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Sep, 2020

Pop Warner Announces Alternatives to 2020 Season

LANGHORNE, PA (September 7, 2020) - To support teams that are postponing fall seasons due to COVID-19,  Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc. today announced alternative programs to give its young athletes opportunities for activity and competition.

For teams that are planning to have a season this fall, Pop Warner has provided Return to Play guidelines, endorsed by the Pop Warner Medical Advisory Committee, and subject to state and local rules.

While Pop Warner anticipates broad participation in cheer and dance, it estimates that only 10-15% of its football leagues will have a fall season. Some leagues and associations intend to start the season later in September, while many have made the difficult decision to cancel their season. To support programs as they adapt:

  • Pop Warner will hold a Spring season for the first time in its history, giving teams the option of moving their football seasons to early next year where local and state regulations permit.

  • In locations where tackle football has been canceled, Pop Warner has recommended leagues explore adopting Flag Football or a 7-v-7, non-contact passing approach for this fall season only and play tackle in the spring.

  • Because participation in cheer is expected to be relatively high in the fall, Pop Warner currently plans to hold its National Cheer & Dance Championships in December. The championships will be hosted by Florida Citrus Sports in Orlando. Event details will be announced soon.

  • With a limited number of football leagues operating in the fall, there will be no 2020 Pop Warner Super Bowl.

  • In states where cheerleading is limited by social distancing restrictions, Pop Warner has created a Non-Mount Division, which limits contact and restricts stunts.

“The health and safety of our Pop Warner community is always our top priority and continues to be as we monitor developments across the country leading to the start of the season,” said Jon Butler, executive director of Pop Warner Little Scholars. “We worked with health experts to create guidelines for a 2020-2021 season, knowing that we need to adapt to change. As it became clear that tackle football and stunt cheer were not going to be an option for many leagues, we began to develop alternative approaches, recognizing the importance of letting young people remain active. We think these options give teams the best chance to compete and hold a season, whether it is now or next spring.”

About Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc.
Founded in 1929 and headquartered in Langhorne, PA, Pop Warner Little Scholars is the nation’s oldest youth football, cheerleading and dance organization and the only youth sports organization that emphasizes academics as a prerequisite for participation. Pop Warner participants enjoy the opportunity to learn and compete in their sports in an atmosphere that emphasizes fun, academics and character. For more information on Pop Warner and its programs, visit or follow Pop Warner on Twitter @Pop_Warner, Facebook @PopWarnerLittleScholars, Instagram @popwarnerlittlescholars and Snapchat @popwarner1929.


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