How to Become a Pop Warner Referee

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Like teachers and parents, Pop Warner referees help teach children the value of good citizenship and adherence to laws. A referee calls a holding penalty during a game to demonstrate to a child that rules must be followed in order to compete in life. You can become a Pop Warner referee in a few easy steps and help the next generation learn important community values.

Things You'll Need

  • Background check form
  • Whistle
  • Resume with focus on volunteer experience

Sign on as a Pop Warner Referee

  • Review the rules that govern Pop Warner football. As a referee, you need to be an expert on every game regulation in order to keep the game fair and maintain the safety of each child. The official Pop Warner rule book is available online to every referee, coach and volunteer.

  • Make your way to a local Pop Warner football game before you sign up to be a referee. By observing referees in action, you can assess the physical and mental rigors of the game before agreeing to participate.

  • Complete a background check sheet provided by your local Pop Warner league. League officials need to ensure that every adult volunteer has a clean criminal history before they can become a member of the Pop Warner family.

  • Converse with fellow officials in your league to get advice. Experienced officials in Pop Warner can point out common penalties, identify difficult coaches and offer tips for avoiding potential crowd disruptions during the game. You should also build relationships with these officials because you will work with most of them during the regular season.

  • Provide your services to individual teams during practices. Pop Warner coaches often stress the importance of obeying rules during games. Your presence at scrimmages and individual drills can reinforce lessons about sportsmanship that are encouraged throughout youth sports.

  • Discuss the possibility of officiating regional and national tournament games. As you become more experienced, you can build a good reputation in your Pop Warner league. Coaches and league organizers can recommend that you help referee games at the next level of competition.

Tips & Warnings

  • Think carefully about your goals as a Pop Warner referee. As a football referee, you need to be physically able to keep up with active kids while observing the rules of the game. You need to have an accommodating schedule and family in order to add a refereeing position to your busy life.

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