With her children's ages spanning 22 years, LongTimeMother has 40 years experience in parenting - including home schooling and foster care.
For those who are tempted to wrap family members in cotton wool or bubble wrap before allowing them on the sports field, here's a perfect sport for you!
Bubble Soccer loosely follows the rules of traditional football where two teams compete to kick goals - without ever being allowed to touch the ball with their hands.
Bubble Soccer Suits in Team Colours
Bubble Soccer or Bubble Football?
The Difference Between Soccer and Football in a Bubble
In this context, Bubble Soccer and Bubble Football are one and the same.
In the UK and Europe, football is what Australians and Americans tend to call soccer. David Beckham plays it ... so whatever you call the game Beckham plays. put the word bubble before it and people will know what you mean!
The Role of the Referee/Umpire in Bubble Soccer
Any soccer umpire has to be fit. There's lots of running as the ball makes its way from one end of the soccer field to the other, but bubble soccer demands much more from the referee than the average football game.
As the only person on the field with free hands, the role of the ref includes retrieving the ball. When the ball is kicked off the field, the ref chases it and reintroduces it into play.
As bubble soccer becomes more widely known and attracts crowds of observers along the sidelines, there may be less leg work involved in ball retrieval but in its infancy when there's nobody around to stop the ball, bubble soccer is hard work for the referee.
Note: It helps to have two refs on the field during any game. In addition to retrieving the ball, sometimes players need a helping hand to get back up on their feet. :)
Bubble Football in the UK
Lee Moseley from Bracknell in Berkshire is credited as the brain behind the bubble - in the UK, at least. Apparently Lee worked as an asbestos surveyor but left his job to set up a bubble business.
His company makes sports bubbles available throughout the UK and he is currently setting up competitions and events throughout Britain.
Lee and his wife deserve every success. After being turned down by potential investors, they financed the new business themselves.
Their financial bubble shows no sign of popping!
Where Bubble Football Began
Bubble soccer - or bubble football - is currently played around the world including Australia, Austria, Denmark, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Britain and the USA.
Credit for the craze goes to a Norwegian television sports show clip that was featured on YouTube in 2011 and has attracted more than 3 million hits.
Bubble Soccer on a Full Size Football Field
Who Shouldn't Try Bubble Football?
- If you are overweight, there is a possibility you might get 'stuck' in the bubble.
- If you are unfit, be careful not to exhaust yourself.
- The ball is quite heavy so you will need strength and stamina.
- Those who suffer vertigo. Balls roll.
- Think twice before joining a team if you suffer from claustrophobia.
Bubble Soccer in the USA
The Chicago Bubble Soccer League was quick to tap into the fun and has proven extremely popular in the US. Other states including Florida have begun their own competitions.
I am told that American bubble soccer sticks quite closely to the traditional rules of soccer and has seven players on each team with two subs.
Like most countries, the US offers events for co-ed teams plus male-only competitions.
Entering the Bubble
The Real Rules of Soccer
- The Rules Of Soccer - The 17 Laws Of The Game
The rules of soccer come in the form of 17 laws from world governing body FIFA. These are useful if you ever decide to play soccer without a bubble. :)
How and Why to Adapt Soccer Rules to Bubble Play
For adults playing traditional soccer, the length of the playing field should be between 100 and 130 yards. FIFA rules also stipulate the width should be between 50 and 100 yards.
Each 'half' is expected to last 45 minutes without interruption ... and the half-time interval should not be longer than 15 minutes.
To be allowed to play traditional soccer, teams must consist of between seven and eleven players.
Now let's assess how the three basic rules outlined above apply to Bubble Soccer.
Spending 45 minutes trying to cover a playing field of such large dimensions will exhaust even the most fit player who dons a bubble to play. And 22 bubble-wearing players on one field trying to keep track of one small ball sounds like a recipe for disaster. You might as well remove the ball and just have a competition to drop as many of your opponents as possible. lol.
In theory, respecting the 17 Laws of Soccer sounds great. In reality, however, it is too big an expectation.
A smaller number of players on a smaller field for a shorter time makes better sense. More fun and less risk of physical discomfort and health issues.
A Different Kind of Goal
What is Bubble Football Really Like?
Okay, based on feedback from actual players, here's the good news ...
- You'll laugh yourself silly.
- It doesn't hurt when you hit the ground.
- Most of the time you can get back on your feet without help.
- It is extraordinarily fulfilling when you manage to kick the ball.
- By the end of a game, you know you've had a good workout.
- Being immersed within a plastic bubble is something you could never have dreamed about as a child - so it is absolutely novel and exciting.
- Did I mention that you'll laugh yourself silly?
Bubble Soccer Player Going Nowhere
Before deciding to get into that bubble ...
To be fair, I should also offer you the negative feedback.
- The bubble is hot.
- The bubble is smelly.
- It is tempting to wash the last player's sweat out with a hose before climbing in.
- Despite looking as light as a, well, bubble, it is heavier than one would expect.
- Claustrophobia is definitely an issue for some.
And then there's more laughing and the warning that you'll laugh yourself silly. :)
What a bubble hug looks like ...
Yes, the positives definitely outweigh the negatives, and the bright new look of bubbles makes the game even more interesting for spectators.
I could happily watch bubble soccer for hours. It's much more fun than watching cricket or tennis. lol. .
How do you feel about Bubble Soccer?
© 2014 LongTimeMother
Where can I buy these suits? 10 or more? on June 18, 2014:
Answer to mviessman@ gmail.com
geeserabbit on May 26, 2014:
In response to Peter's question, if you're from Canada, I am currently selling these suits and would love to help you get started on your league.
LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on May 15, 2014:
Thanks for the tip, Michael. That will be useful to readers in the US. :)
Michael Lansley on May 13, 2014:
In the US, www.nationalbubblesoccer.com
They sell all necessary equipment and anything else you may need to start a league such as liability insurance. They also refer players to your league, offer league support, and get your league ranked on Google
LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on April 23, 2014:
Hello Writer Fox and Peter. I can see I'll need to spend some time answering your questions.
Where on the planet do you live, Peter?
Peter on April 18, 2014:
How can I find out about running a league?
Writer Fox from the wadi near the little river on March 28, 2014:
I've never heart of this sport before but it looks like so much fun! Where do you buy the bubbles?
LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on January 16, 2014:
lol. I'd love to hear about it if you do have a try, teaches12345. The bubble suits they use here come further down than the bubbles in the video. Seems to offer a bit more protection for the knees.
As far as sports go, however, being wrapped in a big plastic bubble would have to offer some level of protection. I'd try it if I was a bit younger. :)
Dianna Mendez on January 15, 2014:
I am not good at sports in general, but this looks like fun for those who like challenges and perhaps it would be safe for me to at least try. Looks like the people in the video are really into the novelty. It's in a foreign language, but I could still understand the video flow.
LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on January 14, 2014:
Hello FA. It could feel like a very long time waiting for one of your team mates to spot you and bump you over. I'm not a fan of being suspended upside down and the bubble is too heavy at my age and stage in life. However I do love watching bubble sports. Sometimes a good laugh is just what the doctor ordered. :)
FlourishAnyway from USA on January 13, 2014:
This looks fun, although I'm sure I'd be like the fella in your photo who is stuck upside down with his feet in the air. I bet it reduces the risks normally associated with the game. The thought of coating myself in the previous player's sweat is nasty, so I'm glad you gave both pros and cons.