Kenai Peninsula Pop Warner: Football

Sunday, January 20

Are you ready for some Football?

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 240,000 youths participated in Pop Warner-sanctioned football programs in 2004, and those numbers are continuing to grow.

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)

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.

Sunday, February 10
Football Drills for Pre-Season Conditioning
Tips and Drills  

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Football Categories
Coaching Coaching
Defense Defense
Defensive Backs Defensive Backs
Defensive Line Defensive Line
Linebackers Linebackers
Offense Offense
Offensive Backs Offensive Backs
Offensive Line Offensive Line
Playbook Playbook
Quarterbacks Quarterbacks
Receivers Receivers
Running Backs Running Backs
Special Teams Special Teams
Strength & Conditioning Strength & Conditioning

Sunday, January 20
Positions on a Football Team
Positions on a Team

Theoretically, one can play football without having any positions at all--as long as everyone follows the rules, there is no need for one person to do a specific thing every play. So, it is legal to have position-less players who, during each play, run in random directions for no reason at all. Obviously, a strategic game like football is most efficiently played if each player specializes in a certain aspect of the game. Thus, each player can hone their skills in a very narrow range so that each play can be perfectly choreographed and executed to insure the maximum probability of advancing the ball. Football is a very unique sport in which there are even specific offensive and defensive "units"--whole sub-teams that specialize in either earning points, deterring their opponent from gaining ground, or "special teams" that perform only kicking plays. However, there can only be 11 players on the field per team at any given time, so when the ball changes possession, one would often see players rushing on and off the field as the needed roles change. The NFL allows a maximum of 45 players who are actually eligible to play. The extra players beyond the offensive, defensive, and special team units serve as the backup players in the event some players become incapacitated from injuries. In Pop Warner all players have the opportunity to play at least 10 normal penalty free plays per game. The following are a list of positions typically designated to football players and their job descriptions:

Offensive Positions

Quarterback(QB)--In most cases, the quarterback is the leader of a football team. A quarterbacks is like the platoon Sargent who follows and adds to the tactics used in each play. This occurs when the QB recognizes that the defense's play will render the offense's planned play ineffective. He would then call an "audible" to quickly revert to another play. The play begins when the QB shouts the proper "cadence" or "snap counts" signaling the ball to be "snapped"--i.e. a quick hand-off to the quarterback. Most of the time, balls are passed by this player so he must be a skillful thrower. As a well-rounded player, the quarterback must also be fast enough to avoid incoming defenders(called "rushers" in general) whose sole purpose is to take him down. If he does make contact with the defense, he must be strong enough to resist being tackled or merely be able to handle a tackle. In addition, the QB must be able to make quick decisions because of the variability that can exist in each play.In plays that do not have the QB passing the ball, the quarterback himself is not allowed to receive any "forward passes"--passes that result in the ball advancing towards the endzone.
Running Backs--Also known as the "backs", these positions can be separated into both "halfback"(HB) and "fullback"(FB) The two "backs" share similar responsibilities of starting each play close to the quarterback and either block incoming rushers or they have the ball "handed-off" to them in which they will typically run with it. Halfbacks usually tries to avoid contact with the defense in running plays but fullbacks, with their bigger physiques, will try to run through a pack of linemen to score that extra yardage for a first-down or a touchdown.
Wide Receiver(WR)--Obviously, their primary job is to run far away in a certain pattern to elude their defenders and then catch a passed ball. Usually, receivers are fast and quick--they can change their direction with great ease to throw off their defenders--as well as being able to demonstrate great finesse to receive balls that are positioned in a way that makes it hard for them to catch.
Offensive Linemen(OL)--Linemen are the ones who are lined up against the defense and are closest to the ball before play starts. They represent the 'defense of the offense'--their job is to block the rushers from coming in and knocking out the quarterback. Moreover, they can push the defense away a particular area to create a "hole" in which the ball carrier can slip through and run forward. Like the quarterback, OL are not permitted to catch forward passes too.
Tight End(TE)--The player in this position are a hybrid of linemen and wide receivers. He is positioned between the the two and they block and receive on certain plays. Given the nature of the job, the TE must obviously be bigger than wide receivers but they have to be able to catch a ball when the time comes. Since there is only one TE, he can be positioned on either sides of the linemen; the side he is on is called the "strong side" and the other side is called the "weak side."

Defensive Positions

Defensive Linemen(DL)--These guys are out to get the QB or whoever initially has the ball--and that's all they are focused on. Of course, before that happens, they must contend with the offensive linemen so they must be the biggest and strongest defensive players there is.
Linebackers(LB's)--As the versatile defender, linebackers either cover offensive players that get past the linemen or they run with wide receivers to prevent a completed pass. Three or four players can serve in this role but they must have a balance of speed, strength, and quickness.
Defensive Backs(DB's)--As the last line of defense, DB's cover the rear of the rest of the team. This position breaks down to the "safeties" and "cornerbacks"(CB's) which delineate their positions: the safety is centered to the ball while the cornerbacks plays on either sides of the safety. The DB's must be able to predict what a ball carrier will do to intercept and neutralize him as quickly as possible during running plays or they must be able to interpret where the QB will pass the ball to make an interception or at least stop the receiver from advancing any further.

Special Teams

Place Kicker(PK)--This player is the kicker with the least amount of pressure since he is the one who does all the kickoffs and tries to earn the team's point-after-touchdown. It has become prevalent nowadays that PK's kick with the instep of their foot as the approach the ball from the side--they are called "soccer-style" kickers.
Punter(P)--The punter kicks the ball so he must be be able to catch the ball as it is snapped to him, kick it high and long for "hang-time" and distance, respectively, without compromising accuracy.
Holder(H)--His job is to receive a snap and hold the ball on the ground for the place kicker to kick. This is usually the other job the backup quarterback has since he is experience in receiving snaps.
Kick Returner(KR)--During kickoffs or punts, he is usually the player who will catch the ball and try to advance it as far as they can. The players in this position are built for raw speed and quickness when they try to make "runbacks."