Bubble ball wraps up first season

Intramural participants compete in the bubble ball soccer championship game

John Whittlesey/Observer

Intramural participants compete in the bubble ball soccer championship game

Samuel Beaumonte, Staff Reporter

As Fall quarter comes to a close, so does the first full season of intramural bubble ball soccer.

Last year, bubble ball soccer was just a one-night event, but this quarter the Recreation Center decided to offer a full intramural season of the sport.

“I was not involved in bubble ball soccer last year, so I cannot say how far it has come. However, from what the players told me, there was a lot of new faces and many more fans this year,” said Racquel Rollins, sophomore communication studies major and intramural referee. “The more people heard about it, the more people wanted to know when they could sign up.”

The game is just like regular soccer, but with every player protected by large inflatable  balls. With the extra protection, players are allowed to get rougher than in a traditional soccer match, though there are some additional rules.

Players are not allowed to hit another player from behind or slam into them when they are not going for the ball.  

“Really the only real difference is that you have a bubble on and, as long as you are in front and going for the ball, you can bump someone as hard as you like,” Rollins said.

As a player, being in a ball offers valuable protection but also limits movement and visibility, making both defense and offense a challenge.

“It gets really exhausting after a while,” junior David Thomas said. “It helps that players can switch out between rounds, but you don’t have to switch out.”

Teams can consist of four to eight players, with three taking the field at any given time. After a point is scored or the five minute quarter is up, players are allowed to switch out to relieve those that may be tired or disoriented from being bounced around by the opposing team.

“Bubble ball can get pretty rough, but it is still safe,” Rollins said. “The best knockdown that I have seen was when the two teams were going after the ball in the center. The two players ran head-on into each other and they both went flying back. It was so funny watching them fly across the room that I started to tear up a little bit from trying not to laugh.”