FAQ's

Who can participate in Pop Warner?


Boys and girls ages 5-15, in good academic standing (that is a minimum 2.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale) can participate in tackle football or cheerleading.

Youth ages 5-7 can participate in flag football.

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 LCCPW?


In North San Diego County, Pop Warner associations follow school district boundaries. LCCPW serves the communities of Cardiff, Encinitas, La Costa, Leucadia, Olivenhain, and north Rancho Santa Fe. The physical boundary follows the La Costa Canyon High School attendance boundaries, defined by the San Dieguito Union High School District as an area that, "...shall include the boundaries of the Encinitas and Cardiff school districts and the area north of Escondido Creek in Rancho Santa Fe district."

(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 LCCPW are Carlsbad (North), San Marcos (East) and Torrey Pines (South). LCCPW participants from outside LCCPW'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 LCCPW at president@lccpw.org




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.
Schedules are set by Palomar Conference and usually are not published until mid-August. After October games are set up on a week-to-week basis by Palomar 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.




Training Division Teams: Mitey-Mite and Tiny-Mite


On the final weekend Palomar Conference hosts the Chocolate Bowl (Mitey-Mite) and Chocolate Chip Bowl (Tiny-Mite) evenly matching teams from thoughout the conference. Training Division teams may not play invitational games or play beyond the end of the regular season.




Competitive Division Teams: Jr. Pee Wee, Pee Wee, Jr. Varsity, Varsity & Unlimited


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 Hawai'i, Nevada or Arizona. With rare exception teams are only allowed to play in one invitational game.




Cheer Teams


Cheer teams follow the season of the football team they are associated with through the regional playoffs. The cheer squads also have the Palomar 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.




Flag football


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, LCCPW and Pop Warner strongly recommend playing at the lowest possible Division for the player's projected age/weight on August 1.




here do LCCPW teams practice?


LCCPW teams practice during weekdays on fields in Cardiff, Encinitas and Carlsbad. Practice space in the North County Coastal communities is extremely limited and expensive.




Where do LCCPW teams play home games?


LCCPW's home games are played at La Costa Canyon 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 LCCPW 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, LCCPW 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, LCCPW 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 LCCPW 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 LCCPW is a volunteer. Without additional fundraising efforts we would lose money on each participant who signs up for LCCPW.




Why don't teams have a set schedule after mid-October?


Palomar 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?


For Flag football, and Tiny-Mite and Mitey-Mite tackle football, teams are balanced out by agreement of the coaches. 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. LCCPW 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" - Junior Pee Wee, Pee Wee, Junior Varsity and Varsity - LCCPW has adopted a Modified Draft method for selecting players. Within each age/weight class there can be Division I, Division II and Division III levels depending on how many teams are in the division.




What are Division I, Division II and Division III teams?


The Div. I and II levels compete in Regional and National Championships. Div. III is for first-year and developing players and offers a regional championship. Teams are selected by the head coach and staff.

The LCCPW player-agent, coach-agent, and executive leadership may give additional input based on other factors, such as Conference requirements, team balance and past experience. The goal is to form a team of similarly skilled players based on the assessment of the player's athletic skills, experience in football and other factors.

If an age/weight level has enough players for multiple teams, the head coach for the highest competitive level (either Div. I or II) forms a team, then the Div. II/Div. III team forms a team(s) with the remaining players.
Depending on the rosters, the association will advocate creating tiers of teams (i.e. Div. I, Div. II, Div. III) or two lower-level teams (i.e. Div. I, and two Div. II teams). Team formation is closely regulated and overseen by the Palomar Conference.




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 LCCPW 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. LCCPW modified the draft process in an attempt to keep players together with existing coaches where possible.

If a player is not selected for a Division I team, and the player's coach from the previous year is a Division II coach at the same age/weight class as the player, then the association will try to assign the player to that coach.

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 LCCPW refund policy is All refunds subject to $50 processing fee
A 50% refund will be honored before May 31, A 25% refund will be honored before June 30,
No refunds after July 1