NRL on verge of historic decision to have female referee for Wests Tigers v NZ Warriors match
By The Mole
35 minutes ago
The NRL is seriously considering breaking with over a century of tradition next weekend by handing a woman a whistle to referee a first grade game. I’m hearing that either Kasey Badger or Belinda Sleeman will handle the final round game between the Wests Tigers and New Zealand Warriors.
The game has no bearing on the finals race, so the NRL sees it as an ideal opportunity to give a female a chance at the elite level.Badger is favoured to get the nod for the job having refereed in the lower grades and proving herself right up to standard this season.
Sleeman has also been doing a good job as a sideline official in the NRL.
There have been calls to give one of the women a chance for much of the season - particularly in the light of the struggles many of the male referees have had.
Badger or Sleeman is expected to be the pocket - or secondary - referee… but it will be a major step for females in Australian sport nonetheless. Refereeing appointments will be made on Tuesday and I’m being told it’s not a done deal - but it’s close to becoming reality.