Pop Warner, the
largest youth football league in the country, will be offering USA
Football's American Development Model this year, the first national
implementation of the U.S. Olympic Committee-backed program for the sport.
USA Football's ADM,
rooted in skill development for youngsters, provides multiple entry points
and game types for the sport. Under USA Football's recommendation and
supporting programs, youth leagues can offer flag football, rookie tackle --
a small-sided, modified form of tackle piloted in 2017 -- and traditional
For Pop Warner to
adopt the ADM is a major step in youth football; nearly 200,000 youngsters
are enrolled in the organization.
"For us nothing
trumps safety and we're confident the USA Football ADM is going to make the
experience safer and more enjoyable," says Jon Butler, Pop Warner's
changes ... things like eliminating kickoffs for our youngest divisions,
limiting contact to 25 percent of all practice time, and requiring clearance
from a medical professional certified in concussion management before a
player with a suspected head injury can return to play, we make our game
better and safer.
"The USA Football
ADM will allow kids to experience the sport at their own pace and it will
help us with the development of both players and coaches."
Development Model has worked well in several other sports whose national
governing bodies, like football, have earned USOC membership. The ADM
program has five key areas, all of which can be applied to youth football:
-- Universal access
to create opportunity for all athletes. This means no cuts under age 12.
appropriate activities that emphasize motor and foundational skills.
-- A fun, engaging
and progressively challenging atmosphere.
-- Quality coaching
at all age levels.
ADM will be made
available to every Pop Warner organization across the country beginning this
fall. The process will begin with messaging to parents, coaches and players
about the philosophy of ADM and its role in improving the game.
"We will also make
all three game experiences available to every Pop Warner program, which is
something we're quite comfortable with since we already offer both flag and
tackle," Butler said.
"In fact, this past
season we piloted USA Football's rookie tackle program at one of our leagues
in Austin, Texas -- Hill Country Pop Warner -- and received a very favorable
response. We have gained experience with all the elements of the ADM and we
will encourage our programs to take advantage of it."
USA Football CEO
Scott Hallenbeck has championed his sport's inclusion of ADM, which has been
highly successful in other sports such as ice hockey.
"We're inspired to
continue seeking improvements and innovations for football and its
athletes," Hallenbeck said.
believe in football's American Development Model to offer a smart
progression, empowering parents and players with multiple entry points and
options to choose from.
"I applaud Pop
Warner's decision to embrace USA Football's ADM and for encouraging their
leagues to make this pathway part of their program."