Wis. program replaces full-contact football with TackleBar system

Published: Aug. 22, 2018 at 10:06 PM CDT
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A Wisconsin youth football program for fifth and sixth graders is eliminating full contact and replacing it with something called the TackleBar system.

It's a harness players wear with two foam bars on their back. One of the bars has to be removed for a tackle. Sort of like flag football, only teaching proper, heads-up tackling techniques. In an era where fewer kids are playing football, more parents are letting their kids in the league.

"We don't care about the scores in the game, we don't care about the records. What we want the kids who are playing this to continue playing and help our high school football program be successful," said Dan Wick, director of the Onalaska Park and Recreation Department.

The Onalaska program is urging other youth programs to adopt the TackleBar system.