Hi, I’m Petra – a historian, archivist, football fan.

And the woman who can explain the meaning and purpose of the Laws of the Game.

The laws are the basic essence of the modern game of football, acting and reacting to changes in the game and in society. Therefore, they are a pivotal point for the general development of football. To have knowledge of the Evolution of the Football Rules is to have knowledge of the entire game of football. I am the only person in the world who has researched the development so well.

Other focus: Jews in German Football and Modern Football

I have also researched the completely forgotten Jewish football pioneer Simon Rosenberger (more about him) and brought him back to light after more than 90 years of oblivion. In March 2022, my German-language biography about the man who revolutionised German refereeing and adapted the German rules to the international Laws of the Game was published. Throughout his life, people were sure that Rosenberger would become one of the most famous people in football history, but an anti-Semitic Damnatio Memoriae left him only a few days. (You can buy the book here.)

Thus, the emergence of Modern Football as well as other, forgotten Jews in German Football are now further focal points of my work as a football historian.

Need support? Let’s connect?

Work with me. Here you will find an overview of the cooperation possibilities.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or would like to work with me.

Below you will find press articles about me and my work as well as selected products of my work as a freelance football historian, sorted chronologically.

What I have already done

(The titles of the articles are in English for the ease of comprehension. The national flag indicates the original language.)

Press review

Football rules watchdogs decide: Five changes now permanently allowed (Chaled Nahar) (sportschau.de, 03/2022) (🇩🇪)

Collinas Erben, the Referee Magazine (€) (Sky Sport News, Alex Feuerherdt, 01/2022) (🇩🇪)

Exceptional phenomenon, the (leibesübungen) (taz, 11/2021) (🇩🇪)

Rule-makers want five changes in football on a permanent basis (Chaled Nahar) (Sportschau.de, 10/2021) (🇩🇪)

Cradle of German football, Braunschweig (Sascha Kurzrock) (11km, 09/2020) (🇩🇪)

Penalty kicks in football: what makes them so complicated (Alex Feuerherdt) (web.de, 04/2020) (🇩🇪)

A rule without hand and foot?! (Michael) (schwarzgelb.de, 03/2019) (🇩🇪)

Zielers own goal – avoidable as paradoxical (Alex Feuerherdt) (ntv.de, 10/2018) (🇩🇪)

Books and Papers

Simon Rosenberger. The forgotten football pioneer (Biografie, Hentrich & Hentrich, 2022) (🇩🇪)

Jewish sports journalists at the Kicker – Willy Meisl, Stella Bloch, Ludwig Isenburger, Simon Rosenberger. In: United, Fearless, Loyal. The Kicker during the Nazi Era – A Reappraisal) (Anthology, Die Werkstatt, 2022) (🇩🇪)

Articles in Magazines

Simon Rosenberger (Football Makes History, 05/2022) (🇬🇧)

The purpose of the offside rule (Web.de, 06/2021) (🇩🇪)

It’s offside when… (part 2) (DFB referee magazine, 06/2021) (🇩🇪)

It’s offside when… (part 1) (DFB referee magazine, 04/2021) (🇩🇪)

How the referee came into the game (DFB referee magazine, 08/2020) (🇩🇪)

Die Limits of the Game (DFB referee magazine, 04/2020) (🇩🇪)


Overview lecture on the rules of football (Local Referee Association of Mainz-Bingen, Germany, 02, 2021, not online) (🇩🇪)

History of World Cups from 1930 (James Brown et al.) (Soccerex 2021 Heritage, 02/2021) (🇬🇧)

Covid-19, & the Football in Germany (John Kelly/Edinburgh Critical Studies in Sport Research Group) (Symposium on International Sport and Covid-19, 06/2020, not online) (🇬🇧)


Barcelona – Wolfsburg was not a world record (Oliver Fastnacht) (Sportradio Deutschland, Broadcast „All In“, 04/2022, not online) (🇩🇪) (📻)

Women’s football: FC Barcelona’s “world record” at Camp Nou is not one (Justin Kraft) (Spox/Goal.de, 04/2022) (🇩🇪) (📝)

Terra X: The History of Football (Mirko Drotschmann/MrWissen2Go) (Terra X Geschichte – Der Podcast, 04/2022) (🇩🇪) (🎙)

Simon Rosenberger (Markus Herwig) (Sportradio Deutschland, Broadcast “Freistil”, 03/2022, not online) (🇩🇪) (📻)

The first female football referees (Franziska Blendin) (Podcast Legende Verloren, 07/2021) (🇩🇪) (🎙)

Weather and Football Rules (Thomas Ranft) (hr, alle Wetter, 06/2021) (🇩🇪) (🎥⏺)

The History of Women’s Football (Tobias Jakobi) (Geschichte Europas, 05/2021) (🇩🇪) (🎙)

How the brave little tailor invented the ass card (Jan Budde) (SWR, 04/2021) (🇩🇪) (📝)

[Interview on the topic of fear of relegation & hope] (SWR, 04/2021, not online) (🇩🇪) (🎥)

“Women and football did not fit into the patriarchal picture for a long time” (Astrid Rawohl) Deutschlandfunk Sport, 03/2021, Click on “>” on the page to play the radio report) (🇩🇪) (📻)

The Football Primer – The Book on the 05er Spirit (David Rischke) (Sat1, 02/2021) (🇩🇪) (🎥)

“As a woman, I first have to show that I have a clue.” (Mara Pfeiffer) (Flutlicht An!, 02/2021) (🇩🇪) (🎙)

“I call myself a detective.” (Mara Pfeiffer) (Sport1, 02/2021) (🇩🇪) (📝)

A steep pass through football history (Tobias Jakobi) (Geschichte Europas, 11/2020) (🇩🇪) (🎙)

Petra Tabarelli – Musical Football Detective (Sarah Schäfer) (Eigenstimmig Podcast, 10/2020) (🇩🇪) (🎙)

The ball is not simply round (Jochen Werner) (Allgemeine Zeitung, 08/2020) (🇩🇪) (📝)

HSV (Hi)Stories (Tanja Hufschmidt, Sven Schultze) (HSV Talk, 03/2020) (🇩🇪) (🎙)

„The Germans make their own hand ball problem“ (€) (Daniel Theweleit) (FAZ, 01/2019) (🇩🇪) (📝)

The History of Football Rule-Making (Chris Lee) (Outside Write, 01/2019) (🇬🇧) (🎙)

Wortpiratin rot-weiß: Mara Pfeiffer meets historian Petra Tabarelli (Mara Pfeiffer) (Allgemeine Zeitung, 10/2018) (🇩🇪) (🎥)

The roots of modern football (120 Minuten) (10/2018) (🇩🇪) (🎙)

1. FSV Mainz 05 (Max-Jacob Ost) (Rasenfunk Royal, 05/2018) (🇩🇪) (🎙)