With new followers joining the movement every year, Spikeball, an up and coming sport rapidly gaining popularity, has been making waves among the athletic community.
This simple sport, a mix between volleyball and foursquare, requires nothing more than a trampoline-like round-net, a spikeball and two teams of two. The game begins once one team serves to the other by spiking the ball on the net; the receiving team must pass the ball to each other (up to a maximum of three times) before returning the serve with a spike of their own. When one team fails to return a spike from the opposition, the other team will earn a point.
According to recreationinsider.com, Spikeball first originated in 1989 and collected some attention but eventually lost most of the popularity that it had. Throughout the early 2000s, though, CEO of Spikeball INC., Chris Ruder, worked hard to revive the sport and eventually brought it back to the point where stores such as Dick’s Sporting Goods began to sell the game. The game’s big break finally came when Ruder and his team brought their talents to Shark Tank in 2015, where they garnered interest from the sharks and convinced Kevin O’Leary and Daymond John to invest in the young activity. The once-forgotten sport quickly grew from not only the investment but also the publicity that came with airing on the popular show.
Today, according to shopify.com, Spikeball has reached over 3000 schools nationwide and has appeared as clubs on over 150 college campuses. Athletes can also compete in tournaments, many of which have aired on ESPN, held across the nation to see how their team stacks up against local competition. Events such as these have helped Spikeball rise in popularity and have undeniably widened its base, which broke one million players in 2016.
As the growing sport continues to expand and others continue to join the movement, Spikeball remains well on the path to accomplishing one of its original goals: becoming the “next great American sport.”
Juniors Jonah Jacobs and Alex Kolondra play spikeball with their friends from other schools who also enjoy playing. (Video/Sammy Rosenthal)