A new sport for BYU-Idaho’s intramural department this semester is Bubble Soccer. Bubble Soccer is like soccer, but with more contact and aggression mixed in, said Nick Ames, BYU-I recreational sports program director and a senior studying recreation management.
Bubble Soccer is played with inflatable bubble suits that allow people to smash and bump into one another.
Ames said the purpose of running into the opposing player is to gain advantage of the ball. The bubble suit is wide and goes from the hip to over the head, which restricts a lot of movement for the players.
The person’s legs and part of the arms are exposed for running and to throw the ball. Bumping into opposing players makes it very difficult for the participants to dribble or control the soccer ball, according to the NY Daily News.
Ames said the idea of Bubble Soccer at BYU-I came after he and the recreation department watched a sport called “Battle Ball,” which is played at The Zone training complex and event center in Rexburg.
The department discussed the idea with Ryan Hansen, the head of the recreation department, who approved the sport.
Ames said the recreational department believes the sport will attract a lot of attention and appeal to students.
The department’s hope is that Bubble Soccer will get more students to sign up for intramural sports and give students the opportunity to try something new.
Colin Selin, a junior studying criminal justice, said he has experience playing Bubble Soccer. Selin said that he enjoys running around in big inflatable balls and kicking a soccer ball.
“You can get your aggression out without getting into trouble for hitting others,” Selin said.
Bubble Soccer is a game that consists of 7 players per team, with games being played in 10 minute halves with a running clock. There cannot be blind side hits or any shots from behind.
Ames said because of all the contact within the sport, games are played at the football stadium.
“The sport is relatively safe,” Ames said.
Selin said awareness is key as players are often blindsided and knocked off their feet by opposing players.
Bubble Soccer originated in the United Kingdom with Lee Moseley, a man who quit his job to start his own company and put together tournaments throughout the United Kingdom, according to the NY Daily News.
After being rejected by several potential investors, Mosley and his wife ended up financing the sport themselves, according to NY Daily News.
“We have had overwhelming response to the game and everybody who has taken part has really enjoyed themselves,” Moseley said, according to NY Daily News.
Registration is open until May 5, according to the Bubble Soccer page on the IM Leagues web page.
There are options to sign up for the intermediate league or the beginner league. Each league consists of six teams a piece, with teams playing on Wednesdays and Thursdays, starting at 6:15 p.m. on both nights.
For more information, visit imleagues.com or the Student Activities Office located in the Hyrum Manwaring Center located across from the