'Bubble soccer' craze bounces into town

Posted: Updated:
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- There's a wacky new version of soccer bouncing into town, and it's taking the recreation industry by storm.

On Tuesday's Good Morning Arizona, 3TV's Ryan O'Donnell got a firsthand look at what "bubble soccer" is all about! Two teams jumped into their "bubble basher balls" to face off in a rousing early-morning game in Gilbert.

Bubble soccer is similar to indoor soccer with one big difference: Players run around wearing giant, inflated “bubbles” that look like see-through beach balls. The clear bubble covers players’ top halves. Their legs stick out the bottom, allowing them to run, usually into each other!

"Basically, it's an airbag hitting another airbag," says Bubble Bashers owner Shelley Potter.

The sport is also known as "Knockerball."  The big, clear "Knockerballs" are single-chamber, inflatable spheres with inner handles and adjustable shoulder straps. Knockerballs range from 1.2 meters to 1.5 meters, and the size or fit is based on your height.

"KnockerBallers" describe the sensation as almost defying gravity. It allows you to experience movement and mobility without putting any stress on the body.  With two or more Knockerballs, you've got a game.

"You're safe in these big bubbles," says Potter. "You're playing soccer, but it's fun for everybody. You don't have to be very sports-oriented!"

The sport is relatively new. Until now, Knockerball, or "bubble soccer," has been gaining traction in Europe, Australia, Japan, and elsewhere.  But now, leagues are opening up all over the United States.

The Arizona Knockerball equipment is durable and light-weight, suitable for a number of playing surfaces, from grass to AstroTurf and even the gym floor.

The game is not only fun, it's also a great workout. 

If you'd like to organize a game for a party, event, or just for fun with friends, the folks at Bubble Bashers can help. They can provide a referee, 4-12 Knockerballs, and even a field t on which to play.

Bubble Bashers

2 hour Knockerball Rental Packages:
-4 Knockerballs: $199*
-6 Knockerballs: $299*
-8 Knockerballs: $349*
-10 Knockerballs: $399*
-12 Knockerballs: $449*

*Tax and $25 set-up charge added to all rental packages
*Renter is responsible for securing a safe bubble area to hold the games and any permits and fees required for the location. Grass/Turf fields and Gyms work best.
*All participants will be required to sign a waiver before they can play
-Longer packages available upon request.
-All prices include 2 different colors of Knockerballs for team play, soccer balls, goals, and a Game Master.

Fore more information, visit bubblebashers.com.