Bubble soccer is a thing, and it's hit Waterloo

Despite the heat on Sunday afternoon, about a dozen people ventured to the University of Waterloo campus and squeezed themselves into inflated plastic bubbles for a soccer game that was hilarious to watch and play.
Mandy Gu and Edward Qian, co-founders of GeeseRabbit, say bubble sports are safe contact sports. There are straps and handles on the inside to keep people from flying out. (Jane van Koeverden/CBC)

Despite the heat on Sunday afternoon, about a dozen people ventured to the University of Waterloo campus and squeezed themselves into inflated plastic bubbles for a soccer game that was hilarious to watch and play.

Mandy Gu and Edward Qian, entering their second year in the Math and Business program at the University of Waterloo, launched their company GeeseRabbit Inc. this summer. (Courtesy of Simon Gu)

Mandy Gu and Edward Qian, both entering their second year at University of Waterloo this September, rent out these plastic bubbles, called "zorbs," as part of their recently launched company, GeeseRabbit. The pair currently have a location in Mississauga and are planning on opening a Waterloo location this September.

"[Bubble sports are] something that Canada hasn't really been exposed to," said Gu. "As you can see, this is a contact sport, but at the same time it's a safe contact sport."

Gu and Qian invited people out for a free round of bubble soccer on Sunday afternoon, but at first, the ball was completely ignored. Instead, there was a lot of this going on:

On mobile? Watch the action here

The bubble weighs about 20 pounds and is outfitted with a pair of straps and handles on the inside.

"You feel invincible...until you get hit," said Jordan Dyck, 23, who came out to try the sport. "[Getting hit] is pretty painless unless the straps aren't tight enough, you might hit the top of your head, but it doesn't hurt at all. It's pretty fun just to bounce from side to side."

Eventually, a friendly game of soccer with about six players started up. Due to the heat, participants played in short spurts and didn't keep score.

On mobile? Watch the action here

Gu said bubble soccer originated in Norway. Qian added that any sport can be adapted to be played in a zorb.

"A lot of our players actually feel this is a great stress relief method," said Qian.


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