Bubble soccer is a new sport that arouses passions. It is just like the conventional football, but there are no faults. Firstly, there was the “heading” kind of table tennis played with heads, and now, there is the turn described as soccer in bubbles. The emergence of new types of sport is popular in many parts of the world and its practice is booming in some countries.
Strange as it may seem, you can play football well tucked inside a bubble with diameter of 1.50 meters. This sport is widely popular in Northern European countries that already have federated competitions. Its recognizable feature is also spread to other continents. In South Europe, this practice has just arrived and there are still very few people who are engaged in offering this sport as relaxing activity. However, this kind of sport is becoming more and more popular. Many new clubs offer practicing of bubble soccer nowadays. Especially, in North Europe. When we talk about South, we managed to visit the country where classical soccer is very popular. Of course, you can guess, it is Spain. Few clubs are arousing and representing new way of playing soccer. One of the clubs is called Almeria and Luis Sanchez is one of the players in this club. He is the founder of “Footbubble”, a company with just a couple of months of experience. The company is specialized for organizing meetings and practicing of this activity.
Luis explains this sport “like conventional soccer but with the characteristic of going inside a bubble that prevents players to harm themselves”. This bubble is one meter large in diameter and is made of secure material. The feet are exposed to hitting the ball and the area above the head has an opening. This is a cylinder between the person and the bubble through which flows the air. In addition, the feeling can impress even overwhelming at first, but the adaptation is very fast and the player can breathe without difficulty.
You can play both lawn tennis and soccer. The ball is the same as in a soccer game. Unlike traditional soccer, bubble soccer allows you to do whatever you want. There are no faults, so that the objective, besides scoring the goal, will be to avoid impacts with other players. The more you collide, the more time you will be bouncing or spinning on the floor.
The bubble absorbs shock, so the damage is minimal. This peculiarity is so special about this sport, which is becoming known in Spain and many other countries. “Soccer in bubbles provides you safe exercising as you will have fun without getting hurt”, says Luis Sanchez, who adds that “people will come curious to see what this sport looks like and to check whether they can play it”.
This is the case of David Ruiz, who was unaware of football in bubbles and considered the activity completely exhausting but he was more than satisfied by the experience. “At first, it is hard to breathe, but you adapt quickly. It is a fun discovery, especially for gatherings of friends. It is totally different from everything you know. There is a mix of sports like soccer and rugby and it is quite entertaining,” says this participant. It is too early to know if someday will be federation and national competitions in Spain, as they have them in other countries, but what is certain is that the first steps of this activity lead fun flag.
The sport is not popular only in Europe. On the other side of the planet, people are also having fun. Sheathed in a plastic globe that covers the entire upper body, players bump, roll, and are thrown in a game of this circus sport in the capital of Thailand. The game rules are very similar to those in soccer where both teams expect to score and to protect their goals. On Sunday, sixteen teams of Thais and foreigners gathered at the “Arena sports” complex in Bangkok to practice this curious sport in front of many people who came to enjoy the interesting game.
This is the first game of this sport in the country, a mix of “beautiful game” and Japanese TV contest where the bubble can be used to attack opponents and move around the court. British, Belgian, Thai, Japanese, and American fans are awaiting their turn to play while discussing the potential winner of the current bubble soccer game.
“They are more rugby players than soccer players, in my opinion. It is a strategic advantage that has allowed us to win the first two games”, Richard Jackson told to newspaper journalist. According to him, a good tackle is better than a nifty dribble. While hostesses offered free drinks and ice cream, attendees witnessed a competition where the technique played a secondary role. “If you can play in Thailand, you can play anywhere,” said Jackson, while high temperatures and humidity caused the sweat from his forehead, especially because of those plastic bubbles.
Some participants had practiced contact sports before, which accentuated the differences in competing with less experienced players and mixed teams. “It seemed like a great idea, soccer tackles, and a crazy kit, so I thought – why not?” said one excited player from Ivory Coast, who was euphoric after the game in which he had discharged a good deal of adrenaline. Although collisions were spectacular, tournament organizers insisted that “this sport is very safe” because “it is not a contact sport, it is a collision sport,” they explained.
Chelsea Hedrick, girlfriend of one of the players said after watching his partner fired out a couple of meters after launch the game: “I like to see my boyfriend while playing soccer without worrying about hurting.”
“The bubble soccer is practiced in Europe and the United States, where more than 17 established leagues are founded,” said Bradley Martin, one of the event organizers. Martin acknowledged that the reaction of the Thai exceeded expectations. “Thailand loves soccer and group activities, so we knew it would work well,” Martin told us. The organizer said that there are other possibilities for such sports as “sumo bubble” or “bubble race”. They will continue to explore new potentials in the future.
In Thailand, the first league of the sport started at the beginning of September. We expect more countries to join this spectacular game.