Pop Warner bans kickoffs in 3 youngest age divisions

Posted at 10:39 AM, May 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-13 10:39:56-04

LANGHORNE, Pa. (AP) — Pop Warner is eliminating kickoffs in its three youngest football divisions, another safety-focused rules change sure to be noticed and discussed at higher levels of the game.

The ban, which will affect ages 5-10, will begin this fall. Instead, the ball will be placed at the 35-yard line to start each half and following scores.

The organization, which began in 1929 and has 225,000 children enrolled in football from ages 5 to 15, says it will review the results of the rules change following next season as it considers implementing the same ban in older age divisions.

Pop Warner has also announced a further reduction in contact time during practice, lowering the percentage to 25 from the 33 percent rule that was implemented in 2012.