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Bubble Soccer Bounces Back

by Anthony Gabbianelli

Students do the best they can to try to kick a soccer ball while within large bubbles.
Anthony Gabbianelli |The Montclarion

Students were bouncing off the walls and off each other in the Recreation Center during Tuesday night’s bubble soccer event.

Bubble soccer, a rather new concept to the world of soccer, involves people running around playing a normal game of soccer.

Simple enough, right? The twist: these people cover themselves in huge bubbles and can crash into other people as hard as they can. It’s more common down the shore and it’s more popular to just knock each other down than play soccer.

With only their legs exposed, students competed in teams. They had 10 minutes to score as many goals and knock as many people to the ground as they could.

The Student Recreation Center has held bubble soccer events before. Some of the students, including some from the rugby team, who played Tuesday night have played it here before, like sophomore political science major Alex Mishyn.

“My freshman year I played this and I had a lot of fun with the rugby guys, too,” Mishyn said. “The rugby team has been doing this for a while and it’s an easier and softer way to take out our aggression instead. We like it.”

Junior biology-turned-physics major Thomas Wright, a fellow rugby player, participated for the first time.

“My friend over there heard about it,” Wright said, pointing towards Mishyn. “It was fun, it was sweaty, it was very intense because we play hard, all of us, especially me.”

Getting hit, even as part of the rugby team is both different and familiar for the rugby players.

“It’s great,” Mishyn said. “Most of the hits, you don’t see them, because you don’t know where they are so it’s amazing. It’s fun. You just got to give into it and not be afraid.”

Even non-rugby players loved getting charged to the ground, like business major Danny Banyelmarjeh.

“It’s pretty fun,” said Banyelmarjeh. “It doesn’t hurt at all because you’re in the bubble. You would think you would get some kind of leg injury but you actually don’t. You just slide on the floor.”

Being that the bubble soccer matches were held in the gym, some students stopped working out and caught some of the action. Sophomore film major Daniel McAlister and sophomore finance major Mike Donnelly both stopped running around the indoor track area upstairs and moved to where the matches were being held to watch the participants deck each other.

“It looked weird when I first saw it,” McAlister said. “When I actually saw them start playing, I thought it looked amazing.”

McAlister paused several times to witness some astonishing blows during the game, along with Donnelly, who reacted similarly.
“You come here, you work out, hit the track and you see these bubbles. It’s hard not to notice them,” Donnelly said. “It’s definitely interesting. It’s a nice spin on soccer with a mixture of hockey and football.”

Both McAlister and Donnelly are willing to give the event a shot next year if bubble soccer returns.

An action-packed, hard-hitting game of bubble soccer turned out to be needed on a gloomy, rainy Tuesday night, and these students really brought their game.

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