A Minnesota company is in Middleton this weekend, trying to promote a new way for kids to play tackle football at the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association conference. They’re taking out the tackling, in an effort to make the sport safer.
"It’s a great way to play the game," said TackleBar CEO Tim Healy, to coaches on Thursday. "[We are] taking the hits, big high-impact collisions out [of the sport], but it’s still football."
The company came to fruition after a Minnesota couple tried brainstormed how to make youth football safer for their kids.
"We have four kids, and when our two oldest boys had played a couple years of flag football, they were really ready to move on to the next level of play," said TackleBar founder and Vice President Brigid Ling. "But just from what we were comfortable with, they were just too young to start playing tackle football."
Instead of just deciding to take their kids out of football, Ling and her husband, Jeremy, developed TackleBar football..
"What it does, is it teaches safe contact and sound fundamentals," said Ling. "So it teaches kids to wrap the ball carrier in the proper defensive fundamental way of tackling. Instead of taking the player to the ground, they tear the bar off their back and that’s what downs the ball carrier."
TacklebBar says more than 2000 kids in six states are using the TackleBar system. In Wisconsin, there’s a youth league in Mosinee, and some high school programs use it as a training tool.
Tim Healy joined the TackleBar team as its CEO after seeing the harness used while coaching youth football.
"We did this in high school and junior high because we saw that our [participation] numbers were going down so fast and so quickly," said Healy. "We had to try something and we increased our numbers by almost 40%."
You can see more information about TackleBar by clicking here.