Safety and Injuries in Pop Warner
In Pop Warner Football, there is “an absence of catastrophic head and neck injuries and disruptive joint injuries found at higher levels.”
The injury rate in Pop Warner Football is: less than one-third the injury rate in high school football (AND) less than one-fifth the injury rate in college football (AND) less than one-ninth the injury rate in professional football.
- Furthermore, Pop Warner’s age and weight schematics protect younger, lighter players, who do not have higher injury rates.
- Pop Warner has been the most pro-active youth organization in the country regarding concussion awareness.
- Pop Warner instituted a dedicated concussion rule in 2010. The concussion rule echoes the NFL and USA Football’s concussion safety and awareness principles, including “when in doubt, sit them out.”
- Pop Warner was the first youth group to implement contact restrictions during practice, limiting the amount of allowable contact time to one-third of its total practice time.
- Pop Warner was the first to implement mandatory comprehensive concussion education and testing for its coaches and volunteer staff.
- Pop Warner was the first to implement a strict Return to Play policy. Mandatory doctor clearance is required for any participant who has been removed from a game or practice due to a head injury.
- Pop Warner stresses proper coaching and teaching techniques to help players learn to engage in contact properly to limit the risk of injury.
EASTERN MASS POP WARNER CONCUSSION POLICY
S1: CONCUSSION RETURN TO PLAY GUIDELINES: A participant who is suspected of sustaining a concussion or a head injury in a practice, game or competition shall be removed from practice, play or competition at that time based on evaluation and determination by the Head Coach. However, if an official licensed athletic trainer or other official qualified medical professional is on site and available to render such evaluation, that person shall always have final authority as to 2011 Pop Warner Rule Book 24 removal or return to play of the participant.
When an official licensed athletic trainer or other official qualified medical professional is not present, and a parent or guardian of the injured player is serving as head coach, the final authority on removal of a participant shall rest with the league president, association president or the top ranking assistant head coach; whomever is present and highest in the Pop Warner chain of command.
Any Pop Warner participant who has been removed from practice, play or competition due to a head injury or suspected concussion may not return to Pop Warner activities until the participant has been evaluated by a currently licensed medical professional trained in the evaluation and management of concussions and receives written clearance to return to play from that licensed practitioner.
In the absence of an official licensed athletic trainer or other official qualified medical professional, at regional Pop Warner events, the Regional Director shall be the final authority on removal of a participant for a suspected head injury or concussion. At national events, the National Football Commissioner or National Cheer Commissioner, depending on the sport in which the participant was engaged, or in their absence the Executive Director, shall be the final authority on removal of a participant for a suspected head injury or concussion.
Pop Warner recommends that all decisions be made in the best interest of the children and that when any doubt exists as to the health of the participants, they sit out. Please check www.popwarner.com or www.cdc.gov/concussion for Center for Disease Control (CDC) signs and symptoms chart for concussions.