Sometimes the best outdoor games are the ones that take an existing idea and put a unique spin on it. Spikeball is one such game.
Spikeball rules are straightforward, outscore your opponents by bouncing a ball off of a trampoline.
Unfortunately, the game sounds a lot easier than it is.
The official name of this sport is Roundnet, with Spikeball being the brand name in which the game is more commonly known as.
Commonly compared to games such as volleyball and Crossnet, the scoring works in an incredibly similar way. If you’re already familiar with these games then you are in luck.
If Spikeball sounds like a game you would very much like to find out more about, then this guide on the rules of Spikeball is for you. Read on to find out how to play Spikeball.
What is Spikeball?
A college campus favorite, Spikeball is a competitive team game which is very much like a grownup version of the FourSquare game, but with equipment.
Number of Players Required: 4 players – 2 teams of 2.
Who Can Play It: Any age can play, it is a very active game.
Difficulty: Easy to learn, hard to master.
Length of Play: Between 30 – 60 minutes.
Main Goal: Be the first team to get to 21 points, with 2 clear points of the other team’s score. Just like in Ping-Pong.
Why we love it: If college kids love playing it, then it must be a fun game to play. Spikeball is a unique game requiring athleticism to become a real pro. There aren’t many games that are as competitive as Spikeball either.
Related: Ramp Shot rules
Playing Spikeball – What You’ll Need:
To begin playing Spikeball, you will need a portable game set that includes everything needed to start up a game.
The official Spikeball set comes with 3 balls, an adjustable net, and a convenient carry bag which is ideal to play whenever and wherever.
If you’re new to the game then you may consider getting the Spikeball rookie set to begin with. The net and ball are bigger making it easier when first starting out.
Or, if you consider yourself to be an expert of the game, take Spikeball to the next level. Challenge yourself with the Spikeball pro set.
Or if you really want to mix things up and take your game of Spikeball to the water, do this by buying these Leg Float accessories for your existing set.
How to Set Up Your Game
Once you buy the set, the game setup is straightforward. Ensure that the Spikeball is properly pumped up before you begin playing.
The Spikeball net should be around 8’’ off of the ground. Make sure that the tension if the net is as tight as possible, test this by throwing a ball in the center and making sure the ball properly bounces.
Spikeball Rules and Gameplay
Once everything has been set up, Spikeball can almost begin. Although you’ll need to understand the rules in order for a successful game.
Starting the Game
The four players should stand around the net, with teammates standing either side of one another.
Like volleyball, players must always be standing opposite their opponents. Decide who serves by volleying the ball back and forth until a team drops the ball.
The team who didn’t drop the ball begins the game.
How to Play Spikeball
- The serving team bounces the ball to the other team off of the trampoline to begin the game.
- Teams need to bounce, or ‘spike’, the ball back via the trampoline to their opponents. Failure to do so means the other team gains a point.
- Teams only get three touches of the ball to rally back over to their opponents. Either player can have the final touch before passing the ball back.
- The goal is to either stop the other team from being able to rally the ball back or to ensure your team successfully passes the ball back over.
- Players must only use one hand, if players use 2 hands at any points then they incur a penalty.
- Players are not allowed to catch the ball either, doing so also incurs a penalty.
- The first team to 21 points wins, although there must be 2 clear points at least between scores.
Scoring in Spikeball
As stated, games last until a team manages to get to 21 points. If a team gets to 21 points but there isn’t a clear 2 point cushion over the opponents, then the game continues.
Once a team achieves a 2 point lead, the game ends.
There are several ways in which players score points, including when a team gets penalized with a penalty.
Points are awarded if…
- The ball hits the ground before spiking the ball.
- The ball hits the ground after spiking the ball.
- The ball directly hits the rim of the trampoline.
- The ball fails to spike off of the net.
- A team rallies the ball more than 3 times before spiking to the other team.
- A player catches the ball.
- A player uses 2 hands to control the ball.
- A player fails to serve the ball twice in a row, known as a fault.
The point gets awarded against the offending team.
Frequently Asked Questions about Spikeball
What alternative Spikeball rules can I use if playing one on one?
Although Spikeball is usually a 4 player game, you can play with just 2 players although it is only for the proper experts.
The rules stay mostly the same, although you may consider being more lenient of the 3 touch rule to negate the increase in difficulty.
Alternatively, playing with the rookie net which is wider can balance the game out nicely, however.
Whereabouts is the best place to play Spikeball?
Due to the nature of Spikeball, it is strongly recommended to play outside.
However, as the game is easy to transport you can play pretty much anywhere there is a large amount of space.
Make sure you play on even ground though or you might find the ball very easy to lose.
Is the Spikeball set easy to assemble?
The recommended set is very simple to put together, which adds to the appeal of the game.
Kids should have no problem setting the game up for example. The parts can be easy to break if care is not taken when setting up.
Alternative games to Spikeball
Spikeball is a game that requires high energy and excellent hand-eye coordination. It also relies on plenty of teamwork for players to be successful.
More importantly, it’s a game that is great fun and best played outside. Just like other games which are equally as fun.
Spec Tennis is another game that is also quick and shares a lot of similarities with Spikeball. The key difference is scoring and the use of a paddle but relies on the same skills to be on show.
If you’re someone who loves games where your hands are the main equipment, Crossnet is a game that fits the bill.
Crossnet is just like a four-person version of volleyball and if you have space is definitely a similar game to Spikeball.
If you don’t like outdoor games that need a lot of set up, consider giving Four Square a try. You can play it anywhere, at any time but it requires a lot of the same skills as Spikeball.