The unusual sport was created in Norway in 2011. In the past two years, the sport has also taken off in the U.S.
Zorb football or “bubble soccer” is the new sport sweeping the nation, according to Pedro Moore, a Middletown entrepreneur that started the company Bump N Play, LLC this year.
More than 2,000 Delawareans have experienced the fun of being inside a large plastic bubble, bumping against other players, and kicking a soccer ball on a field to try to score a goal.
“The object of the game is still to kick the ball into the net, but you bump and knock down your opponent along the way. We typically play 10-minute games and then break because within the 10 minutes you are going to feel like you just ran 5 miles,” Moore explained.
The unusual sport was created in Norway in 2011 and it’s become quite popular in Europe. In the past two years, the sport has also taken off in the U.S.
Moore said that he learned about it after watching a YouTube video a friend had posted on his Facebook page. Soon after, he launched the first bubble soccer company in Delaware.
Based in Middletown, the business is mobile. Moore brings the game to customers by appointment.
“Being a big kid myself who loves adventurous sports and activities such as paintball, go karts, zip lining and parasailing, I was immediately intrigued by the novelty of the sport,” Moore recalls. “Bubble soccer being both a high impact and contact sport was right up my alley. Providing a great work out, lots of fun and a chance to bump a few people around without the risk of really hurting myself compared to football.”
Business has been good for Moore. His closest competitors are not necessarily other bubble soccer companies, but those that also offer alternative fun sport or activities such as trampoline parks, bowling alleys, or paintball centers. He is hopeful however, that as more people learn about the sport and his company, they’ll be attracted to giving bubble soccer a try.
Bump N Play customers have included folks as young as five to a 70-year-old man. He’s received inquiries about the unusual sport from women in their 60s. Moore, however, recommends the sport for a younger crowd.
“This sport is for parents with young athletic kids that may have a birthday coming up, also for college students that are looking for a stress reliever from school, or young adults looking for fun things to do,” Moore said. “It’s also for small businesses looking for team building activities and churches looking for new youth activities and fundraisers.”
The rules of bubble soccer are more relaxed that in traditional soccer, according to Moore. There are no goalies and no-out-of-bounds, just markers to keep players inside the playing area.
Other basic rules include no hitting or bumping without properly wearing a bubble suit; no time outs; no bumping players already on the ground; players have to line up 10 to 12 feet apart from the center on each kick off, and no jewelry can be worn while playing in the suit.
“Lastly, the most important rule is to have fun. If you are not laughing or smiling then we are doing something wrong,” Moore said.
Bump N Play, LLC