POP WARNER BECOMES FIRST NATIONAL FOOTBALL ORGANIZATION TO ELIMINATE KICKOFFS
Aims to decrease full-speed impact in games; Pop Warner to also reduce contact to 25% of practice time
LANGHORNE, PA (May 12, 2016) –In another major step to make the game safer and better: Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc., the nation’s oldest and most prominent youth football organization, today announced that it will become the first national football organization to eliminate kickoffs. The ban, which will take effect in the three youngest divisions when the season begins this fall, is aimed at significantly reducing the amount of full-speed, head-on impact in games.
Instead of kicking it off, the ball will be placed at the 35-yard line to start each half and after each score in all Tiny Mite (5- to 7-years-old), Mitey Mite (7-9) and Junior Pee Wee (8-10) games. Following the season, Pop Warner will review the results of the move as it considers implementation in older divisions.
“We are constantly working to make the game safer and better for our young athletes, and we think this move is an important step in that direction,” said Jon Butler, Pop Warner’s executive director. “Eliminating kickoffs at this level adds another layer of safety without changing the nature of this great game. We are excited to look at the results at the end of the year as we explore additional measures.”
Pop Warner also announced a further reduction of contact time in practice across all divisions. After limiting player contact to only 33 percent of practice time in 2012, Pop Warner will now restrict contact to approximately 25 percent of practice time, beginning this season.
The moves are just the latest in Pop Warner changes aimed at enhanced player safety.
Palomar Conference Incorporates National Center for Sports Safety’s PREPARE Course Into New Coaching Curriculum
Palomar Pop Warner Conference has partnered with the National Center for Sports Safety (NCSS) to offer PREPARE, to its coaches as a comprehensive online sports safety course. Palomar Conference has recognized that sports safety is a vital component of a winning program and is recommending the course for its coaches who complete the Palomar Pop Warner Coach Development Program.
PREPARE has been approved to meet the National Pop Warner requirement for First Aid training for coaches as outlined in Article 15: Practice, Item #S3. Get your coaches sports safety educated today! Go to www.SportsSafety.org to purchase the course. A 10% discount will be given to all Palomar Pop Warner coaches. Contact your association president for the discount code.
PREPARE consists of seven modules aimed at providing valuable information on how to prevent injuries and respond to emergency situations. In addition, the course teaches things like how to prevent heat illness and manage exercise induced-asthma attacks.
PREPARE is relevant to coaches on all levels of youth sports and will help Pop Warner coaches be better prepared both on and off the field.
PREPARE will be offered by Palomar Conference as a foundation and requirement for coaches certification. The flexibility of the online modules allows participants to complete the modules at their own pace. Once participants pass the modules, they will receive a certificate of completion.