Pop Warner Football was founded in 1929 in Philadelphia, PA and named after the legendary college coach Glen Scobie "Pop" Warner. Today, over 300,000 youth now participate in Pop Warner Football nationwide. Locally, Pop Warner football began in 1995 with 10 teams from four counties. Presently, our Pop Warner league has over 60 teams, 2000 participants and is the second largest Pop Warner program in the Midwest. The Traverse City Youth Football Association is the largest association in this program, with more than 300 kids playing on 11 teams. Practices begin in August. Games begin in early September and are played on Saturdays until mid October.
YMCA Pop Warner Football is designed to develop leadership, teamwork, patience, determination, self-respect, respect for others, skill development, and fun. In this program, winning is not the objective. It is only the result of playing well.
Safety is a key element in our league. There are strict rules regarding the type of equipment that is worn, and players are grouped by age/weight specifications. Rules have been modified to eliminate plays that might have a higher incidence of injury.
Academic achievement is an important aspect of the program. Youths must supply a copy of a most recent report card when registering. Coaches monitor grades, and failing to maintain appropriate standards my result in a child not playing.
Coaches are volunteers, generally parents or someone with previous football experience. Most have had prior football coaching duties in their lives. Local training is available for all interested coaches.
Divisions of Play
This program offers two divisions based on a grade level. These divisions are Junior Varsity (grades 5-6) and Peewee (grades 3-4).
Tackle football does require safety equipment. Helmet and shoulder pads must meet safety requirements, and must be fitted for each child. Hip and thigh pads are required. Each child must wear a mouth guard. children are required to have a physical examination, and supply an "approved to play" physical card to association officials before practicing or playing each year. Players are weighed each week at games.
Practice will be scheduled in August. Coaches will secure fields in your area and contact players as to where/when practices are to be held. Games begin in September. This is a travel league, so players and parents get to experience the festivities that surround the games each week at different sites. Games are played on Saturdays.