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Upper Merion Youth Vikings Football & Cheer

WELCOME TO UPPER MERION YOUTH VIKINGS FOOTBALL


About Our Football Program

Upper Merion Vikings Youth Football & Cheer is part of the Pop Warner Buxmont Association.

Pop Warner football has been around since the inception of the league in 1929 by founder Joseph J. Tomlin as a four-team conference in Northeast Philadelphia.

Since then, participation has steadily increased to today's record numbers. Over 250,000 youths participated in Pop Warner-sanctioned football programs in 2010, and those numbers are continuing to grow.

SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY

Kids compete with kids of similar age and size. Pop Warner is the ONLY youth football program (local, regional and national) that sets and enforces a strict AGE & WEIGHT MATRIX that reduces the risk and reality of injuries.

Did you know that Pop Warner football is safer than soccer? Pop Warner football has 12% fewer injuries per capita among 5-15 year olds than organized soccer in the same age range! (U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, NEISS)

FOOTBALL OVERVIEW

Pop Warner football has been around since the inception of the league in 1929 by founder Joseph J. Tomlin as a four-team conference in Northeast Philadelphia.

Since then, participation has steadily increased to today's record numbers. Over 225,000 youths participated in Pop Warner-sanctioned football programs in 2019, and those numbers are continuing to grow.

SAFETY FIRST:

Leagues have options with how to structure their program. While leagues can continue the current structure where a player is placed in a division based on his or her age and weight, they may also instead choose to register players based on age only. Currently, an estimated 75-80% of youth football nationally follows an age-only structure.

Pop Warner places value on safety measures that make a difference. That’s why we have also done things in football like reduce contact to 25% of practice time, eliminate kickoffs for our youngest divisions and require that any player who suffers a suspected head injury receive medical clearance from a concussion specialist before returning to play.

WHY THERE ARE NO PERSONAL STATISTICS:

Pop Warner exists to use football, cheerleading, dance and a respect for education to develop strong, smart, responsible, healthy young men and women. We give them experiences that build their appreciation for and understanding of leadership, teamwork, and discipline.

While individual statistics may be more common, particularly among older football players, Pop Warner only recognizes the athletic accomplishments of the team, not the individual. We don't track personal tallies of touchdowns or yards rushing per game. We don't count sacks or blocked kicks. We applaud the athletic efforts of the team to reinforce the importance of teamwork, with each member.

We don't try to build stars. We don't want to over-inflate a young ego, nor do we want to risk injuring the self-esteem of a young person. Whether our kids have good days or bad, they are still an integral part of our team…and always will be.

 BENEFITS OF POP WARNER

Here are a few of the many reasons you should join Pop Warner:

  • NO TRYOUTS! – Pop Warner programs have no tryouts or cutting of rosters!

  • Programs in Several States & Countries – Pop Warner has active programs in several states and countries around the world.

  • More than just athletes! – Pop Warner is the only national youth sports organization in America that requires its participants to perform adequately in the classroom before permitting them to play.

  • Little Scholars Program – Pop Warner is the only national youth sports organization in America that rewards its members for their outstanding performance in the classroom.

  • Stability – Pop Warner is the oldest national youth football and cheerleading organization in the world. Founded in 1929 by Joe Tomlin, we now have over 120 leagues and over 325,000 members.

  • It's Inexpensive – Signing up for Pop Warner Football, Cheerleading or Dance is inexpensive. A typical registration fee for each participant ranges on average from about $175 to $200 for the season. *Registration fees are set by each local program.

  • Pop Warner National Championships – Each year, Pop Warner hosts the Pop Warner Super Bowl and National Cheer and Dance Championships. More than 500 cheer and dance squads and 72 football teams compete for the right to be crowned Pop Warner National Champion.

  • National Scholar Banquet – Pop Warner hosts an awards program each year to celebrate the accomplishments of our participants. Nationally, we select First Team, Second Team and Honorable Mention All-American Scholars.

  • College Scholarships - Each year, we award scholarships for higher education to the most deserving students in our highest grade levels. Pop Warner is proud to have awarded over $1.35M in scholarships since 1993!

  • Mandatory Play Requirements – Everyone participates under mandatory rules of play, so every child is guaranteed to play.

  • Team Structure – Leagues have options with how to structure their program. While leagues can continue the current structure where a player is placed in a division based on his or her age and weight they may also instead choose to register players based on age only. Currently, an estimated 75-80% of youth football nationally follows an age-only structure.

  • Volunteers & Coaches – We have over 40,000 volunteers and coaches that are being trained every year to offer the best and safest programs for you and your children.

