Bubble football, BubbleBall, Bubble Soccer, or Airball Soccer  is the recreation/sport of playing football while half-encased inside an inflated torus bubble, similar to a zorb, which covers the player’s upper body and head. This game is typically played in teams in large indoor spaces or outdoor fields. Bubble football follows the same objectives and overall rules as regular football (i.e., teams compete to hit a ball into the opposing team's goal) with the added condition that each player must wear an inflatable bubble, similar to a water ball, around their upper torso. The sport's popularity is still increasing, with players originating from all over the world. Bubble soccer is often played at corporate team building days, stag parties, bachelor parties, and birthday parties. There are also many variations of bubble football, such as bubble bowling or bubble sumo. Some companies exist such as AirballingLA , Wonderfly Games and BBA which help to organize bubble football events and rent out playing fields.
Bubble football was first created in Norway by Henrik Elvestad and Johan Golden in 2011, when it made an appearance on their TV show, Golden Goal. The game was spread in the UK by Lee Moseley who self-financed. By 2014, the sport had reached New Zealand and the United States, where it is overseen by its governing body, the BBA.
Shark Tank appearance
On November 20, 2015, bubble football appeared on the American TV show Shark Tank. John Anthony Radosta, league commissioner of the National Association of Bubble Soccer (based in the United States), appeared on the show in an attempt to secure a deal with the show's panel of investors. While ultimately unsuccessful in his pitch, the appearance generated subsequent press coverage.
When playing bubble football there are a number of alternative scenarios which can be played:
- Bubble bowling: A group of pins stands at one end of the pitch while another player tries to run and dive at the group in an attempt to knock as many pins over as possible.
- Bubble sumo: Two players try to push each other out of bounds, which is a circle drawn on the ground.
- Bulldog: One player (the starting bulldog) tries to knock down as many players as possible, stopping them from getting from one end of the pitch to the other. Whoever gets knocked down then also becomes a bulldog.
Bubble Football international cup
In May 2018, the first ever World Cup will take place in Shoreditch, London, with the finals taking place at Wembley. Nations who will be attending the world cup include Finland, Brazil, Portugal, and Spain. A tournament is being run to find the team that will represent England.
- Media related to Bubble football at Wikimedia Commons
- Five-a-side football
- Bubbleball in the United States
- "Get in the Bubble If You Want to Live: Bubble Soccer's Improbable Rise | VICE Sports". VICE Sports. Retrieved October 28, 2015.
- "BubbleBall | Bubble Soccer Party & Event Rentals | Wonderfly Games". wonderflygames.com. Retrieved 2018-10-23.
- "Bubble Soccer Party | Bubble Balls Rental". airballingla.com. Retrieved 2018-09-12.
- John Anthony (March 5, 2015). "What Is the Origin of Bubble Soccer?". Huffington Post. Archived from the original on March 30, 2015. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
In April of 2014, a video from a Bubble Football operator in Algund, Italy set the internet on fire. Google traffic volume shows a huge spike in the sport from barely any searches to literally millions of searches throughout the world in about a weeks time, all because of one video posted on YouTube (below). Bubble soccer had exploded and the world wanted more of it.
- Carl Lukat (August 5, 2015). "Bubble soccer bursts onto the scene". Loudoun Times-Mirror. Archived from the original on August 31, 2015. Retrieved August 30, 2015.
The sport originated four years ago in Norway. Bubble soccer surfaced in the United States in 2013 and has grown in notoriety since - currently played in 37 states.
- Stephen di Benedetto (August 30, 2015). "Flopperball brings a dose of football, soccer to McHenry County (with video)". Crystal Lake: Northwest Herald. Archived from the original on August 31, 2015.
Originating in Norway in 2011, bubble soccer and football leagues have begun in more than 35 cities across the country, including Milwaukee, Boston and New York, according to the National Association of Bubble Soccer. The game combines the contact of football with the finesse of soccer.
- Amanda Jess (April 1, 2015). "Sports with a soft landing". New Glasgow News. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved August 30, 2015.
The ball was secondary, an arbitrary piece of equipment really only there so it could be classified as a game, rather than a full-out attempt to knock your opponent off his or her feet.
- Taylor Temby (August 1, 2014). "Playing soccer in a bubble? Count us in". KUSA (TV). Archived from the original on April 14, 2016. Retrieved August 30, 2015.
Bump soccer requires players to wear an inflatable "bubble" tube while they run around the pitch trying to score. The "bump suits" make it easy to plow over your friends and bounce around on the field.
- Γράψτε το σχόλιο σας (September 30, 2014). "Ποδόσφαιρο – Φούσκα: Το πιο γελοίο νέο άθλημα (βίντεο)" [Football - Bubble: The most ridiculous new sport (video)] (in Greek). Αίθουσα Σύνταξης. Archived from the original on September 30, 2014. Retrieved August 30, 2015.
Ονομάζεται Bubble soccer, δηλαδή «φουσκοχτυπημένο ποδόσφαιρο» ή σε ελεύθερη μετάφραση ποδόσφαιρο… φούσκα.
- "Embarquez pour une partie de foot bubble bump [vidéo]" [Embark on a game of football bubble bump [Video]] (in French). Charente Libre. December 28, 2014. Archived from the original on July 3, 2015. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
Venue de Norvège, cette version gonflée du football à cinq fait monter la température sur les terrains de foot en salle. Reportage sur la pelouse synthétique du Soccer 5 de Pessac, dans l’agglomération bordelaise.
- ""L'été sera show" fait étape au Flamingo" ["Summer will show" made stops at the Flamingo] (in French). Midi Libre. August 12, 2015. Archived from the original on August 31, 2015.
Les visiteurs pouvaient également se tester au bubble bump (football où les joueurs sont chacun dans une bulle d'air).
- "Watch Out, St. Louis -- Bubble Soccer Is Coming to Town". Riverfront Times. Retrieved October 28, 2015.
- "Premier Host of Archery Tag, Bubble Soccer, and Nerf Gun Party | Bubble Soccer, Archery Tag, Nerf Gun Party, Hamster Ball Rental". airballingla.com. Retrieved 2018-09-12.
- "Wonderfly Games | BubbleBall, Arrow Tag, and Hamster Balls". October 1, 2017.
- "Equipment for Bubbleball and Bubble Soccer | BBA Bubbleball". Bubbleball Business Association. Retrieved 2018-10-23.
- "Where To Play Bubble Football In London". Londonist.com. July 31, 2014. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
- "Bubble Soccer is the Safest (Kind Of?), Most Brutal Sport You'll Ever See". Playboy. Retrieved October 28, 2015.
- "The Brief History of Bubble Football". Bubble-soccer.us. September 16, 2014. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
- "New sport "Bubble Soccer" bursts onto the scene". Yahoo News. Retrieved October 28, 2015.
- "What is the story behind the sport of Bubble Soccer?". Sporting News. Retrieved October 28, 2015.
- "Bubble soccer comes to Riverfest". kansas. Retrieved October 28, 2015.
- "Bubble Football taking the nation by storm". prnewswire.co.uk. March 16, 2015. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
- "Bubble Football World Cup is set to make debut in London as organizers issue a call for England players". Retrieved May 30, 2017.
- "The Official Bubble Football World Cup 2018, by TheStagCompany". The Official Bubble Football Worldcup. Retrieved May 30, 2017.
- Company, The Stag. "The Official Bubble Football World Cup". The Stag Company. Retrieved May 30, 2017.