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Challenger Program Information

Palomar Stars Challenger Division

The mission of the Challenger Division is to bring the Pop Warner experience to special needs individuals in our community as Players or Cheerleaders. 

Pop Warner’s overall goals are to enable young people to benefit from participation in team sports and activities in a safe, structured environment providing an opportunity for everyone to participate in the great game of football. 
The program stresses learning lessons of value far beyond the playing or spirit days of those involved, such as; self-discipline, teamwork, concentration, friendship, leadership, and sportsmanship. 

Games are modeled after a typical Pop Warner game with referees, warm-ups, coin toss, national anthem etc. Teams are allowed one game per week and no score is kept. Teams play two 25 minute half’s with a running clock on a standard 100 yard field or programs may opt to use a 50 yard field. Teams must roster a minimum of 10 players but no more than 28 where all players receive an equal number of plays. One Coach is permitted on the field at all times. Team helpers are allowed on the field and must be a minimum of 13 years of age to assist participants. Challenger Division follows Pop Warner Flag Football Rules with modifications.


Click here to go to the Challenger website



Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Challenger Program?

The Challenger Program is a flag football and cheer program for special needs children ages five and up. This is a non-competitive program focused on the element of “fun”.
We pride ourselves on providing your children with a positive experience. 
Read the following link:

2. Is there any contact while playing football?

We play flag football only. There is no tackling. The team will consist of coaches and buddies to mitigate contact and assist the players. 

3. Is it safe? 

The Palomar Stars coaches will work with your children teaching them proper football and cheer techniques.
All practice, games, and cheer routines will be designed with safety as its number one measure. 

4. How much does it cost? 

Costs will be kept to a minimum and will include everything your child will need.
We will provide the flags, footballs, football jerseys, shorts, t-shirts, pom-poms, and a complete cheer uniform.
It will also include pictures, trophies, and a year-end party. 

5. What do I need to provide? 

You only need to provide the participant and proper footwear. We’ll take care of the rest. 

6. How can I contribute? 

Parents will be asked to assist with transportation, after game snacks, and lots of excitement. 

7. What will my cheerleader do/how will they be participating?

The cheerleaders will sideline cheer at the Saturday games and they will perform at the local and regional cheer competitions.

8. What’s my commitment level? 

The season consists of ten weeks. A practice/game will be scheduled every Saturday during this time.
Games will be mostly played in North County, however we may receive an invitation to travel – you and the team will decide if we participate. 

9. How often do we practice? 

Practice schedules will be decided by the coaching staff with full input by the parents. 

10. Where do we meet? 

The program consists of teams from San Diego to Wildomar. Escondido is providing us a location for our practice/games at Orange Glen High School. 

11. What if I have more questions? 

If you have any other questions please email: [email protected]