June 14, 2012
Pop Warner football players won't be taking quite as many hits from now on.
The youth organization says it is limiting contact in practice in an effort to make the game safer for young players starting this year.
It says coaches must limit contact to no more than one-third of their practice time. It is also banning full-speed, head-on blocking or tackling drills in which players line up more than 3 yards apart. The organization says coaches can have full-speed drills where players approach each other at an angle but "not straight ahead into each other." It also says there should be no head-to-head contact.
"The rules that they play under are all very much related to keeping them safe. I certainly feel the child would be safer to come play football than sending him out to ride his bike in the afternoon," said Jene Ware,Director of Pop Warner football.
The rule changes announced Tuesday were developed by Pop Warner's medical advisory board as part of its effort to reduce the risk of concussions.