BubbleBall has come to Mooresville.
The town’s Cultural and Recreation Services held its inaugural BubbleBall Tournament on June 20 at Benchwarmers Sports Complex on Rolling Hills Road.
BubbleBall is similar to soccer – the object is to kick a soccer ball into a goal at opposing ends of the field, or court, which is smaller than a basketball court.
But, unlike soccer, the athletes’ upper body is encased in a big, plastic bubble that serves as protection but also can be used as a weapon.
John Boyles, owner of Bubble Sports out of Mooresville, said there is really only one rule. “You can’t catch the ball in the bubble and run downfield with it,” said Boyles.
During the matches, which consist of two halves lasting seven minutes each, the athletes run and bump each other down, playing off the net walls because there is no out-of-bounds.
At the tournament, the teams were coed, with four or more players per team – BubbleBall rules say the teams can be four to six players. Some players quickly realized it was easier to kick the ball after knocking down their opponents.
After running into the opposing players, they would then turn to the ball, sometimes getting hit before they reached the ball, making the game resemble a pinball machine, as players bounced left and right, with the ball bouncing off and between them.
Team Brothertonies member Amanda Berger, 30, said it was difficult because her team, named for teammates Liz and Stephen Brotherton, was formed at the last minute with Kelly Miller, and they had no substitutes.
Berger said, “It’s a lot harder than it looks. It is awfully hot in there and it is a blessing that it is only seven minutes.” “There’s not much skill. Brute force is what it is all about,” she said.
Berger offered this advice: “You can’t be afraid to get hurt and watch your back.”
Drew Lambert, 18, agreed that it is hard. “You can barely breathe in (the bubbles), and you use a lot of energy hitting,” he said. “It’s fun hitting people, but then you are too tired to score,” said Lambert.
Team Fil bested the other seven teams to win the tournament and a $50 massage gift card for each team member, along with the bragging rights until the next tournament.
David Adams, assistant athletic manager with the Cultural and Recreation Services department, said that they hope to have more tournaments and possibly a league, if they can find enough players.
“We might want to do it in the winter months, to make it a little more comfortable for the players,” said Adams.
Marty Price is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Marty? Email him at email@example.com
Bubble Sports Facebook page, www.facebook.com/BubbleSportsNC?fref=ts.
Mooresville Cultural and Recreation Services, http://ci.mooresville.nc.us/260/Recreation or the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MooresvilleRecreation?fref=photo.
Benchwarmers Sports Complex, www.benchwarmerssportscomplex.com.