The Summer Sport of Spikeball

If you’re looking for a beach activity but don’t want to bruise your wrists with volleyball, Spikeball is the summer sport for you.

By Mia Barnes – May 1, 2023

When you’re on a beach vacation, the first sport that might come to your mind to play is sand volleyball. But it’s tricky when there’s no net already set up and you’re worried about bruising your wrists. Another option would be soccer but running around in the sand can be taxing.

However, there’s one sport that’s grown in popularity and it’s easy for the whole family to play: Spikeball. This sport is great for playing on the beach as it doesn’t require much setup nor do you need to run long distances. Plus, you’ll have a blast playing it!

Friends playing spikeball

Who Invented Spikeball?

As the name suggests, Spikeball — or roundnet — is similar to volleyball, but the setup is simpler and easier.

Jeff Knurek, a cartoonist and toymaker, came up with Spikeball in 1989. At the time, Knurek worked for a toy invention studio. Knurek took his idea to TOMY, a toy company that marketed Spikeball. The game fizzled out of popularity only a few years later.

However, in 2008, Spikeball saw a revival thanks to Spikeball Inc. with Chris Ruder at the helm. The company began selling Spikeball equipment. Since then, Spikeball has surged in popularity.

Nowadays, you can see people playing Spikeball on beaches and college campuses. Many prominent universities, such as the University of Georgia, Ohio State University and University of California, Los Angeles, are part of Spikeball’s 10 regions of college teams, with an annual national tournament in the spring for the championship.


How Do You Play Spikeball?

Spikeball revolves around a net that’s low to the ground and almost resembles a trampoline with its circular shape and bounce. There are two teams with two players each. The game starts by serving the ball onto the net. The opposing team has to return the serve, and it has three chances for the ball to hit the net. The play continues until the ball hits the ground, giving the other team a point. Teams can play to 11, 15 or 21 points.

Think of Spikeball as a combination of four square and volleyball. Four square influences the game because the ball hits a surface before bouncing back up. Then, the other team has to return the ball. The volleyball element comes from hitting the ball in the air and setting up your teammate. When the ball is in the air, you can spike it just like a volleyball.

Beach spikeball

What Are the Benefits of Spikeball?

Spikeball is a terrific way to pass the time at the beach. You only need a net, a ball and a few friends to start a game. There are many reasons why people enjoy this up-and-coming sport, including these four benefits:

1. Exercise

When the warm weather arrives, it’s time to get active. If you live near a beach, Spikeball is an excellent excuse to get up and enjoy the sun and sand. Since the game requires you to move around, you’ll get a nice amount of cardio while having fun with your friends.

Exercise becomes more important as you age. Between 30% to 60% of adults have vein disease, with inactivity being a leading cause. An hour of daily activity with Spikeball is a great way to stay healthy.

2. Fun Beach Activity

The beach is a popular place to hang out because it has what people like — sun, warm water, hot sand, friends and tasty restaurants. But what if it’s overcast and the lifeguards have deemed the waves too rough? Tanning and surfing may be out of the picture, but Spikeball is not. Get your net and ball ready for a few rounds!

3. Playing Something New

Most people have a favorite sport. You might like soccer, basketball or another international favorite — but maybe you’re bored with the same old options. Spikeball allows you to play a unique sport you didn’t get to enjoy growing up. Every now and then, someone invents a unique game that gains traction and becomes popular nationwide, like Spikeball. Pickleball is another terrific example.

4. Easy to Learn

Why are Spikeball and pickleball so popular? They’re easy to learn. Spikeball takes a sport like volleyball, which can be challenging, and condenses it into a game that resembles four square. The ease of play makes the game more accessible to older people and those with disabilities.

Spikeball Diving

Playing Spikeball All Summer Long

The beach is all about having fun and relaxing. A healthy supply of water and sunscreen is all you need to enjoy the day. But what if you want to play games with your friends and family? Give Spikeball a try and see why it’s become popular.

About the Author

Mia Barnes is a health and wellness writer and editor-in-chief at Body + Mind. She specifically enjoys writing about women’s fitness, as well as mental health-related topics. When she’s not writing, Barnes can usually be found reading poetry, taking a dance or cardio class, or hiking.


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