Home / What is TackleBar Football?

TackleBar® is a limited contact football game that bridges the gap between flag football and tackle football. Players wear full pads and learn all of the traditional fundamentals of the game in a limited contact setting. This approach is providing players an authentic football experience that decreases injuries and increases participation in the sport. Since 2016, TackleBar has been used by youth football leagues as a game format, and by high school and college programs as a tool for teaching and simulating form tackling. TackleBar was a finalist in the NFL’s First and Future competition in 2019, and is endorsed by the Minnesota Vikings.

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

tacklebar on white background

tacklebar on white background

TackleBar Instructions

Endorsements and Testimonials

Michele Tafoya

I’ve always loved football. And now as a reporter whose job it is to cover professional football, I get to see the sport at the highest level. I’ve also learned about the dangers of the game. And as a Mom, those dangers concerned me. So when my son had the opportunity to play TackleBar Football at school, the entire family was thrilled. My son can put on the helmet and pads and play this game without the fear of serious collisions. One of his friends, whose Mom did not want him to play football, joined the team mid-way through the season after his mom learned how TackleBar is different. I am thrilled that my son can play the game he loves and learn its fundamentals in a safer environment. Last fall was fun, and my son informs me that this upcoming fall a lot more of his friends will be joining the team. Thank you, TackleBar!

Michele Tafoya — Winner of three Emmys for Sports Reporter

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