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San Marcos Pop Warner

San Marcos Pop Warner

Challenger Program

Challenger Flag Football & Cheer


The mission of the Pop Warner Challenger Division is to bring the Pop Warner experience to those special needs individuals.

Pop Warner’s overall goals are to enable young people to benefit from participation in team sports and activities in a safe and structured environment and by establishing a Challenger Division Pop Warner is providing an opportunity for everyone to participate in the great game of football.

Pop Warner objectives are to inspire our youth, regardless of race, creed, religion or national origin to practice the ideals of sportsmanship, scholarship and physical fitness as reflected in the life of the late Glenn Scobie “Pop” Warner. Pop Warner Strives to make the game fun for all boys and girls.

The program stresses learning lessons of value far beyond the playing or spirit days of those involved, such as; self-discipline, teamwork, concentration, friendship, leadership, and sportsmanship.

The philosophy of the Pop Warner Challenger Division is to provide the framework for local Pop Warner programs to offer a structured football program for participants with special needs. The Challenger program is non-competitive and no score is kept. The games are modeled after a typical Pop Warner game with warm-ups, coin toss and national anthem etc. Participation in the Challenger Division is permitted at the request of the individual’s parent or guardian.

The Pop Warner Challenger Division was pioneered and established in 2004 in East Greenbush in the Capital District Pop Warner League.

The modified rules of the Pop Warner Challenger Division:

  • Challenger Division follows Pop Warner Flag Football Rules with modifications as noted in Rules.
  • All children ages 5-18 who are currently enrolled in school with physical or mental disabilities.
  • Level of play based on size, age and skill level are recommended where numbers allow.
  • Teams must roster a minimum of 10 and no more than 28 players.
  • Games are played with a minimum of five (5) players on each side. This can increase as participation numbers increase.
  • No score is kept.
  • Teams are permitted one (1) game per week.
  • National registration fees are $10.
  • All players receive equal number of plays.
  • Pop Warner recommends team helpers must be a minimum of 13 years of age to assist participants.
  • Field may be standard 100 yards or programs may opt to use a 50 yard field.
  • Team Jerseys and flags provided for every participant.
  • Insurance for the Challenger Teams is the same as Pop Warner Flag Football teams.
  • One Coach permitted on the field at all times.
  • Teams play two 25 minute half’s with a running clock.

Challenger Division Structure

  • Challenger Divisions may be formed in current existing Pop Warner Leagues.
  • Challenger Leagues may be Chartered if no current Pop Warner League exists.
  • Challenger Leagues must field complete standard Charter Application and submit required forms, boundaries, by-laws & articles of incorporation

Palomar Stars Challenger Division

Frequently Asked Questions

Palomar Conference Pop Warner
Challenger Program - Palomar Stars

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Challenger Program?
The Challenger Program is a flag football and cheer program for special needs children ages five and up. This is a non-competitive program focused on the element of “fun”. We pride ourselves on providing your children with a positive experience.

2. Is there any contact?
We play flag football only. There is no tackling. The team will consist of coaches and buddies to mitigate contact and assist the players.

3. Is it safe?
The Palomar Stars coaches will work with your children teaching them proper football and cheer techniques. All practice, games, and cheer routines will be designed with safety as its number one measure.

4. How much does it cost?
Costs will be kept to a minimum and will include everything your child will need. We will provide the flags, footballs, football jerseys, shorts, t-shirts, pom-poms, and a complete cheer uniform. It will also include pictures, trophies, and a year-end party.

5. What do I need to provide?
You only need to provide the participant and proper footwear. We’ll take care of the rest.

6. How can I contribute?
Parents will be asked to assist with transportation, after game snacks, and lots of excitement.

7. What’s my commitment level?
The season consists of ten weeks. A practice/game will be scheduled every Saturday during this time. Games will be mostly played in North County, however we may receive an invitation to travel – you and the team will decide if we participate.

8. How often do we practice?
Practice schedules will be decided by the coaching staff with full input by the parents.

9. Where do we meet?
The program consists of teams from San Diego to Wildomar. Escondido is providing us a location for our practice/games at Orange Glen High School.

10. What if I have more questions?
If you have any other questions please email the contact below.

[email protected]
Diana Dahlstrom - Palomar Conference Challenger Representative



San Marcos Pop Warner
PO Box 1654 
San Marcos, California 92079

Phone: 760-410-6455
Email: [email protected]

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