NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL has hired Sarah Thomas to be its first female full-time game official.

Thomas, who has worked exhibition games, will be a line judge for the 2015 season.

The 41-year-old Thomas has been in the league's officiating development program and worked some team minicamps last year.

She's already broken ground in the officiating field as the first woman to work college games in 2007. She was the first female official on the FBS level and the first to officiate a bowl game, the 2009 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl in Detroit.

Shannon Eastin worked regular-season NFL games in 2012 as a replacement official, making her the first female to do so in any capacity. She also was a line judge.

The announcement was made Wednesday.

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