THe bench soccer game
Sit, kick, and have a ball!
Subsoccer is an innovative game from Finland that originated from a father’s desire to engage with his daughter while enjoying a soccer match. The idea came to life during Jarno Saarinen’s family vacation in Spain in 2008.
While Jarno was engrossed in watching a soccer match on TV, his four-year-old daughter sought his undivided attention. Determined to find a solution, Jarno came up with a clever idea to bond with his daughter without missing out on the game.
Seated on garden chairs, Jarno and his daughter started playing with a small plastic beach ball. However, due to the coordination skills of a four-year-old, the ball kept rolling all over the balcony, diverting Jarno’s attention. To overcome this, they improvised a makeshift arena using wet towels and sheets, ensuring the ball remained within reach.
This impromptu setup marked the birth of Subsoccer, a game played with a small soccer ball on artificial turf. Two chairs serve as goals at opposing sides of a transparent table top.
The brand Subsoccer and the sport known as bench soccer has gained global popularity. The game has been sold in more than 70 countries and has attracted customers ranging from prominent football clubs, star players, and renowned brands to soccer fans, schools, hotels, and activity parks.
Subsoccer works everywhere
One remarkable aspect of Subsoccer, as highlighted by Saarinen, is its suitability for individuals with disabilities, including children and older people. Subsoccer enables those who can only dream of playing on a traditional pitch to experience the joy of football.
The game has found its way into indoor playgrounds and family entertainment parks.
The potential market for Subsoccer is vast, considering the immense number of soccer enthusiasts worldwide.
“Our market essentially includes anyone who loves football, which represents approximately half of the world’s population,” says Saarinen.
Despite its versatility and widespread appeal, there is one drawback: Saarinen still can’t watch a soccer match while playing Subsoccer.
“It’s a bit too intense and physically demanding,” he chuckles. “You need to concentrate so intensely that it’s challenging to carry on a conversation while playing!”