Parent and Participant Handbook
General Rules/Policies- The Short List
The rules and policies stated below will be politely but firmly enforced.
No refunds will be given after the first game and pro-rated prior to first game.
No child will be permitted to practice that has not turned in a completed physical form, full report card, birth certificate, and completed registration form.
Personal checks are not accepted.
- No smoking/tobacco products of any kind on practice fields.
- No drug or alcohol use or possession at any CPWA practice, game or function.
- No littering. We won’t have any facilities to use if we don’t take care of them!
- Non-participating children must be supervised at all times and must not become a distraction to the teams/squads.
- No pets at any practices or games.
- Parents must stay in designated areas and are not permitted inside the practice areas.
- Pick up your trash. Yes, we know we said that. We want to be sure you read it. It’s that important!
If you don’t understand these rules or have questions, please ask a CPWA staff member for help.
Those in violation of rules 4 – 10 may be asked to leave the premises by coaches or staff.
Costs of Participation
We are part of a travel league. Away games may include such locations as Sanford, Durham, Garner, Apex, Cary, and more. Parents are responsible for transportation to all games.
All Pop Warner games charge admission. Traditionally, the cost for adults is $3.00, and the cost for a non-participating child is $1.00. What constitutes an adult or child may vary from field to field. Children under age 5 are usually admitted free. Participating children and Pop Warner volunteers with proper Pop Warner ID are admitted free. These prices are subject to change from one year to the next. Post-season game/competition admission costs will vary.
All players must provide their own footwear and any personal items, such as athletic supporters. One mouthpiece is provided for each child at the start of the season. Players are responsible for replacement mouthpieces.
Players at the Junior Pee Wee level and above may advance to post-season play. If a team advances to the Regional level, out-of-state travel will likely be required. Regional championships are held Thanksgiving weekend. National championships are held in Orlando, Florida at Walt Disney World in December. Travel for the two events costs approximately $1,000 per child. Parents are encouraged to set aside funds and participate fully in all fundraising efforts. CPWA will assist in fundraising efforts for advancing teams, but parents will bear primary responsibility for the costs associated with such travel.
All cheerleaders must purchase their own socks, shoes, bloomers, hair accessories, and poms. Ordering/purchasing information is provided by us so that everyone gets the right items.
Cheerleaders at the Junior Pee Wee level and above may advance to post-season competition, or be required to travel with their football team to post-season games. If a team/squad advances to the Regional level, out-of-state travel will likely be required. Regional competition is held Thanksgiving weekend. National competition is held in Orlando, Florida at Walt Disney World in December. Travel for the two events costs approximately $1,000 per child. Parents are encouraged to set aside funds and participate fully in all fundraising efforts. CPWA will assist in fundraising efforts for advancing teams, but parents will bear primary responsibility for the costs associated with such travel.
Dance team members purchase their own footwear and accessories, as well as the performance costume. CPWA provides the uniform for games. There are very few Dance teams in our area, which gives us an extremely good chance of going to Regional competition (likely out of state) and possibly Nationals at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Travel for the two events costs approximately $1,000 per child. Parents are encouraged to set aside funds and participate fully in all fundraising efforts. CPWA will assist in fundraising efforts for advancing teams, but parents will bear primary responsibility for the costs associated with such travel.
We are always looking for sponsors. If you know of a business or individual willing to make a contribution, we’re interested! We offer several different levels of sponsorship to choose from. CPWA is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation, and contributions are tax-deductible (consult your tax professional). For reference, your registration fees are not considered contributions, but are payment for services.
Forms for signing up sponsors are available from Board members and on our website in the Forms & Documents section.
A Word About Fundraising
Cleveland Pop Warner Association has made many great strides in the last few years. Among these, sending our first ever team to national competition at Disney World was one of our proudest moments. It was also a time of valuable lessons. We learned much about competing at the national level. We learned how grueling raising the necessary money in such a short period of time could be. And we learned about what happens when the administration and the parents are not on the same page when it comes to who pays what. What we hope to accomplish here is to set down exactly what is expected of everyone involved with teams and squads at the Junior Pee Wee level and older, and what will happen when a team advances in post-season events.
The Post-Season Play Fund has been established to offset the costs of post-season travel, making it less expensive for the families going. It is not intended to cover all the expenses.
Throughout the year, CPWA holds fundraisers, such as dances and the annual raffle. Per our policy, 50% of the profit from each of those fundraisers goes into the Post-Season Play Fund. Also, all football teams, cheer squads and dance teams in Junior Pee Wee, Pee Wee, Junior Midget, and Midget divisions are required to hold additional fundraisers to meet goals set by the Board of Directors. This money goes entirely to the Post-Season Play Fund.
As you can see, the money in the Post-Season Play Fund comes from sources throughout the organization. Any one of the teams in the divisions mentioned above could advance in any given year, and they would benefit from the combined efforts of the organization as they travel to represent us. Money not spent in a year is carried to the next year, allowing the fund to grow so that as more teams get the opportunity to travel, they are not restricted by a lack of funds.
Division of Financial Responsibility
The expenses for post-season travel will be divided as follows:
Parents of team members Post-Season Play Fund
Meals Rooms for participants & staff
Gas, if needed Bus/van rental for participants/staff
Spending money Event registration fee, if applicable
Rooms & transportation for those going
with the team who aren’t on it
The length of hotel stay and number of vehicles rented will be at the discretion of the Board of Directors. If the team wishes to stay longer or take more vehicles than the Association will pay for, the parents must pay the difference in expenses.
If the Post-Season Play Fund does not contain sufficient money to cover the listed items, parents will need to cover the expenses remaining once the Fund has been exhausted. Obviously, it is in the best interests of all to participate enthusiastically in fundraisers so that situation can be avoided.
