SMYRNA, GA -- 11Alive News is asking questions after a Cobb County high school soccer player was seriously injured playing bubble soccer. We talked to Campbell High School senior Salvador Reyes' family and they’re calling it a freak accident.
Those who teach the sport say the bubble gets treated like an airbag and that shouldn't be the case. There are safety precautions that if ignored can make the game dangerous.
Rip Pruitt with Bubble Bros says it’s considered a novelty sport where children as young as six years old can play.
He’s been teaching bubble enthusiasts safety tips. He says there's more to it than meets the eye.
"If you roll it over you can see the two straps hang down. We tell people go in like superman and stand up and let it fall back on you,” Pruitt said.
Bubble Bros holds 30 events a month. Pruitt says what happened to the Campbell High School student is surprising because of the injury's severity. Reyes is now hospitalized with brain injury.
"We have never heard of an injury that severe,” Pruitt said.
Although we know a collision led to his injury, why the bubble did not protect him is still a mystery.
Bubble Bros has this advice for people. Always tightly secure the belt straps. If the straps are too loose, someone's head can be exposed out in the open making them more likely to be injured.
Referees are recommended to be with the players. A Cobb County Schools representative did not get back to us about whether a ref or a trained supervisor was with the players.
Bubble Bros also says find out what the bubble's plastic is made out of. There's two kinds of plastic - PVC or TPU. Bubble Bros recommends using TPU because it's more resistant.