Soccer is one of the most popular games in the world. It is also one of the most lucrative sports across the globe, with players being bought and sold for millions of dollars. Football, as it’s known in the European world, is a billion-dollar sport. It is played on many different levels, and there are numerous variants of the sport as well. Futsal is played with five players per side and on a smaller turf. The full game is played between two teams of eleven players each.
There are ten outfield players and one goalkeeper. The aim is to put the ball into the other team’s net. Now, one of the best variants of the game is bubble soccer. In Europe, they call it bubble football. The Germans prefer to call it as loopy ball. As you can well imagine, this game has a pretty funny vibe to it.
In fact, bubble soccer wasn’t even intended to a game at all. It started off as a hilarious joke between two people, Johan Gold and Henrik Elvestad. These two gentlemen appeared on a comedy sports show called Golden Goal. The two made a video playing bubble soccer together and then posted it on YouTube. The video went viral in a few days, and the popularity of the sport spread across Europe like butter on hot toast!
The basic origins of the game lie in zorbing. Zorbing is a fun activity where a person sits inside a giant orb made of plastic, and then rolls down a hill. It’s stupid, it’s hilarious, and best of all, it’s going to crack your ribs with laughter. The same goes for bubble soccer. However, whereas the plastic orb in zorbing doesn’t have any space for your legs, the orb used for playing bubble soccer has a space through which you can take out your legs and move around freely.
Have you seen that movie called Bubble Boy that was released way back in 2001? It was about a kid who couldn’t be exposed to the air in the atmosphere, so he always had to stay in a bubble. Well, it could be said that that’s where the inspiration for the game of bubble soccer comes from. You see, Bubble Boy kept running around from one place to another in his bubble, bouncing up and down and crashing into things.
As clumsy as he was, that movie left the world with an amazing idea. And I guess, owing to the ingenuity of man, we decided that we should put on a bubble and try playing soccer that way. For those who aren’t aware, soccer is an incredibly physical sport. It’s not as physical as rugby or American football, but you do see a fair share of broken fibulas, torn hamstrings, damaged ankles, and a lot more. The injuries aren’t just confined to the legs either, as many players have had their heads bashed in, noses broken, and arms twisted.
So, what better way to play this game than to wear a plastic cocoon with your legs sticking out, and run about on a field to try and score a goal? If you want a hearty dose of laughter, you can just watch a bubble soccer match on YouTube. If not that, why not find a local bubble soccer arena and try your hand, or shall I say feet, at the game yourself?
If you are a fan of soccer and love playing with your friends, bubble soccer is right up your alley. It is not a competitive game by any means; the rules are fairly loose and quite simple, there are no major level leagues, and it’s all about having fun. Ideally, bubble soccer is best played with a group of friends. Funnily enough, there is also an actual U.S. Bubble Soccer Association that manages tournaments and offers advice about different ways to play the game. But do we really need an association to manage this game?
Now, I mentioned the movie Bubble Boy before. In the movie, the kid is able to use his hands through sleeves protruding from the bubble. But in soccer, there is no need for you to use your hands at all. As a result, players generally look like large, transparent balls running around on tiny feet. If you have ever seen a bubble soccer match, you know what I am talking about.
It’s hard to keep a straight face throughout a match of bubble soccer. In traditional soccer, there are fouls. If you tackle a player in the wrong way, the referee is going to call a foul and the other team will get a free kick. But in bubble soccer, there is no such thing like a foul! Because you are protected by a giant plastic ball, there is no way that your upper body can get impacted, unless, of course, you puncture the ball! Even the harshest of tackles in bubble soccer looks hilarious. Imagine a guy tumbling across the field just because he was tackled.
You can’t use your hands, which means it’s difficult to get up. That’s why half the time, you will see balls simply lying around the floor. Whoever came up with the idea of bubble ball was likely very high on pot, or just didn’t have anything better to do in life. Yes, there are some ridiculous games out there, but I have to say, this one takes the cake by a long margin.
