Website Manager

New England Pop Warner Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine


Concussions and Pop Warner Football

Pop Warner Little Scholars enacted a new Concussion Rule in 2010; it was the first National Sports Organization to do so.

In 2012 Pop Warner Little Scholars reduced the practice time of contact to 1/3 of the practice hours for their players.

In 2012 Pop Warner banned head to head contact if players begin more than 3 yards apart.

On August 1st 2013 Pop Warner endorsed the USA Football Heads Up training and urged its members to join in. In 2014 Pop Warner has made it mandatory for every coach to take the Heads Up training.  Every association must name a Player Safety Coach (PSC) who will receive training from USA Football’s master trainers. The program emphasizes proper basic tackling techniques, how to properly fit helmets and shoulder pads, as well as concussion awareness. The do’s and don’ts of returning a player back to practice once a medically certified personnel signs off on the return to play.

This PSC would then train all coaches in the association prior to the season on all the points he learned from the USA Football trainers.

The PSC would then monitor the progress of each team watching practice and having discussions with the coaching staffs.

The following statistics are from various sources:

There are more child fatalities due to lightning strikes on a football field than being hit by other players (Daniel Flynn, “In Defense of Football”)

In April, five scientists writing in the British Journal of Sports Medicine cautioned against such “casual assumptions” regarding contact sports and CTE because of a “cause-and-effect relationship remains to be shown scientifically” (British Journal of Sports Medicine via Stone Hearth News)

California suffered seven times as many collision deaths from skateboarding last year as the entire United States did from football. (Daniel Flynn, “In Defense of Football”)

A study published last year by federal researchers of –pension-vested NFL retirees who played between 1959 and 1986 showed that just 10 percent of the group had died, compared with the expected rate of 18 percent.  The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health concluded that the NFL retirees experience “significantly decreased” mortality relative to their expected rate. (NFLPA)

The same study, which the NFL Players Association petitioned the institute to conduct, also looked at suicide.  The study found a suicide rate for retired athletes “significantly decreased” below the expected rate. (NFLPA)

There were two direct fatalities in football at all levels in 2012.  There were eight direct fatalities in school gym classes. (Daniel Flynn, “In Defense of Football”)

More kids go to emergency rooms with TBIs (Traumatic Brain Injuries) from biking accidents than from football hits, and the percentage of ER visits for TBIs in football (7.2 percent) was lower than in a bunch of sports, including soccer, baseball, hockey of all types, ice skating, ATV and dirt bike riding and most dangerous, horseback riding, where ER visits is twice as likely to involve a brain injury than football. ( July 2013)

Sports concussions (all sports combined) comprise 10 percent of concussions incurred.  (Dr Todd Maugans)

Football and the NFL are under attack because of their popularity and financial status.  No one is saying I shouldn’t send my child to gym class.  Also a drop in participation in youth football is mentioned but only lacrosse has experienced growth with baseball and other sports leading the way of drop in participation.


Finally, let me say that Pop Warner Little Scholars and the New England Region are not saying that football is safe as a result of their new rules but we are saying that it is SAFER.



Al Perillo,

Region Director

New England Region Pop Warner Football


NE Pop Warner

Patricia Martel, Region Director
 Rhode Island  

Pop Warner
Pop Warner Cheer
Copyright © 2024 New England Pop Warner |Privacy Statement| Terms Of Use| License Agreement| Children's Privacy Policy  Login