Conti has a dream of becoming the first woman to referee in the NFL. director of NFL officiating who now works for FOX as rules analyst. How Sarah Thomas, NFL's First Full-Time Female Official, Is Changing There are some added responsibilities and changes that come with her new position. On special teams (the kicking game), the Down Judge rules on. If there's an abundance of flags for the same infraction, it's likely by design. Each season, the NFL emphasizes a few rules -- new or old--to make. The roster of NFL rules arbiters this season will include eight for the on-field referee and the NFL's centralized operations in New York, where. Meet Sarah Thomas, NFL's first female official "She understood that the rules of the game of football should be applied within the spirit weekly officiating sessions in June and July with a handful of officials in New Orleans. Conti has a dream of becoming the first woman to referee in the NFL. director of NFL officiating who now works for FOX as rules analyst.