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Hula Bowl will have an all-female officiating crew

The Hula Bowl is forging a landmark in officiating as a crew of all women will take the field for the 2023 contest.



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The Hula Bowl is forging a landmark in officiating as a crew of all women will take the field for the 2023 contest.

Amanda Sauer will lead the crew of 7 plus one alternate in the game that is the first of the 2023 college all-star invitational games. There are five invitational games in total: the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, the East-West Shrine Bowl, the Senior Bowl, and the Legacy Bowl.

While these invitational games are a good vehicle to showcase college talent, they have also been so for officiating. The NFL assigns the officials that work these games from their development pool of college officials. These games are used as extra “grass time” to evaluate select officials in the development program, which is the exclusive conduit to officiating in the NFL.

The NFL’s Mackie Development Program — renamed last year for the late Wayne Mackie who spearheaded development initiatives as a former NFL official and executive — has as many as 40 officials each year. MDP officials get extra training from the NFL and will work in NFL training camps during the summer months.

Sauer is a center judge with some referee experience in the Big Ten. She worked the USFL in 2022, including a playoff game.

Here is the crew roster for the game, including notations for officials who have been in the MDP program in the last 3 years, assignments to bowl games this season, and assignment to the USFL in 2022.

R Amanda Sauer MDP USFL ★FENWAY 
U Sarah Fleming
LJ Henrietta Powell MDP
SJ Karina Tovar MDP
BJ Krystle Apellaniz MDP
ALT Monique Washington ★CELEBRATION

The Hula Bowl, kicking off at noon eastern on Jan. 14, has been temporarily relocated from Hawaii to Orlando, Florida, while Aloha Stadium is being rebuilt.

Ben Austro is the editor and founder of Football Zebras and the author of So You Think You Know Football?: The Armchair Ref's Guide to the Official Rules (on sale now)

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