In football, players aren’t allowed to use their arms. In bubble football, participants are allowed to use their entire mass. Their arms, however don’t really factor into the game. They are wrapped, along with the rest of their torso, in a giant transparent rubber ball. Online videos show teams at the newly popular events starting the match with a cross-field charge that sends bouncing balls, and their human passengers, ricocheting off one another.
You can find the bubbles ready for casual play at a sports bar in Chang’an called Unique Bar, but starting July 4, and every Saturday after in the foreseeable future, Pure Entertainment will host the first organized bubble football tournament at Wanjiang’s Binjiang Sports Park. Playing on a standard football field from 1 to 5 p.m., each match will last about 20 minutes. The first two weeks are sold out, but gather a group big enough to register two teams for the following Saturday to get a discount price of RMB 400, or pay 250 for a single team and RMB 80 as an individual.
“This is a perfect bonding sport for friends and colleagues, as the sport emphasizes teamwork in order to win the game,” said Simon Chen, the event organizer from Pure Entertainment. “The event is Super Bubble Soccer Competition. The rules for the game are similar to a conventional soccer game, but participants can use the ‘bubble balls’ that they are wearing to tackle opponents defending their goal.”