FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The following are some of the questions most frequently asked about the Douglas Pop Warner football and cheerleading programs:
Who runs Douglas Pop Warner?
DPW is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation registered with the Office of the Secretary of the State. Officers are elected each year at the January General Meeting. Present By-laws provide for the election participation by current Officers and Directors, and Parents or Volunteers that attend over half of all Board Meetings during the course of the year. The Board of Directors meets regularly to conduct the business of the organization. The General Membership Meetings are held on the second Thursday of each month during the off season and weekly (usually at the field) during the season. Other than closed sessions for the purpose of personnel or personnel matters, all volunteers and parents are welcome to attend any meeting. The By-laws of the Organization, Articles of Incorporation, Minutes, and complete financial reports are available for review by any interested party. If you have questions please ask.
I just paid $125 for my child to play – why do I have Tigerthon to bother with?
Your $125 sign up fee covers less than half of the costs to DPW of having your child participate. Fundraising is an essential part of our program and our success. Without a successful fund-raising program we would cease to operate. Fund-raising enables you to solicit outside donations or contributions for the program rather than paying it all yourself. We could charge $250 per child and not fund-raise, but the resulting program is not what any of us would want. Our Tigerthon rewards the participants for their efforts with Tiger Spirit items and eliminates the need for inventory-intensive items such as candy or jerky sales. When Tigerthon envelopes come home make sure your child works your neighborhood, your friends, and family. Their donation of $5 - $20 is minimal to them, but major for you and us. Important – fund-raising is your child’s responsibility, not yours. It gives them a sense of purpose and accomplishment – part of “life training” youth sports provide. Many of our players and cheerleaders embrace the opportunity and collect enough money to supply Mom, Dad and others with prizes as well. (HINT! The prizes are awesome, everyone will want one!) It is a good idea to have your child wear an official DPW shirt or hat to verify that they are participating in an official program.
Some teams traveling to Post Season Playoffs may engage in additional fund-raising endeavors to help offset the cost to travel to Regional Competitions. This will be addressed separately, when the time comes, by your Coaching Staff and Team Business Manager. To participate in post season play/competition every team or squad must have 100% participation with a $100 average.
Is this flag or tackle? Do they wear real football equipment? Does it hurt?
This is real tackle football complete with real football uniforms. Every player is taught how to tackle and take a hit. As with any contact sport, with good contact there are times when a “ding will sting”, but generally the bumps and bruises acquired along the way are more badges of honor than anything to worry about. We recognize that contact sports aren’t for every child, but what better way for your child to find out about football than in an age/weight regulated, highly structured, environment in which safety, instruction and fun are the focal points?
Why is my friend on another team – we are the same age?
You might be the same age, but born in different months and have a different “playing age”. The playing age is your age on July 31st.
Why are there so few injuries in Pop Warner? Isn’t this a “contact sport”?
Yes, it is full contact! Our injuries are kept to a minimum by the age/weight divisions, minimum equipment standards to insure safety, our conditioning regimen and requirements, our coaches’ diligent instruction of correct technique, and our coaches’ and administrator’s continued monitoring of the technique and practices of opposing teams to make sure that it is clean, fair, safe, and in keeping with the spirit of Pop Warner play.
What about football camps I hear about? Required? Recommended? Will my child miss anything by not attending?
No camp is required or recommended. The season is long enough and the game should be kept fun at this age. The camps are optional and no coach should make any recommendations or suggestions that your child attend such a camp. Use your own discretion as to whether your child would benefit from, or enjoy attending, a camp. Our program is recreational and we do not condone the use of camps by coaches or groups of players that may be on the same team as an effort to gain an advantage over any other team in the League. The choice is yours to determine the benefits for your child to learn the technique and/or motivational information given at such camps.
I can’t be at the field every day, but want to help … how can I do that?
Volunteers are important in all aspects of the organization. We need help in all areas – from one or two hours in the snack bar to two or three days a week on the field. Help as you can. Bring your talents, expertise, knowledge, and abilities to our organization and jump in where you can. We need financial and administrative help, and help on the field. We are better off having you assisting part time than not volunteering at all. Get involved!
We appreciate and need financial assistance. You can donate to the program a specific sum for us to purchase a specific piece of equipment such as something for the snack bar, field equipment, coaching equipment, i.e. – a sled, storage shed, etc, or a general donation to help the cause. You will either be given great public acknowledgement for your generosity, or complete anonymity – the choice is yours. Your generosity is greatly appreciated. Whether you donate time, money, or both – you assistance is vital to the success of the program. Contact Patti Romanelli or Lisa Wetzel with your financial donation.
How do the coaches get to be coaches?
