Thinking outside the soccer bubble

No, your eyes do not deceive you. Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like.

It’s bubble soccer, and the “craze” has gripped Chicago as one of the first organized leagues has found a home in Lincoln Park.

Bubble soccer is soccer-with a twist. Players do battle wearing inflated bubbles above their legs and attempt to play a normal soccer game. As can probably be inferred, hilarity ensues.

League founder Greg Caplan said the inspiration came from the internet.

“We saw it floating around on YouTube and we thought it would be a cool idea to start a league,” Caplan said.

The league started play Sept. 23 and has drawn interest from people all over the city. It costs quite a lot to form a team, but Caplan has tried his best to make it affordable.

“It’s a Groupon thing,” Caplan said. “It’s totally presented by Groupon.” Caplan works for the company and has offered discounts for participants through the website, softening the blow of the nearly $800 team joining fee.

It’s all about fun. The competition is fierce but entertaining and the players are friendly. If you need an idea of the way this sport is run, look no further than the team names. Taking the field are squads with monikers like Lakeview Lannisters United, Snuggle My Bubble, and I Thought This Was FOOTBALL.

The league is currently inseason and plays at Wrightwood Park every Monday from 6-10 p.m. A tournament is planned for Nov. 23 for participants who want to take their game to the next level. And if playing isn’t on your ledger, you can always go out and watch. There’s a lot of fun to be had watching people both young and old struggle to run around and and kick a ball while encased in inflatable bubbles.

“It’s just really great,” Caplan said. “It’s a lot of fun, it’s awesome to watch, and people seem to have a great time every single time they come out.”