As far as lawn games go, Spikeball is growing like weeds. In less than a decade, it’s gone from an equipment set to a sport with events across the country that could soon be drawing as many as 500 participants.
It’s gotten so big, notes Spikeball General Manager Thomas Summers, that it was on the verge of a huge problem as recently as 2015. “Our brand name was synonymous with the sport,” says Summers, using Kleenex and facial tissue as a comparison. “That’s a real no-no. You can’t do that and expect to stay in business.”
So the company that got its feet wet on “Shark Tank” came up with the term roundnet—which is a good a way to describe the sport that’s “basically a combination of four square and volleyball,” as Summers describes it.
In essence, each game is comprised of two teams of two that have three touches to hit the ball before the other side gets its crack to keep the points going.
“The crazy thing is there are no boundaries,” says Summers. That description extends to the Spikeball team’s ambitions.
Summers and company are hoping to make the phenomenon no less than an Olympic sport. It’s already going global and has the benefit of enthusiasts like Summers, who got hooked at a 2012 Young Life leadership retreat near Nashville, where he remains based.