This summer I became hooked on a popular up and coming sport. When I saw it for the first time on the television show Shark Tank, I immediately fell in love. In the summer I work at an outdoor camp and I knew that I had to get my hands on this game. Luckily the head of the camp had seen it too, and had already bought it. All summer long the campers and myself were addicted to it. This is the story of the new sport “Spikeball”.
In 1980 Chris Ruder, the founder and CEO of Spikeball Inc., bought a set from Toys R Us and was asked every time he played “What’s that game?” “How do you play?” and “Where can I get one?” These questions were easy to answer except for the last one… Toys R Us only sold it for a short period of time. Twenty years passed and his set was becoming old and brittle. He dreamed up a new way to make Spikeball more sturdy and portable, then took it one step further by acquiring the rights to the game with his brother, cousin, and friends. Spikeball Inc. sold its first set in 2008 and by 2013 had grown enough to allow Chris to quit his day-time job selling advertising online.
How To Play
Spikeball is a team sport played by two teams of two players. Opposing teams line up across from each other with the Spikeball net in the center. The ball is put in play with a serve—a hit by the server from behind the service boundary into the net to an opposing player. Once the ball is served players can move anywhere they want. The object of the game is to hit the ball into the net so that the opposing team cannot return it. A team is allowed up to three touches to return the ball. The rally continues until the ball is not returned properly.
The Spikeball scene has blown up all over the US and has started to pickup a following in Canada. There are numerous tournaments held throughout the year and end off with Spikeball Nationals, an event held for the top Spikeball teams. Teams can check their ranks online and users can even become “Ballers” (which I just got accepted for) and be spokesmen for the brand. Being a Baller gives you access to exclusive Spikeball gear and the ability to set up and run your own tournaments with the help of Spikeball.
This sport is quickly growing and it is impossible to ignore its pull. This game can be played anywhere from the beach, your backyard, or a city park. It is the simplest sport to understand yet the hardest to master. If you choose to play, it will take over your world. It will become and obsession and nothing else in life will matter. So order a set online (not available to stores in Canada) and start balling!
You can check out videos of Spikeball here: