Introduction: How to Play Spikeball
Spikeball is an exciting and competitive game that is fun for people of all ages to play. It can be played anywhere and any time of day. Spikeball has rules very similar to volleyball with some additional changes and the goal of this Instructable is to teach the rules of the game and some techniques that go along with it.
The first thing to know about Spikeball is the basic equipment and background about the game. Spikeball is a typically a four player game with two teams of two players each, however it can be played with six players as well. The ball used in Spikeball is a yellow, lightweight, plastic bouncy ball. It is only a little larger than a softball, so it is significantly smaller than a real volleyball. The net used looks like a miniature trampoline that is raised up about eight inches off the ground. As the pictures of the net and ball show, the equipment used is the biggest difference that Spikeball has from volleyball. To start a game, the four players should stand around the net, and players on the same team should be standing next to each other. This way, players will always be standing across the net from their opponents to make serving the ball possible.
Step 2: Playing Basics
The rules of playing Spikeball are adapted from volleyball, just like so many other aspects of the game. Games start with serving the little yellow ball. One team serves to the other team, and when doing so the ball must bounce off the net. The opposing team then receives the ball and as 3 hits to keep the ball in play and “spike” it back off the net to the other team. This continues until the ball bounces on the net twice, goes out of play, until someone carries the ball or double hits it, etc. When the ball goes out of play is when a team is rewarded a point. If the team currently serving the ball loses a point then the serve goes to the other team, as seen in volleyball as well.
Step 3: Volleying
After the ball is served, the opposing team has three hits to volley and spike it back. Contrary to volleyball, to hit it to the opposing team, the ball is bounced or “spiked” off the trampoline net, and not hit over a net. Another difference between Spikeball and volleyball is that all hits must be only one-handed. You can set or bump the ball to your teammate, however the ball may only be touched by one hand. Each team has a total of three hits to return the ball to the opposing team, but the same player may not hit the ball twice. It is not required that players use all three hits to spike the ball back to their opponents, one or only two hits are acceptable as well. Punching, hitting, setting and bumping are all allowed hits in Spikeball however carrying the ball is not.
This short video clip shows a sample volley during one serve of the Spikeball game.
Step 4: Scoring
Points are rewarded in Spikeball the same was as volleyball. Games are played to 21 points with the rule of having to win by two points. For a team to get a point they do not have to be serving the ball, therefore points are awarded on every serve. Points are awarded when the ball hits the ground, as stated above, and for other reasons as well. For example, if the ball hits the outside of the net on the circular plastic it is considered hitting the “rim” or the “pipe.” In this instance a point is rewarded to the other team. Another way to give points to the other team is to hit the ball on the edge of the net and pipe, in the part called the “pocket.”
Step 5: Playing Techniques
Here are a few tips and techniques to add to the intensity and skill of the game. Some things players do not know when playing Spikeball is that they are allowed to move around the net once the ball is in play. When a point is scored they must return back to their position across from their opponent but are not required to stay there once the ball is served again. This is advantageous because if opponents try to spike the ball in a direction away from you, then you are able to move to try and keep the volley alive. It is also helpful to note where your opponents are positioned. If they are positioned far from the net, then spike it softly so they might not be able to get to it. If they are close to the net then try the opposite, spiking the ball harder in an attempt to get the ball over them to win a point.
One video clip featured in this step shows a serve, volley, and the ending with the ball bouncing twice, which leads to a point to the opposing team. The other video shows an example of a volley ending in hitting the rim, which also gives a point to the opposing team.