Eden Prairie Football Association Makes Switch to Safer Version of Football


EPFA is excited about this new offering in our youth football program! After much research and discussion about the best way to keep our young players safe and increase our participation numbers, we’ve decided to start playing TackleBar Football in our 3rd grade league this fall and evaluate adding to other grades in future seasons.


Our top priority is the safety of our players. We also love the game of football and want to make sure we are offering our kids a “real” football experience. TackleBar Football is a safer approach to the game that preserves the tradition and spirit of the sport. It teaches safe contact, sound fundamentals and is decreasing injuries. TackleBar has a history of increasing youth participation numbers by easing parent fears and making the game accessible and fun for kids of all ages and sizes.


Players will wear traditional football gear, including helmets, shoulder pads and a harness around their midsection that has two foam bars on the back. Defenders will track and engage the ball carrier, making contact like they’re going to tackle, then ripping a foam bar off the opponent’s harness. This approach teaches proper shoulder tackling technique while eliminating the big hits. Defenders will stay on their feet and will not bring the ball carrier to the ground, which is where many serious injuries occur. By teaching proper tackling technique, we will be providing an ideal transition between flag and tackle football.


More than 2,000 kids in 6 states have been playing TackleBar Football for the past two years, and there have been no head injuries. Every league that has embraced TackleBar has also seen a significant increase in the number of kids signing up to play.


TackleBar Football has been endorsed by the Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Football Coaches Association. This game has the support of many leaders in the football community across the country, and we are excited to join that group.


To learn more about TackleBar Football or to see the game in action, visit https://tacklebar.com/.  To register for the upcoming fall football season, visit http://edenprairiefootball.com/.