The International Ice Hockey Federation will make Sandra Dombrowski the first female on-ice official inducted in the IIHF Hall of Fame.
From the IIHF:
Sandra Dombrowski (now Frey) will make history as the first female game official inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame. She founded the women’s hockey club BOMO and played for Switzerland at the first, unofficial Women’s World Championship in Toronto in 1987, and after retiring as a player she turned to refereeing.
Dombrowski was the first woman to referee a Women’s Worlds gold medal game, in 1992. She subsequently held the whistle at the gold games in 1994 and 1997 as well, all games featuring the classic Canada-United States rivalry. She also had the whistle as both a referee, and in an emergency, as a linesperson, at the 1998 Olympics, the first time women competed for a medal.
Dombrowski ended her 15-year career as a game official a few months later and worked as a referee supervisor for the IIHF and SIHF watching both men’s and women’s games, was meeting with officials, and giving them feedback and guidance as need be including the following two Olympics.
In 1998, she also became the first woman in the IIHF Officiating Committee.
Dombrowski will be inducted alongside players Jimmy Foster (GBR), Cristobal Huet (FRA), Brian Leetch (USA), Caroline Ouellette (CAN) and Henrik Zetterberg (SWE). Also joining the class of 2023 will be builder Kalervo Kummola (FIN), Richard “Bibi” Torriani Award winner Viktor Szelig (HUN), and Paul Loicq Award winner Kimmo Leinonen (FIN).
There are currently seven officials in the IIHF Hall of Fame: referees Quido Adamec (CZE, Class of 2005), Ove Dahlberg (SWE, 2004), Yuri Karandin (Russia, 2004), Josef Kompalla (GER, 2003), Laszlo Schell (HUN, 2009), Unto Wiitala (FIN, 2003)
The IIHF Hall of Fame Class of 2023 induction ceremony will take place on May 28 in Tampere, Finland, prior to the medal round of the 2023 World Championship.