It’s almost getting to the point where you can’t walk across campus without seeing four people circled around a little trampoline with a small yellow ball somewhere in the vicinity.
Spikeball, as it’s called, has taken the campus by storm. Perhaps the ultimate lawn game, it combines reaction time, teamwork, and pure spiking power. It resembles volleyball, but where volleyball is linear, Spikeball is quadratic. Instead of a net to spike over, you have a net to spike onto. Instead of defending 180 degrees and attacking 180 degrees, all 360 degrees are your responsibility.
Each team has two members, three hits, and the goal is to hit a shot that your opponents cannot return.
“It’s a horizontal game,” Zachary Roach ’17 said. “That’s the first thing I tell beginners. It’s a common misconception that you should spike the ball down. But spiking the ball at an angle takes time away from the opponent and opens up the field.”
Three friends, a slightly deflated rubber ball for optimum control and “spikability,” a net drawn taut around short legs, an open space (it’s a more expansive game than you think), and a genuine thirst for competition are all the ingredients you need for the best time of your life. The net, legs, and ball come in a set for about 50 dollars. Everything else is free.
Spikeball arenas are popping up all over campus. You might see the game played in the grassy knolls outside Lo-Rise, at the bottom of Foss Hill, in the observatory circle, the Fountain backyards, or the Butthole, on the turf, and even, every now and then, in the squash courts. Optimally, the game would be played on the beach, which enables aggressive and unnecessary diving. The only sandy spot known around campus is a beach volleyball court recently discovered in the Fountain backyards. We’re not sure if it’s been utilized for spikeball as of yet, but given the game’s recent prominence, it’s only a matter of time.
“I am the Roger Federer of Spikeball,” Roach said. “And I’m still looking for a Djokovic.”
Spikeball is taking over campus from the ground up, but there is talk of making its relationship with Wesleyan official. Roach and several others are contemplating a Spikeball club, and surveying interest for a campus-wide tournament.