USA Football, TackleBar® Team Up to Advance the Football Development Model | Athletic Business

USA Football, TackleBar® Team Up to Advance the Football Development Model

INDIANAPOLIS – USA Football has partnered with TackleBar® to provide a preferred player development tool for managing contact. As the preferred limited-contact training tool, USA Football will integrate TackleBar into its Football Development Model. 

The Football Development Model is a roadmap for how the game is coached, played and learned at every level. TackleBar equipment is highly compatible with USA Football’s emphasis on instilling sound fundamentals, reducing contact, developing better players and providing multiple entry points and game options within America’s favorite sport. 

“USA Football is excited to introduce our Football Development Model for youth football players and families,” said USA Football CEO & Executive Director SCOTT HALLENBECK. “TackleBar equipment is a terrific fit for the FDM, which is designed to advance the game through an expanded education and safety framework that focuses on an athlete's age, skill development, and game type to reduce contact.” 

While using the TackleBar tool, players wear traditional football equipment plus a TackleBar harness around their midsection that holds two removable foam bars on the lower back. The design teaches and requires players to use the proper shoulder tackling technique while wrapping up the ball carrier and pulling off a foam bar from the harness to end the play. With this approach, players learn to refine their technique without tackling a player to the ground. It’s a true simulation of live tackling without putting players through the wear and tear of full contact. 

TackleBar is embraced by coaches, leagues and parents who want to teach the fundamentals of traditional football while limiting contact.  Teams and leagues in 27 states and three foreign countries currently use TackleBar. High school and college football players use the TackleBar harness in practice to refine technique and practice game-speed tackling drills while staying on their feet. USA Football now incorporates the TackleBar harness within its shoulder tackling and advanced tackling teachings.

“Being embraced by USA Football as one of the preferred player development tools under the Football Development Model is critical for us,” said TackleBar CEO TIM HEALY. “From the beginning, our priority has been to preserve the great game of football by offering a safer, yet fundamentally sound way for kids to play. Since 2016, we’ve seen TackleBar bring more kids to the game, and we’re excited to partner with an organization that has our shared vision for strengthening the future of the sport.”

USA Football and TackleBar will educate coaches on how to integrate the TackleBar tool into their organizations at the USA Football 2020 National Conference in Louisville, Ky., and at USA Football events throughout the year. 

About USA FootballUSA Football designs and delivers premier educational, developmental and competitive programs to advance, unify and grow the sport. As the sport’s national governing body, member of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee and organizer of the U.S. National Team for international competition, USA Football partners with leaders in medicine, child advocacy and athletics to support positive football experiences for youth, high school and other amateur players.


About TackleBar:  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. Learn more at:

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