Divisions of Play
South Park Youth Association (SPYA) offers four divisions of play, Mitey Mite, Junior Pee Wee, Pee Wee and Junior Midget. The following age and weight matrix is designed to maximize safety while allowing players of similar size and age to compete in tackle football. Although they differ slightly from the Pop Warner National standards, ALL associations in the greater Charlotte area use the following age and weight matrix. Whatever age your child is on July 31st of that football year is their Pop Warner Football Age
In Season weekly weight 1 lb. Weeks 2, 4, 6, 8 (Max. of 4 lbs.), .
Pop Warner rigorously enforces the weight standards, both maximum and minimum. We will gladly assist parents in explaining the age and weight matrix and determining which division is best for your child. South Park’s guidelines are for each child to play at the lowest possible division of play, regardless of friends, siblings, carpools or other requests.
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At the Jamboree (see key dates), every player on every team must be weighed to be eligible to play Pop Warner football. Your coach will inform you of the specific date, time and location. If the player fails to attend the weigh-in or fails to make the required weight (minimum or maximum) of the division at the certification weigh-in, there is usually one more certification opportunity a few days later. If the player does not qualify at that certification, the player is ineligible to participate in Pop Warner Football for the entire season. The certification weigh-in is a mandatory event!
Registration will be online through the SPYA website. Registration will be open from May 1 through July 7.
We plan to field as many teams as possible each year, but we are limited by the number of volunteer coaches, the number of players who sign up as well as the Pop Warner administrative deadlines required to certify each team. Once we reach our maximum capacity for each level of play, we are regrettably forced to create waiting lists or perhaps even turn players away.
Please refer to the Season Registration Instructions section of the website for detailed information about the registration process and required documentation.
South Park football incurs various league, medical, security and administrative fees which are not refundable to the program. If you withdraw your child before August 1, we will provide a refund of the total registration fee, LESS A $35 Processing Fee. On or after August 1, we do not provide any refunds or transfer of funds for a player departing the South Park football program.
Practices will start on August 1. Practices are generally held at a park or school in the area between Carmel Road Park, Myers Park Traditional School, Randolph Middle School and Sharon Elementary. They are generally held in the evenings from 6:00pm-8:00pm. However, your coach will determine the specific times. Once your child has been placed on a team, your head coach and team administrator will become your primary sources of information.
Between August 1 and 12, players must have a minimum of 10 hours of conditioning practice in helmets and shorts before they can practice in full gear. After Labor Day, the Mitey Mites division can hold a maximum of two practices per week and a maximum of two hours per day for the remainder of the season and the older teams can only practice 3 x per week for 2 hours each
South Park will issue each player a Helmet, Chin Strap, Shoulder Pads, Practice Jersey, and Integrated Pants/Pad Set. The Helmet, Shoulder Pads and Integrated Pants/Pad Set must be returned to South Park at season’s end or earlier, if your child departs the program.
Other equipment that is required and provided by parents are Cleats and a Mouth Guard. We recommend you purchase two (2) Mouth Guards as players often lose or chew through one of them. Many parents prefer to purchase a premium chin strap as well
If you choose to buy your own equipment (helmet and/or shoulder pads), you will be required to sign a separate waiver indicating that you take the liability for properly fitting and equipping your child for tackle football.
Dates of Equipment Issue
We will hand out our equipment in late July (see key dates section). Parents need to mark their calendars and follow the instructions in the registration email to insure their child attends their scheduled team equipment fitting. For your child to be properly fitted for equipment, especially helmets, the child must be physically present. We will not issue equipment to a parent or coach without the player present.
South Park will likely play home games at Carmel Middle School, but we may have games at local high schools as well. Parking and admission to the games are free. South Park plays its away games at other association locations around Charlotte, such as Ardrey Kell High School and Weddington Optimist Park. On occasion, there may be an away game in Clover SC, Gastonia or even Greensboro.
The first game is the first Saturday BEFORE Labor Day. The younger players tend to compete earlier in the day and the older players tend to compete later in the day. (Please note, this is only a guide and there are exceptions each year.) ALL teams play tackle football with 11 players on a regulation size football field.
Mitey Mite games are scored but Won-Loss records are not published. One (1) coach will remain on the field with the team at all times to manage the players in and out of the huddle and provide last minute instructions. This is competitive tackle football played on a regulation size field, but at the Mitey Mite level, the emphasis is on instruction.
