Pop Warner Changes Rules for Safer Play
Pop Warner Youth Football–the largest youth football organization in America–has taken significant steps to make tackle football safer for kids.
The object is to reduce the incidents of concussions through blocking or tackling exercises. In addition to improved technique instruction, the league has mandated the following practices.
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.
Furthermore, we will be implementing a new Health & Safety section on popwarner.com in conjunction with the re-launch of our national website to keep our members abreast of current issues in concussion awareness and other health and safety matters. We hope that this resource will become a valuable tool for our teams.