Petra Tabarelli

Hello, I’m Petra Tabarelli, the world’s leading expert on the evolution of the Laws of the Game and the history of women referees in men’s football and manage the Bingen Archive.

I am a historian, archivist and football fan and work part-time as both an archivist and a football historian. This site primarily serves my portfolio as a football historian.

Petra Tabarelli_Sarah Schäfer © Sarah Schäfer,


I was socialised with both history and football at an early age through my family – both are part of my life.

I love to pass on my knowledge and thus make the world of football a little better. And I would like to help and support you in this way as well. No matter what field of football you work in.

The Evolution of the Football Rules

The Laws of the Game are the fundamental essence of modern football, acting and reacting to changes in the game and in society. They are therefore a pivotal point for the general development of football. To know about the evolution of the rules is to understand a component of the game. I am the only person in the world who has researched the development so well.

My goal is to support people in football and give them impetus and inspiration to understand the development and purpose of the Laws of the Game, the history of the game and the changing spirit of the game. In short: understanding through knowledge.

As a historian and cultural anthropologist by training, I am very familiar with the scientific methods of source criticism and knowledge transfer, but also with the interest of football fans and the transfer of knowledge through storytelling. My work is interdisciplinary and intercultural. That is your great opportunity. I am happy if I can help you.

foto des Fußballvereins Dresden

Women in Men’s Football – #SheCanRef

When Bibiana Steinhaus was appointed for the first time in 2017 for a match in the men’s Bundesliga, the media in this country went into overdrive. At the time, I thought she was the very first female referee to officiate a match in a men’s league. But two years later I realised: Far from it. There were many other women before her, especially in non-European leagues. Bibiana Steinhaus, however, is the first woman who was apointed for a match in a top European league.

As a woman in football, it is important for me to convey the story of other women in football. Even those who are not in the European spotlight. Since 2019, I have collected a comprehensive database of female referees in top men’s football in their country or continent. It now contains 161 referees.

161 women – and this despite my limitation to female referees in men’s top football. This means: women who were appointed for men’s football matches in the first national division or in continental competitions in men’s football. The overview is supplemented by the milestones of their history and the all-female refereeing teams in men’s football, which have become more and more in the last years.

Regional History

I manage the Bingen Archive, which is currently being restructured from a local history collection into a proper archive. For the first time in Bingen, records are being indexed and the administrative structure is being brought up to date so that records are kept and space is created in the records management.

Digital literacy is very important to me, which is why I also focus on contemporary, digital public relations.

I am also researching the history of my hometown of Ockenheim and the history of my family.


History Competition of the Federal President of Germany

I am a member of the jury for the History Competition of the Federal President for the state of Rhineland-Palatinate.

FRÜF – Golden Blogger award for Best Sports Blog 2019

After only one year of existence, FRÜF – Women Talking About Football was awarded the Golden Blogger Influencer Award for Best Sports Blog of 2020 in March 2020. In our podcast episodes and social media channels, we not only tackle well-known football events, but also social issues and show that women do not speak differently for football than men. We are more than just this podcast and we promote a greater awareness of women in football.

Digital Past – Golden Blogger award for the Best Twitter Account 2013

Digital Past is a free collective of historians who want to share history and historical thinking using the tools of the digital world. The interest in the past is unabatedly great, but cannot be served by the conventional channels of books, television programmes and exhibitions. digital past is intended to serve as a contact point for modern forms of public history on the internet, to try out formats and to discuss them critically. In November 2013, we made history with #9no38. Even the New York Times reported on our Twitter account, which we used to relive the events of the November pogrom in Germany, 1938, day and time-accurately.

How can I support you?

You can book me!

Or would you first like to know what I have already done? Then have a look here.