All levels of play consist of four (4) periods that are 10 minutes long. Score is kept and North Carolina High School rules govern the game. Coaches must remain on the sideline and the level of competition increases noticeably as the players increase in size, weight and experience.
Pop Warner has created rules for each division that are designed to get each player a minimum amount of playing time in each game. Every player is given the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to his team in every game. However, the rules do not mandate equal playing time across the board. Coaches are given discretion to the amount of time each player receives in a game.
A trained first response medical professional and a law enforcement officer is expected to be present at every game, home and away. In addition, we have developed guidelines for inclement weather and lightning to ensure player and spectator safety.
All scheduling is done by the Executive Board of the Pop Warners Little Panthers, www.popwarnerlittlepanthers.org. South Park usually competes against Steele Creek, South Charlotte, Matthews (MARA), Mint Hill, Weddington, Police Athletic League (PAL), Harrisburg, Mallard Creek, Lake Norman, Coul-Oak, Odell and Porter Ridge.
After the first several games, the Board will take measure of each team’s record and then schedule the next games against teams with similar records. While this does not guarantee each team will get a victory, it is an effort to get more evenly matched and competitive games. Teams that are very successful after the first six games will advance into the playoffs and have the opportunity to play in the Optimist Bowl. Those teams not advancing to the playoffs, and any losing a playoff game, will continue to be matched with teams with similar records. If a team wins the Optimist Bowl, it will have the right to represent Charlotte in the Pop Warner Regional playoffs and could eventually advance to the Championships in Disney World. Playoffs and championship games do not apply to Mitey Mites.
It is important to note that the game schedule for the match-up games is only published one week at a time since the Executive Board is not able to forecast the W-L records of teams.
All teams plan to have nine games, with the regular season ending on October 27th. There is a chance that your child’s team might have a BYE once during the course of the season due to an odd number of teams and only have eight games.
Starting in 2014, South Park decided to have the Athletic Director (AD) create teams primarily based on the middle school the player either currently attends or expects to attend. If we don’t have enough players from the designated middle school for an entire team, the AD will combine players from different schools (e.g. AG and Country Day). Based on historical participation data, we expect to combine players from different schools.
The main goals of this approach are 1) Growing the young men by building their relationships with each other earlier and 2) Making carpooling and parent involvement easier through known communities
Without coaches, there are no football teams. These men and women have generously volunteered their time to teach football and serve as role models. We need to show our appreciation for their efforts. However, coaches are not infallible and do make mistakes. We would kindly ask you, as parents and adults, to discuss your child’s progress with the coach in a respectful manner and carefully choose the appropriate time and setting to do so. Every coach at South Park must undergo a background check. Additionally, coaches are required to complete certain on-line courses designed to educate them on safety and risk management. There are also mandatory coaches clinics held to show the proper techniques which will provide maximum safety for the players.
Without parents, there are no football teams. You will be expected to get involved. Each team needs a host of volunteers to get things done behind the scenes for the team to succeed. The dynamics of developing a functional football team and the myriad of behind-the-scene requirements to support your child’s team can be far greater than anything you have experienced in other sports. It can also be more rewarding.
A Note About Attitude: Your child will directly feed off of your attitude towards football and his coaches. If you are upbeat and positive, chances are your child will follow suit. If on the other hand, you openly complain about the play calling, the child’s playing time or position, your child will likely reflect that flow of negative energy and it will inevitably limit his ability to compete and have fun.
Without players, there are no football teams. The purpose of our program is to provide a safe and structured atmosphere where your children can play and grow. Regardless of how many games your child’s team wins or loses, they are many life lessons and experiences that football offers to make this a worthwhile activity for everyone.
Mandatory Play Rule
The following shall be the Minimum Mandatory Play Rule (MPR) for all Pop Warner teams: 16-25 Players (10 Plays), 26-30 Players (8 Plays) and 31-35 Players (6 Plays).
Each league may set a higher number of Mandatory Plays, but never less than the minimum set by PWLS. All MPRs should be based on eligible players at the time of the game.
Rules Which Help Us All...
The better you understand our program and its direction and purpose, the more your family will enjoy it.
Some general guidelines:
If you have any questions not answered here, please contact Thomas Hancock, Athletic Director, at email@example.com