Limerick based company signs three year deal with USA Football

Friday 12th June 2015: USA Football, the national governing body of the sport, has announced a three-year partnership with Limerick-based company Shadowman Sports.

Friday 12th June 2015

USA Football, the national governing body of the sport, has announced a three-year partnership with Limerick-based company Shadowman Sports.

The Shadowman tackling system will be used at U.S. National Team events including Regional Development Camps, National Development Games and the International Bowl.

JP Hartigan’s business Shadowman Sports began from a 4th year Final Year Project while studying Product Design and Technology at the University of Limerick.

For his final year, he had to design and build a product to find out if it was commercially viable. The Limerick native and Garryowen player, created and manufactured a tackling system called Shadowman. It's an inflatable human-shaped dummy that fits into a ring, and is filled with water at the bottom to give it a low centre of gravity so it stays put when towed and detaches when tackled.

During his final year he decided to patent his product and the following year he joined the Limerick Enterprise Acceleration Programme. This gave him access to Enterprise Ireland Funding which allowed him to continue product and market development.

Shadowman Sports has designed the first, patented detachable mobile tackling systems that allow athletes to perform full-speed drills without player-to-player contact. USA Football’s National Practice Guidelines for Youth Tackle Football recommends no more than 30 minutes per day of full contact. By performing drills against Shadowman, coaches can create practice plans that optimize full-speed drills without full contact.

Hartigan said, “USA Football is responsible for creating the biggest national platform for youth education in Football and aligns with exactly what Shadowman is aiming to do, which is create a safer sports environment through preventive design. Together we will train players and educate coaches to play smarter, better and for longer.”

Shadowman Pro tackling systems are designed for ages 14 up to professional level, while Shadowman Junior tackling systems are designed for ages 6-14. Shadowman Pro and Junior provide more game-like reps than tackling bags or pads, designed with durable and specially selected Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) in order to withstand the rigors of any level of football practice. PVC provides high tear and tensile strength for Shadowman products with elastic properties that absorb energy on impact for better feedback during a tackle and also offers a longer product life.

“Shadowman enables coaches to dedicate more time to teaching proper tackling technique without player-to-player contact,” USA Football Senior Director of Football Development Nick Inzerello said. “Doing so can develop athletes to become fundamentally sound tacklers while advancing player safety.”

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