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Wichita woman becomes first female football referee in MIAA history

Published: Nov. 8, 2021 at 11:00 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Women continue breaking barriers in football, including right here in Wichita.

Taylor Darr, a math teacher at Northwest High School, recently became the first female to officiate an MIAA football game.

Darr first discovered her passion for officiating in college.

“I got started with Kansas State Intramurals. I officiated flag football, volleyball and basketball there,” she said. “After that it was just a part time job, then after that I decided to start doing KSHSAA and I got involved in some high school and middle school games.”

It wouldn’t take long for Darr to move up in the ranks, as she’s spent the last three years officiating JUCO football games.

“I liked that it was going to be a challenge and I wanted to prove that I could do it,” Darr said. “It was really cool being one of the only females out there.”

Darr proved to more than just herself what she was capable of, receiving an invitation to officiate an MIAA football game last month, becoming the first woman to ever do so.

“It was really exciting, I was super pumped that I got the call,” she said. “It was an honor being able to be selected by the MIAA.”

Now, she’s focusing on turning what started as a college side hustle into a full-time career.

“Right now, the goal is to get a full schedule officiating in the MIAA.”

She said she’s always felt uplifted by both officials and players alike.

“Everyone I have officiated with has been super supportive of me and they always push me to be my best,” she said. “The feedback from players, they say it’s really cool and they actually respect me on the field. When I tell them something they ask me questions.”

She hopes other women with a passion for the game realize they too belong.

“You can do whatever you put your mind to. So far everyone has been accepting and that was a big surprise to me. If you want to do it, you should do it.”

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