BBA Bubbleball Rules

The official game of bubbleball as created by the BBA plays faster, with more agility and strategy from players. For other beginner games please visit our game rules page.

Version 3.2 updated October 6, 2019

Objective

  • First team to 4 quint points wins the match.

Length of Game

  • Five 8 minute periods. Each called a quint
  • Time stopped for time outs and injuries
  • Two 3 minute time outs available for each team per match

Players

  • Each team consists of 8 players. Can be reduced to 4 v 4 or 6 v 6 for smaller fields.
    • 4 ballers
    • 4 runners
  • Substitutions can be made on the fly any time or during stoppage of play (similar to ice hockey)

Field

  • The playing field is an outdoor field approximately 55 yards wide x 100 yards long (including two 10 yard star zones)
  • The field is marked by boundary lines
  • Two ends zones called star zones are marked by stars
  • Circles (“pockets”) on the field are safe zones for runners. Runners can not be hit while in pockets.
  • Area outside of pockets is called the Open Zone

Equipment

  • 4 bubbleballs per team + extras
  • 10 stars per team
  • 1 size 4 soccer ball + extras
  • 2 popup soccer goals
  • 4 sets of knee and elbow pads (optional, recommended on turf fields) per team
  • 4 flag football belts per team

Officials

  • 1 referees
  • 2 assistant referees

Game Rules

Setup / Kick Off

  • Before kick off, team captains exchange stars
  • Teams lay down the opposing team’s stars in their defending star zone
  • UPDATE: Stars must be at least 3 yards apart
  • Game ball placed at center field to begin with all players outside the center circle
  • On whistle, players run for game ball (“the rush”) and begin play

Scoring

  • UPDATE: 5 periods in a match (each period called “a quint”)
  • Score 3 points if a baller scores a goal in net (“shooting for the moon”)
  • UPDATE: Score 1 point if a runner places or smashes game ball on a star (“landing on the stars”). Game ball can not touch the ground before landing on a star
  • First four quints are worth 1 quint point
  • Fifth quint (“the comeback quint”) is worth 2 quint points
  • Team with most points in a quint gets 1 quint point. Tied score, each team awarded 1 quint point.
  • First team to 4 quint points wins the match.
  • UPDATE: If team wins four quints, game over. If tie after five quints, play tie breaking quint, followed by sudden death extra time

Game Play

  • In the center pocket & star zones runners can pick up the game ball to throw in any direction or use feet
  • In the end pockets runners can touch / volley / throw the ball with hands but not hold onto it
  • Outside pockets and star zones runners can only touch game ball with feet and may be tackled or hit
  • Inside center pocket only, runners can not be hit.
  • If runner possesses game ball and belt is pulled inside a pocket or star zone, turn over of ball.
  • Ballers must release ball within 3 seconds if they possess the game ball and hit the ground
  • Ball goes out of bounds. Receiving team player throw in.
  • There are no corner kicks
  • When point is scored, defending team must touch ball on star line then throw or kick
  • Teams switch sides and may reposition stars only after the 2nd and 4th quints

Fouls and Penalties

A referee may award a free kick against a player either with or without the ball. 5 individual fouls leads to ejection.

  • Illegal hit
    • Intentionally knocking down a player that is not in possession of game ball
    • Preventing a player from getting up
    • Knocking down a runner from behind
  • Illegal tackle
    • Tripping
    • Grabbing
    • Kicking
    • Spearing
    • Defensive runners can not pull belts of offensive runner in pockets. Pulls only allowed in star zone.
  • Illegal start
    • Defensive player does not start play from behind the base line
  • Illegal score
    • Runner can not score a goal
    • Baller can not score a star
  • Illegal position
    • Flying wedge
    • Goaltending / sitting by baller
    • Offside if player is ahead of all defensive players before ball is passed.
    • No offside in star zone if there is a defensive player in the zone, no matter position
  • Other
    • Delay of game
    • Player misconduct
    • Excessive holding of ball if knocked down

Terminology

BallerA player in a bubbleball
Ball’s upDescribes the moment the referee bounces the ball or tosses it up to restart the game
Base LineThe cross field line marking the beginning of the star zone
Burst (the)Players huddle closely and then move in strategic formation
Fast rollWhen a baller tucks legs inside the bubbleball and rolls
Flip throwWhen a baller performs a forward front roll to pick up a ball and uses momentum to overhand throw the ball with two hands
Foot passOccurs when a player passes to a teammate by kicking
Free kickA set play
MoonA goal shaped in the form of a crescent moon
Rover (used in league play only)A chosen player from a third non-playing league team that disrupts the game and challenges both playing teams by trying to steal the game ball to score his or her own points
RunnerPlayer that is not in a bubbleball
Money ballA uniquely colored sponsored bubbleball which could be used for extra points
PocketsDefensive Pocket (DP) and Offensive Pocket (OP) are end circles where runners can touch/volley the game ball with hand but not hold or throw. In Center Pocket (CP) runners may hold/throw the game ball
Quint1 of 5 periods in a game
Quint Essential Player, “The Quip”The most valuable player of the game
Rush (the)Players on opposite teams run towards the game ball. Typically to start a game.
Star zoneEnd zones of the field filled with stars
StarsMarkers on the field that runners try to score points on

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