My personal bubble soccer experience

Randy Carlson and Joey Ricely brough bubble soccer to Chicago when they created Battle Balls, a company that rents the bubbles and other equipment. Photo courtesy of Madeline Kenney.
The bubble covers the torso and part of the legs, making it hard to get up when you’re knocked down. Photo courtesy of Madeline Kenney.

The day started when I met Randy Carlson and Joey Ricely, cofounders of Battle Balls, on campus for an interview. I had no idea that they planned to put me in one of those inflatable bubbles.

As they started to inflate the bubble, the plastic rose to about three feet and nine inches tall. I slid my way through the bubble and realized how silly I looked. I was in a plastic bubble, for goodness sake.

It was not even 10 seconds in the bubble until I got pushed from behind and slammed forward. I screamed in fear until I realized you don’t feel a thing. I began to purposely run into people just so I could fall down and then struggle to get back on my feet.

After getting flattened several times, you would wonder why on earth any sane person would want to play such a sport. But the answer is simple: It’s fun.

Bubble soccer is not only hilariously entertaining to watch and play, it is also a good workout. The bubbles weigh about 15 pounds and you run around kicking a soccer ball. It’s kind of like soccer but on steroids and way more aggressive. I could see how people can get extremely competitive when playing it.

Playing on Mertz Field, a lot of passersby could see us playing bubble soccer. At one point, some of the seminarians joined and started bumping into each other. They even forgot that the purpose was for them to play soccer. We also convinced a Campus Safety officer to try one on. He even took a picture to post on his Facebook.

At the end of the day, I was covered in turf and sweat. When I slid the bubble off I could not help but smile. It is truly something everyone should experience at least once in their life. There is nothing quite like this extreme sport.

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