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TackleBar Football

Frequently Asked Questions

TackleBar football game

Q: What is TackleBar Football?

A: TackleBar Football is a safer approach to the game that preserves the tradition and spirit of the sport. Players wear traditional football equipment, plus a TackleBar harness that holds two foam bars across the lower back. The defender must track and engage with proper form tackling technique while wrapping the ball carrier and ripping a bar from the harness. With this approach, players stay on their feet rather than taking the ball carrier to the ground. The application of Tacklebar now should pay off in the future by keeping more kids it the game and serving as a building block to proper technique of shoulder-led tackling at the higher grade levels.


Q: Are other grades in RYFA doing TackleBar Football?

A: No. Just the RYFA 2nd/3rd Grade League.


Q: How do you play TackleBar Football?

A: Defense:

Downing the Ball Carrier:

  • No tackling or throwing players to the ground.
  • No helmet initiated contact.

Defenders should track and engage with proper form tackling technique while wrapping the ball carrier and ripping a bar from the harness.

It is not a penalty if the ball carrier inadvertently goes to the ground during this action. However, contact that deliberately takes the ball carrier to the ground with force may be penalized.


  • No helmet-initiated contact.
  • If a TackleBar or a harness falls off, the ball carrier is down at the spot.

Game Note:

  • Excessive contact penalties (personal foul) can be called for failure to control contact and comply with these safe contact rules.


Q: Will all the players on the field be wearing a TackleBar harness?

A: Yes. All players will wear a TackleBar harness in the event of a fumble or interception. Position eligibility rules will still apply as tackle football, meaning linemen are not eligible receivers.


Q: Is there still blocking in TackleBar football?

A: Yes. Blocking and blocking rules will be the same as tackle football. For both safety and technique, RYFA promotes the HeadsUp Blocking, which, like TackleBar, is meant to remove head head collisions from the game. See video about HeadsUp Blocking >


Q: Are there other rule changes for 2nd/3rd grade with the inception of TackleBar football?

A. For the most part, no. Outside of the rules for removing the taking of a player to the ground on a tackle, TackleBar football will have the same core rules as tackle football. RYFA will be providing a full list of rules prior to the season to be clear and transparent for the parents, coaches, players and referees. 


Q: Do I have to pay for my athlete’s TackleBar harness?

A: No. For the 2019 season, RYFA will make arrangements for all 2nd/3rd grade players to use a TackleBar Harness at no cost to the parents/players. 


Q: Are there plans to apply TackleBar football to other grade levels?

A: At this time, no. We are excited to see the results and get parent feedback after the 2019 season before making decisions on applying TackleBar to grades 4th and up in the future.