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Julie Goupille and Women Referees Pave the Way for Young Girls in the County

Published: Mar. 3, 2021 at 1:05 PM EST
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - Sarah Thomas shattered glass ceilings by becoming the first woman to officiate a Super Bowl. But, you don’t have to travel all the way to tampa to see women referees. Right here in the county, there’s a few making an impact.

Julie Goupille was a basketball player, but a few years after injuring her knee, she wanted to get back in the game.

“My husband’s co-worker saw an add in the newspaper about a referee class and he showed it to my husband and said ‘Julie should do this, I’d bet she be really good at it’,” Goupille said.

That was in 1996. By ’97 she was officiating her first high school basketball season. And now, 23 years later, she’s still putting on the pinstripes.

“I love that I can give back to the sport that gave me so much and taught me so much, so many life lessons,” Goupille said.

Goupille says that even though it’s intimidating sometimes to be a female in a male dominated profession, she says it’s important to just get out there and do it.

“A person’s ability to know the rules, study the rules, apply the rules, has nothing to do with whether they’re a man or a woman,” she said.

Goupille knows the rules quite well. She officiated a state game last year, one of the highest honors given to a high school referee. And according to Harry Orser, Rules Interpeter for this area , she is quite good at her job.

“She pays attention to the little things and doesn’t take any nonsense,” Orser said. “She’s quite good.”

She hopes that when other women see her, it will inspire them to try it as well.

“I hope that even it’s just one person or one girl out there that says, ‘hey, if she can do it, i can do it.’ And it might not be being a basketball official , and it might be doing something else that is in a male dominated sport or profession or whatever, If they can be inspired, that’s fantastic,” said Goupille.

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