BubbleBall has landed in Rochester. This multipurpose entertainment activity is sure to leave the town with a unique activity option. And maybe a bruised shin or two. These enormous plastic spheres were introduced to Rochester this past Sunday in a free launch party at Soldiers Field. Rochester was given a taste of the sport and allowed to “try before you buy” in some pick-up BubbleBall soccer games.
But what exactly is BubbleBall?
BubbleBall is a pretty amusing activity, both for those participating and probably even more so for those watching. BubbleBallers slide themselves into these giant plastic “balls”, which have openings at both ends and stretch from just about six inches over the top of the head to a little below the waist. Participants strap themselves into the ball using a harness-like device and grab onto a pair of handles in the front of the BubbleBall to keep the sphere upright.
So basically you wedge yourself into a huge plastic bubble, get lathered up and bake in your own sweat that collects on the inside of the ball, run around chasing a soccer ball that you can’t really see, and get body slammed from all angles from strangers.
So, yes. It. Is. Awesome. To see just how awesome, click here to watch our Facebook Live video from the event.
BubbleBall can be used for much more than just soccer. There’s BubbleBall football, BubbleBall capture the flag, and even zombie games with BubbleBall.
“So it’s more than just a one trick pony. And it’s just super fun. The reason we wanted to start BubbleBall here in Rochester, very selfishly, is because we wanted to play it,” explained BubbleBall Rochester team member AJ Montpetit.
The BubbleBall Rochester team of Tory Utley, the “chief business caller”, AJ Montpetit, the marketing guru, and Zach Zurn, the day to day operations genius, have high hopes that BubbleBall will have a lasting impact in Rochester. The city’s adults are looking for something to do outside of the standard old bar and movie scene.
“I think the real passion for all three of us that are starting BubbleBall is that we love our community. We love this town and we want to create fun entertainment that we would want to do ourselves.”
The BubbleBall Rochester trio invested in twelve adult sized BubbleBalls for ages fourteen and above. But, “there are other sizes available as well that we will be investing with next so that anybody of any age can play,” said AJ.
The idea for BubbleBall first got planted in AJ’s mind after being sucked into a stream of YouTube videos several years ago. It happens to the best of us. Through YouTube, he learned of something called the Zorb ball. With Zorb, users sit inside of a small ball with a little bit of water in the bottom which is nestled into a larger ball. And then the Zorb ball just rolls down hills…with people inside it.
“And so learning about the Zorb ball eventually led me down a huge YouTube hole, finding out about BubbleBall and it always percolated in the back of my mind saying, ‘There’s something here, but I just, I’m not sure yet.’”
Tori witnessed AJ watching the videos in Café Steam one day and decided that she wanted to be involved with BubbleBall as well and help to bring it to Rochester. A week later, the team was signing the papers to usher BubbleBall to town.
The launch party was just the beginning of BubbleBall in Rochester. The team is exploring the idea of having nonprofits use BubbleBall for fundraising. They also hope to organize a BubbleBall soccer league.
Even before the launch, the team was brewing up ways to expand BubbleBall in the city.
“As any entrepreneur will tell you, they’ve got about twenty ideas in the can,” explained AJ.
The BubbleBall Rochester team is thinking of expanding into a much larger concept of “park party popups” where people could just rent a truck and it pull up to your party with all these games “like jumbo Jenga. BubbleBall. All these man-child games where you can just rediscover your inner child and have fun.”