Because you have to maintain your balance using only your leg muscles, those who are unfit often face a lot of trouble. The first few times you play the game, it is going to be quite difficult for you to retain balance on the field. For all intents and purposes, you are going to be treated as a plastic wrecking ball with legs protruding from underneath, something like an artificial Humpty Dumpty that isn’t so easy to break! However, if you want to spend a fun-filled afternoon with your friends, there are few better ways than to play a match of bubble soccer. Because of the ridiculous nature of the game, you are going to continue laughing for the entirety of the game.
Because of the ridiculous nature of the game, you are going to continue laughing for the entirety of the game.
Most places that offer the option of playing bubble soccer provide a proper code of conduct to follow, along with the basic rules of the game. Most places also have a referee to minimize alterations and to determine the outcome of contentious calls. Having a referee also ensures that nothing serious takes place on the field.
As always, sportsmanlike conduct is generally appreciated on the pitch. Most places that offer bubble soccer will also check the players before letting them on the field to put on the zorb ball. If there is anything sharp in your pockets, you will have to leave that outside the arena. There are certain other things which are not allowed as well. Trash-talking is a strict no-no when on the field. Bubble soccer is designed to be a light-hearted game that all players can enjoy. There is little to no competition, so there’s no point in using profanity. Of course, a few light-hearted insults are just fine, but when matters start getting out of hand and profanity becomes common, the referee is very likely to take matters into his own hands.
Moreover, most venues need to be booked beforehand. You must arrive with your team at least ten minutes before your scheduled game time. If your team fails to take to the court half an hour after the time of the match, the match will be considered forfeited and the other team will be handed the win.
While there is no limit to the number of players that can play on either side, it’s a wise idea to divide the players into equal teams. In an ideal match, there are five players on each side. This helps in preventing the court from getting overcrowded. However, if you are playing with a larger group of people, you can divide them evenly. If there are less than ten people at the venue, you can consult the referee to help you with the division process.
Because there is a good bit of running around involved, it is important that you wear durable athletic shoes when playing. There is no need to wear soccer cleats, however, as there is a lot of trampling involved, and you are only going to end up hurting yourself. Remember, this is bubble soccer, not actual soccer, and you are not Ronaldo, you are just a guy in a bubble trying to put a ball in the net for no other reason than to laugh about it later on.
You can view a short video to see what the game looks like at the following link:
All kinds of jewelry are prohibited on the field, and you should also consider wearing shorts or loose pants that do not affect your mobility. Try to put on comfortable clothing so that you don’t have to adjust yourself every few minutes. Doing so will only disrupt the flow of play and make it difficult for you to focus on the game itself.
Like a normal game of soccer, the match begins from the center of the field. There are free kicks and penalties, but you don’t have to worry about being called offsides. Also, there is no designated goalkeeper for any team. Since no player is allowed to use their hands, any player from the team can stop the goal if they want.
Now, virtually no sport is perfectly safe. Even if you are protected inside a bubble, the sheer impact of the collision is going to affect you inside the bubble. Like any other contact sport, there’s a slight risk of injury no matter how safely you play. For instance, there are certain kinds of injuries which can arise in virtually any sport. These include damaged knees and ankles, and other injuries. There is no difference in bubble soccer when considering such injuries. However, the frequency at which these injuries occur is much lower.
Why? Because the National Association of Bubble Soccer takes strict guidelines into account to ensure that the game is safe for all kinds of people to play. Injuries that can be concussive, like whiplash or concussions, are virtually non-existent in the field. That is because the players are strictly advised against using equipment that has plastic handles underneath, or anything else that could cause harm to a player.
The zorb ball or bubble suit itself is designed with safety as an important feature. There are straps that don’t become loose when you are playing. Previously, hard plastic handles were used. However, these handles greatly increased the risk of injuries such as orbital fractures and other injuries to the nose or mouth. As a result, rather than installing hard plastic handles, modern bubble suits feature handles made of woven fabric that is soft and doesn’t hit you hard upon impact. The following are a few other key safety guidelines that must be observed when playing the game:
Of course, these are just basic guidelines, and the referee is likely to add some additional rules that need to be followed in order to ensure that players remain safe on the field. It’s a tiring game, so it is ideal for people who have a bit of stamina. So, if you haven’t played this game before or you are running out of ideas for outdoor activities, give human bubble soccer game a try. It’s super fun!
Now you like the game and want to find the bubble soccer equipment to play? Check out our guide to buying a bubble ball: