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Pop Warner Guidelines

The OIA Pop Warner Administrators are Lyanne Nakamoto (808.551.4545) and Vernon Nakamoto (808.497.9236).

Season Dates

  • Preseason Tiny Mites Exhibition is Sunday, 19 August 2012.
  • Preseason Jamborees for all other divisions is Saturday/Sunday, 25-26 August 2012.
  • Regular season commences Saturday, 1 September 2012.
  • The playoffs and bowl games are to be played at Aloha Stadium each Sunday in November 2012.

Game Fees

Pre-season and post-season game fees will be paid in cash at the field by sponsoring Pop Warner Associations. The Crew Chief will collect the fee and pay each Official.


Season game fees are paid by the Oahu Pop Warner Association (OPW) and distributed by Lyanne or Vernon (in cash) at the OIA Official’s Meeting the Monday immediately after the weekend worked.  If Monday is a holiday, it will be delayed until the following Monday meeting.  Game fees are yet-to-be-determined.



A Field Crew of five (5) officials will be used.

Our objective is to maintain consistency with High School 5-man field mechanics for training purposes, and to enhance field coverage.  Exception: The Tiny Mites Division will have a crew of two (2) field officials. 


DO NOT officiate any game if:

  • An immediate family member is playing (Son, daughter, brother, sister, etc.) 
  • An immediate family member is coaching (Son, daughter, brother, sister, etc.)
  • You have been drinking alcohol, or are under the influence of a controlled substance


Notify Lyanne in advance of any unavailability. (i.e. Vacation, Work Schedule, etc.)  DO NOT switch or trade field assignments.  If there is any conflict with your schedule, please notify Lyanne or Vernon immediately.  

Reminder: OIA/ILH assignments take precedence over any Pop Warner or other Youth League assignments.



  • Collared short sleeve referee striped shirt
  • Black coach/referee shorts. (No basketball/soccer elastic waist type or cargo shorts)
  • All black athletic shoes and white crew socks (mid-calf)
  • Black striped OIA cap (White OIA cap optional for referee)


BE PROMPT!  Be familiar with the location of the assignment and arrive at the field of your assignment no less than 30 minutes prior to your game time dressed, ready for pre-game, field check, and coaches conference.  Contact your Crew Chief if you are running late.


There shall be a minimum of three (3) game officials to start a game. (OPWAP 25.2)


The Crew Chief will introduce themselves to the most senior Pop Warner Field Commissioner at the field.  Please note their name and title.  Any safety hazards concerning the field conditions should be addressed at this time.  The Crew Chief will be asked to list all field Officials on OPW game control form for each game.


If a game is suspended for weather, stopped for any incident, canceled, or forfeited, the Crew Chief will first contact the most senior Pop Warner Authority at the field and have them report the situation to OPW Area Commissioner and/or Jerry Neumann, OPW President.  The Crew Chief must then report it to the OIA Pop Warner Administrator. 


Suspended Games: Should any game be suspended, the game may be continued or replayed at a later date.


Note the following:

  • Score
  • Quarter and time remaining in the quarter
  • Team in possession
  • Yard line of possession
  • Penalty and penalty enforcement, if applicable
  • The number of time outs each team had remaining
  • If possible, the original field crew will be assignedand will continue the game without additional payment 


Oahu Pop Warner (OPW) and/or the OIA Pop Warner Administrator may limit or terminate specific referees/game Officials based upon, but not limited to the foregoing reasons: 

  • Evidence and/or records of violence
  • Alcohol or drug/substance abuse
  • Evidence and/or records of sexual offenses
  • Evidence and/or records of offenses involving children
  • Any circumstance that indicates a person may pose a risk to the health, safety, and well-being of children
  • Any other unsuitable, inappropriate orunprofessional behavior  

OPW Playing Procedures (OPWAP 25.0)


25.1 - Except asspecifically modified, all games are to be played using the National Federation of State High School Association (NFHS) rules.


25.2 - There shall bea minimum of three (3) game officials to start a game.


25.3 - Pop Warner does not follow NFHS rules for numbers; therefore any number between 1 and 99 can be worn for any position.  However, numbers for eligible pass-receivers must still be numbered 1–49 and 80–99, and must be eligible by position. (See also Pop Warner National Rulebook – Rule 12-S1.)


25.4 - The Head Coach must verify, prior to the game, that all players are legally equipped.  (Mouth guard must have keeper strap and attached to the helmet facemask at all times. National Rulebook – Rule 13–I.)


25.5 - Once removed by reason of injury, where a player does not re-enter the game at all, said player must provide a physician’s authorization to return to play tackle football.  (Also see 25.12.)  OPW concern.


25.6 - Players playing dual-positions requiring a different jersey number are not permitted to use a pull-over jersey. Nor shall they use a jersey with the same number of another player already listed on their respective MPR roster.


25.7 - The following are applicable:

  • Prohibited: Long hair protruding out of the helmet
  • Prohibited: Wearing of kerchiefs or bandanas
  • Allowed: Wearing of skullcaps


25.8 - Blocking and tackling restrictions as in NFHS rules: No butt-blocking, chop blocking, face tackling, and spearing techniques, etc.


25.9 - Intermission between the first (1st) and second (2nd) and the third (3rd) and fourth (4th) quarters is two (2) minutes.


25.10 - Intermission (halftime) is fifteen (15) minutes.


25.11 - Each team shall be permitted three (3) timeouts per half.


25.12 - Injured players, once removed by reason of injury, are not allowed to re-enter the game without approval of the team’s medical personnel.  (Also see 25.5.)  OPW concern.


25.13 - OPW has adopted the following policy, "when in doubt, sit out", regarding head injuries.

