The inflatable spheres used for bubble footballs are around 1.5 metre in diameter and cover you from your head to your knees. The top is open so you can breathe and there is a harness and a pair of hand holds inside the ball. Now take note of this little detail because it means that once inside, you won’t be able to splay your arms out for balance like you instinctively do when you play – hence the number of spectacular falls!
If you have the taste of being inside a sphere we also have our zorbing experience which like zorb football you’re inside a bubble, just a slightly larger one.
As for the rules of bubble football, they are pretty much the same a standard game. The main difference is there are no fouls to really speak of, so you can bump, slam, roll, bounce and flip all over the playing field. The only thing that’s not allowed is bumping into a player whilst their back is turned. And also, the astute amongst you will soon realise there’s no goalkeeper because there’s no point – you can’t use your hands, remember!
So when the referee blows the starting whistle, get ready to quite literally rumble, tumble and roll, as you dash around trying to bump your opponents on the other team to get possession, dribbling the ball (not easy when you can’t really see your feet) and firing shots on target. You’re sure to take some serious spills on the way and whilst they don’t hurt, you will find getting yourself upright and back on your feet is harder than it looks.
Also known as bumpball or even loopyball, the origins of bubble football are rather sketchy – after all, we’re not even sure who’d actually admit to having the idea of sticking an orb over their heads and then trying to run around on a soccer pitch? Some sources say it is a Norwegian duo who invented it, others claim it was first played in Germany as a way of avoiding injuries. Whoever can stake their claim, it really is taking off, with bubble leagues popping up all over the country – so come on footballers, what are you waiting for?