Students bounce around, compete in soccer tournament

After exiting the large, plastic bubble, junior Tyler Bird rose from the turf of Bombardier Learjet Practice Facility on campus amidst applause from spectators.

Bird had taken one too many hits in a game of bubble soccer and was unable to escape his bubble or pick himself up from the ground until a whistle was blown to give him a break from the bashing.

Unconcerned over his episode of exhaustion, Bird blamed himself for being out of shape and with a grin said, “[The game] is a blast.”

Student Activities Council hosted the bubble soccer event Friday evening with help from Campus Recreation and the sports and competition department. Sophomore BayLee Hoskinson was the student in charge of the game.

“There is free-play and tournament,” Hoskinson said. “There are no rules.”

Bubble soccer consists of two teams of five players, and each player must wear a five-foot wide plastic bubble that goes from the head to about the thigh. The game is played like soccer, and there are virtually no other rules, other than goals are one point and substitutions aren’t allowed.

SAC set up a tournament with two leagues of four teams. There was also a free-play event where any student could join in and a “sumo wrestling” ring where two participants had three rounds to win by hitting their opponent out of the ring.

“[Each team] is guaranteed three games,” Hoskinson said. “If they reach top two in pool play, they’ll go into the tournament.”

Ethan Green, a graduate assistant with sports and competition, assisted Hoskinson with the tournament schedule through the use of his iPad. Green said the main purpose of the event was to gauge student interest in bubble soccer to decide whether or not to add it as a new intramural sport.

“Bubble soccer has become a huge hit across the country,” Green said. “A lot of intramural sport programs have looked into adding this sport or already have it.”

All the playing areas were constantly busy, and many people were coming in and out of the facility just to watch the event.

Sitting on the turf and still sweaty after his first game, junior Garrett Kissell reflected on his experience.

“It is a lot of fun, super-hot, and you can’t see well,” Kissell said. “You’re running around like a chicken with its head cut off.”

Green said he was satisfied with the event turnout and took it as a sign that bubble soccer could work as an intramural sport.

“We feel that bubble soccer would be a great way to get new students involved that might not participate in some of our more typical sports,” Green said. “Also, this sport can be a great stress relief.”