Football is one of America’s favorite pastimes, but it’s not without controversy. The physical nature of the sport calls to question the safety of it’s players, especially youth and injuries resulting in concussions. Initiatives like USA Football’s Heads Up Football program have made huge strides in improving the game and now Pop Warner is taking a pretty big stand as well.
Beginning with the 2016 season, Pop Warner’s three youngest divisions, players ranging from five to 10 years old, will not have kickoffs during their games. Instead, the ball will be placed at the 35-yard line to start each half and after each score. Why is this such an important move? Because even though kickoffs only represent 6% of all plays in a game, they account for more than 23% of concussions, according to a review by the Ivy League. Jon Butler, executive director of Pop Warner Little Scholars, adds, “We’re making the game safer and, ultimately, better for the young people who love football.”
And to that, we at SpiritCups Fundraising say “thank you” and we’re so proud to work alongside both Pop Warner and USA Football as you change the game for future generations.
Read the full USA Today Op-Ed.