Pop Warner Football | Pop Warner Little Scholars Programs & Mission

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Pop Warner Football | Pop Warner Little Scholars (PWLS)

Pop Warner Football Little Scholars : Making sports and academics go “Hand in Hand”

Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc. (PWLS), named after the legendary American football coach Glenn Scobey Warner (commonly known as Pop Warner) is a nonprofit based football, cheer, and dance program specifically for all the youth within the age group 5-16. The organization which operates in several states and countries, strongly emphasize on keeping up with the academic standards while maintaining a Sporting environment based on Physical fitness, Athleticism and Sportsmanship for its Young Students. The Organization simply works with a notion of taking both scholastics and athletics alongside while providing the best and most supportive environment to all those young sports enthusiasts who have dreamt of making a career in sports without taking a hit on their Academics.

Pop Warner Football | PWLS History and Background

Pop Warner Football History

It was in the year 1929 when some of the factory owners in Northeast Philadelphia had issues with young kids playing around and breaking their factory’s window glasses in the process.  One of the factory owners then decided to find a solution for the same and asked one of the local professional athlete and a college graduate Joseph J. Tomlin, a local accomplished athlete and college graduate for a meeting. It was during the meeting only when Joe suggested the factory owners to mutually fund an athletic program for the local kids so as they can go along with their Sports training without causing any issue to the factory owners. The Factory Owners agreed for the same and that made Joe, who was working as a stock broker at that time, to commute to Philadelphia on the weekends to form  a four-team Junior Football Conference in the year 1929.It was during the same year when US stock market collapsed and Joe started working with the conference on a full time basis.

Within a span of four years, the Junior Football Conference (JFC) extended itself to 16 teams and it was in the same year when Joe had a meeting with the legendary US coach Glenn Scobey “Pop” Warner, who was in Philadelphia to render his services as a coach at the Temple University. Pop was then requested by Joe to come and address a spring clinic which was set up by Joe for the JFC. Its worth mentioning here that Pop was amongst a dozen of coaches which were invited by Joe to speak at the clinic but during the APRIL meeting in 1933(marred by strong winds ,rains and hailstones),it was only Pop who showed up to speak to the 800 young football players. Pop addressed the clinic for almost two hours while answering every question from the Athletes and being impressed by his ground-breaking knowledge along with sheer discipline to show up at the clinic, the athletes renamed their program as Pop Warner Conference.

During the course of next four years the conference grew to 157 teams with players included from neighborhood areas within the age group 15 -30.It was right then when the conference received a setback as it lost most of its older players to the army in the wake of World War II. Once the war got over JFC again extended its outreach to 100 teams but this time they decided to focus more on Young athletes with age group 15 and younger. This movement, which included mostly youngsters, then came up with a new name as “midget football.

The Inception of Pop Warner Little Scholars (PWLS)

Pop Warner National Championship

It was only in the year 1959, when the Pop Warner Little Scholars nonprofit organization came into existence. Though some of the experts  still acclaimed “Little Scholars” as quite an bizarre name for a football organization, the organization and its members always went by the fact that the name has been chosen in order to push forward their  spirit which quotes  the academics being as important as a sports field for the overall development of the youth. While The Organization saw many youths leaving school to find work to earn their living in the wake of Infamous “depression” era ,Joe put all his efforts in the line to make education available to all those Youth by bringing various tutors, speakers on board for the cause.

How PWLS different from other Football Teams?

Unlike other football teams, Pop Warner Football teams focus more on the scholastics. Moreover, when we talk about the selection criteria, there are no tryouts involved and every player involved is guaranteed to go ahead with at least 6 plays in each game. Also, the main focal points in PWLS are team work and team achievements unlike other teams where individual statistics matter more during a game. Another key difference in Pop Warner Football teams in comparison to other teams is their Age and Weight Matrix, which categorize athletes to go against same sized opponents, eliminating any risk of getting injured while keeping a evenhanded competition amongst the participants. The Matrix goes as:

  • Tiny Mite (Including Kids within the age groups 5-7 years and weighing between 35-75 pounds)
  • Mitey-Mite (Including Kids within the age groups 7-9 years and weighing between 45-90 pounds)
  • Junior Pee Wee( Including Kids within the age groups 8-10 years and weighing between 60-105 pounds)
  • Pee Wee ( Including Kids within the age groups 9-11 years and weighing between 75-120 pounds)
  • Junior Midget ( Including Kids within the age groups 10-12 years and weighing between 85-130 pounds)
  • Midget ( Including Kids within the age groups 11-14 years and weighing between 105-160 pounds)
  • Unlimited ( Including all the teens aged between 11-14 and weighing more than 105 pounds

Key Highlights of the Pop Warner Little Scholars Programs

Pop Warner Little Scholars

Some of the major highlights of the Pop Warner Football programs are as follows-

  • Every participant abides by the mandatory rules of play.
  • On-field coaching permissible for lower age groups
  • Participants gets rewarded for only academic achievements and not for sports
  • Players are categorized by different age and weight levels
  • Mandatory sports equipments are required to ensure participation
  • In house Coaching Clinics and Risk Management Training
  • An obligatory national rule book integrates time-tested rules.
  • Local associations assisted by PWLS team of executives to ensure better policies on board

Core mission of Pop Warner Little Scholars

Pop Warner Little Scholars works with the sole mission of bringing more and more youth onboard and make them benefited by ensuring their participation in football, cheerleading and dance in a safe and organized environment. Pop Warner football program further aims at infusing basic skills, values and knowledge in the youth to help them become a better person along with a better sportsman in the future.

Also Check : Pee Wee Football


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