Game of Spikeball Explodes: Rules and More

Game of Spikeball


Rules for people who like to read…

The sport of roundnet, aka “that yellow trampoline game” aka “if volleyball and foursquare had a baby” aka “enough with the wit I’d like to read the rules,” is played 2 vs 2. A player starts a point by serving the ball down onto the Spikeball net so it ricochets up at his opponents. The returning team has up to 3 hits between them (think bump, set, spike) to return the ball back onto the net. The rally continues until a team can’t return the ball onto the net within their three touches.

Rules for people who like pretty pictures…

2 VS 2

Team 1 serves to Team 2 to start a point


Players have up to three alternating touches to return the ball to the net

360 PLAY

After the serve, players can move or hit in any direction


Points are scored when the ball hits the rim, the ground, or bounces more than once on the net

Rules for people who like watching videos…

The Blue Shell and Lightning Bolt make things so much more interesting in Mario Kart. Here are some of Spikeball’s versions:

The floor is lava – the ball can bounce off the ground once per possession for both teams

Freeze – one player on the opposing team can’t move from a pre-decided location for the duration of the point.

Milk duds – all players can only hop on one foot for the duration of the point.

Double down – call double down before the start of a point and the winning team receives 2 points instead of 1.

Rules for people who REALLY like to read…


  • The ball should be inflated to 12in circumference.
  • The tension of the net should be consistent throughout. A ball dropped from 3 feet above the net should bounce up approximately 12-18 in.


  • All players except the receiver must begin the point at least 6 feet from the net.
    • The receiver may stand at any desired distance
  • Once the server strikes the ball, players may go any where they choose.
  • Possession changes when the ball contacts the net.
  • Each team has up to 3 touches per possession.
  • Determine a serving order which alternates players from the two teams (e.g. Player 3 follows Player 1, etc.).
  • To equalize sun and wind effects, rotate starting positions 90 degrees counter-clockwise every 5 points if desired.
  • Roundnet is played using rally scoring; points can be won by the serving or receiving team.
  • Games are typically played to 1115, or 21. In tournament play, the tournament director specifies the winning score.
  • Games must be won by two points unless otherwise agreed upon or specified.
  • The rally ends and a point is awarded when:
    • The ball contacts the ground or otherwise isn’t returned onto the net within 3 touches.
    • The ball is hit directly into the rim at any time, unless it’s the first serve.
    • The ball bounces and falls back onto the net or rim.
    • The ball clearly rolls across the net
  • If the receiving team wins the point, the next designated player serves according to the initial sequence. Otherwise, the server switches places with his/her partner and serves to the other receiving team member.
  • The receiving team sets their position first. The server stands 180 degrees across the designated receiver–the only player allowed to field the serve.
  • Serves may be struck with any amount of force; short serves are allowed.
  • If a server serves two faults, the receiving team wins the point. Violation of ANY of the following rules is a fault:
    • The server must toss the ball upward at least 4 inches.
    • If the server tosses the ball, he/she must hit it. Dropping, catching, or swinging at and missing a toss all count as a fault.
  • Touches must alternate between teammates. Consecutive touches by one player result in a loss of a point.
  • The ball must be contacted cleanly, not caught, lifted, or thrown. Players may not hit the ball with two hands, even if placed together “volleyball style”.
  • Players may use any individual part of their body to hit the ball.
  • After the serve, any unusual bounce (i.e. pocket) that does not contact the rim is legal and playable.
  • A shot which lands on the net, rolls into the rim and then off the net (i.e. roll-up) is played as a pocket, not a direct rim hit.
  • If teams cannot determine the legality of a hit, replay the point.
  • Remember: Player safety is paramount
  • Defending players must make an effort not to impede the offending team’s possession or play on the ball.
  • If an offender collides with a defender, or a defender’s position prevents a markeable offensive play on the ball, the infracted player may call “hinder” to force a replay of the point.

Even more for anyone who made it this far…



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David Keech
Author: David Keech

David Keech is a math teacher in Wisconsin Rapids and public address announcer for Abbotsord High School. He officiates basketball, baseball, and softball in central Wisconsin. He has reported on amateur sports since 2011, known as 'KeechDaVoice.' David can be reached at [email protected]