That’s right, playing soccer inside a giant inflatable bubble is a thing. In fact it’s aptly named ‘Bubble Soccer.’
Its sounds odd but I actually quite like doing a sporting activity after a night out when I have a bit of hangover. Scratch that, I don’t like doing that BUT I always feel better after having done so. I think it distracts me from the hangover and also I like to feel I sweat the alcohol out of me. I am not sure if that is a scientifically proven thing? But if anyone wants to come and lick the sweat off of me and see if it tastes like bourbon you’re welcome to do so.
So back to the challenge. I decided to sign myself up for an hour of playing bubble soccer on a Saturday. This took place at the Football Factory, in Coburg, Melbourne. You enter the ginormous bubble by holding on to two plastic handlebars and putting your arms through the ‘backpack’ like straps. After that it’s a case of shuffling yourself and using your legs to haul you and the bubble upright. When I first got inside the bubble I did feel a little claustrophobic. You can hardly see anything! Despite the bubble being clear it is a bit hazy. However once the game started I forgot all about this and turned into competition mode, finding that sometimes it was better to just lean forward and poke your head out to see where the ball is.
The great thing about bubble soccer is you can run into people, the bad thing about bubble soccer is people can run into you. Surprisingly it doesn’t take long at all to get used to the idea of charging into other players and getting knocked over.
However at one point whilst dribbling the ball I received a massive blow knocking me clean off my feet and rolling me into the opposing goal. It didn’t hurt at all, due to being surrounded by air but when I did manage to get back up I found that suddenly I could see better. A couple of minutes later I could definitely see a bit more, my head was definitely half way out the bubble and I could even make out the other players. Something was wrong – my bubble was deflating! I made my way over to one of the refs, who poked my bubble and with an ‘Ahh shit’ (insert thick Australian accent) took me off the pitch to get a new one. All good.
So bubble soccer was a really enjoyable experience. It was pretty tiring and you did get very sweaty inside your plastic ball. I managed to score one goal and felt pretty pleased with myself until afterwards at the post bubble soccer drinks I overheard a girl on the opposing team say she scored 12! Show off.
Still, my second ‘new thing’ completed.