Parramatta Referees Kasey Badger will make her NRL Debut as a Touch Judge in the round 7 match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Penrith Panthers at CBUS Super Stadium on the Gold Coast. Kasey will become the NRL's second ever female official and the first from NSW after Queenslander Belinda Sleeman made her debut in round 26 of the 2014 season.
Kasey has risen quickly through the ranks since taking up refereeing back in 2004. Along the way she has had an abundance of highlights and milestones. In 2005 and 2006 she won Parramatta Referees Trainer of the Year Award. This was an early indication of her application to her preparation off the field. In the years to follow, she joined the NSW Junior Reps squad. One major highlight from her time at Parramatta was being appointed as a Touch Judge for the 2008 A Grade 1st Division Grand Final, where she gave outstanding assistance to the central referee and good friend Stephen Ellison. Kasey continued to work hard on all aspects of her refereeing throughout this time and as a result was recognised as the number one referee in the Junior Reps Squad which culminated in her refereeing the SG Ball Grand Final in 2010 between Canterbury and Newcastle. From here she was graded into the New South Wales Graded squad in 2011. A year later, in 2012 she made her debut as a central referee in the then named Toyota Cup (National Youth Competition) in the match between Manly and the Gold Coast Titans.
In 2014 she became part of the Women in League Match Officials Program and has not looked back since, making every post a winner along the way. She was an official at the Inaugural Auckland Nines Competition in 2014 and later that season officiated as a referee in the Holden Cup Finals series.
Saturday’s debut will see Kasey run with fellow Parramatta Referee Alan Shortall. Her appointment takes Parramatta’s contingent of first grade on-field officials to four.
Whilst her career is gaining momentum on the field, off the field Kasey still contributes to the Association, currently serving as our NRAS Co-Ordinator. Whereby she runs face to face courses for new refereeing candidates and monitors the ongoing accreditations of our referees.
Congratulations on a fantastic achievement Kasey. We hope it is just the start of more big things to come in the future.