STUDEBAKER-HALL FIRST U.S. WOMAN TO EARN IBU TD LICENSE
by Tom Kelly
New Gloucester, Maine - U.S. Biathlon's Sara Studebaker-Hall has become the first American woman to earn an International Biathlon Union technical delegate license. She will become only the seventh official to achieve TD status in the USA, and the first woman.
In May, Studebaker-Hall was one of eight women (in a group of 10 total) who took the IBU TD exam at a three-day seminar held in Hochfilzen/Going, Austria. It was part of an initiative from the IBU to grow the number of women in the international TD ranks.
She has been an international referee since 2019, following the traditional pathway of spending around four years as a referee. During that time she served as assistant chief of competition for the 2019 IBU World Cup at Soldier Hollow, Utah, and was chief of competition for the 2022 Youth and Junior World Championships.
"This is a great achievement for Sara, and a milestone for U.S. Biathlon," said U.S. Biathlon President and CEO Max Cobb. "It is another element in the efforts being made by IBU and USBA to engage more women in officiating and coaching."
A Boise, Idaho native, Studebaker-Hall is a two-time Olympian (2010, 2014) who spent seven seasons on the IBU World Cup Biathlon tour. She also captained the Dartmouth College cross country ski team to their team NCAA title in 2007. She joined the staff of U.S. Biathlon in 2020 as director of operations. She is married to biathlete Zach Hall, who is the sport program senior manager & biathlon head coach at Soldier Hollow.
"I'm proud to serve as a role model for other women who share a passion for biathlon and a willingness to give back to the sport," said Studebaker-Hall.
Studebaker-Hall has already been assigned to multiple IBU Cup competitions next year. She will serve as start and finish referee at both the season-opening IBU Cup in Sjusjoen, Norway Nov. 24-27, as well as at the finale in Canmore, Alb. March 1-4.
With a growing number of international events being held in America, U.S. Biathlon welcomes any interested men or women to get more involved in officiating. A recent Level 1/2 coaches and officials workshop in Lake Placid, N.Y. attracted 23 participants who took the course and passed the exam. Participants included several women who received U.S. Biathlon scholarships to attend. Another workshop will be offered this fall in Soldier Hollow. More information can be found online at www.teamusa.org/US-Biathlon/Events/2022/October/13/SCHUTZENSKI-FESTIVAL or by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org