There’s a new game in town: bubble soccer. Hilarious to play or watch, it’s good exercise, and it’s one of the safest sports there is. Played much like classic soccer, on the same field, it has one major difference that transforms it completely.
Of course, in North America over the last few decades, we have become increasingly familiar with the sport of soccer. Originally played in England in the 1800s, the sport quickly diverged into two distinct games – association football, and rugby football. Association football, as it evolved, came to be known simply as “football” in much of the world, and today is one of the most popular avocations on the planet, with over 250 million people playing it in over 200 countries. It has been an olympic event since the early 20th century, a paralympic event, and is played in schools, amateur leagues, and at the professional level in every major culture. Especially popular in Latin America, Europe, and Australia, the sport is notorious for its dedicated fans, the stylized play-by-play announcing (“GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLL!!!”) and, sometimes, vuvuzelas.
But the game was slower to catch on in North America, having gained a foothold as a youth sport in the 1970s, popular with parents because of the lack of expensive equipment, the great exercise potential, and the relative safety, particularly compared with sports like hockey. Of course, when it got here, “football” was faced with a problem – North America already has a sport called football, and if you’ve seen any of those guys, you know, you don’t want to tick them off. So, the alternative name, “soccer” was adopted, and has been used ever since. Derived from a British slang term for association, anyone who played association football was called a “soc-er,” and the term is still in wide use outside of North America. (If you prefer the term football, check out this article.)
But these days, soccer in America is huge. Partly because the kids who first played soccer in the 70s and 80s are now adults with kids of their own and money to buy tickets and merchandise, and also because many immigrants from Europe and Latin America have brought their fanaticism along with them, soccer is an immensely popular youth sport, played in schools and universities, and also big business as a professional sport, with games being televised on major networks in multiple languages. Still, in a culture raised on the high scores of basketball and the bruising action of the NFL, the game is still thought to be a little slow, and sometimes is dismissed as boring to watch, although fun to play. And while a relatively safe sport, it is still prone to knee, ankle, and face injuries.
And then bubble soccer arrived
Now, we have a game that is safe, entertaining to watch, and hilariously fun to play: bubble soccer (aka bubble football). What on God’s green Earth is bubble soccer, you ask? The most action-packed, entertaining, delightful to watch, safest version of soccer the world has ever seen! Take one part soccer, one part pillowfight, one part vaudeville slapstick comedy, mix well, and what you get looks a little bit like this:
So, clearly just a little bit different than the soccer we have come to know and appreciate. If by “a little bit different” you mean zany, unpredictable, whacky, hilarious, farcical, and, in fact, an entire thesaurus full of words that mean fun and/or adventure.
As with soccer, bubble soccer is played on a grass field or indoor gym of usual dimensions, with a referee, and two goals. Sometimes time is kept according to regulations, or games are often shortened by design, by exhaustion, or by the inability of people convulsed with laughter to run after a ball anymore.
Bubble soccer is just too fun
Clearly, this is a fun game to play. People who play soccer all the time find it a fun variation on a game they love, pushing them to develop new strategies for passing and scoring, and those who have never played soccer before relish a game that is a combination of bumper cars, pillow fighting, and sumo wrestling on a field with teams and a goal and a ball.
The game is especially popular as a company team-builder, and as an icebreaker at corporate retreats It gets everyone laughing, and vents tensions in a positive, enjoyable way.