For those new to bubble soccer (also known as Bumper Balls, Knockerball, and Battle Balls), you’re playing soccer with big inflatable difference. Teams battle for the ball, they pass, they score with a single difference: it happens inside a big plastic bubble ball.
Players bubble about with all but their legs tucked inside giant, inflated orbs which act as buffers for bumps and hits, and effectively level the playing field for everyone. This is about fun, not finesse, and most certainly not about fancy footwork because when bubble-to-bubble contact sends opponents flying you may realize that ‘sizing up the competition’ carries some serious weight.
If there’s one thing that is true: everyone is a novice at this.
A little bit about what to expect
When you get inside the bubbles you slip your arms through shoulder straps and the bubbles basically hang off your back like a backpack. There are handles for you to hold onto in the front allowing you to push and grab to center yourself.
You should expect to have a fun time! Expect to fall down and have to get back up… a lot! You’ll have a soft landing, but standing back up with a 20 lb giant inflatable on your back isn’t easy. Expect to get tired from carrying around a 20 lb weight vest, which is why we only play 5 minute rounds or games. Expect to do a lot of bumping and a little bit of running.
Don’t be shy! Get in there and go for the ball. It’s always recommended that you keep your eyes on the other players as well as you may think you have an easy shot on the ball and someone will come and knock you off your feet.
If you do get hit, always try to go with the bubble and land on the bubble. Remember your knees aren’t inside the bubble, so if someone hits you and you drop to your knees to stop the fall, you might bruise your knees.
GET UP! That’s the best strategy as beginners often spend more time on the ground then running around and playing. Getting up is hard, but if you don’t get up, you can’t get back in the game. The easiest way to get up is to roll onto your stomach, take a knee and the lift the bubble up from one knee, then stand.
You probably want to know bubble soccer’s start? It’s tough to say, but most likely in Norway, where the television series ‘Golden Goal’ publicized the sport (boblefotball) in 2011. Three years later, ‘The Tonight Show’ host Jimmy Fallon brought it stateside and inspired the inaugural U.S. league in Chicago. And now, after touring countless fields and facilities in cities across the country, the fledgling sport has finally landed in Los Angeles.
Bubble soccer is the perfect sport for protective parents, it’s as if they dreamed up a way to encapsulate everyone in protective cushions of air and let them play. The only part that might surprise you is that they were totally right and it’s doesn’t matter because it’s the most fun you’ve ever had inside a bubble!