Some common rules that differentiate youth football leagues from high school football and beyond are age and weight limits, GPA standards, shorter games, and tighter practice and concussion protocols. Due to the range of ages and diversity of youth football leagues around the country, it is impossible to compile a single overarching rule book, but there are a few consistencies. For example, both Pop Warner and American Youth Football employ a weight limit for each age group.
Pop Warner also enforces a GPA standard of 2.0/70 percent for all kids participating, including a report card verification for those teams participating in the regional tournaments and beyond. Safety measures are also a critical part of youth football. American Youth Football has restrictions on weekly practice time, with 10 hours per week the limit for pre-season conditioning, and 8 hours per week during the season. Every practice must slot at least 10 minutes every hour for water breaks.
Pop Warner requires all kids to wear full pads during live contact, including knee and tail pads, which are optional for any football at the high school level or above. Both leagues play games with 10-minute quarters, as opposed to the standard 12 or 15 minutes employed by older leagues.