When Bubbles Collide!
Sigma Nu wins 1st prize in Bubble Soccer tournament
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Over 17 teams showed up to Cal State LA’s Reader field on Wednesday, October 26, to engage in a fun and exciting showdown of America’s most beloved sport: Bubble soccer.
The tournament was hosted by the Center for Student Involvement (CSI), as the event’s lead organizer Alejandra Trujillo, communications major and Fraternity & Sorority Life Assistant, was inspired after previously hosting a bubble soccer event for Greek week last year.
“Fraternities and sororities loved it, so I wanted to open it to all of our campus,” Trujillo said. “I had to talk to reservations, Eugene Hudginson the event manager for Athletics [department], and I had to contact Bubble Soccer OC.”
Although numbers of teams showed up ready to compete, Trujillo wasn’t sure if people would turn up to the event. “I just had to promote, promote, promote because at first we weren’t getting that many people to show up,” Trujillo said. “It was just word of mouth, I was telling all the Greeks, telling different organizations to sign up.”
Each team consisted of 5 members minimum and 10 maximum, with a sign-up fee of $20. The money collected from the event would then be donated to the charity of the winner’s choice.
“We wanted to make a bigger incentive for folks to participate… we thought it would be nice if the winning team had a choice in where the money got donated,” Michael Maksymowski, CSI staff member, said.
For electrical engineering major Bahram Shoar, this tournament was his first introduction to bubble soccer, an activity he said could be used to get Americans more interested in actual soccer. “I love soccer… and I hope these kind of events, soccer tournaments, bubble soccer tournaments will be continued in other states, other universities, other campuses,” Shoar said.
Once the tournament began the competitors held nothing back, smashing into each other in their bubble ball armor in high pursuit of the ball. Those in attendance could be heard yelling instructions to players from the sidelines, their excitement growing with each collision.
One of the Players involved in the fun mayhem was Giovanni Estrada, Mechanical Engineering major and ACE FC member. “I actually found out about the event from friends who are down at The Pit most of the time, and they said, ‘you know it sounds fun’ and they asked me if I wanted to, and I said, ‘sure sounds fun’,” Estrada said.
Covered from head to toe in sweat, Estrada passionately spoke about the thrills of bubble soccer. What was his favorite part? “Knocking people down,” Estrada said with a grin. “We were kind of scared because we saw other people who were buff and big and from fraternities… and we ended up winning; our biggest score was I think 11-0.”
After all the teams played their hearts out, only the fiercest two were left standing: Fraternity Sigma Nu and the underdogs ACE FC. Unfortunately for ACE FC, Sigma Nu’s team was comprised of the people Giovanni Estrada was afraid to face: big and buff fraternity guys.
Both teams battled hard, running into each other with massive force and making the craziest shots. Sigma Nu quickly scored two goals, but ACE FC rallied to score an equally impressive goal. In the end there could only be one champion, and Estrada’s worst fears came to fruition as Sigma Nu clinched the win.
As soon as the game finished, all of the Sigma fraternity members in attendance ran out onto the field shouting cries of victory in true soccer fashion. The whole team crowded around their leader Andy Navarro, Criminal Justice major and Sigma Nu member, in excitement.
“We came in here pretty confident, we just gave everyone the respect they deserved, and we just tried to win the whole thing,” Navarro said. “We come to a commuter and we don’t really see that Greek unity, and it’s just nice to see everyone out here having fun, enjoying themselves and having a friendly competition.”
Happy to see his team win, Navarro was just as happy to know that the money won would be going to charity. “We are donating to St. Jude’s Hospital, that’s our main charity that we donate our money to, and that’s where the money is going to.”
When asked what he wanted people to know about his fraternity, Navarro spread a message of acceptance, saying, “we’re a very diverse group of individuals, and we respect everyone out here at school, and we’re all here to learn first and foremost.”
All in all, CSI’s bubble soccer tournament was success, with many attendees hoping that the bubbles bounce back to campus sometime soon.