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New sport, Spikeball, introduced to USF

Published: Monday, January 14, 2013

Updated: Monday, January 14, 2013 23:01


“Extreme foursquare with a trampoline.” 

“Distant relative to volleyball that can be taken anywhere.” 

Both are odd, yet accurate, titles for a new sport that could be on the rise in college campuses across the nation.

Spikeball, a game that includes a hula-hoop sized trampoline and hand-sized yellow rubber ball, is often seen played near Argos, the Marshall Student Center and Student Services, only to be greeted by many confused-looking passersby. 

“The best question to ask students is ‘Hey, have you heard of Spikeball?’” Nick
Audos, a senior majoring in history, said. “Because no one has heard of Spikeball.”

Spikeball, which has been spotted around campus after winter break, is a sport new to the USF campus and as eye-catching as it is, it’s just as competitive paired with fast-paced action.

The game first surfaced in 2008, when ESPN sportscaster Mark Giangreco saw a group of people playing on the beach and called it a “violent version of volleyball.” 

 Along with Audos, USF graduates Jay Becker and Blake Thaxter often play Spikeball on campus. 

The three are part of the organization called CRU, Campus Crusade for Christ, and thought the new sport seemed like a good way to get students together.

“We all got introduced to it at the same time; one of the guys on our staff brought it in from FSU,” Becker said.

Becker received the $50.00 Spikeball set for Christmas and played it over break. He decided to bring the fun back to campus

“Our goal behind Spikeball was to meet new people, make new friendships, and have a lot of fun,” he said. 

The rules of the game are similar to volleyball, but in the shape of the common
childhood game of foursquare.

Two teams line up around a miniature netted trampoline with teammates standing adjacent to each other. After one team serves, a person from the other team must hit the ball off the trampoline within three hits, and the other team
must then do the same. To score, the other team must miss. The game continues to 21 points. 

“It’s one of those sports that you can just pick up in five minutes,” Thaxter said.

With sports like ultimate Frisbee becoming increasingly popular, especially among colleges, Spikeball fits into the category. For Spikeball all that’s needed is the small trampoline, which breaks apart for easy travel, and a small ball.

While Spikeball provides the competitiveness of a sport like ultimate Frisbee or  
Volleyball, it may also prove to be a tailgating game of sorts.

“There’s a lot of room for replay value,” Audos said.  “You want to keep playing because you want to get better at it.”

With simple rules and small size you may start seeing less ladder golf outside
of Raymond James stadium and more people with small black and yellow trampolines.

 “Our vision for it was something that students all over campus will see it and want to play. We really just wanted to bring Spikeball to campus,” Becker said.

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