North Texas Daily

Knockerball comes to Denton

Knockerball comes to Denton

Austin Valente (left) crashes into Gary Evans (right). The knockerballs are designed to absorb the impact, letting the person inside feel almost nothing from the hit. Jennyfer Rodriguez

Knockerball comes to Denton
October 03
13:03 2016

Two months ago, Austin Valente pitched to his friend Garrett Evans an idea that would transform their careers.

When the two were at a church event, they saw something going on that they had never quite seen before. People were inside inflatable balls, running into each other and bouncing off. The sight was making people laugh uncontrollably, and it made Valente interested.

After doing research, Valente knew he wanted to bring Knockerball to Denton.

Valente graduated from the University of North Texas in the spring of 2015 with a degree in sports management. During his time at UNT, he played on the football team. Today, he wants to bring Knockerball to tailgating events.

Knockerball, a sport involving inflatable balls placed over the participants, is a nation-wide business that has captivated hundreds of Americans looking for entertainment.

This “bubble soccer” game’s objective is to have participants run toward each other in the balls in order to knock each other over.

Valente and Evans started their own franchise by purchasing the licensing and equipment from Knockerball.

“There was an opportunity for growth,” Evans said.

On the official Knockerball website, interested parties are able to buy the required equipment to start up their own business.

Evans was always a sports enthusiast and was excited to get involved in this business. He said their first event was for a birthday party for the son of the woman who designed their business cards. Since then, they have provided equipment for over 15 events in the past two months, they said.

Knockerball can be played in outdoor fields and indoor gyms. While some prefer to play it outside, some viral videos of the bubble sport show people in gymnasiums, crashing in to each other in the safety of the chambered ball of air.

Austin Valente (right) and Gary Evans (left) own the knockerball franchise in Denton. They attend events where people can try the balls for themselves. They started with the franchise two months ago. Jennyfer Rodriguez

Austin Valente (right) and Gary Evans (left) own the Knockerball franchise in Denton. They attend events where people can try the balls for themselves. They started with the franchise two months ago. Jennyfer Rodriguez

“Everything leads to something else,” Valente said.

Because events are generally in public fields or gyms, curious spectators often watch. Those spectators get business cards from Valente and Evans and eventually do business with them later. The two have seen a lot of growth in this business over the past few months. Their goal is to continue to spread the word and get more people educated and interested in this sport.

They offer them versions of soccer, football, king of the hill and bowling to play. It’s friendly and safe competition that people enjoy. The Knockerball itself has a harness on the inside that safely fastens the ball to the person. There is enough air pressure in the ball for people to safely bounce and knock off one another or even surrounding objects. All events are booked on their website and they bring the fun.

“It’s nice to be working in a field you enjoy,” said Evans.

Featured Image: Austin Valente (left) crashes into  Gary Evans (right). The knockerballs are designed to absorb the impact, letting the person inside feel almost nothing from the hit. Jennyfer Rodriguez

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Bina Perino

Bina Perino

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