Pop Warner Little Scholars
Pop Warner Little Scholars, commonly known simply as Pop Warner, is a nonprofit organization that provides activities such as American football, for over 425,000 youths aged 5 to 16 years old, in several nations. It is the largest youth football organization in the United States. In the 2010s, concern grew about the dangers of brain injury, including that from repeated sub-concussive hits. There have been proposals to replace tackle football with flag football below certain ages.
Age and weight divisions
The ages in parenthesis in each division allow "older but lighter" players to also qualify.
Safety and brain health
In the 2010s, there has been much controversy about football and brain health, with a number of studies focusing not just on the occasional concussion, but also on the large number of sub-concussive hits. One game in particular in 2012 resulted in five concussions. In 2015, a family sued Pop Warner over the suicide of a former player who was later found to have chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), claiming that the organization knew or should have known about the risk of head injuries. Several other lawsuits have been filed against Pop Warner for related cases.
In 2016, the Pop Warner league banned kickoffs in an attempt to reduce high-speed collisions that result in concussions.
A 2018 study found that tackle football before age 12 was correlated with earlier onset of symptoms of CTE, but not with symptom severity. There have also been advocates for flag football only before certain ages.