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The mission of the Pop Warner Challenger Division is to bring the Pop Warner experience to those special needs individuals.

Pop Warner’s overall goals are to enable young people to benefit from participation in team sports and activities in a safe and structured environment and by establishing a Challenger Division Pop Warner is providing an opportunity for everyone to participate in the great game of football.

Pop Warner objectives are to inspire our youth, regardless of race, creed, religion, or national origin to practice the ideals of sportsmanship, scholarship and physical fitness as reflected in the life of the late Glenn Scobie “Pop” Warner. Pop Warner Strives to make the game fun for all boys and girls.

The program stresses learning lessons of value far beyond the playing or spirit days of those involved, such as self-discipline, teamwork, concentration, friendship, leadership, and sportsmanship.

The philosophy of the Pop Warner Challenger Division is to provide the framework for local Pop Warner programs to offer a structured football program for participants with special needs. The Challenger program is non-competitive, and no score is kept. The games are modeled after a typical Pop Warner game with warm-ups, coin toss and national anthem etc. Participation in the Challenger Division is permitted at the request of the individual’s parent or guardian.

The Pop Warner Challenger Division was pioneered and established in 2004 in East Greenbush in the Capital District Pop Warner League.

The modified rules of the Pop Warner Challenger Division:

Challenger Division follows Pop Warner Flag Football Rules with modifications as noted in Rules.

All children ages 5-18 who are currently enrolled in school with physical or mental disabilities.

Level of play based on size, age and skill level are recommended where numbers allow.

Teams must roster a minimum of 10 and no more than 28 players.

Games are played with a minimum of five (5) players on each side. This can increase as participation numbers increase.

No score is kept.

Teams are permitted one (1) game per week.

National registration fees are $10.

All players receive an equal number of plays.

Pop Warner recommends team helpers must be a minimum of 13 years of age to assist participants.

Field may be standard 100 yards or programs may opt to use a 50-yard field.

Team Jerseys and flags are provided for every participant.

Insurance for the Challenger Teams is the same as Pop Warner Flag Football teams.

One Coach permitted on the field at all times.

Teams play two 25-minute halves with a running clock.

Challenger Division Structure

Challenger Divisions may be formed in current existing Pop Warner Leagues.

Challenger Leagues may be Chartered if no current Pop Warner League exists.

Challenger Leagues must field complete standard Charter Application and submit required forms, boundaries, by-laws & articles of incorporation.

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