Answer by John Anthony, Commissioner of National Association of Bubble Soccer, the official organization for bubble soccer in the United States and the largest in the world for the sport.
Greetings! Bubble soccer (or bubble football as its known throughout many parts of the world) was actually invented in 2011 in Norway just a joke by Henrik Elvestad & Johan Golden. Little did they know, they would set the foundation for such a spectacular and crazy new sport.
In April of 2014, a video from a http://flashlivescore-uk.com/soccer/sweden Bubble Football operator in Algund, Italy set the internet on fire. Google traffic volume shows a huge spike in the sport from barely any searches to literally millions of searches throughout the world in about a weeks time, all because of one video posted on YouTube (below). Bubble soccer had exploded and the world wanted more of it.
Still in its infancy, Bubble Soccer as it became known in the United States had a number of issues with it that made it very difficult for people to operate, especially in North America. First and foremost was the seemingly limited availability of quality equipment, which made many initial operators fail simply because there was no industry standards as to what constituted a decent bumper ball. Couple this with a lack of willing underwriters for insurance because of a lack of claim history made the sport incredibly difficult to make successful.
Our organization (National Association of Bubble Soccer) came on the scene in early 2014 with a goal of solving these inherent issues to grow this fantastic sport. A lack of formal games rules, quality equipment, and willing insurers were the obstacles that needed to tackled first. Fast forward to today, and National Bubble Soccer has quite literally written the book on the sport, in addition to providing the best quality bubble soccer equipment available and applicable insurance that our affiliates can reliably build a business around.
As far as how the game is played, standard soccer rules apply, but full contact is allowed. In our organization in particular, various rules have been put into play to make the game even safer for players which makes our affiliates and insurers able to operate and underwrite with peace of mind. Leagues and private rentals from our affiliates are available in over 35 North American cities and is expected to double by the end of 2015. If you're renting or playing in a NABS-authorized league or private event (designated by our authorized league badge on their website), you can be sure that the game is being administrated to the official rules and procedures of the organization, that each operator is insured, and is using the best equipment for player experience and safety.
As far as a championship, our organization has our sights set on a national championship ("The Bubble Bowl") towards the end of 2015, slated to be held in Las Vegas. The event will be covered by stations such as ESPN & Telemundo and will feature the best of the best players from NABS affiliates across the US & Canada, all competing for the Vince Lombubble Trophy and its appropriate bragging rights. Keep an eye on our & our official Bubble Soccer Blog for lots more upgrades!