Spikeball: The Full Story

In recent years, the game of roundnet has become extremely popular across the world. If you do not know what roundnet is, you will probably know it by its more famous alias Spikeball. This rapidly growing game is dominating the lives of many people of all ages, as anyone can play it.

Spikeball was founded in 2008 and many people think that the founder, Chris Ruder, invented the game. But, in reality, the game is called roundnet, and it was created during the 1980s. In the 80s, the game sets were only sold in Toys R Us and did not sell very well because they were not marketed. When Chris Ruder heard that they stopped making these sets, he was upset because he used to love playing roundnet with his family and he remembered people always used to ask them where they got their net when they played out in public. He decided to acquire the rights to the game and create the company Spikeball.

It was not very easy for Chris Ruder to get the company Spikeball off the ground. However, he had to work tirelessly around his full time job, meaning he would stay up late after working an eight hour shift in order to pack and ship out orders of spikeball nets that were kept in his basement. Spikeball hit a massive increase in sales once it aired on the hit ABC show, Shark Tank. Freshman Andrew Myerson says, “ I heard of it when it was on Shark Tank.” Many companies cannot handle the amount of orders placed after airing on this show, but Spikeball handled the situation very well and got all of the orders out within 24 hours. This does not mean they did not receive a lot of orders after airing, especially since they obtained a $500,000 investment from Daymond John. Since their episode on Shark Tank, Spikeball has seen steadily increasing sales.

Roundnet is typically played with four players; two on each team. The games are played to 21 points, but you can alter the games to fit the kind of game you are looking for. For example, if you only have two players, then you can simply play a game with just two people. It will not really affect the rules, just the number of players that there are. Spikeball, or roundnet, is not a very complex game to learn. Sophomore Clara Haling states, “It’s actually really fun and easy once you get the hang of it.” It starts kind of like volleyball, with one person serving. Then, the next person, that is on the other team, will return the serve or will volley to another teammate for them to hit the ball into the net. It differs from volleyball in which you actually want to hit the ball into the net, rather than over it.

There are two nets that you can buy from Spikeball. One is a regular net, and the other is a pro net that is upgraded from the regular net. The pro net offers a more experienced feel with thicker rims and stands, causing the overall net to be more stable. This more sturdy pro net helps especially experienced players because a more experienced played will hit the ball harder on to the net, causing the net to shake or even move. This is why it can sometimes be frustrating to play with a regular net. Junior Ryan Tuohy states, “[The Spikeball pro net] is more durable. I have broken my net a couple times and the balls are great if you want to have a more competitive game because you can put more spin on them.” The other advantage of th pro net is the balls. The pro balls contain a textured surface that can allow the players to put spin on the ball, adding an extra competitive element to the game of roundnet.

Spikeball mostly markets their game sets through social media. If you have an Instagram account, you’ve probably seen an advertisement for Spikeball on the platform. Senior Leah Kratochvil says, “I get their ads all the time on Instagram.” Their ads usually consist of videos of cool rallies designed to get people interested in the sport. Their product also heavily relies on word of mouth marketing. Spikeball’s CEO Chris Ruder believes in this because he used to get asked all the time what game he was playing when he played it with his family in the 80s.

Roundnet is a fast growing sport that shows no signs of slowing down. Spikeball’s marketing strategy paired with its diverse game system offers the perfect sport for everyone.