The challenges for a woman to become a referee in any professional sports league are not easy.
Although, Cianna Leiffers out of Cudworth, Saskatchewan has beaten the odds and believes that women becoming officials in the National Hockey League could soon be a reality.
"At 24 years old I still have a lot of time left in my officiating career and I think that someone is going to break that barrier, it is possible," said Cianna Leiffers who is in her fourth year as a linesman in the SJHL and first as a referee.
Lieffers started reffing at the age of 12 in her hometown and felt verbally abused by coaches because of her gender. She would eventually return at 14 years of age, thanks to a boost of confidence from her mother. Now at 24-years-old, Lieffers has made some strides of her own as a female referee.
The Cudworth native began working through minor hockey. Eventually, she moved up to Midget AAA, Junior B, other high end provincial leagues. Hockey Canada would also give Lieffers the opportunity to be a be a linesman for two national games and a referee for seven more national games. Now Lieffers has made her way up to the international level and officiates for the IIHF as well.
Not only does Lieffers believe female referees need to be a reality in hockey, but in other sports as well.
"As a female, we can call just as well as a male can. I don't see why a woman has to be held back just because of that. If she can go out there and referee a game, I say give her that shot."