The following rules will be played at the World Cup in 2016. They overrule the standard rules. The final world-wide rules for after the tournament will be determined at the members congress just before the world cup.

Here are the most important rules for the world cup:

Rules for playing Bubble-Football at the world cup

Bubble-Football is played with Bumperz. The players should wear shoes that are adequate for using on the floor of a sports hall. Cleats or spikes are prohibited specifically.
Furthermore the players should attend to wear preferably uniform outfits, so the teams can be distinguished from each other better. Therefore the T-Shirts / jerseys of all members in a team should have the same color. Slight differences in the shading are allowed, provided that these can not lead to confusion with the jerseys of the opponents. To avoid that both teams wear the same color, it is advisable to bring another set of jerseys as an alternative.

Playing time:
the playing time is 4 x 5 minutes. Additional time is only made after quarter 2 and quarter 4. The referee will stop the playing time if a longer interception is expected. The same is applied if the referee is of the mind that a team plays out. After quarter 1 and 3 there is a 2 minutes break, the halftime break is 5 minutes.

When a game ends in a draw: 5 players are chosen for 1 vs 1 sumo.

Important: the last contact before the final whistle is valid. If the ball is kicked before the final whistle was blown and this action results in a direct goal, the goal is valid, even though the ball crosses the goal line after the final whistle. Naturally the defenders of the opponent team in this case have the right to defend their goal after the final whistle.


a) The Bubble-Football field is consistent with the field of indoor soccer games

Minimum – 15m x 23m; Maximum – 25m x 33m

It is limited on all 4 sides by an at least 80 cm high board which can be used for advertising. On the shorter sides there are 2 gaps for the goals. Outdoors there are no boards.
b) The goals have a width between 3 – 4,9 meters  and height of 2 – 2,15 meters.

The goal nets are not allowed to be fixed in the floor, because they have to be raised when there is a substitution of players. A substitution of players over the board is not possible while being in Bumperz.

Referees and match officials:

There should be a total of 4 match officials, who all should be briefed on official IBFA rules.

Referee – With local football association accreditation

2 linesmen; Fourth official regulating subs and showing injury time.

The teams:
A Bubble-Football team consists of 5 field players. Up to 3 substitutes are allowed.

Player substitution:
a) If there are substitutes, both teams get more Bumperz – additional to the 5 Bumperz which the players on the field are wearing – to guarantee a faster substitution.
b) The players are not allowed to enter the field without wearing Bumperz for reason of safety. Handing over the Bumperz on the field is therefore not allowed.
c) The substituted player has to leave the field completely (he is hence also not allowed to stay behind the goal line, because the goal is part of the field), before the new player enters the field.

Substitutions can be made at any time during the game.

Penalty rules:

A fault in the substitution or other misbehaviour (see below) is punished with a 2 minute long suspension for the entering player. The substituted player also has to leave the field, so that the team has to play with only 4 players for the next 2 minutes.
After that the team has to be restocked with the new player. Therefor he must have entered the field. He can be substituted after that again, just like every other player.
If the team has only 4 players left on the field, because of a penalty, the team is allowed to restock the field players up to 4 again in case of another penalty. The second penalty is extended by the period of time that is left from the first penalty.
Example: Player A has to sit out a penalty of 2 minutes. Player B from the same team commits a substitution fault 30 seconds before the first penalty ends. Hence player B has to stay outside of the field, but his team can arrange a substitution with another player (but not player A), so that there are 3 players on the field again. The ban for player B then extends to 2:30 minutes, while his team has to play with only 4 players. If there aren’t enough substitutes, the team can go on without a substitution as an exception. Nothing changes for the ban of player B.

There has to be a minimum of 4 players per team on the field. If there is no possibility, because of penalties or  a lacking amount of substitutes, to have 4 players of one team on the field, the game will be abandoned and evaluated as a 5:0 for the opponent. If, by the time of the game abandonment, the goal difference is in the opponent’s favor and higher than 2 goals, the opponent will be credited with 2 more goals.

Example: team C are 2:6 down against team D by the time the game is abandoned, which was caused by team C.
Team D will be credited 2 more goals for the abandonment of the game. Thus the game will be valued as 8:2 for team D. Thereby tactical game abandonments shall be prevented.

Before the game:
The 5 starting players of each team enter the field in their Bumperz in a line and pass the players of the opposing team in the middle of the field. Because it is not possible to shake hands while inside the Bumperz, every player “bumps” the opponent lightly as a greeting. This means that the players bump their Bumperz against each other by bending forward with their upper body.

Important: this is the greeting! The opponent should not be knocked over (this follows later). An immoderate bumping can already cause a 2 minute penalty. This is remaining to the discretion of the referee. It is also punished with a 2 minute penalty, if there is no greeting at all.

