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Bubbleball puts participants in giant, inflatable bubble suits and throws them into a series of rigorous activities built upon the premise of having them physically bump into their bubble-clad opponents. You can partake in the fun at the Western Sports Mall, located at 2323 Ferguson Road, Cincinnati, OH 45238. / Image: Phil Armstrong, Cincinnati Refined // Published: 12.4.16

So Let Us Tell You About Our Crazy Bubbleball Experience... Ready?

Warning: The bubble will not protect you... from soreness, that is.

From everything else? ... Yes. Though your opponents will be bopping you around like a pinball inside a game of... well, pinball, you’ll feel nothing. Because, again, (stick with me here, people) you’re inside of a bubble.

(It’s actually a torus, not a bubble — but you probably can’t tell the difference.)

Bubble/torus aside, when I woke up last week, the day after having played an hour of bubbleball (a.k.a. bubble soccer) at the Western Sports Mall with the valiant editorial crew of Cincinnati Refined, I felt pretty darn impressed with myself.

“Why?” you ask. Because I’m not 10 anymore, so pretty much any activity sustained over a period longer than 20 minutes deserves a pat on the back. Also, squeezing oneself into a glorified floaty isn’t easy. I may only be a few Holtman’s donuts away from the big-and-(not)-tall section of The Gap, but my lord, that’s a snug fit. (Gotta fold in those side mirrors, if you know what I mean.)

And yet, bubbleball is so much freakin’ fun. Seriously. If I’ve somehow convinced you otherwise in the preceding paragraphs, it’s only the fault of my prodigious ability to complain. In fact, I’m quite sure upon reading this, the other bubble ballers — all svelte and looking as if they’ve never even seen a Holtman’s donut — will be like, “Lol, what? ... Sore? Bro, that was the brief warmup I do before I work out.”

Brief warmups and complaints of exhaustion be damned. As I said, bubble ball is enormously fun.


Oh yeah — that. Well, you play games. Woohoo! Games, I love games!

Games like:
• Zombie: the land version of Sharks & Minnows
• Sumo: stay inside the circle, you win; get knocked out, you lose
• Soccer: pretty sure this one doesn’t require any extra esplainin’

Gradually, you learn to love your bubble. You come to accept that it’s your home and lose a sense of yourself when you do finally detach from it. Who are you outside of the bubble?

Honestly, I’m still trying to figure that out. But you know what helps? ... Holtman’s donuts.

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We encourage you to plan your trip to Western Sports Mall for an unforgettable bubble ball bonanza. It’s located at 2323 Ferguson Road, Cincinnati, OH 45238. Visit the bubbleball website or email Randy Laws at to set up your group outing.

Happy balling!