A Pioneer in Officiating, Palmer Joins Pac-10 Staff as Coordinator of Women's Basketball Officials

May 13, 2010

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- A pioneer in refereeing, Violet Palmer has been named the Pac-10 Conference’s Coordinator of Women’s Basketball Officiating, Commissioner Larry Scott announced today. Palmer joins the Conference with an extensive background as a referee in the men’s and women’s game, most notably as the only female referee in the NBA.

The first woman to officiate a major U.S. professional sport at the highest level when she became a referee in the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1997, Palmer has been on the NBA’s officiating roster for 13 years and is the only woman among the league’s officiating staff. Palmer has refereed over 700 regular season NBA games and also officiated in the NBA Playoffs.

A native of Los Angeles, Palmer has officiated in the Women’s Basketball Association (WNBA), including the 1997 WNBA Championship. Prior to joining the professional ranks, she spent nine seasons officiating collegiate women’s basketball, including five NCAA Final Fours and two National Championship games. She has officiated games in the Pac-10, Western Athletic, Big Sky and Big West Conferences.

Palmer’s duties with the Pac-10 will include implementing the Conference’s officiating program in women’s basketball, as well as identifying, recruiting and assigning referees for Conference games, non-conference games at league institutions and the Pac-10 Women’s Basketball Tournament. Palmer’s strength and focus on education and training will further develop the Conference’s officials and elevate them to the next level. Named Coordinator of women’s basketball officials for the West Coast Conference in 2009, Palmer’s collaboration and supervision will continue to strengthen officiating on the West Coast.

“We are thrilled to welcome Violet to the Pac-10 in this important leadership position. She is a seasoned pro, and pioneer in her field. Her experience at the highest levels of refereeing will enhance and strengthen our women’s basketball officiating program, and take it to the next level,” said Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott.

Palmer was a four-year letter winner in basketball at Cal Poly Pomona, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in recreation administration in 1987. Palmer was a point guard for the Broncos and led them to capture the 1985 and 1986 NCAA Division II National Championship titles.

- www.pac-10.org -

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