Our Association is one of 13 Associations participating in the Pop Warner Little Panthers League in the greater Charlotte area.
There are four age/weight divisions of play.Mitey-Mites are the instructional teams for 7-8 year olds weighing 45-90 pounds. Junior Pee Wees are for 8-9-10 year olds weighing 60-105 pounds. Pee Wees are for 9-10-11 year olds weighting 75-120 pounds. Junior Midgets are for 10-11-12 year olds weighing 85-135 pounds. Each division has an older but lighter category for players who are one year older than the maximum age, but who weigh 20 pounds or more less than the maximum weight for the division.
The weight requirements of Pop Warner are safety features unique to youth football programs in the area. It has been this way since the beginning of Pop Warner and this league is proud of this emphasis on safety. There is a pre-season weigh-in of every player conducted by volunteers from the Mecklenburg Optimist Club, and then players are weighed before each game. Players are allowed to grow one pound each week. ......Age & Weight Divisions
This program has a long history. National Pop Warner is celebrating its 75th anniversary and has the endorsement of the NFL Players Association. The regional league was formed in 1957 by the North MecklenburgOptimist Club, which later changed its name to the Mecklenburg Optimist Club. In the 1990s, NFL Properties approved a name change for the league to the Pop Warner Little Panthers. Our local league in Weddington was formed in 2002 fielding one team of 25 ballplayers, and has since grown to 18 teams and over 450 roster' ed ballplayers during the 2006 season. Weddington is the largest association affiliated with Pop Warner Little Panthers.
Pop Warner is growing in Mecklenburg County. In 1994, they had 23 teams. This year, they are likely to have over 150 teams, representing associations from all over Mecklenburg county and beyond. With an average of 28 players per team, over 4300 children will participate in football this year. At least 600 additional children will participate in cheerleading.
Certification is an important process. Certification is when the league volunteers check paperwork on every child and weigh every child to be sure that they are eligible to play in a particular age and weight division. Every birth certificate, doctor’s physical, parent consent and report card is checked.
Scholastics are important to Pop Warner. The philosophy of Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc. is that athletics and academics go hand in hand. This is why players must show scholastic eligibility to play, and why teams are limited in their practice time. Mitey-Mites can only practice twice per week after Labor Day, and the other divisions can practice only three times per week, with practices limited to two hours (exclusive of breaks) and ending no later than 8:30 p.m.
There are National and Local Rules which govern the League. Special rules exist for the Mitey-Mite division, such as no blitzing, no rushing of kicks and using coaches on the field to assist the players during games. Coaches in all divisions must comply with a National Coaches Code of Conduct, and have received instruction locally on other guidelines to make the experience positive for the children. ......Office Pop Warner Rule Book
The schedule for the season runs from the last Saturday in August through the mid November. The actual game schedule cannot be put together until all teams are certified and it is known how many teams have qualified with the minimum number of eligible players required under the rules.
Parent participation is an important part of the success of our League. Each team needs a team representative. This person helps coordinate paperwork for certification, coordinate coverage of the concession stand and provide information to the parents. Parents are needed to assist the team representative in making phone calls, in working in the concession stand and otherwise assisting the coaches.
Must play rules exist to maximize play time. Players on teams of 16-25 players will play at least 10 plays per game, players on teams with less than 26-30 players will play at least eight plays per game, and players on teams of 31-35 players will play at least six plays per game; also, in the first half a player can play only offense or defense. A play is defined as a play from scrimmage on which no penalty occurs, and does not include kicks, punts or extra points. To make this rule works, parent volunteers (two from a team in each game) are needed to record plays on the must play forms. ......Official Pop Warner "Mandatory Play" rules
Sportsmanship of the players is mandatory. If your child is not showing proper sportsmanship -- respect for officials, coaches, teammates and opposing players -- please discuss this with your child. Each player will be required to sign a behavior and sportsmanship pledge. Your support of that pledge will help promote fair play and character development throughout the League.
I would be happy to talk to you more about our program and give you a little insight and information to help you make this year a successful experience for your ballplayers. The following links can be used as a resource for more information.