TackleBar Being Offered in 21 States
12 Dec, 2018
So-Called 'Safer Version of Football' Expected to Help Kids Make Transition to Contact Sport
Youth athletes in 21 states will be playing TackleBar, being marketed as "a safer version of football," this season.
TackleBar provides a a transition game between flag football and tackle football. Players wear a helmet, shoulder pads and a harness around their waists with two foam bars that sit on the lower back. The design requires players to learn the proper tackling technique, making safe contact and wrapping up the ball carrier without the final step of driving a player to the ground.
TackleBar has earned the support of former NFL players, including former USC standout and current Van Nuys High School coach Mike Williams. He uses TackleBar for high school practices and will be coordinating a youth TackleBar league in Los Angeles during the winter offseason.
“I have a unique perspective on the game of football. I’ve played it at every level, but now I’m also a coach and a father,” Williams said. “I do think about injuries, and TackleBar is a great way to avoid unnecessary risk. Kids don’t need to be tackling too early, and high school kids don’t need to be beating each other up all week in practice. TackleBar is unique, because it provides an extra level of safety but still teaches good tackling form and technique, unlike flag or touch football.”
During the 2016 season, TackleBar debuted with 148 participants. This year, more than 7,000 kids in 21 states coast to coast will be playing.
“TackleBar was created by a mother and father who had concerns about their own kids playing tackle football at a young age,” said TackleBar CEO and former college and professional football player Tim Healy. “Our growth is a testament to the concern shared by other parents and coaches across the country. We’re giving them a safer option, and participation numbers have increased in every league that has adopted TackleBar.”
TackleBar has also been endorsed by the Minnesota Vikings, coaches at both the high school and college levels and a leading concussion expert.