Spikeball is one hell of a game and one that’s relatively new the backyard and beach game scene. Taking its influence from volleyball it’s a game that requires skill, ability, and a willingness to have a great time. We came across spikeball recently when a friend brought it out for a day of fun on the beach. While it appears to be simple and not very difficult to get a hang of, as the game ramps up things begin to get a lot harder and people really need to start laying out to get those balls.
If you haven’t heard of spikeball or seen it be played, let us walk you through how the game works and a few of the rules before we get to reviewing our favourite sets. Spikeball has five main components that we’ll cover off here. They are as follows:
- The equipment required for the game is a small trampoline-like Spikeball net as well as a small ball that should be 12 inches in circumference (the official ball is yellow)
- The game is played in teams of two and initial service is decided by a coin flip or rock-paper-scissors
- Once that team has been decided the first team serves, which is a hit of the net to the competition
- As the ball is sent to the opposition the team has up to three hits to get it back to the other team
- The final hit must be bounced off the net for it to be a legal play
- Players may move amongst the “field” wherever they like while the ball is in play
- The game follows the rally-point system which means that a team is granted a point whether they were serving or not
- The game, which is typically up to 21 points (use your discretion here) must be won by at least two points
- Points can be earned in the following ways:
- When the ball doesn't hit the net during possession
- When the ball hits the ground
- If the ball contacts the rim in any way, even if only slightly
- The ball does not bounce off the net on a single bounce
- There is an illegal serve or other infraction
- The first serve is sent to a designated opponent who will be standing directly across the net from the server
- The serve is to be thrown up at must hit the net cleanly
- The server must stand behind the six-foot line to serve the ball; they may lean and pivot but no more movement than that is allowed
- If the serving team wins the point, the much switch with their teammate to serve to the other receiver
- The teams switch servers every time that they win as the receiving team
- If the ball is served into the rim, the receiving team gets the point
Contacting The Ball
- When a team has possession, hits must be altered between teammates, so no double hits happen
- The ball must be hit; it cannot be lifted, caught, or thrown
- You can only contact the ball with one hand at a time; two-handed hits result in a penalty
- Any body part can come into contact with the ball as long as it is not hit again by that same competitor; double-hits are not allowed under any circumstances
- Infractions can occur whether your team has possession or not: should you get in the way of an opponent trying to contact the ball you will be penalized with the loss of a point
- If the defensive player makes an attempt to play at the ball if they do not have possession, they lose the point.
- If a player hits a shot that hits off the Spikeball net and hits either themselves or their teammate, they lose the point.
- If the ball hits the Spikeball net and it alters the set in any way, they lose the point and the set is reset until the set is either a) in the previous position or b) in an agreed upon position
Now that we have the rules and gameplay out of the way and understood we thought we would take a look at a couple of our favourite sets that we’ve come across. Both of these sets proved to be winners and we truly enjoyed playing a few games with both of them. Decide which sets works best for you and get out there and play!
The first set we chose to take a look at was this little beauty. Not only did the set provide us with all the fun we had hoped but there were a few little extras thrown in that we really came to appreciate.
First off, the net and balls performed exactly how we hoped they would. And at the end of the day this is the most important aspect of a quality set. Nothing fell apart and the net was correctly taut enough for challenging, yet accessible gameplay. The set also included two extra balls, as these things have a tendency to go missing, as well as a carrying case. A carrying case is always key in these situations as you’re taking it to the beach or camping, or what have you. This is a great set that you won’t regret purchasing.
This second set we chose to take a look at is this one from GoSports. GoSports pops up often here for us as they tend to make many of our favourite products, and this Slamball set is no exception.
Like the previous set, we felt that the balls and net performed to the levels that we expected them to. There was the requisite amount of bounce from both while not making things too easy. Secondly, the set came with two different sizes of balls- one that’s a little easier to play with and one that makes things a little harder. Both are great so choose the one the best suits the skill set of you and your group.
Finally, this set, like the other, came with a carrying case as well as a set of the rules should you need a brief consult mid game (people aren’t afraid to push the boundaries sometimes). Given the brand who makes this set as well as the rigorous test we put it through, we can’t recommend it enough. This set will provide endless amounts of summer fun wherever you choose to take it.