FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

(Updated 7/20/2016)

Who can participate?

Boys and girls, age 5 to 14 can participate in TJFL’s tackle football, cheer or flag football program.

When are the games and practices?
  • TJFL practices in Votee Park; instructional clinics and track & field clinics begin in May.
  • Typically, practices are held several times per week during the evening.
  • The final schedule is pending, but games are held on Saturdays at Votee Sportsplex or at a competing teams field in the surrounding area.
My kid can’t make it to practice.  Are practices required?

Yes, attendance is required at all practice sessions and games. Because of the conditioning required to play football safely, candidates should not miss practice, especially after August 1. Players missing practice for legitimate reasons (sickness or injury) should contact the team coach. Coaches reserve the right to limit the game playing time of participants not attending practice sessions and/or scheduled games. Tackle Football practice beings August 1st, and families should NOT plan vacations during the month of August.

How long is the season?

The season begins August 1st. The regular season runs through the end of October. The season will continue through the end of November if a team qualifies for post-season playoffs. During the month of August, practices are held 5 days a week. Each practice is 2 hours. During the months of September and October, the practice schedule is reduced to 3 days per week, apx. 2 hours each practice. If a team qualifies for postseason playoff games, practices will continue throughout the month of October.

Are there tryouts?

No. Everyone is allowed to participate and play. All you have to do is sign up.

Is there a residency requirement?

Yes

When is the sign-up?

You can begin the registration online on April 15.  It pays to get started early because Pop Warner requires a lot of paperwork — registration form, birth certificate, report card and other forms.

How can I pay?

Teaneck Pop Warner encourages all our families to pay their registration fees online.  The preferred method of payment is by credit or debit card from a bank, credit union or financial institution. This method of payment is fast, easy and most importantly SECURE!  It also provides a convenient method for families to document and track their payments online, and offers the added benefit of a monthly payment plan.

For those families unable or unwilling to pay by credit or debit card, TJFL’s online registration system also accepts pre-loaded Visa cards.  They can be obtained for FREE from TD bank. They cost $4 at PNC, Wells Fargo and US Bank and are also available at many retailers, like CVS,   Target, Walgreen’s and 7-11.  (NOTE:  Pre-loaded Visa cards cost the same as a Money Order and less than a Cashiers Check).

For families who wish to pay by check, Teaneck Pop Warner’s online registration system will offer a pay-by-check option beginning June 1.  However, payment must be by cashier’s check or money order.  No cash or personal checks.  Payment must be accompanied by proof of an online registration account.

See How to Register on the main website page.

Are there any other requirements?

You are not registered, even if your fees are paid in full, until you are certified.  CLICK HERE to print out a handy guide to certification.

All candidates for all teams — cheer, flag and tackle football – must be certified: submit proof of the participant’s age, weight & academic performance. Certification is conducted by Teaneck Pop Warner Football each year, usually during the month of July.

You will be required to submit a 2×2 include passport photo, ORIGINAL BIRTH CERTIFICATE (no photocopies), a physical examination dated 2014 and a Final Report Card that shows all 4 marking periods.  ** If you played Teaneck Pop Warner last year, we don’t need your birth certificate again.**
NO PLAYER CAN PARTICIPATE IN ANY PRACTICES, RECEIVE EQUIPMENT OR PLAY IN A GAME AFTER AUG. 1 UNLESS THE PLAYER HAS SUBMITTED ALL CERTIFIED PAPERWORK.  SORRY, NO EXCEPTIONS.

Anything else?
  • Pop Warner demands academic excellence among its participants. Players must receive a 2.0 grade-point average (or 70 percent average) in school to participate. Exceptions are made through Scholastic Eligibility Forms, which are filled out by that child’s school to determine whether Pop Warner football would be beneficial to that child.
  • Pop Warner has a Mandatory Play Rule (MPR) for all teams – every child plays!
  • A typical season consists of a 7 to 9 game regular season schedule.
  • Pop Warner participants and volunteers must abide by the Code of Conduct
What are the different age groups?

Pop Warner has opportunities for players ages 5-15, and they are separated into nine divisions.  Here’s a detailed look at the Football weight divisions:  AGE & WEIGHT MATRIX and here’s a look at the Cheer divisions:  CHEER AGE MATRIX

My child has a birthday during the season. How does that affect age placement?

With Pop Warner games being played in the fall, the organization has set up a specific guideline: A child’s age on July 31st is his/her age for the entire season. So if your son turns 10 on August 1st, he will still be considered a 9-year old for registration purposes.

Does my child’s weight matter?

Yes, it does. Pop Warner combines age restrictions with weight restrictions to make an age/weight scale.  See Pop Warner’s AGE & WEIGHT MATRIX, which drastically reduces injury risks.

Teaneck Pop Warner has tackle football teams in the following weight divisions:

  • Mitey-Mite: Ages 7-9. Must be between 45-100 pounds.
  • Junior PeeWee: Ages 8-10 must be between 60-115 pounds. 11-year olds are accepted if they weigh between 60-95 pounds.
  • PeeWee: Ages 9-11 must be between 75-130 pounds. 12-year olds are accepted if they weigh between 75-110 pounds.
  • Junior Varsity: Ages 10-12 must be between 90-155 pounds. 13-year olds are accepted if they weigh between 90-135 pounds.
  • Varsity: Ages 12-14 must be between 105-180 pounds. 15-years old are accepted if they weight between 105-160 pounds.
How many games will my child play?

The regular season schedule is usually between seven and nine games, between late August and late October. Playoffs will follow in certain divisions, and the best teams will play in the Pop Warner Super Bowl in Florida in early December.