  • It all starts here – The National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) estimates that between 60% and 70% of all NFL players began their careers playing Pop Warner Football.

  • Background Checks – Pop Warner programs nationwide are required to annually conduct a background check of Coaches, Board of Directors members and any other persons, volunteers or hired workers, who provide regular service to the league and/or have repetitive access to, or contact with, players and/or spirit participants. The purpose of these background checks is, first and foremost, to protect the children.

  • Concussion Prevention & Awareness – In addition to its more stringent return to play concussion rules, Pop Warner took the lead in youth sports by creating a Medical Advisory Board. The Board was created to ensure Pop Warner remains proactive on all medical issues that affect youth sports, particularly football and cheerleading, with a primary focus on prevention and proper identification and treatment of concussions, hydration awareness, proper nutrition guidelines, and general health and safety issues.

  • Coaching Education Programs –The safety of our athletes is always the top priority and that is why we provide extensive training for all our football and cheer & dance coaches.

  • National Rule Book – Each Pop Warner Region, League and Association receive free National rule books for their organizations.

  • Administrative Manual – Each Pop Warner Region, League and Association receive free National Administrative Manuals, designed to keep each League and Association current on all administrative matters, as well as to facilitate the daily operational management of those local organizations.

  • Coaches and Adult Codes of Conduct – All coaches, football and spirit participants must abide by a Code of Conduct which includes several provisions. If any of these rules are broken, the League shall have the authority to impose a penalty.

  • Free Online Roster Program – Pop Warner offers a free online roster program to all of our members to roster their participants easily and effectively.

  • National Grants Program – For several years, Pop Warner and its national partners & sponsors have awarded thousands of dollars in national grants for teams and programs including start-up grants, national championship travel grants, equipment grants and more!

  • We surround ourselves with the best – Pop Warner is proud to have numerous outstanding sponsors, licensees, fundraiser's and partners who offer several amazing opportunities to our programs.

  • FREE HELP and DISCOUNTS – Pop Warner sponsors and partners such as Under Armour, Team Cheer, Shock Doctor and Cutters offer free equipment and uniform merchandise as part of a grant program for new organizations as well as those in financial need.  Pop Warner partners also offer Pop Warner only discounts and rebates on merchandise such as footballs, cheer and dance apparel, fundraising items.

  • Competitive and Affordable Insurance – Pop Warner offers low-cost, broad insurance coverage as a benefit to its members. The Plan is specifically written to meet the needs of Pop Warner Little Scholars. The Pop Warner Insurance Committee, in conjunction with its Broker, periodically reviews the cyclical insurance marketplace to obtain the broadest possible coverage at the most competitive price.
    Find your local program and sign up today!

AGES & WEIGHTS

 AGES & WEIGHTS

Leagues have options with how to structure their program. While leagues can continue the current structure where a player is placed in a division based on his or her age and weight they may also instead choose to register players based on age only. Currently, an estimated 75-80% of youth football nationally follows an age-only structure.

AGE-WEIGHT DIVISIONS:

There are Six Divisions of play, all determined by an age/weight scale.

Age/Weight DivisionAge(s)Certification WeightEnd of Season Weight
TINY-MITE
5-6-7
35-75 lbs.
84 lbs.
MITEY-MITE
7-8-9
45-100 lbs.
109 lbs.
JR. PEE WEE
(older/lighter)
8-9-10
11*
60-115 lbs.
60-95 lbs.
124 lbs.
104 lbs.
PEE WEE
(older/lighter)
9-10-11
12*
75-130 lbs.
75-110 lbs.
139 lbs.
119 lbs.
JR. VARSITY
(older/lighter)
10-11-12
13*
90-155 lbs.
90-135 lbs.
164 lbs.
144 lbs.
VARSITY
(older/lighter)
12-13-14
15*
105-180 lbs.
105-160 lbs.
189 lbs.
169 lbs.

*The asterisked provisions in each division allow the so-called "older but lighter" player to also qualify. The last year of eligibility falls under more stringent weight restrictions, per above.

A child's age on July 31 is his/her age for the season

 AGE-BASED

2020 AGE-BASED DIVISIONS:

Division
Inclusive Birthdays
5-6 (6U)
8/1/2013 - 7/31/2015
7-8 (8U)
8/1/2011 - 7/31/2013
8-9-10 (10U)
8/1/2009 - 7/31/2012
10-11-12 (12U)
8/1/2007 - 7/31/2010
12-13-14 (14U)
8/1/2005 - 7/31/2008

A child's age on July 31 is his/her age for the season.

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