Fifth and sixth graders at Luxemburg-Casco are experimenting with tacklebar football this season. The goal of the program is to help increase participation in the sport. Youth Football Coordinator Matt Piesler says that the size descrepancy at that age between boys can keep those on the smaller side from playing.
Tacklebar is a fusion of flag and tackle football designed to keep aggression in the game. Athletes wear a harness with two bars that detach when grabbed. Players have to complete a form tackle, leading with the shoulder, and wrapping up to dislodge the bar. Paisler notes the varsity roster at L-C High School has shed dozens of players over the past decade. The hope is tacklebar can stem the loss of young players of the sport and that translates to better participation rates at higher grades.