We celebrated Kevin’s birthday with two hours of bubble soccer at the Richvale Community Centre in Richmond Hill! Honestly, I had never even heard of bubble soccer until Kevin brought up the idea. Basically, you play soccer while each player wears a large inflated bubble around them. The result is more like human ping pong with everyone bouncing off each other.
Maybe a video will give you a better idea of how things go down:
Tons of crazy fun, right?! We contacted Bubble Soccer Toronto, which rents out the ‘body zorbs’ or bubble suits for $30 each with a minimum of 8 bubble bookings. Since it’s so cold now and we couldn’t risk having to play out in snow, we also contacted a community centre to rent out their gymnasium: the total was just over $110 for 2 hours (two hours was wayyyyy more than enough time for the number of people we had!). All of the coordination – from scheduling, submission of documents including the certificate of insurance and rental contract, and payment – ended up taking a lot more time than we expected but everything worked out seamlessly on game day!
The Bubble Soccer Toronto crew were on time and already pumping out the bubble suits for us when we arrived. Each of the bubble suits have harnesses and handles inside for you to strap in and wear. It fits like a backpack, except the whole, transparent bubble surrounds you, lol. You can also adjust the straps according to what’s comfortable for your height. A few of us ended up wearing gloves to protect our knuckles from the constant crashing.
We were asked to sign a waiver and given some safety rules. In a bit of an awkward moment, we realized that neither we or the bubble soccer company had brought a soccer ball… we kind of just assumed it would be provided! Luckily, we got to use the one (fairly worn out) soccer ball that the gym had. We also used the gym’s goal posts. Bubble Soccer Toronto had another game to go to that evening and told us to leave the bubbles after our two hours and they would come back to collect everything. And then we began!
We were given one smaller-sized bubble which I immediately took in as my own. I noticed that it was tinted in colour to help differentiate from the regular-sized bubbles, but I felt like this made it more difficult to see through (to be fair, I also removed my glasses, but I’ll be continuing to use this excuse to reason why I almost never had the ball, haha). It would have been more helpful if the bubble suits had some kind of distinguishing colours – like attachable coloured flags or something – so that players could more easily identify who was on whose team!
FYI, whether you’re running around in this thing to get to the ball or mostly just getting beat up by other players, this is EXHAUSTING. The bubble suits get heavy after a while and I found myself really only lasting in the game for 5-10 minute intervals of time. We took frequent breaks just to breathe. You’re also kind of trapped in your own heat and sweat in there, so that’s fun. Even more fun is waking up the next day to muscle aches and soreness and bruises. We all weathered some good blows from each other, and I even ended up somersaulting back twice after one particular
thrashing bump. So much fun and all worth it! :D