Anyone who has played football in a school playground has heard the words shouted ‘every man for himself’ and wondered what is coming next. Each school had different names for the lawless game that followed, but the basic idea is that there are no rules, and you can cheat as much as you like.
While capturing that ‘every man for himself’ aspect of football, this takes it to a whole new level by combining it with zorbing – rolling down a hill in a giant ball made of transparent plastic which covers your whole body. The football version however is called Bubble Football. Players don a bouncy bubble over their top bodies and heads and then clatter into each other as many times as possible in the crazy game that follows.
To put the bubble on, players hold their arms above their heads and slide into the middle of the structure, with straps securing them in around their shoulders. The bubble is not heavy, it just makes you about four times as wide. But the unusual thing is that players can only really see their feet – something you might think quite important when playing football – if they look straight down through the gap at the bottom of the bubble. That alone probably gives the clearest indication that this is football but not as we know it. The thing that probably takes most getting used to is what to do when you do – inevitably – fall. A player’s natural instinct is to throw their hands out but they are fixed in place by the straps around their shoulders so what actually happens is players bounce and often find themselves on their backside or the wrong way round. Then the only way back up is to wiggle onto their knees first.
It’s a level playing field – and it’s a great twist on football. It’s full of contact which is pretty fun and anyone can play. Due to the way players are strapped into the bubble, it is not so easy for them to turn their heads and spot someone charging at them from behind. It’s a really good laugh. It doesn’t hurt, you just bounce into people and have fun. Players might be getting knocked about more than the average, but their most likely injury would be burns on their knees from the way they have to pick themselves back up again.