If my child isn’t the best player on the team, will he/she just sit the bench all season?

Not at all. Pop Warner has mandatory rules of play that requires everyone be able to participate. That means that every player will get in for several plays every game.

Is my child safe playing organized football?

Though injury is always possible in any sport, Pop Warner is quick to point out that injury rates are significantly lower in youth football than in high school or college football. That’s partly because of Pop Warner’s strict age/weight scale that makes sure all the children are playing against players their own size.

Studies have shown that organized football among children produces fewer injuries than soccer.

Pop Warner rules limit contact in practices.  The organization also requires that  all practices must be attended by one person holding a Red Cross Community CPR and a First Aid certification OR National Center for Sports Safety PREPARE Certificate of Completion, or equivalent, if not by an EMT or volunteer physician.”

Furthermore, coaches are required to complete safety training.

Please click here for a more exhaustive discussion of football safety.

 

Paperwork

HERE’S A CHECKLIST OF FORMS AND ITEMS YOU MUST PROVIDE FOR EVERY ATHLETE.

Athlete and parent/guardian must be present at a paperwork turn-in meeting to complete the registration process prior to the equipment handout.

Registration is NOT complete until the participant attends one of the in-person paperwork turn-in dates.

All candidates for a team must be certified. Certification includes the verification of the participant’s age, weight & academic performance. Certification is conducted by Teaneck Pop Warner Football each year, usually during the month of July.

CLICK HERE for a handy certification checklist.  Print it out, gather your papers and bring it to a document turn-in date. Watch your email for paperwork turn in dates, beginning throughout June & July.

You will be required to submit a 2×2 include passport photo, ORIGINAL BIRTH CERTIFICATE (no photocopies), a physical examination dated 2014 and a Final Report Card that shows all 4 marking periods.  ** If you played Teaneck Pop Warner last year, we don’t need your birth certificate again.**

After Aug. 1, NO PLAYER CAN PARTICIPATE IN ANY PRACTICES, RECEIVE EQUIPMENT OR PLAY IN A GAME  UNLESS THE PLAYER HAS SUBMITTED ALL CERTIFIED PAPERWORK.  SORRY, NO EXCEPTIONS

Mandatory Play

The following shall be the Minimum Mandatory Play Rule (MPR) for all Pop Warner teams: 16-25 Players (10 Plays), 26-30 Players (8 Plays) and31-35 Players (6 Plays).

Each league may set a higher number of Mandatory Plays, but never less than the minimum set by PWLS.  All MPRs should be based on eligible players at the time of the game.

  1. The plays must be from the line of scrimmage.
  2. Kickoffs, extra points, QB intentionally spiking the ball and free kicks shall not be used in fulfilling the MPR requirement.
  3. A play shall not count toward fulfillment of the MPR if the play
  4. results in a penalty which causes the down to be replayed.
  5. All players shall be provided their mandatory plays by participation in “active” plays, without the intent to minimize the action or integrity of the plays. Plays such as, but not limited to, having the center snap the ball to the quarterback, and then the quarterback fall to the ground, while substitutes are playing the other positions, shall NOT be considered as active plays.
  6. All players shall receive their mandatory plays by the end of the third quarter, or they shall enter the game at the start of the fourth quarter, and remain in the game until they have received their required number of plays.
  7. Failure to adhere to MRP requirements will result in forfeiture of game in addition to enforcement policies.

Each League shall establish its own system for enforcing the MPR, and must print a simple handout describing its MPR in sufficient quantity so that a copy is made available to each coach throughout the entire League, before the beginning of the season. The Nationally preferred system is that used in the National games.

 

Safety

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-weight schematic protects younger, lighter players, who do not have higher injury rates.

The Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma in New York completed a Pop Warner injury survey in 71 towns covering over 5,000 players in 1998. The injury experience of 5,128 boys (8 to 15 years of age, weight 22.5 to 67.5 kg [50 to 150 lb]) participating in youth football revealed an overall rate of significant injury of 5%, with 61% classified as moderate and 38.9% as major injuries. That’s about 1.33 per team per year. No catastrophic injuries occurred, and it was rare for a permanent disability to result from any injury.

2012 Rule Changes Regarding Practice & Concussion Prevention:

In our continuing efforts to provide the safest playing environment for our young athletes, and in light of developing concussion research, we would like to announce some important rule changes for the 2012 season.

With these rule changes, Pop Warner becomes the first youth football organization to officially limit contact during practices. The changes can be found in the 2012 Official Pop Warner Rule Book and are a result of the advice of our Medical Advisory Board and the direct input of Pop Warner regional and local administrators and coaches.

Learn More About the 2012 Rule Changes

Red Cross CPR and First Aid Certification:

Pop Warner rules require that “All practices must be attended by one person holding a Red Cross Community CPR and a First Aid certification OR National Center for Sports Safety PREPARE Certificate of Completion, or equivalent, if not by an EMT or volunteer physician.”

 

To receive 10% OFF PREPARE Level 1, enter promo code POPWARNER2012 during online registration at www.sportssafety.org. This promotion expires on December 31, 2012. For more information about NCSS and the PREPARE program please call NCSS at 205.329.7535 or toll-free 866.608.6277 (NCSS) or Click Here for more information.

 

Injury Prevention & Control: Concussions:

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury, or TBI, caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works. Concussions can also occur from a fall or a blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth.

Health care professionals may describe a concussion as a “mild” brain injury because concussions are usually not life-threatening. Even so, their effects can be serious.

Click Here to Visit the CDC Page on ConcussionsDownload the Fact Sheet