Close this search box.

2023 Hall of Fame Inductee – CAROLYN TSAKALOS


Carolyn commenced her journey as a referee at the young age of 14 years old. In a space of predominantly male’s, Carolyn lead the way for female referees proving that with work ethic and drive there is enormous potential. 

Carolyn has produced groundbreaking results for women officials within organisations including Basketball South Australia, WNBL, NBL and FIBA. 

1988 saw Carolyn’s first major Australian representation at the Pro Ball Invitations Basketball tournament leading to a long list of high-level officiating experiences. 

Carolyn had an exciting 1993 refereeing the China tour with the Australian Women’s Team and receiving FIBA badge accreditation in the same year. 

The FIBA journey for Carolyn grew extensively after the accreditation was achieved. Carloyn refereed 4 games at the FIBA Junior Women’s World Champions in Brazil in 1997, 8 games including the Gold Medal games at the FIBA Women’s World Championships in Germany in 1998 and making a to FIBA in 2004 and 2006 traveling to both Russia and China refereeing Gold Medal games at both FIBA Women’s World League events.

Carolyn refereed in the Asian Tour with Australian Women’s Team in 1995. In the same year Carolyn refereed the Ocean Junior Women’s Championship and joined the Australian Women’s Team in France and Ukraine for the European Tour, joining the tour again in 1998.

In 1997 Carolyn had the rare and phenomenal opportunity to referee five games in Utah at the NBA Pro Summer Camp. 

Carolyn was awarded the Australian Junior Official of the Year in 1997 and went to her successful career to be awarded the Australian Official of the Year in 1998. 

The years that followed Carolyn continued to reach new heights in her refereeing journey. Refereeing 15 games in the WNBA and 6 games in the Asian Junior Women’s World Championships in 1998. In 1999 Carolyn joined the Australian Women’s Team for both the Cuba and Brazil Series’. 

Carolyn reached new heights with her Olympic debut in 2000, refereeing the pre-Olympic Tours for the Women and as a reserve stepping into the Men’s also. Her Olympic journey saw 7 games refereed in 2000 including a Bronze Medal game. Carolyn’s Olympic journey was not set to end being selected for Athens in 2004 to which she was required to withdraw due to being pregnant. 

2000’s Olympic success was not the only achievement of the year for Carolyn also refereeing the Women’s International Series against Russia, France, USA, Slovakia and Poland, as well as the World Slam Down Under in Sydney.

Carolyn was awarded the Australian Sport’s Medal; this prestigious medal was awarded by the Queen in 2000.

The Opal Women’s World Challenge was another monumental step in Carolyn’s journey, joining them in 2004. Carolyn travelled to New Zealand and was part of the Oceania World Qualifiers 2005. Returning to the Opals in 2006. 

Carolyn rounded out her major Australian representation with the 2006 Asian Championships in Japan refereeing the Gold Medal Game and finishing with the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne 2006 where she refereed 5 games and finished with the Bronze Medal Game.