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The official Rules

Equipment

During the Bubble Football World Cup, the bubble footballs and goals will be provided for the tournament.

Kit

Each team must bring with them their own kit to wear on the day of the matches. It is vital that each kit is identical to the other members of the team, so that players of a team are easily identifiable. An alternative kit of a different colour should also be bought along by each team in the event of an opposing team wearing the same colour. Comfortable footwear should be worn on the day, but please note that shoes featuring cleats and spikes are not permitted.

Playing Time

Each bubble football match will last for a duration of 10 minutes. This will be split into two halves with a half time break which will be five minutes’ long. The playing time will be halted by the referee if a longer interception is expected. Extra time can only be added on if the score remains equal.

It should be noted that the final bit of contact before the final whistle is blown will be valid. If when the final whistle is blown, the ball kicked leads to a goal, then that goal is valid. The opposing team still have the right to defend their goal after the final whistle has been blown.

Field

The bubble football pitch mimics the size of that of an indoor soccer game with the minimum measuring 15m x 23m and a maximum of 25m x 33m.

The goal nets should not be fixed on the floor as they must be raised when there is a substitution of players.

Referee

During each match, there must be a referee present who has read and understands the rules of the bubble football world cup.

Teams

Each bubble football team will be made up of five players and up to three subs are allowed.

Player Substitution

  • A substitute player must not enter the field without wearing their bubble football
  • A player which is being substituted must completely leave the pitch before the new player makes their way onto the pitch

Penalty Rules

  • If a player on the field misbehaves, then they will be punished with a two-minute penalty and will be sent off the field. This punishment also applies when there is a fault during the substitution process
  • In the event of two players from a team serving the penalty punishment at once, that team will be allowed to restock team players to full capacity
  • There must be at least four players on the pitch at all times. If this is not possible, then the game will be abandoned and evaluated as a 5:0 for the opposing team. If the goal difference is in the other team’s favour and higher than two goals when the match ends, then the opposing team will receive an additional two goals to their score

Before the game

Before the game starts, each team of five players will walk onto the pitch in a line with their bubble footballs on. They will then pass the players of the other team, and gently bump one another as a greeting, instead of shaking hands like in a standard football game.

The bumping must be carried out in a gentle manner and therefore no forced must be used which would knock down another player. If another player does fall over as a result of the bumping, then it’s at the discretion of the referee whether the player should be punished with a penalty or not.

From here, each team will take themselves to the goal board. The referee will then ensure that each player is able to touch the goal board wearing their bubble football. Once everything has been successfully confirmed then the match will be ready to commence! The referee will then put the ball in the middle of the field and the whistle will then be blown to start.

Scoring a goal

You can use any part of your body to score a goal in bubble football (with the exception of your hands!)

Goal Keeper

There is no goal keeper in bubble football, therefore it’s up to each team to guard their territory and prevent the opposing team from scoring a goal.

Bumping Rules

In bubble football there’s one important thing that you need to remember; there’s no pushing and shoving allowed – only bumping! It is important that the below rules around bumping are followed throughout the match.

  • You are only allowed to bump another player from the front or the side. This is so that the player that has been bumped will be able to attain the position with ease
  • It is forbidden to bump another player from behind. The only exception for this is if a player turns around before the bumping action
  • It is possible to bump any player whether they have the ball or not
  • Following another player with the intention of bumping them over is not permitted and results in that player being issued with a yellow card
  • No kicking of another player is allowed during the game
  • Corner bumping is not allowed

A yellow card will be issued to any player who does any of the following during the bubble football match

  • Bumping a bubble football player that is lying on the floor
  • If a bubble football player laying on the floor intentionally trips up another player
  • Exaggerated complaining about the referee
  • Displaying aggressive behaviour
  • If a substitute bubble football player has entered the field before the substituted player has fully left

If three yellow cards have been issued to a player during the bubble football match, then this will automatically lead to a red card. The player will then be sent off and the team must continue play with one less player.

It is at the discretion of the referee if they want to ban the player with the red card from all future games.

Penalty Kicks

Penalty kicks will be given to any player which has been bumped from behind when running freely towards the oppositions goal.

When the individual who has been fouled takes the penalty kick, then they should stand six meters away from the goal. It is permitted for an individual from another team to defend on the goal line.

Any player may take the penalty kick – it therefore doesn’t have to be taken by the individual that has been fouled.

Free Kicks

Any other irregularities during the game will lead to a free kick – the game will be paused when a player is taking a free quick, corner kick, or goal kick. Bumping is therefore not allowed during this time. Any member of the team can take a free kick and it doesn’t have to be performed by the fouled individual.