When I first saw this game on a Disney Channel show several years ago I laughed at how silly it looked. Today my reaction is more of an “I wonder….” since months of the COVID-19 pandemic has affected us and the sports world.
Is this Bubble Ball sport the safest pandemic sport?
Probably but don’t expect to see a pro league anytime soon. It’s mostly a recreational, team-building sport that most really don’t take serious although there are some serious leagues scattered around the world.
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. Now in the US it is overseen by its governing body, the BBA.
Players play in half-encased inside an inflated bubble which covers the player’s upper body and head. Just having a sport which covers the face gives it an advantage in safety precaution against COVID-19. This game is typically played in teams in large indoor spaces or outdoor fields and follows the same objectives and overall rules as regular soccer.
Watch a video of the sport here.
The Bubble Football World Cup was scheduled to take place in London in May 2018; however, I have not been able to find any reports on the results or if the event was ever held.
In the U.S., the only organized competition that pops up is the Bubbleball Business Association (BBA). It was established 2014, Bubbleball Inc. is a distributor of highest quality bubbleball equipment. The organization claims over 100,000 participants spanning dozens of communities, and the Bubbleball Business Association (BBA) made up dozens of businesses, distributors and educational partners, we support development of community bubbleball programs, businesses, events and tournaments domestically in the United States and internationally.
You can read more about the BBA here.
I’m not sure any forms of bubble ball is quite ready for the big leagues yet and will have a hard enough time to be taken seriously as a real sport but, as a thought, it does look like a sport that is pandemic safe.