Pop Warner, founded in 1929, is a non-profit organization that provides youth football and cheerleading programs to youth in 42 states and several countries around the world.
In response to recent studies suggesting that football can pose health risks to youth, Pop Warner has introduced new rules "to limit contact drills to one-third of practice time, and ban full-speed, head-on blocking and tackling drills in which players line up more than 3 yards apart." Head to head contact will be prohibited as well. According to neurosurgeon Julian Bailes, "There are times when people and organizations have to evolve, and this is that time". New players must be trained well to eliminate unnecessary head contact.
Although it is anticipated that many youth coaches will be hesitant in making changes to their coaching styles, most coaches at the NFL and college level share the sentiment that changes need to be made. Alabama coach Nick Saban told ESPN. "At our level, we try to limit exposure to contact as much as possible because we want our players healthy for the game. It's even more important for a youth coach to do that. We've got to get young people to play the game in a safe way. You've got to start somewhere, right?"
Pop Warner's goal is to ensure the survival of football by reducing the potential for injury. With new rules in place and an emphasis on skills that will develop better players, football has a chance to continue as one of America's favorite sports.
For the complete story, visit http://espn.go.com/espn/story/_/id/8046203/pop-warner-toughens-safety-measures-limiting-contact-practice