natalie-sago.jpg
USATSI

The NBA will be making history on Monday night as it will mark the first time that two female referees will officiate the same game. Natalie Sago and Jenna Schroeder will be part of the officiating crew in the contest between the Charlotte Hornets and Orlando Magic.

The league began utilizing female referees beginning in 1997, but there has yet to be a game in which there were multiple female referees in game. Over the years, there have been just full-time female referees in the league's history.

Error: hq-daily is no a valid identifier in the marketing-newsletters CMS component.

In 1997, Dee Kantner and Violet Palmer became the league's first full-time female referees. Kantner became the first female referee to be fired by the NBA in 2002, which left Palmer as the lone female referee for the next 12 seasons. Palmer served as an NBA referee until the 2016-17 season.

There have only been seven full-time female referees throughout the NBA's history, and five still currently work for the league. Schroeder became a full-time referee in 2019 and Simone Jelks followed suit in 2020. Schroeder also spent time as a G League official before being promoted to a full-time NBA referee.