes will also be on her.
January 20, 2021 (change January 20, 2021 | 07:44)
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