The Rise of Spikeball
By Brad Arata
Novato High is experiencing a recent popularity growth of a new game called Spikeball. This growth began at the beginning of October during breaks, lunches, and after school.
Spikeball is played with a two-on-two setting where players have a circular net that is raised about 6 inches off the ground. The bouncy nets are 36 x 8 inches. You aim to hit a rubber ball against the net in a manner that can’t be returned.
The objective of the game is similar to two-player volleyball, but the goal is to hit the ball, at most, three times and then bounce the ball off the net. If the ball misses the net, the opposing team gets the point. Another way to score is when the opposing team fails to hit the ball because it is out of reach.
Spikeball has encouraged kids to go outside and be active during lunch as opposed to the usual classroom eating and non-activity. It is a social activity that anyone can participate in.
Social Studies teacher Evan Underwood-Jett, discussed his views on the new fad at Novato High.
“I am really happy you guys are doing something like that,” said Underwood-Jett, “getting kids to hang around campus, having a lot of fun, and building the school community.”
The game was introduced to NHS by sophomore Neil Knight. You will find the game being played more by junior and sophomore boys, but the game can easily be spread to anyone who has interest in playing.
“It’s a competitive game that creates a community, and it gets us active and moving around,” said Knight. “I’ve seen it grow; first it started with my little group of friends and then it started growing to some of the juniors and now it’s a big group.”
The rise of Spikeball was first introduced by creator Chris Ruder on the NBC show Shark Tank. He made a deal worth $500,000 with investor Daymond John. Although, shortly after the deal was made, it began to fall apart as Spikeball wasn’t getting the expected success that they were striving for. Luckily, when the actual show aired, the advertisement caused a huge rise in popularity for the game.
Hopefully, the sport will be played on a bigger platform one day. It is a lot of fun and has a great community of players.
Right now, the highest level of Spikeball played is called the Spikeball Roundnet Association. It is played by a countless collection of teams and hosts in a variety of different tournaments.
It is also played competitively throughout different high schools and colleges. You can even be recruited for the game and offered a scholarship to certain colleges.
At NHS, there is a large enough community to create a team of our own. It would be fun and beneficial to offer another competition to Novato High School students.
There is no harm in making this game a secondary sport option in the fall, winter, or spring.
Spikeball may seem like a temporary fad but there is definitely potential for it to grow competitively. Webster’s dictionary defines “sport” as “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.”
Spikeball has all of those requirements, including a team, physical exertion, entertainment, and skill.
Junior Jacob Angeles is a spikeball player himself. He played the game when it was first introduced to Novato High, and has been participating in the game ever since. Angeles is also a previous three-sport athlete and definitely knows competitive nature when he sees it.
“Spikeball is just as competitive as other sports and doesn’t require too much skill,” says Angeles. “I think once the sport’s popularity increases, the sport will grow and people will play just to have recreational fun.”
Spikeball is a fun and collaborative activity that encourages kids to get off the couch and be active.
The only thing you need to be a good spikeball player, “Heart,” says Underwood-Jett.