Have a go at......Bubble Football

Bubble football in action at Preston's Ribbleton Park
Bubble football in action at Preston's Ribbleton Park
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The traditional five-a-side game with a difference - every player encased in a giant inflatable ball

Why: Bubble football is gaining popularity and it’s easy to see why - it has to be one of the most fun ways to spend an afternoon with your mates. Guaranteed to raise a smile the minute you start playin

How it works: The football is the same as in any other match. It’s the players that become bubbles, courtesy of a large inflatable zorb-like suit that they pull over their heads before going on to the pitch. It’s like a giant game of dodgems. With humans instead of cars. And a football.

Benefits: Bubble football is played on a conventional pitch, with a goal at each end. There are bubble tournaments for the competitive but this game is principally about having fun.

It’s pretty much impossible to play or watch bubble football without falling about in fits of laughter. That’s what makes bubble football such a good activity for groups of friends, especially if your fitness isn’t what it was.

There are a number of local venues to give it a try.

PlayFootball, Preston
With different football pitches available for hire , parties can organise a 60 minute game for up to 20 people
www.playfootball.net/preston

Score Football, Blackpool
Based in Blackpool & The Fylde Coast, Score Football & Events provide pitches and events at Blackpool & The Fylde College and Fylde Rugby Club
www.scorefootball.org

BubbleFootball, Chorley
Available for hire at the Southlands High School Sports Centre games can be organised indoors and outdoors
www.theactivitypeople.co.uk

Strawberry Sport, Lancaster
Family-run sports business offering a range of innovative activities. Venues include Lancaster University and UCLan
http://strawberrysport.com/

And for those who want to take their playing skills to the next level organisers of the the world’s first Bubble Football World Cup next year are looking for the new England team

An England Qualifying Tournament is taking place this month to find the winning team.

The hunt is now on to find the first English national team, and winners of the World Cup. Applications are open for the qualification tournament which will be held in London on June 25.

Teams can register online at https://www.thestagcompany.com/bubble-football-world-cup.

Countries including Brazil and Germany will compete in the tournament to be held in London in May 2018, with the finals to take place at Wembley

Rob Hill, The Stag Company CEO & Founder of the Bubble Football World Cup said: “In the last few years, Bubble football has captured the imaginations of thousands of people. It’s seriously fun to play, a great test of skill and hilarious to watch.

“With the English national team being rolled out of major tournaments on a regular basis, the Bubble Football World Cup could be the thing to end all those years of hurt next May. Every five-a-side team or bunch of mates should think about entering for the chance to represent their country.”

With 14 international teams already signed up, including Brazil, South Africa, Finland, Germany, Scotland and Republic of Ireland, organisers hope to attract even more international talent to take on the new England team come May 2018.

Neville Nania, Head of Business Development from event partners Xtreme Events, the UK’s leading Bubble Football hosts, added: “Over 55,000 people are expected to play Bubble Football up and down the UK this year. Our team have hosted and refereed thousands of matches and can testify that there is some genuine sporting talent out there just waiting to be unearthed.”

The USA currently ranks as the biggest proponents of Bubble Football with the National Association of Bubble Soccer boasting 39 leagues, each with 8-12 teams competing.