Douglas Pop Warner prides itself on our exceptionally high quality coaches. Most of our coaches have many years of personal football experience and years of coaching experience. Some of our coaches are dads that walk-on, while others don’t even have a child in the program. They are giving back to the sport that they love, and the community in which they live, by donating their time to coach. Coaches must apply for the position every year. They are selected in late spring prior to the beginning of the season and their term ends on December 31st the same year. The Board reviews the applications and selects the Head Coaches. They also approve potential assistant coaches. Each Head Coach selects his assistant coaches subject to Board approval. Coaches attend coaching clinics during the year and a Sagebrush Empire clinic in July for rules, policies, procedures, attitudes, and philosophy. Douglas Pop Warner also has its own coaching clinic addressing the above topics with particular emphasis on the high standards that DPW expects from our staff. To encourage our coaches’ attendance at clinics DPW pays the clinic cost for our coaches willing to attend.
Can I help coach?
New coaches are welcome. DPW takes pride in its coaches and feels good that coaching is the most important ingredient to the success of our program. We will work with new coaches as a Board together withtheir Head Coach to assure their compliance with our expectations from the coaches. The overall quality of our program is the result. We are proud of each and every one of our coaches. Come join the fun – get your application in and get on our team!
How is it determined what position my child will play?
One of the beautiful aspects of the game of football is that it requires many different types of people on a team, i.e. – offensive or defensive attitude, offensive linemen, linebackers, safeties, special teams, etc. Each position has different strength, speed, agility, and stamina requirements. The coaching staff will evaluate every player at the beginning of the season and your child will be placed where he/she is best suited considering the above and the talent pool on the team.
What kind of extra equipment can or should I have for my child?
DPW provides most required equipment. Your football player must have cleats and your cheerleader may
need special equipment that will be outlined in the cheer material. Some optional equipment is beneficial,
some not. Consult with your coach or with veteran players and parents – they can help you determine if you should buy extra gear or not. Things that may be helpful, depending on position and child, are: neck rolls, arm guards, and rib guards. Wait until your child has a position before obtaining any accessory items.
Why do I have to turn in my child’s report card if his/her grades aren’t so good?
Scholastics are a very important part of Pop Warner. Your child must prove scholastic fitness by turning in a report card before he/she can practice. They must have and prove that they have a minimum grade point average of 2.0, and not be failing in any class. If lacking a 2.0 GPA there is a comprehensive program available by which they can qualify for participation.
Once the equipment is issued can my child use it for other activities?
NO! Jerseys and Cheer uniforms may only be worn to school on Game Day, to Douglas High School games, and for Pop Warner games and activities.
How are numbers assigned?
Numbers are very much a part of the culture and lore of football. The numbers are given out by the coaches in the following order: a. administrative and coaches’ children, b. prior Pop Warner Experience and c. rest of the team. Selection priority for children of administrators and coaches is one of the very few perquisites available to those that give hundreds of hours of their time to the program.
Can I get a refund?
Refunds may be available depending on individual circumstances. Should your child drop, by choice, or
because of other circumstances, before Jamboree you may get a refund on request. No refunds are given
after the Jamboree. All granted refund requests are subject to a $10 Administrative Fee. Administrative cuts do not receive a refund.
How are players assigned to teams in Douglas Pop Warner?
The first criteria for team placement are age and weight. Every effort is made for players to “play down”, to assign them to the lowest division in which they are eligible to play. That usually means he/she will be older and heavier in that division which is in his/her best interest. Other factors considered may include: other participating family members, playing experience, the need to be with another player for the purposes of ride sharing, etc. If there are two, or more, teams in a division of play the players will be sorted by placing all of the eligible players into a linear order considering age, weight, and experience and assigning them to the team on an alternating basis.
How can I ask about Policies or Procedures without affecting my child’s
relationship with his/her coach?
DPW maintains an “open door” policy. If you question something happening to, or being told to, your child, feel free to call Lisa Wetzel, all matters; Cliff Brewer, Cheer; or Jim Valentine, all matters. This is an important process in our program as it is often by such parental inquiries that we learn of potential improper activities. Please take time to call. Your inquiry will be kept confidential for the protection of your child. If something is truly wrong many will benefit from your call.
Where are the practice and games?
Practices and Home Games are at Stodick Park, “Home of the Douglas Tigers”, with the exception of a few weeks of the season when the bigger teams may practice at the High School Field. Cheer will practice at indoor locations later in the season.
Tiny Mites & Mitey Mites are sometimes treated differently. Why?
Though the entire program is considered recreational and instructional, particular emphasis is placed on
these aspects in Tiny & Mitey Mites to maximize their enjoyment and learning from their Pop Warner
experience. This is implemented by special rules that allow for better play development and learning.
My sister lives in XYZ City; her child starts football/cheer practice in June. Why do we wait so long to start?
The National Pop Warner rules preclude any practice for football or cheer before August 1st. We comply with these rules. If you know of a violation please report it immediately. Contact Jim Valentine immediately, 781-3704. No team or squad in Sagebrush may start before August 3rd per League vote.
Is Pop Warner on the Internet?
National Pop Warner has a very good website with a lot of information, www.popwarner.com.
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