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Published on 06.03.2016
Bubble soccer was the original name for the sport when it was invented as a joke in 2011 for a Norwegian TV show called Golden Goal. Since then, Bubble Soccer, also known as Zorb Soccer or Bumper Balls, has taken off around the world.
The sport is quickly becoming popular, since it’s so much fun and doesn’t require many skills or much knowledge. Bubble soccer can be played by anyone who is reasonably fit and over the age of 10.
Players wear Bubble suits which are balls of air with inner handles and shoulder straps. It protects the player’s head and upper body, letting them bounce around like a human bumper car in a safe way.
Alternatively, you can play bubble bowling or bubble sumo with the suit.
Bubble soccer in Japan
Bubble soccer was introduced to Japan in 2014 and, similar to many other countries, became popular right away. Maybe because they’re used to watching sports like this in ever-popular TV game shows.
Moreover, there are many facilities that are suitable for bubble soccer existing throughout Japan.
Futsal in Japan
Futsal is a variant of soccer played on a smaller field and mainly indoors. It can be considered a version of five-a-side football. Futsal came to Japan as early as 1977 and it was in 2002 the sport’s population expanded, because of the Japan Korea world cup tournament. The popularity of soccer exploded and so many people wanted to have a go at it. There were, however, not many soccer stadiums in Japan at the time, so those nouveau soccer fans flocked to futsal courts, which were much easier and quicker to build than soccer stadiums. By 2005, over 2 million people played futsal in more than 300 futsal court in Japan.
Where you can play bubble soccer?
Many futsal courts now also offer bubble soccer, however the most casual and inexpensive way to try it is going to a ‘Round One’.
‘Round One’ is a nationwide amusement hall chain and offers many mini-sports, as well as arcade games and karaoke. All equipment for bubble soccer is prepared, so you just need bring yourself and don’t need to form a party to play. Just pay an admission fee at the entrance, which varies depending on the age, time, area and so on, but generally is less than 3000yen for an adult.
You should be able to find one that is convenient for you. They have free shuttle bus services if it’s situated in a difficult to access location. Not all the branches have bubble soccer facilities, so check before you go. You can find their branches and telephone numbers on their website. The blue ‘SP’ icon indicates that they have sports facilities.
http://www.round1.co.jp/shop/area04.html#about (Sorry, only in Japanese)
Source: Where's Stu