ATLANTA - Pop Warner football, the most widely known youth football program across the nation, announced late Tuesday a set of rule changes in light of new research data regarding concussions among football players.
The changes will eliminate head-on blocking and tackling drills when players are lined up more than three yards apart. The move emphasizes no head-to-head contact between players.
The new rules, as posted on the Pop Warner website include:
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, the site focuses on existing rules and guidelines on safe blocking and tackling techniques.
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.
The Pop Warner staff said they are working toward making the sport as safe as possible and said they plan on including additional safety information on their website prior to the beginning of the upcoming season.
WXIA/Pop Warner Website