Who can participate in Pop Warner?
Boys and girls ages 8-14, in good academic standing (that is a minimum 2.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale) can participate in tackle football or cheerleading.
Similar age youth with physical or mental challenges that would not allow them to participate on a tackle football or cheer team can join in Pop Warner's Challenger program.
Who can participate in TPPW?
In North San Diego County, Pop Warner associations follow school district boundaries. TPPW serves the Cities of Del Mar, Solana Beach, Rancho Santa Fe (including Fairbanks Ranch), and Carmel Valley (including Sorrento Hills). Southern boundary is the Los Penasquitos Creek and the Eastern boundary is Via Abertura (east boundary of Fairbanks Ranch and Rancho Santa Fe Farms subdivisions).
(Source: SDUHSD Website) Participants with a residence in this area or attending a school in this area are considered in-boundary participants. Participants outside these boundaries are encouraged to sign up with their home association.
Associations adjacent to TPPW are Carlsbad (North), San Marcos (East) and Torrey Pines (South). TPPW participants from outside TPPW's boundary will have to obtain a waiver from their home Pop Warner association within 30 days of in-person registration.
If you are unsure about the association you are in, contact TPPW at
What is the time commitment during the season?
From Aug. 1 to Labor Day tackle football teams generally practice every weekday, although a Saturday scrimmage may substitute for a practice. After Labor Day, teams practice 3 days per week and play games on Saturdays.
When does the Pop Warner season begin and end? When are schedules published?
Pop Warner season begins Aug. 1 for tackle football, flag football, and for cheerleading. Each group concludes on different dates. The first competition for tackle football and cheerleading is the last Saturday in August. First games for flag football and flag cheerleading is first Saturday of September.
Game schedules are set by West Coast Conference and usually are not published until mid-August. After October games are set up on a week-to-week basis by the West Coast Conference based on matching up teams of similar strength to make games competitive for those teams. Tackle Football Games are held every Saturday until the regular season ends in early November.
Competitive Division Teams: 10U, 12U, 14U
In a normal season tackle teams play 10 scheduled games, although sometimes teams will have 1- or 2 bye weeks during the season. In addition teams may play in playoff games or invitational games as late mid-December if the team advances in regional and national playoffs; or if teams decide to play at invitational bowls in places such as Hawaii, Nevada or Arizona. With rare exception teams are only allowed to play in one invitational game.
Cheer teams follow the season of the football team they are associated with through the regional playoffs. The cheer squads also have the West Coast Conference Championships at the end of October, Wescon Regional Championship in mid-November and Nationals in early December. Cheer teams may also to compete year-round by a majority vote of the participants, with JAMZ Nationals at the end of January. More details can be found on the Cheer FAQs page.
Games are every Saturday starting the first week of September. Flag season generally ends in mid-October with a large tournament called Flag Fest. There is no post-season play.
What age/weight group will my child play in?
Refer to the current Football Age/Weight matrix or the Cheer and Dance Age Matrix in the forms section to determine which division(s) a participant qualifies for in Pop Warner. Generally, most youth qualify for more than Division. However, TPPW and Pop Warner strongly recommend playing at the lowest possible Division for the player's projected age/weight on August 1.
Where do TPPW teams practice?
TPPW teams practice during weekdays at the field in Carmel Valley.
Where do TPPW teams play home games?
TPPW's home games are played at Torrey Pines High School.
Why is my child being evaluated at a skills assessment?
Skills assessment are not the same as an evaluation. Evaluations, which are common for many competitive teams (i.e. soccer, lacrosse), are used to select what evaluators consider the "best" players. Often in those sports participants not selected will have to find a different team or not play.
In TPPW and all organizations following the National Pop Warner charter, a registered participant is assured a slot on a team. For age/weight levels where more than one team exists, TPPW reserves the right to place participants with others of similar skills. Wait-listed participants performance will not be released to prospective coaches unless a currently registered member withdraws from participation by their own choice or actions (i.e. not paying, academically ineligible, etc.).
Since moving to skills assessment, TPPW has seen player and parent satisfaction significantly increase on the standardized annual surveys performed after the season.
Why is Pop Warner so expensive?
Expense is relative. Compared to most recreational sports there is significantly more participation time and equipment provided to the participant.
Tackle football athletes and cheerleaders are supervised in TPPW programs for almost 700 hours of practice and game time during a regular season.
Registration fees for football help cover the cost of uniforms (game/practice jerseys, pants, helmets, shoulder pads), fields, referees, conference fees, equipment storage costs, registration shirts, team equipment, annual helmet certification, team pictures and other expenses.
Cheer fees and cheer uniform fees help cover the cost of gym time, mats, uniforms (uniforms, poms, bows, shoes), conference fees, JAMZ camp day fees, registration shirts and camp wear, team equipment and supplies, team pictures and other expenses.
Every coach and board member in TPPW is a volunteer. Without additional fundraising efforts we would lose money on each participant who signs up for TPPW.
Why don't teams have a set schedule after mid-October?
West Coast Conference can only schedule games through mid-October because that is when division playoffs begin. The conference then must determine field availability based on the next week's playoff pairings, so all games must be scheduled week to week.
All teams not in playoffs have games against similar-strength opponents through the first Saturday of November. After that date games are only played as "invitational" or as part of a regional/national playoff bracket.
How are teams selected?
On cheerleading, teams are sometimes created on skill level and ability to participate in regional and national competitions - because of the larger number of slots at the National Championships, 16x as many cheer teams qualify as football teams. TPPW has sent at least one team, and often multiple teams, to the National Championships for the last several years.
In the four tackle football age/weight classes that Pop Warner defines as "competitive" - 10U, 12U, 14U - TPPW has adopted a Modified Draft method for selecting players.
Can I request my child play on a specific team, for a coach, or with a friend/carpool buddy?
No. The only requests automatically granted are for siblings on the same team (if age/weight-level appropriate). All other requests must be approved by the Player Agent and the TPPW Board of Directors. Only in rare and exceptional cases will requests be granted.
Why is it called a Modified Draft?
A draft chooses players without any restrictions, and all players would be drafted at every level. TPPW modified the draft process in an attempt to keep players together with existing coaches where possible.
There will also be an attempt to balance the skills of teams at the same division levels. Hence the name Modified Draft.
If we decide to drop from the program, can I get a refund?
The TPPW refund policy is
All refunds subject to $50 processing fee
A 50% refund will be honored before May 31, 2020
A 25% refund will be honored before June 30, 2020
No refunds after July 1, 2020