Soccer with a new twist

Zoe Greszler • Jun 14, 2019 at 10:00 PM

You can bounce, bump and roll your friends around with Norwalk’s newest craze. 

Amanda Garwood and Lamarr Neal just started their business, Norwalk Knockerball, and Garwood said it’s been a fun ride so far providing an avenue of entertainment most have never heard of.  

“We are a new company looking to provide Norwalk with an opportunity to have fun this summer,” Garwood said. “it’s something new and exciting. It’s something most people have never done before. And really, it’s an opportunity to laugh and have a good time with friends and family.”

Knockerball is like trying to play soccer while stuck in a bubble. Each player enters the inflatable bubble, which straps on like a backpack and offers handles to help keep the player safe and in place. Then the fun begins. The game is played like normal soccer, except when one player knocks into another, it’s likely to send them and their bubble rolling and bouncing around.

“Defying gravity while you’re playing soccer. People love it,” Garwood said.

“You’ll start out playing soccer, then you just start playing in the bubble — bouncing and bumping each other, rolling and flipping. You just end up having a lot of fun. So you start out playing the game and you end up laughing. Even as a spectator, it’s funny to watch as others knock into each other and fall over.”

With two different size balls, the game is fun for most ages, accommodating children and adults. Players just need to be 3 1/2 feet tall. 

Garwood said she and Neal saw the company advertised online, then watched it for awhile before deciding to follow up and start their location. Norwalk Knockerball is based out of the Maple City, but serves all of Ohio and Michigan. She said starting the business here seemed like “an awesome opportunity.”

“I think it’s a positive thing to bring the community, something for all ages and something you can get together and have as a family event you can all do,” she said.

Knockerball is offered at pay-to-play pop-up events throughout the area where guests can walk up to where the game is set up — usually in a park — and pay a small fee to play there. 

The game also is available to rent for two hours at a time, with guests requesting the number of inflatable balls as they need — anywhere from four and 20.  

The two plan to start hosting tournaments in the near future where players will be able to organize their own teams.

For more information, visit norwalkknockerball.com.

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