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Football Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I sign my child up for LCCPW?

A: Online registration for the La Costa Canyon Pop Warner program is available on our website from February thru May 15th each year.  In-person registration is also required and will take place on April 10th and 27th 2024, at Gaspar Physical Therapy.  Please refer to the Events page on our website for specific dates, times, locations, and forms required for registration.

Q: When does the season start?

A: Practices begin on August 1st and run five days a week, Monday through Friday, for the entire month of August. Once school starts, practices drop back to three days per week (two to three days for cheer), with games on Saturdays. The regular season continues through the second week of November, with playoff games, bowl games, and invitational games running through the end of November. Cheerleaders will compete locally and possibly regionally through the end of November. If a team or squad advances to Nationals, the season can extend into January.


Q: What documents are needed for registration?

A: Both the child and a parent or guardian must be present at registration. The original copy of the child's certified Birth Certificate and a photocopy of the birth certificate for us to keep must be presented for age verification. Hospital certificates are not acceptable. A Wallet-Size Photo of the child (without a hat or sunglasses on), a completed 2024 Player Contract, a 2024 Contract Addendum for practicing on city fields, a 2024 Physical Fitness and Medical History form, LCCPW Code of Conduct Agreement are also required. Payment via credit card at online registration is accepted, and payment options and scholarships are available.  Please contact the LCCPW player agent ( for further information.


Q: What else does my child need prior to the first practice?

A: Physician physical forms and the 2024 year-end report cards must be submitted to the team's business manager before the first practice on August 1. If these documents were not previously submitted during registration.


Q: What equipment and uniforms does my child need?

A:  LCCPW will outfit players with a helmet, shoulder pads, practice jersey, practice pants, practice shorts and shirt, game socks and game uniform (home and away jerseys and pants).  Families must provide mouthpieces, compression 7-pad girdle and cleats.


Q: What are the age divisions?

A: The age divisions follow the National Pop Warner age division matrix.  LCCPW will plan to field football teams for the following age divisions:  8U, 9U, 10U, 11U, 12U, 13U and 14U.   Please refer to the Pop Warner Age Matrix form to see where your athlete qualifies to play based on their birthday.


Q: Will there be an 8U team?

A: LCCPW will try to field an 8U team if enough boys register. In the event they don't, they will be allowed to play on the 9U squad.


Q: How many teams will LCCPW form?

A: LCCPW will form as many teams as possible in every age group until we run out of practice field space to support additional teams.


Q: What are the roster sizes?

A: Roster sizes are a minimum of 16 players and a maximum of 35 players.  


Q: Will my child get to play in every game?

A: Yes. Pop Warner enforces a strict minimum play requirement (MPR) for every player on the roster. Coaches face strict internal and external discipline for failing to meet MPR criteria.


Q: Can my child play up in a higher age division?

A: If two brothers are within approximately one year of age/grade and the coaches feel it's safe for the younger sibling to play with his older brother, LCCPW will honor that request to ease the burden on the family. All other "play up" requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the head coach and the VP of Football and will be honored if it's determined to be safe and in the best interest of the player.


Q: Can my child play on a team with their friends?

A: In the event there are multiple teams per age group, teams are formed based on the player's performance at football assessments and individual team needs. We will make every attempt to evaluate factors such as single parent hardships and dual working parent hardships, but those scenarios will be considered only on a case-by-case basis.  We will not place players on teams just because their friends are on a specific team.  LCCPW reserves the right to deny these requests if we feel it puts a player's physical safety in jeopardy.  Ultimately, players are placed in the best position to develop, grow and succeed.


Q: What is Local Track and National Track?

A: Local Track is an option for a coach who feels their team needs to play against less competitive or more developmental teams. Local Track rosters typically include first-time players and "late bloomers" who need to develop some tackle football experience. National Track is an option for a coach who feels there is enough talent on a squad to compete at the highest level. National Track rosters typically include veteran players and early developers who demonstrated superior athletic skill sets at the football assessments. 

Our National Track teams will compete against the top teams (other National Track based teams) in the West Coast Conference, WESCON Regional Conference and the Pop Warner National Conference. Our Local Track teams will compete against other Local Track teams for the West Coast Conference Championships. Due to fewer National Track teams, it is not uncommon to face off against Local Track teams throughout the regular season as well.  Other organizations have completely different processes for team selection and Local / National track designation.   The conference  understands this and only releases a four game schedule.  This gives them an opportunity to rebalance schedules and opponents at the mid-season mark.


Q: How are teams determined?

A: If there is only one team in an age group, the team includes everyone who registered for that age group until the roster closes. If we have enough boys to form two or three teams for a single age group, there are multiple scenarios. If the head coaches feel there is not enough talent to play at the National Track level, the teams will be split evenly via a draft. If the head coaches feel there is enough talent to produce a National Track team, the National Track Coach will get their first choice of a predetermined amount of players to give their team the best chance to succeed in a highly competitive conference. The Executive Football Committee has a process in place to ensure no team is bereft of talent.


