Bubble soccer came to Wesleyan on Sept. 30, with students suiting up for a no holes barred match on the mall.
Students from various majors, dressed in various attires, showed up for the friendly competition, which followed the second annual fashion show.
Muhammad Hasona, freshman biology major expressed his enthusiasm after his team won the first match.
“I had to take out one [person] of the yellow team, Hasona said. “You bump into him from the back, at an angle. He falls down, rolls, and he’s pretty much a waste. It’s gonna take him some time to come up, because he has the weight of the ball on him.”
“The ball” isn’t a soccer ball. It’s a 5-feet-wide sphere, weighing approximately 25 pounds, according to bubblesoccerusa.com. Each bubble’s interior is equipped with safety belts, resembling a backpack’s straps. And two handles give the player something to hold on to while he/she collides with other players.
Strapped in, Hasona showed special dedication to the competition.
“I played barefoot, because I [was] in formal attire,” he said. “I had formal shoes, so I didn’t want to mess those up.”
Although Hasona wasn’t quite dressed for a soccer match, he and his teammates formed a strategy that led to success.
“Each one takes one out,” Hasona said. “Then [if] the one who took the ball was from our team, he just had to [score]. “And it pretty much worked out, because we scored the first two goals. We tied. Then, we won.”
But scoring isn’t the only concern in bubble soccer. People with breathing problems may wish to stay on the sidelines.
Freshman Hunter Marks, wouldn’t recommend bubble soccer to anyone who has asthma, bronchitis, or who is claustrophobic.
“It was hot and sticky,” Marks said. “I couldn’t breathe. I had to get out. And it smelled really bad.”
However, going into the game, musk and oxygen were the least of Marks’ worries.
“I’m gonna go in and just hit people, because I’m in a bubble, and it’ll be fun,” he said, laughing. “I don’t play soccer. I’m just here to have fun.”
And it was with fun in mind that Social Rams created the bubble soccer event. After a poll to determine students’ interest, it was simply a matter of organizing. Brooklyn McKinney, sophomore education major, said organizing didn’t require much.
“We just kinda came up with the idea,” McKinney said. “I came out early and helped set it up.”
A part of setup was making sure all participants signed a waiver and knew which team they were on. And for some students, the chance to play bubble soccer is one they would jump into again.
“It was my first time trying [bubble soccer], but I’ve seen videos on YouTube,” Hasona said. “Sitting behind the laptop, you don’t get to get the full experience of the lack of oxygen and the weight of the bubble itself. And when you go down to the ground, it’s not easy to come up again.”
Still, when asked if he would play bubble soccer again if it came back to Wesleyan, Hasona was all-in.
“Yeah, definitely,” he said. “But not in [formal] attire.”