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ROSALIE KRAMM GROWS HER LOVE FOR THE GAME THROUGH CAL SOUTH REFEREEING

February 18, 2016

For Rosalie Kramm, growing up watching her brother play soccer was not easy. She, too, wanted to get on the field and play. However, at the time, that was not possible as there weren’t any soccer teams or leagues available for girls.

At the age of 13, Kramm’s father inspired her to grow her love for the game through refereeing, becoming the first female soccer referee. The rest is history.

“My time with Cal South started when I was very young at 13 years old and I became a referee,” Kramm said. “Because of Cal South having a referee program where they had people to coach the referees and people to mentor the referees, that gave us an opportunity to have an education, seminars, workshops, and I was able to move from being an Under-6 recreational referee to becoming the first female referee in the North American Soccer League, at a professional level, all because of Cal South.”

After refereeing Cal South games and State Cup finals, Kramm graduated onto refereeing high school games, women’s and men’s leagues, NCAA, and eventually the NASL, all by the age of 18 years old.

Her time, dedication, efforts and work, did not go unnoticed, as Cal South was paying close attention to everything Kramm was doing, both on and off the field. As the Cal South Hall of Fame ceremony approached, Kramm was without a doubt one of the top candidates to be inducted.

Last Saturday, Kramm, along with Coach Darwin Dallas and alumni Carlos Bocanegra and Amy Rodriguez, was inducted into the Class of 2016 Cal South Hall of Fame.

“It’s a big honor to be the first female referee,” Kramm said after the ceremony. “It makes me a little emotional because I spent so many years from the time I was 13 to the time I was 33, I was refereeing thousands of games. I never thought anyone would really pay attention to all of the time and hours and effort. To be acknowledged by my peers means a lot to me.”

Through the years, Kramm keeps herself active within the soccer world, participating in the recent Cal South Women in Soccer Symposium, as well as starting The Futbol Factory, a soccer school in Chula Vista, Calif., designed for both young boys and girls. Through the school, Kramm wants to teach not just young girls, but boys as well, that anything is possible.

“What’s so neat about the Futbol Factory is that we have girls from the ages 4 to 16, learning to be soccer players, everyone has the same opportunity. We have female instructors that are amazing soccer players, and role models for the girls. One thing I have learned from being a female referee in a man’s world, is never say ‘I can’t do it.’ Never let anyone say you can’t do it. Just work hard and move forward and that’s something that we teach the girls at the Futbol Factory. Do it, have fun, and enjoy the Futbol Factory,” she finalized.