During each match, every team member will be provided with a bubble football in order to play a given match during the bubble football world cup. Comfortable footwear that enables each player to run around on astro turf should be worn at all times during live play. Please note that any player who wears footwear with cleats or spikes will be unable to take part.

Playing Time

The duration of each bubble football match will last for a total of 10-minutes – this will be split into two halves which last five minutes each. Extra time is only available after the match has finished and the scores remain equal. The referee will stop the playing time if a longer interception is expected. The half-time break is five-minutes long.

In the event of a game ending in a draw, then five players are selected to play a 1 vs 1 dizzy penalty shoot out.

Do be aware that the last bit of contact before the final whistle is blown is valid. If a ball is kicked on the final whistle and the result of that action leads to a goal, then this goal is valid. The opposing team will still be able to defend the goal after the final whistle has been blown.

Referees and match officials

During each match, there should be a match official present who will have read and understood the official rules of bubble football.

The Teams

Each team will be made up of five field players and up to three substitutes. Team sizes will therefore vary based on how many substitutes they bring, but they need 5 outfield players as a minimum from the start of the tournament.

Player Substitution

  • For health and safety, it is vital that a player does not enter the field without wearing a bubble football.
  • The substituted player must leave the field completely before the new player is allowed to make their way onto the field.

Penalty Rules

If a team member misbehaves during the bubble football match, then the player will be punished with a two-minute suspension off the field. This penalty will also be issued to players when there is a fault during the substitution process.

If there is an instance where two players from a team have been issued with a penalty at once, then a team may restock their numbers back up to four with a substitute team player.

A team must have at least four players present during the match at all times, however if this is not possible, then the match must be abandoned and evaluated as a 5:0 for the opponent. If the goal difference is in the opposing team’s favour and higher than two goals at the time of abandonment, then the opposing team will be credited with an additional two goals.

Bare in mind before the game...

Each team of five will walk onto the field in a line wearing their bubble footballs and pass the players of the other team.

Each team will then take themselves to their goal area. The Referee will place the ball in the middle of the field – a whistle will be blown then both teams can commence with the game.

Scoring a goal

In bubble football, you can use any part of your body to score a goal, however, use of hands aren’t allowed!

Goal Keeper

In bubble football, there’s no goalkeeper; each team should decide whether they want a member of their team to protect the area near the goal.

Bumping Rules

In bubble football, there’s no pushing and shoving; only bumping! But there are however some firm rules around bumping which must be adhered to at all times.

  • Every player can be bumped regardless of whether they have the ball or not
  • It is only those players that are standing that are allowed to be bumped. You cannot bump someone already on the ground.
  • No kicking is permitted during live-play

A yellow card will be issued to any player who commits the following which will lead to a penalty of two-minutes away from live play;

  • Bumping a player laying on the floor
  • If a player laying on the floor purposefully trips up a standing player
  • Exaggerated complaining against the referee
  • Aggressive behaviour during the game
  • A substitute player enters the field before the other player has left the field

If a player is issued with a second yellow card, then this will automatically result in a red card. This means that the player must leave the field and will not be allowed back on and the team will have to continue the game with one less player.

The referee has the power to ban a player with a red card from future games and the rules of the game are at their discretion.

Penalty Kicks

A penalty kick will be issued when a rule has been broken in the eyes of the referee.

When the player who has been fouled takes the penalty kick, they must stand 6-meters from the goal – a player from the other team may defend on the goal line.

Penalty kick may be taken by any member of the team and doesn’t necessarily have to be taken by the fouled player.

In the event of penalties, dizzy penalties will be taken. One player from each team will spin on the spot until the referee signals the players to run forward. They will then both run towards the ball and the first one to score wins the penalty. Until the ball goes in the net, the penalty is ongoing. No other players may interrupt play.

Free Kicks

All other irregularities will result in a free kick – please note that the game is paused whenever players perform a free kick, corner kicks or goal kicks, therefore bumping is not permitted during this time. Free kicks can be executed by any member of the team and doesn’t have to be the player that was fouled.