Rule Changes Regarding Practice & Concussion Prevention
In our continuing efforts to provide the safest playing environment for our young athletes, and in light of developing concussion research, we would like to announce some important rule changes for the 2012 season.
With these rule changes, Pop Warner becomes the first youth football organization to officially limit contact during practices. The changes can be found in the 2012 Official Pop Warner Rule Book and are a result of the advice of our Medical Advisory Board and the direct input of Pop Warner regional and local administrators and coaches. The New Rules Are as Follows:
No full speed head-on blocking or tackling drills in which the players line up more than 3 yards apart are permitted. (Having two linemen in stances immediately across the line of scrimmage from each other and having full-speed drills where the players approach each other at an angle, but not straight ahead in to each other are both permitted.) However, there should be no intentional head-to-head contact!
The amount of contact at each practice will be reduced to a maximum of 1/3 of practice time (either 40 minutes total of each practice or 1/3 of total weekly practice time). In this context, “contact” means any drill or scrimmage in which drills; down line vs. down line full-speed drills; and scrimmages.
In addition to the above, we would also like to reiterate the technique portion of Rule 14 of the Pop Warner National Rule Book, 11-Man Tackle Football, regarding teaching safe blocking and tackling techniques which states: RULE 14: BLOCKING AND TACKLING RESTRICTIONS: In addition to other specific prohibitions in the National Federation and NCAA rulebooks, no butt blocking, chop blocking, face tackling or spearing techniques shall be permitted.
Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc. (PWLS) is a non-profit organization that provides youth football and cheer & dance programs for participants in 42 states and several countries around the world. Consisting of approximately 400,000 young people ranging in ages from 5 to 16 years old, PWLS is the largest youth football, cheer and dance program in the United States.
Pop Warner was founded in 1929. It continues to grow and serves as the only youth football, cheer & dance organization that requires its participants to maintain academic standards in order to participate. Pop Warner's commitment to academics is what separates the program from other youth sports around the world.
As the only national youth sports organization that requires scholastic aptitude to participate, Pop Warner is committed to developing America's young people on the field and off. Each year Pop Warner continues to expand its efforts in team and activity participation, as well as visibility and outreach in the community.
Since 1929, the Pop Warner Program's Philosophy has been that athletics and scholastics go hand in hand. At every level, Pop Warner programs seek to develop well-rounded young men and women who learn not only the fundamentals of football, cheerleading, and dance but also the importance of education in an atmosphere conducive to developing sound character while having a good time.
Regional Director Jack Arnett ( Left) and League President Brian Lidgard(right) at the National Scholastic banquet.