Woman Is First To Referee Men's Pro Basketball


When the Philadelphia Spirit and the New Haven Skyhawks jumped center last night in a U.S. Basketball League game in Philadelphia, Sandhi Ortiz-Del Valle became the first woman to ever referee a professional men's game in the nation.

"I have a few butterflies," Ortiz-Del Valle, 40, a former college player from East Orange, N.J., acknowledged before the game. "But just a few."

Ortiz-Del Valle was not shy in her pro debut. She made the first two calls of the game, a traveling violation and a reach-in foul, and she was not immune to the kind of wrath all referees receive.

Ortiz-Del Valle said she had expected to be treated as rudely as any other rookie.

For her, the only difference in being a woman referee is how players sometimes try to coerce calls.


Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART), the Indy-car sanctioning body, has fined drivers Danny Sullivan and Willy T. Ribbs and placed both on probation after an on-track incident and an off-track shouting match at Sunday's Grand Prix race in East Rutherford, N.J.

The difficulties began when Sullivan, apparently frustrated at not being able to get past Ribbs' lapped car late in the race at the New Jersey Meadowlands, clipped the front of the slower Lola as he drove past on the cool-down lap.


Joe Hipp of Federal Way knocked out Las Vegas heavyweight Cleveland Woods 27 seconds into the first round of a bout in Irvine, Calif.

Hipp, 28, improved to 21-1 with his seventh consecutive knockout, flooring Woods with a short left hand. Woods, who weighed 233 pounds, is 13-3.

Hipp, 239, is scheduled to meet Louisville fighter John Morton Aug. 2 at the Tacoma Dome.


A judge in Syracuse, N.Y., dismissed sexual abuse charges against Wilfred Kirkaldy, 18, and lamented that he couldn't do anything to help restore the reputation of the promising high-school basketball player who was accused during a September recruiting visit to Syracuse University.


John Alexander of Gorst, winner of this year's city amateur tournament, shot a 76 in the first round of the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship in Columbus, Ind. David Farnam, Seattle, shot 77 and Jeremy Forster, Port Angeles, shot 78. Three players shot 70 to share the first-round lead.


Brian Pajer, 23, of Cal-Irvine, won the men's 100-meter breaststroke final in 1:03.21 for the first U.S. gold medal in the World University Games in Sheffield, England.

Chen Jianhong of China (1:03.59) was second and Leif Engstrom Heg of Las Vegas, Nev., (1:04.20) was third.

The U.S. team also achieved silver medals in the women's 400-meter individual medley and the women's 800-meter freestyle relay.

-- Dr. Michael J. Scott, a Seattle dermatologist, has been appointed as an official by the United States Olympic Committee for the Olympic Festival, which is taking place this week in Los Angeles. Scott also was appointed as an official to the Aug. 4-16 Pan Am Games in Havana, Cuba.


Johnny Vergez, a former major-league infielder who was a member of the New York Giants' 1933 World Series championship club, died of kidney failure in Davis, Calif. He was 85.


Luis Henrique dribbled through two defenders and scored in the final minute to give Brazil a 3-1 victory over Ecuador and the extra goal it needed to advance into the final round of the America Cup, the soccer championship of South America.


Monica Seles who is about to end her self-imposed silence and seclusion with an exhibition appearance Thursday in Mahwah, N.J., said in a statement issued by her agent that the injury that caused her withdrawal from Wimbledon last month was shin splints "and a slight stress fracture in my left leg."


Morocco's Said Aouita, the world record-holder in five events, won the 1,500-meter event in 3:37.46 at the Nikaia meet in Nice, France. Nourredine Morceli of Algeria won the 3,000 meters in 7:37.34, the best time this year.

Leroy Burrell won the 200 in 20.50 and Greg Foster won the 110 hurdles in 13.26. Marie-Josee Perec won the 400 in 49.76 and Cuba's Ana Quirot won the 800 in 1:57.34.