National Power Warner Rule Change
Due to all the recent problems with concussions at all levels of football, Pop Warner became the first youth football program to implement rule changes to limit concussions. Click here to see the official Pop Warner article.
Click here to read the specifics on the Pop Warner Safety Page.
Concussion Fact Sheet
The United States Department of Health and Human Services has released a fact sheet for concussions in youth sports. Click here to read the fact sheet.
ESPN Article & Colin Cowherd
Click here to read the ESPN Article and response to the Pop Warner rules to limit the amount of time of full contact in practice. The link also includes a video of Colin Cowherd discussing the rule change.
Certification of Helmets
In 2009, the National Operating Committee on the Standard for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) implemented a new rule that prohibits the refurbishment of any helmet greater than 10 years old. So, in 2011 SSPW purchased 30 new Riddell and Schutt helmets and an additional 54 new Riddell helmets were purchased for the 2012 season. This ensures that Pop Warner and all football organizations are maintaining their equipment as diligently as possible for your children. Each year, SSPW spends around $8000-$10,000 of the refurbishment of helmets, shoulder pads, and the purchase of new equipment.
All SSPW helmets are reconditioned by Riddell each year. This ensures the regular re-certification ensures that athletic equipment continues to meet the performance standards you expect. The annual reconditioning and re-certification will not guarantee "no injuries"; however, the odds are in favor of those who adhere to a regular schedule to ensure every SSPW athlete is being protected to the full extent of their equipment. After the helmets received by Riddell, all the interior and exterior equipment is removed, they are cleaned up and sanitized. Then each helmet is closely inspected for hair cracks or other defects. The helmets are then tested to meet the NOCASE standards. Helmets that do not meet the standards are immediately rejected and not returned to SSPW. The helmets are then painted, black this year for SSPW, and returned for use.
National Pop Warner requires each Head Coach require a coaching certification through Pop Warner. The course includes the responsibilities of the coach with regards to communication, safety and fitness (including the latest CDC concusssion guidelines), rules, season and practice planning, game-day tactics and skill instruction, offensive and defensive tatics, offensive and defensive skills. SSPW requires each team to have two certified coaches. Pop Warner rules do NOT allow practices to occur with a Pop Warner certified coach present.
Coaches also have to be familiar with the 2012 Pop Warner Risk Management Handbook which covers several aspects of player saftey including concussions.
NFL & NFLPA Praises Pop Warner
Recently, the National Football League (NFL) and NFL Players Association praised Pop Warner for placing player safety and health first. Click here to read the press release.
NY State Law Change
A new state law in New York mandates "any athlete suspected of suffering a concussion must immediately be removed from play and cannot return until he or she is symptom-free for a minimum of 24 hours and has been evaluated and given authorization to return to activities from a doctor." Click here to read the full article from the Times Union.