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 225,000 youths participated in Pop Warner-sanctioned football programs in 2021, and those numbers are continuing to grow.
Leagues have options with how to structure their program. While leagues can continue the current structure where a player is placed in a division based on his or her age and weight, they may also instead choose to register players based on age only. Currently, an estimated 75-80% of youth football nationally follows an age-only structure.
Pop Warner places value on safety measures that make a difference. That’s why we have also done things in football like reduce contact to 25% of practice time, eliminate kickoffs for our youngest divisions and require that any player who suffers a suspected head injury receive medical clearance from a concussion specialist before returning to play.
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.
Below is information about signing up to participate in your Pop Warner program.
HOW DO I LOCATE MY LOCAL POP WARNER PROGRAM
You can use our National League Finder to identify the closest program in your local city or town. Once you have identified the closest program, please contact that organization or visit their website to find out more information about registration, signup dates & locations, costs, schedules, etc.
REQUIREMENTS TO PARTICIPATE
Requirements may vary by local program. Please contact your local program for requirements for participation.
WHAT DO I NEED FOR REGISTRATION
Original Birth Certificate (with raised seal).
Participant Contract/Parental Consent Form - name must match birth certificate exactly.
Physical Form - dated after January 1st of current year and signed and stamped by physician.
Year-End report card for current year (4 quarters).
*Other Requirements are determined by local program.
Pop Warner programs have no tryouts or cutting of rosters.
Registration fees are set by each local program, please contact your local program for details.
Pop Warner has a Mandatory Play Rule (MPR) for all teams - every child plays!
A typical season consists of a 7 to 9 game regular season schedule.
Pop Warner participants and volunteers must abide by the Code of Conduct.
Take a look at some of the many Benefits of Playing Pop Warner.
Leagues have options with how to structure their program. While leagues can continue the current structure where a player is placed in a division based on his or her age and weight they may also instead choose to register players based on age only. Currently, an estimated 75-80% of youth football nationally follows an age-only structure.