Now that we’re a few months into summer, it’s the perfect time to get outside and play games with your friends, whether it’s a round of cornhole at the bar, volleyball on the beach, or everyone’s fave: pickleball. (Admit it, you’re obsessed.) The latest to join the roster of options is spikeball — a fun, fast-paced game that you can play in the park, at the beach, or in your backyard.
Spikeball — a game that originated in the 1980s — has made a major comeback. Scroll through TikTok, where the game has over 306 million views, and you’ll find countless action-packed videos of folks playing the trending sport. If you’re not familiar, spikeball (also called roundnet) has a lot in common with volleyball, says Michael Hamlin, NSCA, CSCS, a personal trainer and founder of Everflex Fitness, but there’s a unique twist.
“It’s played with a small, circular net anchored to the ground, leaving a bouncy surface at ankle level,” he tells Bustle. Instead of facing your opponents like you do in volleyball, everyone circles around the net and hits the ball into it. The objective? To spike the ball in a way the other team can’t return. If it rockets past your opponents, you get a point.
While it isn’t the most chill game in the world, that’s what makes it so exciting. Here’s what to know about spikeball, including its many benefits.
How To Play Spikeball
To play, get yourself a spikeball net and ball, gather a few friends into teams of two, and have at it. Everyone will stand around the net — which looks a lot like a mini trampoline — and try to keep the game in play. To make the other team miss the ball, try spiking it hard or adding some topspin.
Here, Hamlin breaks down the rules.
- The serving team starts the game by hitting the ball down onto the net.
- You hit the ball in such a way that it bounces up towards the receiving team.
- Once the ball is in play, the receiving team has up to three touches to control and return the ball back onto the net.
- The ball must bounce off the net to be considered in play.
- If it bounces outside the net boundary or is caught directly, the opposing team scores a point.
- After the initial serve, the receiving team becomes the serving team, and the game continues with this rotation.
- The first team to reach 21 points with a minimum two-point advantage wins the game.
The Benefits Of Spikeball
Like cornhole or bocce ball, spikeball is the perfect summertime game because you only need a few pieces of gear to play. It’s super easy to set up, which is a major perk when you want to start a tournament at a picnic site or beach spot. Plus, the game works on sand or grass, as long as it’s flat.
As for fitness benefits, the game requires lots of agility and hand-eye coordination. It can be played in a laidback way for fun — or you can really get into it. The game involves moving around the net, performing quick movements, and potentially diving for the ball. When you’re playing hard, you’ll engage your core, shoulders, arms, and legs for a quick and effective beach workout, says Hamlin. So if you’re looking to combine your exercise sesh with your beach day, spikeball is where it’s at.
Most importantly, though, it’s fun. “One of the best things about spikeball is that it’s accessible and enjoyable for people of almost every fitness level,” Hamlin says. Even if you aren’t a pro, you’ll have a good time chasing after the ball.