Fitness & Health

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Hilarious new take on soccer slowly floats into Ottawa

Photo credit:John Loo, CC

Kicking, flipping, and haphazardly crashing into any person or surface on your way to the ball.

You’re in a massive bubble exterior engulfing your entire upper body: it’s bubble soccer, and its quick growth in popularity has slowly taken root in Ottawa.

Several companies have sprung up in the region, and University of Ottawa students are starting to take notice. Miranda Sculthorp, a fourth-year economics student, says her first experience with bubble soccer was a blast.

“I played soccer competitively throughout elementary school and high school, but this required no skills whatsoever,” said Sculthorp. “I definitely recommend it, especially with a group of friends.”

Originating in 2011 as a joke on the Norwegian comedy sports show Golden Goal, clips of the game went viral and the sport spread throughout Europe. More recently, bubble soccer has been introduced in sports arenas across North America, including opportunities for games and rentals in Ottawa and Gatineau.

The sport is a cross between soccer and bumper cars, and it’s almost as hilarious to watch as it is to play. The premise is much like that of soccer. Participants are divided into two teams whose goal is to score on the opposing team’s net. The twist is that the top half of each player is enveloped by an inflatable plastic bubble, so they can bump, smash, and push around the other players in an attempt to get the ball.

If you are fearful for your life, worry not. The sport is actually safer than regular soccer. While the bubble serves as each player’s attacking arsenal, it also serves as a shield and cushions for any hit, or fall. Kneepads can also be worn for added protection. The sport is currently available in the form of public games, or private events, but due to the sport’s relatively new inception in Ottawa, no bubble soccer leagues currently exist.

Bubble Soccer Ottawa runs private games that you can sign up for on their website. Foobz, a bubble soccer company based in Gatineau, is another option nearby.

Algonquin College will even host a charity tournament starting Saturday, April 4 at 11 a.m. Tickets are $25 each, and group rates are available for teams. All participants are on the same unstable playing field to start out, regardless of previous athletic experience.

Ladies, you might feel vindicated knocking over a six-foot man with little to no effort.

Made for athletes, soccer fanatics looking to take up a new challenge, or anyone who may have never touched a soccer ball in their life, the sport is open to everyone and anyone looking for a good time.