When should my child begin playing tackle football?
Most players begin playing tackle football at age 7. Mitey-Mite teams (youngest level of tackle football) consist of a mix 7 & 8 year olds. Pop Warner teams adhere to strict age/weight regulations.
When does practice start?
Pop Warner practices begin in early August. This is needed to allow teams roughly four weeks of practice before their first game. The first practices will consist of conditioning drills. For these practices, players wear shorts, t-shirts, helmets, and cleats. Contact practices in full pads will begin shortly after.
Our family will be out of town in early August and won’t be back until after practices begin. What do we do?
While it is not mandatory, players are strongly encouraged to start practice with there team in early on the August the start date. A late-arriving player gets behind and misses out on what the rest of the team is learning and this puts that player at a disadvantage. You should contact you teams head coach to let them know and make arrangements.
How many practices are there per week?
In August teams will practice 4 times weekly for 1.5 to 2 hours daily. Once school starts and games begin, practices reduce to 3 times per week. The head coach for each team will determine the actual schedule. The season ends at the end of October for the Mites. For the older teams, if they go into playoffs, the season is extended to November.
When do games begin and on what days are games played?
Games are played on Saturdays and will begin around Labor Day weekend. The regular season is 8 games (4 home and 4 away). Mitey-Mite teams do not participate in playoffs, but may play an end-of-season bowl game. All other teams will participate in the playoffs if they win enough games.
Can I drop my kids off at the field for practice and pick him/her up later?
If your child is playing at the first level, Mites, a parent always needs to be at the field (if not a parent, another responsible adult). It is a contact sport and an adult needs to be at the field that is responsible if the child gets hurt or needs something.
What teams does Boca Pop Warner play?
Boca Pop Warner will play in the Treasure Coast Football Conference in the South Division. Currently 18 cities are members of the Treasure Coast Football Conference. Boca Raton is one of the last communities in Palm Beach County to establish a Pop Warner program.
What do I need to do about equipment?
Why do I need to buy extra merchandise for cheerleading?
Just like any other sport, cheerleading has equipment to go along with it. Just as you would be expected to buy cleats and shin pads for soccer, you need to buy appropriate sneakers.
How do I know what tackle football team my child will play on?
Pop Warner teams are mandated by an age/weight formula. This is done to ensure the safety of all participants and is strictly enforced by all teams playing in the Treasure Coast Football Conference.
If my child’s age and weight qualify him for multiple Pop Warner team levels, which level should he play?
We recommend that your child play on the lowest level team that he qualifies for. However, there may be exceptions, particularly if your child is a strong player.
What is "mandatory weigh-in"? Is it really "mandatory"?
The weigh-in rule was established to ensure that players are playing in the proper weight/age division for the protection of all players. The weights are certified by the league in game day books every team carries to every game. These books contain league certified documentation on each player that includes the player's picture in his/her game jersey, birth certificate and weigh-in certification. Before each game every player is weighed against the information in these books to ensure that only certified players are being dressed to participate in any given game. Under these rules no player is allowed to play unless they are weighed and certified by the league. If the league were to try to accommodate each family's individual schedule this task would be monumental and impossible. Therefore there is one mandatory weigh-in for all teams. This weigh-in does not take place in the middle of summer but as late in August as possible while still allowing all weights to be certified by the start of the season. Boca Pop Warner teams cannot certify their own players, do this function cannot happen during equipment distribution. Certification is a league function.
If a child misses the mandatory weigh-in, can he or she still play?
Unfortunately, if your child cannot attend the mandatory weigh-in, he/she will not be able to play the first two games of the season. There are always unavoidable conflicts and religious conflicts and thus a second alternative weigh-in is always scheduled two weeks into the season. This alternative weekend is not designed to penalize players but has been implemented to allow players a second chance to weigh in while only missing two games in an eight plus game season (often teams qualify for playoffs which accounts for those additional games beyond eight).
I have heard that Pop Warner football is safer than many other tackle football programs because Pop Warner has weight limits. Is that true?
Yes. Per national Pop Warner rules, players must be under a certain weight. If they are over the designated weight limit for their age, they must “play up” and be on a team of older players. This is a safety issue and is strictly enforced. Players are weighed at the beginning of the season and also before every game. Players who are under the designated weight for their age likewise may “play down” and be on a team of younger players. See the age/weight chart on the pop warner website for further details regarding the appropriate team level for your child.
Are there many injuries in Pop Warner football? I am worried that my son will get hurt.
Although they certainly can occur, injuries at the Pop Warner level are rare. Prior to middle school, boys and girls are generally not yet big and strong enough to hurt each other. Interestingly, a national study conducted several years ago found that there are a higher percentage of injuries in soccer than in Pop Warner football. Perhaps more importantly, playing Pop Warner football likely will decrease your child’s chances of getting injured while playing middle school football because he or she will already know the fundamentals of tackle football, including how to properly tackle, and how to protect themselves when tackled.
Shouldn’t my child wait until middle school to begin playing tackle football?
No. If your child waits until middle school to begin playing tackle football, he or she will be at a huge disadvantage. Most successful middle school players learned to play to football at the younger Pop Warner level. Middle school children without any tackle football experience have a difficult time competing with their peers who have prior Pop Warner experience.
Why does it say "Pop Warner Little Scholars" on the uniform patch?
Pop Warner believes that academics count. Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc. (PWLS) is the only national youth sports organization in America that requires its participants to perform adequately in the classroom before permitting them to play. We believe that the standards we have set give these children a sense of responsibility and an appreciation for academics and athletics that will help them develop later on in life.