Acton-Boxboro Football FAQs
What Is Pop Warner?
Pop Warner is the only national youth football and cheerleading organization in the USA. It is also the only national youth sports organization to require satisfactory academic progress to participate. In addition, Pop Warner is proudly the only youth football organization associated with the USA Football Heads Up program for safety.
How Big Is Pop Warner?
Pop Warner has leagues in 38 states, plus Japan, Russia and Mexico. Over 400,000 boys and girls participate in Pop Warner.
When do practices begin, and how important is it for a player to attend practices?
Practices begin in August with "Agilities". During the month of August all teams practice Monday through Thursday from 5:00 to 7:30pm. While this may seem like a lot, it is EXTREMELY important for players to attend these practices! Football is a complex game requiring solid fundamental skills as well as a high degree of teamwork. Players who do not attend these sessions will find it a challenge to catch up. This has caused many families to reconsider their summer vacation plans, so please think about this before you register your child.
Once the school year (and regular season games) begin, each team practices two weeknights per week and once on Saturday morning. Speak with your coach about your team's specific practice schedule.
When and where are the games?
The first game is usually the first Sunday after Labor Day. Home games are at the AB High School football field; away games are usually at town high school fields within 45 minutes of Acton. Games are almost always on Sundays (some teams play Saturday nights), and each team almost always begins their games at the same time, with games beginning anywhere from 8:00 am to 3:30 pm. You must always have your child at the field well before game time; your coach will let you know how early he wants the players at the field for warm-ups.
How Do I Find Out If I Can Play Football?
Pop Warner has stringent safety rules, one of which is an age-weight schematic (see below). This system insures maximum safety, since players will be evenly matched in size and physical maturity.
Pop Warner also has a "no-cut" rule, which means that tryouts aren't allowed. However, teams are limited to 35 players. In past years, we have filled up teams quickly in Acton-Boxborough and in some cases have had to place children on a waiting list. Please watch these pages for registration dates or contact us for more information.
There are five AB Pop Warner Divisions. How do you decide which one team a child should play on?
The foundation of Pop Warner has always been safety. The best way to insure the safety of a young football player is to insure that he/she will not be over-matched by size or by age. Therefore, the five Pop Warner Divisions are determined by three factors; Age, Weight, and the judgment of the President and coaches with input from the parents.
2018 Pop Warner Football Conference of Eastern MA
Division 3 - Ages and Weights
E Team (Mitey-Mites)
7, 8 & *first year* 9 year olds
9 year olds
|D Team (Jr. Pee Wee)
Older/Lighter: 60-74 lbs.
8, 9 & 10 year olds
11 year olds
|C Team (Pee Wee)
Older/Lighter: 75-94 lbs.
9, 10 & 11 year olds
12 year olds
|B Team (Jr. Midgets)
Older/Lighter: 90-109 lbs.
10, 11 & 12 year olds
13 year olds
A Team (Patriot Unlimited)
105 lbs. minimum
11, 12, 13 & 14 year olds
*Up to 8th grade only
14 year olds (9th Grade)
Weights apply to football only.
All ages and weights are determined by National Pop Warner and The Pop Warner Football Conference of Eastern Massachusetts.
While some towns allow 9th graders who meet the age requirements to play in Pop Warner, Acton-Boxboro does not. We support our High School program.
A childs age on July 31 is his/her age for the season. A player may gain 1 pound per week after the second game, up to a maximum of 9 pounds.
The goal of the Pop Warner age-weight schematic is to control the overall range of weights, from minimum to maximum, and the age of the children on the field at a given division of play. The age-weight schematic is based on growth charts developed by the American Medical Association to include the largest number of kids at a given age. Unfortunately, some children are too small, and others too large, to play Pop Warner Football. But the system has proved extremely safe over many years.
My child isn't a great athlete... Will he/she get to play?
Along with prohibiting tryouts, Pop Warner also has a "Mandatory Play Rule", which stipulates that each team member must play every game. In fact, games may be stopped at the beginning of the fourth quarter to insert any players that haven't played the minimum number of plays so far.
What equipment will my child need?
Shirts, shorts and football cleats are worn the first week of practice. ABPW supplies helmets, shoulder pads, game pants & game shirt. Required equipment NOT SUPPLIED includes girdles, hip and tailbone pad, practice pants & shirt, thigh and knee pads, mouth guards, padded chin straps for helmets and athletic supporter/cup.
Do Pop Warner parents have responsibilities?
Absolutely! Most importantly, you do your children a great service by making sure they get to practices and games on time and with the right equipment. In addition, AB Pop Warner relies heavily on parents volunteering their time. There are many activities that go into making Pop Warner a great experience -- the snack bar, charting plays, working on the "Chain Gang" -- and it's a great way to get to know the parents of your child's teammates. Ask your friends who have been involved in Pop Warner -- Fall Sunday mornings at the football field are great community gatherings. Please help out in any way you can!