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Gaby Martinez Becomes the First Female Official to be in a NAIA Playoff Game


Football | Thu, Apr. 29, 2021

Story by: Staff Máximo Avance

Mexican Gabriela Martínez became the first woman in the history of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) to participate as an official or referee in a playoff game.

It was the quarterfinal matchup between Keiser University and Reinhardt University held last Saturday, April 24

It should be noted that it was only the second time in the history of the NAIA in the Mid-South Conference that an umpire roster was left intact, since the custom is to make a selection of various members of other rosters already in the playoffs.


Gabriela Martínez García from Monterrey is a graduate of the UANL and founder of the Women’s Football Nuevo León (WFNL), debuted as a referee for the Mid-South Conference of the NAIA (alternate league of the NCAA) in September 2019.

Gaby, who practiced at a high level collegiate handball, volleyball, fast soccer, lacrosse and football for the Dallas Diamons team in 2009, is one of 3 women among a group of 100 officials who attended the clinic last March. GACFOC arbitration in Lakeland, Florida, an event that gave her the opportunity to be observed by the supervisors who have finally given her the great opportunity to be part of the Mid-Souths Conference.

• Official at the World University Championship of American Football in Monterrey, NL, 2016

• Official in the Azteca Bowl 2016

• Official at the IFAF Women’s World Championship in Langley, Canada, 2017

• Official at the Baja Bowl Fest in Tijuana, BC, 2017

• Official at the Women World Games in New Orleans, 2018

• Official in preseason of the National Arena League

• Official in the 2019 season of the Womens Football Alliance

• She is currently a member of the Broward Football Officials Association in Florida, USA.

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