Q: Where are the LCCPW practice fields?

A: Practice fields are allocated to us through the City of Encinitas and SDUHSD. Typically, LCCPW can count on getting Encinitas Community Park (not lighted), Leo Mullen Sports Park (not lighted), Cardiff Sports Park (lighted), and La Costa Canyon High School (lighted).  The older teams typically will practice at the high school and the younger teams will practice on the city fields.


Q: What is "mandatory conditioning?" 

A: During the first week of practice or the first ten hours, football players condition with only helmets and mouthpieces.  During the second week or the second ten hours, football players will wear shoulder pads but will conduct light contact drills that do not take a player to the ground.  The primary purpose is to get the kids in shape, accustomed to running and exerting the required level of energy before placing them in pads and going full contact tackling. Cheerleaders also meet the 20-hour conditioning period, during which they will build endurance and learn different cheers, routines, stunts, basing, lifts, cradles, etc. If a player misses any practice during the week of mandatory conditioning (August 1-5), they must complete their ten hours of conditioning before practicing with the rest of the team.

Q: What is "mandatory certification?"

A:  Pop Warner certifications are to ensure player eligibility for each division. Rosters are certified based on this process.  If your child cannot be there they will not be certified to play in the 2024 season.  This is MANDATORY for every player and staff member. The 2023 date is August 12th, 2023 - location TBD.


Q: What if my child misses football practice will they be able to play in a game?

A:  The coaches are responsible for making decisions about playing time and positions, which are based on hard work, skill, performance in practice, experience, and safety. Pop Warner guarantees that players who attend all practices in a week will play at least 8 to 10 plays in a game, depending on the number of eligible players.  If a player misses one or more practices during a game week, they may need to sit the game out due to safety reasons, if the head coach determines.  First-year players may expect less playing time than returning players, until they learn more skills and gain confidence. It's essential to attend all practices, as this is when players are introduced to the fundamentals of football, evaluated for positions, and introduced to the team's playbook for each week's game.

Q: How much does it cost to register for 2023 Tackle Football?

A: The Early Bird registration fee is $595 until February 29th, the Regular Fee is $675 from March 1st to May 31st, and Late Registration fee is $800 after June 1st.


Q: What is included in the Tackle Football Registration fee?

A: The registration fee includes brand new league issued (Riddell) Speedflex Helmet, new shoulder pads, game pants and practice pants.  Additionally, players will receive (and will be yours to keep) a practice jersey, game socks (Mavs & Breast Cancer Awareness), personalized game jersey, personalized equipment bag, Mavs Spirit Pack (Team Shirt & Shorts), registration t-shirt and league picture package.


Q: What is the refund policy for Tackle Football?

A: La Costa Canyon Pop Warner maintains a strict no refund policy to ensure fairness and consistency in reserving open player slots. However, we recognize that unforeseen circumstances may lead to financial or personal hardships. In such cases, we are open to considering refund requests on a case-by-case basis. To be eligible for a hardship refund, you must provide adequate documentation, such as medical records, job loss documentation, or other relevant proof. Each case will be presented to the board for evaluation and a final decision, which will be binding.

Q: What is Pop Warner?

A: Pop Warner is a non-profit organization that provides youth football and cheerleading programs for participants ages 5-16. The program is designed to promote academic success, good sportsmanship, and physical fitness while teaching the fundamentals of football and cheerleading in a safe and fun environment.


Q: Is Pop Warner safe?

A: Pop Warner places a strong emphasis on player safety and requires all coaches to be certified in Heads Up Football, which emphasizes concussion awareness and proper tackling techniques. In addition, Pop Warner limits contact during practices and mandates that all players receive a physical prior to the start of the season.


Q: Can girls play football in Pop Warner?

A: Yes, Pop Warner offers a co-ed football program for participants ages 5-16. Girls are welcome to participate in football and cheerleading programs.


Q: Can my child participate in both football and cheerleading?

A: No, Pop Warner does not allow participants to participate in both football and cheerleading during the same season.


Q: How can I stay informed about the program?

A: LCCPW Pop Warner communicates with parents and players through our website, email, and social media channels. We encourage all families to sign up for our email list and follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay informed about the latest news and updates.  All football games will be scheduled and updated in Zorts Sports app and we strongly encourage all football and cheer families to download and monitor this app once official 2023 games are scheduled.  Additionally, each team will set-up a dedicated communication app for keeping teams informed on scheduling and events.  


Q: Who do I contact if I have a question or concern?

A: If you have a question or concern, please contact our Player Agent or President. We are here to help and are happy to answer any questions you may have.

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