Pop Warner football has been around since the inception of the league in 1929 by founder Joseph J. Tomlin as a four-team conference in Northeast Philadelphia.
Since then, participation has steadily increased to today’s record numbers. Over 250,000 youths participated in Pop Warner-sanctioned football programs in 2010, and those numbers are continuing to grow.
Datalys Institute’s research data show that Pop Warner Rules and Heads-Up Football Training result in injury rate that has 87% fewer injuries than non-Heads-Up/non Pop Warner programs.
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, Pop Warner announced 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 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.
Red Cross CPR and First Aid Certification:
Pop Warner rules require that “All practices must be attended by one person holding a Red Cross Community CPR and a First Aid certification OR National Center for Sports Safety PREPARE Certificate of Completion, or equivalent, if not by an EMT or volunteer physician.”
The Injury Rate:
In Pop Warner Football, there is “an absence of catastrophic head and neck injuries and disruptive joint injuries found at higher levels.”
The injury rate in Pop Warner Football is less than one-third the injury rate in high school football (AND) less than one-fifth the injury rate in college football (AND) less than one-ninth the injury rate in professional football.
Furthermore, Pop Warner’s age-weight schematic protects younger, lighter players, who do not have higher injury rates.
The Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma in New York completed a Pop Warner injury survey in 71 towns covering over 5,000 players in 1998. The injury experience of 5,128 boys (8 to 15 years of age, weight 22.5 to 67.5 kg [50 to 150 lb]) participating in youth football revealed an overall rate of significant injury of 5%, with 61% classified as moderate and 38.9% as major injuries. That’s about 1.33 per team per year. No catastrophic injuries occurred, and it was rare for a permanent disability to result from any injury.
WHY THERE ARE NO PERSONAL STATISTICS
Pop Warner exists to use football, cheerleading, dance and a respect for education to develop strong, smart, responsible, healthy young men and women. We give them experiences that build their appreciation for and understanding of leadership, teamwork, and discipline.
While individual statistics may be more common, particularly among older football players, Pop Warner only recognizes the athletic accomplishments of the team, not the individual. We don’t track personal tallies of touchdowns or yards rushing per game. We don’t count sacks or blocked kicks. We applaud the athletic efforts of the team to reinforce the importance of teamwork, with each member.
We don’t try to build stars. We don’t want to over-inflate a young ego, nor do we want to risk injuring the self-esteem of a young person. Whether our kids have good days or bad, they are still an integral part of our team…and always will be.