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£1,792 pledged of £13,000 goal
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By Ruth Ball
£1,792 pledged of £13,000 goal
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About

FINAL UPDATE

We're sorry, we tried but it looks like London just isn't ready for a bubble football league just yet. It was always going to be a bit of a long-shot trying to fund something which needed such a big commitment of time as well as money from all our backers.

Huge thanks to everyone who gave us their support and were willing to believe. Sorry that we let you down. Maybe we'll try again one day.

If you would still like a t-shirt for the league that never was (and to help us recoup costs) you can buy one here in your choice of colours:

www.lbfleague.co.uk

T-shirts will be screen printed by hand by me onto Fruit of the Loom cotton t-shirts. If you would like the logo printed onto something different (bubble football pants?) send me a message.

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Bubble football is the silliest sport which I've ever had the privilege to play. It's fast, it's frantic and it's violent without being dangerous (after all, you're in a giant inflatable ball).

I want to see it played more and played properly. I'm ready to make that happen but I need you to help me. Most of all I need you to play!

Together we can build a real community around bubble football, playing to win on the field but making new freinds off the field. You should be able to charge tackle someone halfway across the pitch but still help them up and go for a drink afterwards. 

My vision for bubble football is partially inspired by the London roller derby scene because of the kind of community and competitiveness which they've built around an unusual sport (I wouldn't dare to call derby silly where any roller girl might hear me)... but also because of their commitment to awesome team and player names! Can you come up with better names for your team than these?

Now is your chance to be part of the inaugural season of bubble football. Simply find a group of five (or more) people and get ready for some serious – but silly – competition. Can’t find four more like-minded people? Check out the pledges for how to get involved as an individual or half-team.

If you're still not convinced enough to commit to a whole season, why not sign up for a friendly match? Give the sport a go and maybe you'll even be convinced to sign up for next year!

And finally, you can also just come and watch this amazing sport being played. Either as a spectator for one match or as a supporter, following a team for a whole season.

How is the league structure going to work?

The teams will be randomly assigned groups of four. Within those groups every team will play every other team, receiving 3 points for a win, 1 for a draw and nothing for a loss.

Then we'll line the whole league up by their score and put them into new groups of four with nearby teams (so low scoring teams play low scoring teams and high scoring teams play high scoring teams). We'll do this twice more, until every team has played a total of 12 matches in 4 different groups.

Except in exceptional circumstances the winner is likely to be in the top group of four so we will be calling that group of matches The Final and hoping they don't mess it up by letting someone from the group below overtake them.

What about the matches?

Because of the strenuous nature of bubble football we'll be keeping matches short and giving players plenty of breaks. Matches will have two five minute halves.

Now, I'm sure you're saying "Only ten minutes? Not much of a game." but that's because you haven't yet played football in a bubble. We want the game to be accessible to people of average fitness and trust me, ten minutes is enough. We're also going to be playing on a five aside pitch and from tests so far a ten minute match results in an average 3-5 goals, enough to make for a satisfying game.

But we're not stopping there. Because the halves are short and we want the rests to be long we'll be playing several matches in a session. In fact, each group of four (see league structure) will play out all of their matches in a single session.

A group session will go something like this:
A vs B (1st half)
C vs D (1st half) (while A&B rest)
A vs B (2nd half) (while C&D rest)
C vs D (2nd half)
With switchover time that should take around half an hour. All the teams now take a 10 minute rest before the next set of matches.
A vs C (1st half)
B vs D (1st half)
A vs C (2nd half)
B vs D (2nd half)
Another ten minute break for everyone, then the last set of matches are played.
A vs D (1st half)
B vs C (1st half)
A vs D (2nd half)
B vs C (2nd half)
The whole session should last around two hours, with each team playing all three of their group matches.

How many to a team?

We will be playing with five players on the field, we recommended having at least one additional player with you to swap out should a player be injured or just exhausted. We won't allow substitutions during a half but you are welcome to swap as much as you like during the break.

We have calculated most of the rewards based on teams of six, and that will be the size of the teams we put together from the "Irregular" and "Half a team" levels. But you are welcome to have more, especially if you think some of your team will struggle to make all the matches or if some of your players are likely to tire quickly.

Who can play on my team?

Each team will be asked to pick a team captain (this will default to the person who makes the payment unless they tell us differently). Once the captain is chosen their call will be law. If they turn up with five different players every session because the same players are never available then that is their team and their call. This is a mixed gender league. We ask only that your players be human, capable of running in a ball and over 16.