25.14 - Scoring and Values


  • Touchdown = 6 points
  • Point after Kick = 2 points
  • Point after Run/Pass = 1 point
  • Safety (Awarded to Opponent) = 2 points
  • Field Goal = 3 points
  • Forfeit (Opponent Wins Game) = 1–0 point


25.15 - All preseason games, regular season games, and post season games, except for playoff event games, in which score is tied at the end of regulation, shall remain a tie game.


25.16 - Team Standings.  OPW concern.


The Mandatory Play Rule (MPR) is not the responsibility of the Game Officials.  Direct all questions to the OPW Field Commissioners.


Special Note for Tiny Mite Division: Although the game is serious to the kids, from the adult viewpoint, Tiny Mites are strictly a training division, completely free of any pressure to win, with a total emphasis on learning.  No scores are kept, and no local championship may be declared.


Special Note for Mitey Mite Division: Although the game is serious to the kids, from the adult viewpoint, Mitey Mites are strictly a training division, completely free of any pressure to win, with a total emphasis on learning.  While scores are kept, no local championship may be declared, but post-season play is permitted.


Tiny Mite Division (OPWAP 26.0 and PWLSOR Rule 33)

Field Diameter: 80-yard field


Game Time and Time-Outs:

  • Each half is twenty two (22) minutes
  • There are two (2) halves
  • Running clock except for time-outs, change of possession, and injuries
  • Halftime will be ten (10) minutes
  • Each team is allowed two (2) time-outs per half


26.1 - A minimum of16 players, a maximum of 28 players.


26.2 - Two coaches from each team are permitted to be on the field with the team.  Once the team breaks from huddle, coaches must stay back 10 yards from the line of scrimmage.


26.3 - No kickoffs at the start of the game, the ball will be placed on the 30 yard line.


26.4 - A Tiny Mite team with less than twenty two (22) players will substitute as follows: The offensive team or the defensive team designated to provide substitutions will ensure that all players on their team have an opportunity to be a substitute during the game, by rotating player substitutes.  OPW concern.


26.5 - Defense:

  • No defensive player can play directly over the center
  • Defense must run a 6-4-1 set
  • Defensive line must be one (1) yard back from theoffensive line, in either a 3 or 4 point stance and must be within the box
  • Player must be 3 yards off the center
  • No more than six (6) defensive players can rush the ball
  • No blitzing is allowed


26.6 - Offense:

  • All offensive backs must be lined up behind the offensive line in some type of formation
  • It is allowed to split one (1) offensive back no more than five (5) yards outside the tight end
  • A man-in-motion offense shall NOT be permitted in the Tiny Mite Division


26.9 - No Punting.  On 4th down, a team has the option of: 

  • Running or passing the ball from scrimmage
  • Move the ball back to opponents 30 yard line, and start the offense from there


S8 - Penalties:  

  • Major penalties are 10 yards
  • Minor penalties are 5 yards


S11- No try for point-after-touchdown.


S12 - Ball will be blown dead if fumbled behind the line of scrimmage.  However, ball will be live if fumbled beyond the line of scrimmage.


Mitey Mite Division (OPWAP 27.0 and PWLSOR Rule 1)

Field Diameter: 100-yard field


Game Time and Time out:

  • Each game is four (4) quarters
  • Each quarter is ten (10) minutes
  • Regular clock mechanics
  • Halftime is ten (10) minutes
  • Each team is allowed three (3) time-outs per half


No coaches are permitted on the field, per Oahu Pop Warner.


27.2  Defense:

  • The defense shall run ONLY a 6-4-1 set defense
  • All six (6) defensive players must be on the line of scrimmage in either a 3 or 4 point stance and may rush the ball
  • They are not required to line up within the box
  • There shall be no blitzing
  • There shall be no rushing of punts, field goals or point-after-touchdown (while attempting a kick)


S3 - Defensive players on the line of scrimmage may not line up over the center.  Penalty for the violation above: 

  • First Violation: Warning
  • Additional Violations: 15 yards unsportsmanlike conduct (against the head coach)

27.3 - A man-in-motion offense shall NOT be permitted in Mitey Mite Division play.


Scores: Lop-Sided or Intentionally Run-Up (OPWAP 30.0)

Any time a team’s score is 28 points or more than their opponent, the following will occur:

  • The official clock will become a running clock andonce started can only be stopped for injury of a player, or at the discretion of a referee.  Even if the score becomes less than 28 point difference; the clock CANNOT revert to regular game clock operation.
  • The teams are still required to complete their mandatory play rule.
  • The winning team will replace all first string/starting players, with reserves.
  • OPW reserve format.
  • There will be no on-side kicks.
  • The winning defense must run a "base formation" which matches defensive players against the offensive formation, including covering wide-outs.  The defense is not permitted to "stack the middle".  Linebackers must be at least five (5) yards off the line of scrimmage and in a stationary stance at the time of the snap.
  • If team goes up by 28 points as a result of a touchdown, NO ATTEMPT FOR THE POINT AFTER is allowed.
  • The trailing team shall be awarded the ball on the winning team’s twenty (20) yard line.
  • Should the trailing team fail to score or make a first (1st) down in four (4) downs and there is a loss of yardage, the ball shall be returned to the winning team’s twenty (20) yard line and the next series of downs will begin at that point.
  • Should the trailing team fail to score or make a first (1st) down in four (4) downs, but yardage is gained, the ball will be marked at that spot and the next series of downs will begin at that point.
  • If the winning team takes possession of the ball (interception or fumble), the ball becomes dead and the ball will be given to the trailing team on the winning team’s twenty (20) yard line.
  • This procedure shall continue until such time as the point difference is less than twenty eight (28) points.


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