With these policies now clearly set forth, let’s have a great season and some successful fundraisers!
Equipment Your Child Needs
Uniforms and safety equipment are provided for all football and cheer participants. Parents are responsible for providing the following items for their child.
Flag Football: extra mouth guards (CPWA provides the first one), cleats and shorts (your coach will let you know what color)
Tackle Football: extra mouth guards (CPWA provides the first one), cleats, support cup, and any arm pads wanted
Cheerleading: bloomers, socks, shoes, and poms
Dance Team: performance costume, props
All participants must wear proper attire to practice. No sandals, boots, slip-on shoes, jeans, cutoffs, or clothing with buttons, zippers or snaps. Cheerleaders must wear their hair up off their shoulders using only soft hair accessories. No metal or plastic hair accessories allowed. Absolutely no jewelry is permitted; please keep this in mind if considering getting ears pierced, as the earrings MUST be removed for practices and games. No nail polish is permitted for practice or games. These rules are put in place at the national level by Pop Warner Little Scholars and apply to ALL Pop Warner programs.
What to Expect - General ItemsYou will be contacted by your child’s coach before the start of practices. He/she will provide you with information regarding practice dates and times. Practice schedules are different before the start of school, but once school starts, practices are on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays for all teams except Flag teams. Flag teams practice Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Please be aware that there is restricted access to the practice and game fields. Only rostered personnel and certified volunteers are permitted inside the practice areas and inside the game field areas, and they must be wearing their Pop Warner ID badge at all times. If you see any adult without an ID badge in those areas, please point them out to CPWA staff.
Games are played on Saturdays, unless rescheduled due to weather. The League usually gives us the schedule a couple days before the first game, although the first game has traditionally been Labor Day weekend. Please plan accordingly.
Before the first regular-season game, there will be "jamborees" for flag and tackle football teams. The jamborees are usually held the weekend before the first regular-season game, and cheerleaders are required to accompany their teams to these events.
The Flag, Tiny Mite and Mitey Mite divisions usually conclude their season with an inter-league "bowl" game at the end of the season. Locations for these may vary from year to year. Cheerleaders are required to accompany their teams to these events.
Teams in the Junior Pee Wee division and older are eligible to compete in post-season competition based on their win/loss record. Post-season competition may include regional and national championships and/or invitational bowls, which can run through Thanksgiving or into December, if a team goes on to nationals. Cheerleaders are required to accompany their teams to these events.
Cheerleaders in Flag, Tiny Mite, and Mitey Mite divisions will participate in a “showcase” exhibition, usually held the third Sunday in September. This gives them competition-style experience without the pressure of being judged. Admission is charged for this event, and is usually about $5 per person. Children wearing their Pop Warner uniforms are admitted free of charge.
Cheerleaders in Junior Pee Wee division and older will participate in local competition, usually held the third Sunday in October. Admission is usually around $10 for this event. Squads that advance will participate in regional competition, which is held Thanksgiving weekend and may require travel on Thanksgiving Day. Squads that meet placement requirements at regionals will advance to national competition, which is held the first week of December in Orlando, Florida at Walt Disney World. See the section titled "A Word About Fundraising" above for more information about the division of financial responsibility for post-season travel.
Cleveland Pop Warner Association, Inc. occasionally utilizes press releases, newspaper photos, web site articles, and web site photos to highlight and recognize our participants, teams and squads.
No personal information such as home address or phone numbers will be provided to any outside entity by CPWA without your permission. If you do not wish us to use your child's image and/or name in this fashion, you must notify us in writing. Such notice may be turned in to the Commissioner, Assistant Commissioner, Football Director, Cheer Director, or webmaster.
Chain of Command
In order to keep things running smoothly, there is a Chain of Command in place within our organization.
If any parent or staff member has a question or a problem, the following steps will be followed to address the issue:
Speak to your Head Coach about it. If you ARE the Head Coach, see the Director and follow the Chain of Command from that point.
If your Head Coach cannot resolve the issue or answer the question, you may request that the Head Coach set up a meeting with the Football or Cheer Director.
If after meeting with the Director, the issue has not been resolved, you may request the Director to set up a meeting with the Commissioner for all people involved.
- If there has been no resolution, the Commissioner will take the issue to the Board of Directors. If the Board of Directors agrees, the Commissioner will take the issue to the proper authorities at the League level.
Any violation of the Chain of Command will carry a one (1) game suspension for the first offense, and a one (1) year suspension for any following offense. There will be no exceptions to this policy.
Adult Behavior Policy
This policy is included in the parental consent/waiver form, but is restated here for emphasis:
At any Pop Warner event, practice or competition, any adult who: 1) verbally abuses; 2) attempts to intimidate; 3) is flagrantly rude, or, 4) cannot control their language or actions with an official, coach, or Pop Warner volunteer will be asked to leave the Pop Warner event and may be suspended from all Pop Warner events, including practices, for a period to be determined by the Commissioner.
Any adult that commits a second similar offense will be banned from Pop Warner events for one year from the date of the second offense, and their child(ren) removed from Pop Warner for the same time period.
Any adult who physically assaults an official, coach or Pop Warner volunteer will be banned from Pop Warner and their child removed from the Pop Warner program for one year from the date of the offense. The child(ren) may not participate in another Pop Warner Association during the sanction period. After one year, the parent may apply for re-instatement of his or her child(ren). If the adult commits a second offense, he or she will be permanently banned from Pop Warner events and the child(ren) may be permanently removed from any and all Pop Warner programs.
The term physical assault includes, but is not limited to: hitting, slapping, pushing, spitting, kicking or striking in any way with any part of the body or any physical implement.