What is the Pop Warner Little Panthers' League?
The Little Panthers' League is the Pop Warner Little Scholars League for Mecklenburg, Union, and Cabarrus counties. We are members of the Mid-South Region. The league is made up of 14 individual Member Associations. Member Associations include Coul-Oak, Derita, Harrisburg, Lake Norman, Mallard Creek, MARA, Mint Hill, PAL, Odell, Porter Ridge, South Charlotte, Southpark, Steele Creek, and Weddington.
How do we register?
You should register with the Association closest to where you live. All Pop Warner Associations in the Little Panthers' league are responsible for their own registration process. Registrations usually begin in the Spring. Each Association is allowed to charge a registration fee. This fee varies at each Association. Additionally, each Association schedules its own participant registration dates. For a list of Association Web Sites, please visit the Associations
What documents are required for registration?
All participants must provide a copy of their birth certificate (an original copy is required for all teams participating in post season competitions), a participate contract and parental consent form, a physical fitness and medical history form, and a copy of the most recent complete report card.
When does the season start?
The Pop Warner season begins on August 1st of each year and generally runs through early November for most teams.
Can a participant cheer or play football for their school and Pop Warner at the same time?
No. Dual participation in Pop Warner and school or other football or cheer organizations is prohibited.
When do games start / end?
Games begin the first Saturday after Labor Day and continue through early November. Games are normally played on Saturdays. The local cheer and dance competition is held in October. Bowl games and regional playoffs for teams qualifying for post season games are played in November. The regional cheer and dance competition and regional football championship games are held the Friday and Saturday following Thanksgiving. The national cheer and dance competition and national football championship games are usually held the second week of December at Disney's Wide World of Sports.
When is schedule released?
The football schedule is dependent on the number of teams that participate in each division. Because team counts can change due to registrations the first two weeks of August it is difficult to finalize a schedule. Once final team counts are determined the schedule can be finalized and is released. The schedule is usually released to the Associations by the Monday prior to the first scheduled games.
What are the requirements to participate in a bowl game?
In order for any competitive division football team to be eligible to participate in a post season bowl game they must complete the season with a 50% or better winning percentage for the regular season and be approved by the Director of Football Operations.
Which cheer / dance squads continue to regional competition?
Cheer and dance squads that finish first and second are allowed to continue to compete in the regional competition. Other squads may be allowed to attend the regional competition and participate in a non-advancing division.
Are coaches required to be certified?
All head coaches for both football and cheer & dance squads must complete training classes and be certified prior to being allowed to participate as a head coach.
Are volunteers required to under go a back ground check?
All volunteers (not just coaches) who come in continual contact with Pop Warner participates must under go a background check and be approved by the Association and the CFF prior to being allowed to participate.
How much does it costs to participate?
Each Member Association is responsible for setting their registration fees. Fees can range from $35 to $295 depending on the Association and whether you are interested in tackle football, or cheer & dance.
Where are games played?
Each Association has a home field. Since our league consists of teams in three counties, travel may be involved. For a general map of field locations please visit the Associations page. Directions to fields can be found on General Info Game Sites
Must cheer squads accompany football teams in post season play?
Yes. Each cheer squad is assigned to a football team and is considered a part of that team. Cheer squads must accompany that football team to all games, regular season and post season, as well as compete in cheer competitions.
What is Challenger Division?
The Challenger Division is a flag football and cheer division established to bring the Pop Warner experience to special needs individuals. The Little Panthers’ League began the Challenger Division in the 2007 season. For more information please visit the Challenger Page.
Are original birth certificates required?
Copies of birth certificates are adequate for local competition. Original birth certificates are required for all cheer, and dance squads that advance to Regional competition. Original birth certificates must be placed in the team's book prior to being allowed to participate in post season competition.
Can we use a doctor's standard physical form instead of the Pop Warner form?
No. Section II of the Physical Fitness & Medical History Form must be completed and signed by a licensed state examiner. The form is the official certification that your child has been cleared medically to participate in Pop Warner. The form must be signed in the same year as the season in which you wish to participate.
What is a Pop Warner All-American Scholar?
Each year, the most academically accomplished Pop Warner participants compete for Academic All-American status. Students are eligible for All-American consideration if they are currently in grade 5 or higher, have a 96% grade point average or better, and have a complete prior year's report card. Selection for Regional and National First team, Second team, and Honorable Mentioned are based on the student's grade point average, activities, and achievements. For more information please visit the Pop Warner Scholastics Program
Are try outs required?
No. Pop Warner has no try outs or cutting from teams. All participants are assigned to a team.
Is youth football safe?
Yes. While injuries do occur, the injury rate in Pop Warner is less than one-third the injury rate in high school football. The severity of injuries is also less. Pop Warner has established an age-weight schematic in order to protect younger and lighter players. Organized football among 5 - 15 year olds has 12 percent fewer injuries per capita than organized soccer, 50 percent fewer injuries per capita than bicycle riding, and 74 percent fewer injuries per capita than skateboarding in the same age groups.