When will we play?

The plan (subject to pitch availability) is to play on a weekday evening. We'll ask what nights work for you when the kickstarter closes and pick the best fit.

There will be a match every week for 20 weeks but your team will only be playing approximately once every five weeks. We'll aim to give you at least two weeks notice of your next match.

If you've just gone for a friendly then we'll give you a choice of dates which you can sign up for.

What will you spend the money on?

£6000: Two sets of good quality body zorbs (20 spheres in total)
£2000: Pitch hire for league matches for one season
£1000: One year of storage space for equipment
£1500: Pay for referees for one season
£1000: Pitch hire for R&D, referee training and friendlies
£500: T-shirts and printing
£1000: Kickstarter fees

What if I want to play sooner?

We hope you'll still back us as well, but do we recommend the lovely company who lent us their bubbles for the video BLT Events.

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Stretch goals

As the number of teams signing up goes up we'll naturally need to pay more for pitch hire and referee pay, but there will still be some left over for some extras...

 £15,000 - A proper website (made by a professional rather than me swearing at wordpress)

£16,000 - We'll live-tweet every match (the low-tech option)

£20,000 - An youtube live stream of every match (the high tech option)

Risks and challenges

* Creating a ruleset which really works - We have a couple of lovely game designers on board with experience of creating live games, but live games are different to sports. People care a lot more about winning in sports and are much more likely to try to cheat to make that happen. We'll need to design a robust ruleset which creates a very clear and fair winner and well trained refs to keep order.

* The balls can pop - They aren't easy to pop but in the end they are inflatables. We've budgeted for two complete sets and we are fairly confident this will be enough, but if we somehow damage more than ten body zorbs beyond repair in a season we'll need to find an extra £3000 for another set.

* Finding a suitable pitch - We have a few in mind which are inside zone 2, fit our budget and currently have availability but we can't be absolutely certain what their availability will be like in three months time. If we hit the live streaming stretch goal we'll also need to make sure we have wifi access on site.

* Recruiting referees - We need a ref and an official (ticket taker, toilet pointer-out) for every match. You can help us with that! Drop us a message if you would like to volunteer. We do intend to pay refs and officials for their time, but it won't be a fortune. You should be London based.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £1 or more About $1.68

    Thumbs up:

    You just want to give us your support, we'll send you news about the project.

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    Pledge £7 or more About $12

    Spectator:

    Come and watch one match and see the fun go down.
    (add £20 to also get a t-shirt)

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    Pledge £20 or more About $34

    Supporter:

    Choose a team to follow and watch all of their matches. Only £5 a match.
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    Pledge £20 or more About $34

    T-shirt: Get our fantastic London Bubble Football League t-shirt in a choice of red, blue, white or purple.

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    Pledge £40 or more About $67

    Just a Friendly: Play just a mini two-hour tournament against three other teams.
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    Pledge £125 or more About $210

    Irregular:

    Want to play in the league but don't have a team of your own? We'll put all backers at this level together to form the London Irregulars.
    (add £20 to also get a t-shirt)

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    Pledge £180 or more About $303

    A Friendly Team: Bring a whole team to play in a mini two-hour tournament against three other teams.
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    Pledge £350 or more About $588

    Half a team:

    Managed to get together three players but no more? We'll throw you together with another three to make a league team. You can take it in turns to be substitute and maybe you can pick half the name each?
    (add £50 for three t-shirts)

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    Pledge £600 or more About $1,009

    A full team:

    You put together a team to play in the league! Have you come up with an awesome name yet?
    (add £15 per player for t-shirts)

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    Pledge £800 or more About $1,345

    Training Team:

    You put together a full league team and you want to practice before the first match. Act as practice players for at least one referee training session.
    We'll also throw in t-shirts for the whole team.

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    Pledge £1,000 or more About $1,681

    R & D team:

    Everything in "Training Team" plus you'll be helping with our R&D sessions to finalise the rules and format of the game. Help decide what bubble football will be!

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    Pledge £1,100 or more About $1,849

    Two teams:

    Vicious rivals on the pitch, off the pitch they cooperate to save a little money on fees. We'll also guarantee to put both teams in the same starting group.
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    Pledge £5,000 or more About $8,405

    Sponsor:

    Do you want to be our sponsor? We'll put your name and logo on our referee and official shirts plus a link and logo on our website.

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Funding period

- (30 days)