Home / About TackleBar Football?

TackleBar Football is a safer approach to the game that preserves the tradition and spirit of the sport. Players wear traditional football equipment, plus a TackleBar harness that holds two foam bars across the lower back. The defender must track and engage with proper form tackling technique while wrapping the ball carrier and ripping a bar from the harness. With this approach, players stay on their feet rather than taking the ball carrier to the ground.

Why TackleBar Football?

Decreases injuries by reducing hits and high impact collisions
Teaches proper shoulder tackling technique
Ideal transition between flag football and tackle football
Increases participation

With current medical research recommending children wait until the age of 12 to begin playing tackle football*, TackleBar Football is an ideal transition between flag football and tackle football. TackleBar Football works to eliminate the big hits and the high impact collisions. TackleBar Football is increasing youth participation numbers by easing parent fears and making the game accessible and fun for kids of all ages and sizes.
* Boston University, September 2017

tacklebar on white background

tacklebar on white background

TackleBar Instructions

Endorsements and Testimonials

John Gagliardi

Concerned about player safety, I stopped tackling in practices at St. John’s in 1971. TackleBar Football addresses these same safety concerns, while still ensuring that players learn the proper fundamentals. TackleBar Football is a safer option for our young players.

John Gagliardi — Former Head Coach at St. John’s University. 489 career wins-NCAA Record

Glen Mason

TackleBar Football seems to be a very good alternative to teach the fundamentals of football, while minimizing / eliminating injuries to players. I see this form of the game a better fit for young players; I do not see the need of starting tackle at such a young age.

Glen Mason — Big 10 Network Analyst - Former Head Football Coach: Kent State, University of Kansas, University of Minnesota

Brooks Bollinger

My sons play TackleBar Football. I believe it is a great option to build the foundation and fundamentals needed to play in high school and beyond. Every player matures differently, and TackleBar provides more opportunity to keep kids playing this great game.

Brooks Bollinger — Former NFL Quarterback and current varsity head football coach.

Zach Zenner

TackleBar is for making football safer for young kids, while still keeping much of the physicality of the game intact. Its also useful for coaches trying to teach proper tackling technique and reduces impacts to head, a vital aspect to the future of the game.

Zach Zenner — Former Detroit Lion. Zach was also a 3-time All American at South Dakota State University, and does medical research on a rare childhood disease.

Jon Martin

Our conference schools were at a crossroads with declining numbers in our middle school football programs. We considered going to a modified game using helmets, should pads and flags. Through the process we were introduced to the TackleBar and we decided to give it a try. TackleBar Football made the game feel like real football without the tackling. It is an awesome tool to progress into tackle football at the high school level.

Jon Martin — Head Coach, Breck School

EJ Henderson

TackleBar Football encourages more youth to play by taking out the big hits and tackling. We need to be open to new options for our younger players to keep them engaged.

EJ Henderson — 9-year veteran Minnesota Vikings, currently Youth Football Manager for the Minnesota Vikings


Saint Agnes has a great story to tell! We now have 54 players in our high school program (no co-op). We have another 22 in our 7th and 8th grade TackleBar program and 26 in our 5th and 6th grade Tackle Bar program (48 total in 5-8). We normally had 27-30 high school players and about 18 in the TackleBar program in grades 5-8.

Since being a founding member of TackleBar, we have seen our numbers grow every year despite others telling me it would never work around here. We are proof that this program works and are now feeling the benefits of it in our high school program.

Mike Streitz — Athletic Director, St. Agnes School, St. Paul, MN


We have previously used flags, and with TackleBar, I heard kids saying, “These are awesome- much better than flag,” and "I love these, I’m glad I came out for football now!” My old coach, who just marked his 50th year on the high school coaching staff, said “These are a great thing for football as boys transition to high school.” He’s a state championship coach and has a grandson that I coach.

The response this season was awesome. It was everything I hoped for and more. Thanks TackleBar!

Bryon Owens — LeRoy Youth Football, Illinois

TackleBar Football Announces Official Partnership with the Minnesota Vikings. Read more...
The Minnesota Football Coaches Association has partnered with TackleBar Football. Read more...

“TackleBar Football increased junior high football participation in our conference by 38% in one season!”
— Coach, IMAC Conference

“Parents were very pleased, kids had a blast, no one got hurt.”
— Mom, Providence Academy

“We’re teaching all the same fundamentals of football in TackleBar that we do in tackle.”
— Coach, Nativity-Groveland Football

“I especially like it because my parents wouldn’t let me do tackle.”
— 7th grader, Breck School

“TackleBar Football is real football. Loved it.”
— Dad, Nativity-Groveland Football

“The game gives undersized players a shot to play and learn without being overpowered and discouraged because of their size.”
— Coach, Minnehaha Academy

“Moms want their football sons to learn the right skills and be safe. TackleBar Football does this. I am more confident about his ability to play high school football safely.”
— Mom, Providence Academy