In the past two decades, spikeball has grown into a summer favorite around beaches and parks. Apart from being a fun sport for kids and adults, it’s evolved into a competitive sport with tournaments all over the US and around the world. With sponsorship from big corporations such as ESPN and Shark Tank, it’s apparent that competitive spikeball will continue growing into the big leagues.
Currently, the most popular spikeball competition is the US Spikeball Roundnet National Championships. There are several divisions to cater for players of all ages and skill levels. The 2019 championships attracted over 200 teams and had an online streaming audience of more than 4 million people.
Even though Spikeball has been around since the early 1980s, it’s only since 2003 that the game started attracting wide popularity. Enthusiasts have been organizing amateur competitions ever since and formed leagues. As popularity keeps growing, so does the competitiveness of the sport.
Is There a Professional Spikeball League?
When Spikeball released their product online in 2008 the game attracted a huge following all over the US. An appearance on ABC’s Shark Tank helped the sport move mainstream. By 2014, players and other interested parties had formed the Spikeball Roundnet Association (SRA).
The SRA organized the first ever Spikeball Roundnet National Championship held in Santa Monica, CA in 2014. With more leagues being formed around the world, the first ever Roundnet World Championships were to be held in 2020 in Belgium but had to be postponed indefinitely due to the global spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus. The World Championships was organized by the International Roundnet Federation (IRF).
By 2018, Spikeball boasted of more than 4 million players worldwide. The SRA organizes several official events and a tournament series in major cities every year.
While there’s no formal player’s association, the Spikeball brand has a list of premium players. To become a premium player, you have to:
- Be invited by SRA
- Finish top 3 in an SRA-sanctioned Advanced division event.
- Re-qualify by competing in a Pro division of an SRA-sanctioned event.
In 2019 SRA launched a Pro Division to raise the profile of the sport and give players a goal to aspire to.
The SRA organizes Grand Slam tournaments for 16 qualifying premier teams each year. The top eight premier teams are then eligible for the Pro Division. In total, only 16 teams make up the Pro Division.
If a team doesn’t accept their bid to join the Pro division, the next highest placing team takes their place. The Pro Division is part of the Spikeball Roundnet National Championship.
The last Pro Division to be played was at the 2019 SRA Nationals and the winners were
- Cisek and Showalter – 1st Place
- Boysterous – 2nd Place
- Flexual Healing – 3rd Place
Pro players can advance to becoming Spikeball Elite. When you’re a Spikeball Elite you enjoy:
- Spikeball Inc. sponsorship
- Eternal fame
- Lucrative deals
- Travel funds
- Tournament attendance payments
What Is the Most Popular Spikeball Competition?
There are lots of Spikeball competitions in the US and across the world. Some of the most famous include SummerSpike which features on ESPN, the Kentucky Cashout Tournament, and the College series.
The most popular Spikeball event in the world is the US Spikeball Roundnet Nationals. The 2021 event set for October 2nd and 3rd will be at the Proving Grounds in Conshohocken, Philadelphia.
The Nationals host divisions for all ages and skill levels. These include:
The Beginner division is for teams still new to the game. The rules are more relaxed with a “gentleman’s serve” rule. The atmosphere is more fun than competitive.
This division features talented players under the age of 14.
High school teams with all players being 18 years or younger on the day of the tournament.
Women can play in any division. Nonetheless, the women’s intermediate is for newer female players wanting to hone their skills against other women.
For players just getting into the competitive side of the sport.
For talented female players who want to test their skills against other women. All women are free to play in any of the divisions.
For teams with refined skills but not yet ready to compete with No Hit Zone rules.
Teams play with ‘No Hit Zone’ and the top 4 teams qualify for the premier.
Pro is the highest division and players have to qualify for this invite-only division.
How Do You Qualify for Spikeball Nationals?
The beginner, youth, high school, and intermediate teams, all you have to do is register and be part of the action. In advanced and contender divisions, teams may have to compete and gain points in regional competitions to be eligible to play in the Nationals.
For the premier division, players have to rise through the contender division. Each year, 4 teams from the contender division qualify for the premier division. The qualifiers hold premier status for 12 months and need to re-qualify at the end of the one year.
Who Are the Current National Champions in Spikeball?
The last US National Championships were played in 2019. The current champions for each division are:
- 1st Place – RVA Spike
- 2nd Place – The Salty Pretzels
- 3rd Place – By By Spikers
- 1st Place – Merica
- 2nd Place – Spike 757
- 3rd Place – Dynamix
- 1st Place – Boom, roasted
- 2nd Place – Wahowa
- 1st Place – Resto Druid
- 2nd Place – The Redeemed
- 3rd Place – Shgo
- 1st Place – Elysium
- 2nd Place – Slice the Mango
- 3rd Place – To Be Determined
Women’s Advanced Division
- 1st Place – VA/CA
- 2nd Place – Overkill
- 3rd Place – Trio
- 1st Place – Cisek/Showalter
- 2nd Place – Boysterous
- 3rd Place – Flexual Healing