Women Officiating Now (WON)


Women are pursuing football officiating as a career. Women are teaching others to become great officials. Women are breaking barriers across the sport of football and making NFL officiating history. Women are officiating now.

And the NFL wants to introduce more women to football officiating and see more women working as officials nationwide. Women Officiating Now (WON) aims to do just that. Launched in 2013 as part of the NFL’s Football Officiating Academy (FOA), WON hosts clinics at which women learn the basics of football, the fundamentals of officiating and leadership skills that are useful on and off the field. WON shows women how to get involved in officiating and highlights the history and accomplishments of the pioneers who paved the way for them.


At WON clinics, women learn from former players, elite female officials and NFL representatives in the classroom and on the field to better understand officiating and develop their skills. Top performers can earn the opportunity to continue their development in the NFL’s Officiating Development Program and work toward officiating at higher levels.

WON clinics are open to all women, no matter their background or skill level. Some attendees come with officiating experience; others are new to the discipline. Attendees may be young female athletes, women who played football or female football fans who want to know more about officiating.


Women are officiating at all levels of football with WON’s support. Here are just a few of the women moving through the officiating ranks:

Meet Sarah Thomas, the first woman to be assigned full time to an NFL officiating crew. 

  • Sarah Thomas became the first woman to be assigned full-time to an NFL officiating crew before the 2015 season.
  • Eight WON participants were hired as WON instructors and assistants.
  • To date, 16 intermediate-level WON officials have worked college all-star games, PREP 100 events, 7-on-7 tournaments and NFL Football Officiating Academy.


Through WON, the NFL partners with organizations at all levels of football — youth and high school leagues, the Independent Women’s Football League, the Women’s Football Foundation, the Fins Up! Foundation for Female Athletics, military academies and others — to identify, develop and engage with prospective female officials at every level.