So, what is spikeball? More than 30 years ago, Jeff Knurek invented Spikeball, also known as roundnet. It may not be a familiar game, but somehow, it survived and has surged back to popularity.

More leagues host spikeball games around the U.S., which makes it more known to people. It’s a fascinating game to play with friends casually, but you can also play it professionally. 

It is easy to study, and anyone can play it regardless of age and skills. The spikeball equipment is also accessible at local retailers.

If this sport spiked your interest, then this article will help you know more about it. You’ll learn how to play, the rules, scoring, and a lot more. 

Once you finish this post, you’ll have a new hobby to enjoy where you can invite your friends to join in with you. You can also have it with your outdoor gatherings as an activity. 

what is spikeball

What Is Spikeball?

Spikeball is a brand name, but the real name for the sport is roundnet. Most people find it surprising, but it is good that the Spikeball brand became famous to new players.

So to clear things before we dive in, roundnet is the sport while Spikeball is the brand that sells roundnet equipment. Hopefully, people will know more about it and not spread more confusion. 

The inventor of roundnet introduced the sport as Spikeball in the market. When other sports brands found out about it, they started selling their equipment for “Spikeball.”

To allow Spikeball to retain the brand name’s trademark, they made a new name for the sport roundnet. 

So if you hear someone call the sport “Spikeball,” you can correct them by saying that it is “roundnet.” However, you will notice that this article will use the term “Spikeball” to refer to the sport to minimize confusion. 

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Spikeball Equipment

Spikeball uses only two main pieces of equipment: a ball and the net. But, the net is not what you’re expecting it to be. 

Volleyball inspired the creation of spikeball, but there’s a clear difference between the two sports despite their similarity in their equipment: the ball and net.

In Spikeball, the ball is in bright yellow and a lot smaller than the ball in volleyball which is way more significant. 

The ball is about twelve inches in circumference, which makes it a little bigger than a softball. Also, it is inflatable; that’s why players have the option to put any amount of air depending on their preference. 

Some players like the ball to be hard, so they inflate the ball to its maximum, but it is a little hard to manage while playing. Meanwhile, some like the ball to be soft, so they don’t inflate it fully. 

Another noticeable difference between Spikeball and volleyball is their nets. You know that the actual name of Spikeball is roundnet, so that gave it away.

Volleyball nets stand vertically with a pall; however, Spikeball’s net lays on the ground and looks like a small trampoline. It has a height of just eight inches with 36 inches diameter for pairs. 

There is also a giant net for a three versus three match which measures around 45 inches in diameter.

The net is a piece of vital equipment in Spikeball because the tension affects the overall game. It should be consistent, tight, and allow the ball to bounce.

To do it, you can adjust the net on some areas and test if the ball bounces at the right height. You can drop the ball from 36 inches and see if it jumps at least 12 inches high. 

Spikeball Rules

Spikeball used the idea of most volleyball rules to incorporate this sport. The rules are not precisely the same since there are apparent differences in the equipment, but there are some similarities with the game flow. 

First, you need to know that spikeball doesn’t have as many players as volleyball matches. Typically, there is a total of four players wherein two people play for each team. 

All players gather around the net with the teammates standing next to each other. Imagine how volleyball has players on opposite sides. 

The same thing goes for Spikeball. Two players will stand next to each other while facing the other team across the net. 

When playing, you need to keep in mind that you have to make receiving and returning the ball hard for the other team. 

It may seem easy upon knowing the game’s goal, but it is challenging to execute. Players cannot carry the ball, and only one hand can touch the ball. 

A player from one team will start the game by bouncing the ball off the net to serve. This player should be at least six feet away from the net to make it count. 

Meanwhile, the receiver may stand within any distance, so they are free to move around the net. 

When the ball touches the net, the position can already change. It means that regardless of what team you’re from, you can switch sides after the serve. 

The service allows them to move around the net without observing which team they are on. 

One team can hit the ball up to three times after receiving it. If they fail to do so, the opposing team will earn the point. 

If there are no violations so far, the rally can continue until one fails to return the ball. The rally may also stop when the ball bounces at least twice on the net or when a player hits it two times in a row. 

Spikeball Scoring

what is spikeball - spikeball scoring

The scoring rules in Spikeball are easy to understand because it is straightforward. A typical game races up to 21 points, but players can settle to an agreement before the game starts. 

During the Spikeball tournament, the deciding score depends on what the tournament head decided. 

In the official rules in Spikeball, the winning team needs to be ahead of at least two points from the opposing team when the game ends. 

However, this rule can still change depending on the tournament officials or how you and your friends agreed to play. 

How To Gain Points

During service, there’s a chance for you to earn a point. For instance, when the ball during the other team’s service hits the ground, you’ll get one point. 

When the ball hits the rim, the opposing team also gets the point. You’ll also earn one when the ball returned by the opponent bounces more than once on the net. 

Another way to gain a point is when the opposing team did not bounce their ball upon returning, sliding across the net. 

It would be best to watch out when trying to receive or return the ball because catching, holding, or throwing the ball will allow the other team to earn a point. 

Also, you cannot hit the ball twice in a row because it is a ground for earning a point for the other team.

Lastly, you can get the point when the opposing team commits two faults in a row. 

So what are faults in Spikeball, you’re wondering? This next segment will talk about just that. 

Spikeball Faults

Spikeball Faults

Although you are free to move around, there are still actions you cannot do according to the rules. Committing these prohibited moves earns you a fault and potentially loses you a point. 

So when you’re learning everything about Spikeball, the faults are the critical ones to encounter. They are like reminders when playing the game to help you save a point. 

Serve

The first fault you need to know may occur during the serve. If you are on the serving team, you need to be at least six feet away from the net.

If you fail to stay at the said distance two times in a row, the opposing team automatically earns a point.

Another fault that you may commit during service is the failure to do a proper serve. Players cannot serve with the ball still in their hands. 

It would be best if you tossed the ball up, at least two inches high before you can hit the serve. That is only when it is a valid service shot. 

If you drop or miss the ball during the service, you also get a “fault” for that. You can take one step to serve, but do not step sideways.

If you successfully hit the ball from your place, you now need to watch out where it lands. Also, when the ball touches the edge of the net, it is still a fault.

Finally, you cannot intentionally serve short or long because it has to be within the arm’s reach of the opponents. Therefore, if the ball flies too high that the other team cannot reach it without jumping, it is a fault.

Volley

After a serve, there are still possible faults that can occur during a volley. For instance, when the ball you hit to return touches the rim of the net can be a fault. 

A pocket or when the ball rolls on the net instead of bouncing is also a fault. You need to watch out for this one because it is vital to bouncing once to attempt a point.

To make the game safe and fair, players cannot block other players from reaching the ball. The game has to start again when players do this. 

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Final Thoughts

There is not a lot to memorize from this guide because Spikeball is a straightforward game to play. The rules are easy to remember and execute, so a few games can make you familiar with them.

You may find the faults a hindrance at first, but just like any other game you tried or probably will try, you’ll conquer it later. You have to play and practice more to feel more natural while playing. 

Once you learn the technicalities of Spikeball, the only thing left is to have fun. Spikeball is an exciting and enjoyable sport that you can play with your friends or play professionally.