Kickoffs banned in 3 youngest age divisions

Posted at 4:51 PM, May 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-12 23:52:13-04

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 5-15, 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.