Following both teams betake themselves to the board that belongs to their goal. The goal line referees check if everybody touches the board with his Bumperz. If everything is correct, the referee lays down the ball in the middle of the field and blows the opening whistle. Then both teams can run for the ball.

Scoring a goal:A goal can be scored with every part of the body and with the Bumperz itself. Of course there is no handball. The last ball contact has to take place in the half of the field, in which the goal is. Whether the last player, touching the ball, is an offender or defender is not relevant.

Goal keeper:There is no goal keeper, because no player can touch the ball with his hands. It’s up to the teams, whether they let one player guard the goal or not.

Bumping:Pushing someone over, pushing someone away, running over somebody… in Bubble-Football you “bump”.

Attention should be paid to the following rules:

You are only allowed to bump from the front or the side, so that the attacked player has the possibility to react and assemble a certain body tension. For health reasons bumping from behind is prohibited. The only exception: the attacked player turns around shortly before the collision. In this case he has to expect to be attacked anyhow.

Basically every player can be bumped, no matter if he’s got the ball or not. This way it is possible for an offender to put a defender away, who is standing in his way to the goal, without need that the defender has the ball. Likewise a defender is allowed to bump an offender away to prevent him from running straight to the goal untroubled.

It is only allowed to bump standing players. If somebody is lying on the floor, kneeling or tries to get on his feet again, he is secured. Bumping as a revenge is prohibited as well, provided that it is not carried out in course of the game play. Who follows an opponent deliberately to bump him over, commits a foul play and will be cautioned (with a yellow card).

If the ball flies into the Bumperz of a player from above and lands on his head, he can continue playing and has the opportunity to try to carry the ball into the goal. He will probably be the target of the opponents then and has to expect being attacked. If he is getting knocked over and the ball does not fall out of the Bumperz, the game will be paused, the ball will be fetched out and the game continues with a referee ball. The affected player can also kneel down as soon as the ball flew into his Bumperz and this way protect himself from being attacked. In this case the game will also be continued with a referee ball.
It is allowed to bump on the borders, but never in corners. Players and Bumperz can be harmed this way, because there is no space to fall over. A player, who is fetching the ball out of a corner, must have the opportunity to bring the ball back into the game. While racing for the ball, bumping is allowed of course. But also a player should not take advantage of this situation to play for time. In this case the match continues with a free kick for the opposing team.

The following lacks of sportsmanship are valued as a foul and lead to a yellow card:

Hitting a player, who is not in possession of the football, from behind.

A player, who is laying on the floor, is bumped.
A player, who is laying on the floor, trips someone up.

Taking control of a ball, inside the bubble suit.
Exaggerated complaining against the referee.

Overly aggressive behaviour while not engaged with the game.
Demanding personal penalties  for the opponent.

A substituting player comes onto the field before the player coming off is off the field of play.
Yellow cards are noted by the referee.
Each yellow card for one player results in a 2 minute penalty.


The third yellow card results automatically in a red card:
The player is not allowed back on the field and the team must play with 1 less player. The Referee has discretion on all rulings and can ban players from future games.
Kicking is prohibited generally – neither kicking the Bumperz nor kicking another player is allowed. According to the cruelty of the kick, the kicking player will be punished with a 2 minute penalty or even with a playing-time-disciplinary-punishment. Contact between the players has to come about with the Bumperz exclusively.
There is only a penalty kick if a player, who is running freely towards the opposing goal, is being bumped from behind. When a penalty kick is given by the referee, the player, who has been fouled, is allowed to shoot the ball out of a 6-meter-distance onto the goal, which is defended by an opponent on the goal line. The goalkeeper is only allowed to leave the goal line after the shot of the fouled player. The penalty kick does not have to be shot by the fouled player himself. The player, who has committed the foul, receives a yellow card.

If the ball is constrained from rolling over the goal line by a substitute player, who is actually not on the field in this moment, the referee will allow a goal and the substitute will be punished with a 2 minute penalty because of a rough unsportsmanlike behavior, as mentioned above, and his team has to continue the match with one player less on the field for the next 2 minutes. All other irregularities will be punished with a free kick or a personal penalty for the perpetrator.

If a ball is hauled across the sideline and is assessed as out, the game will be continued with a free kick for the opponent at the exact point, where the ball has left the field. If the ball flies over the boards at the goal line of the opposing team, they will be awarded with a goal kick. When the same happens with the team’s own goal line, a corner kick will be performed.

When performing free kicks, corner kicks or goal kicks the game is paused. Bumping is not allowed in this time. The opposing players have to keep a distance of 3 meters to the executing player. The executing player has to bring the ball back into the game with a pass immediately. He is not allowed to walk with the ball by himself. If the player takes too much time (this is in the discretion of the referee – if a player is laying on the ground, he has to have enough time to get up again), this is valued as a delay of the game and the opponent will be awarded with a free kick. A free kick can be executed by all players of the team, it is not necessary that the fouled player performs the free kick.