Osa Iyoha ’22
Out of nowhere, one activity has suddenly skyrocketed into popularity within the Mercersburg Academy community: Spikeball.
Spikeball rules are pretty simple, which is part of its appeal. It is played by two teams consisting of two players each. The game starts when the server bounces the ball off the net towards the other team. The goal of the game is to hit the ball off the net in such a way that the opposing team cannot successfully return it.
After that, all bets are off. Because of the circular net, there are no two sides.
The game was originally created by a Japanese toy company in 1989 but remained in obscurity due its use of outdated equipment. A decade later, a man named Chris Ruder founded Spikeball Inc. and helped revive the sport. This game slowly spread over the past several years and has reached Mercersburg students.
So why are the students so obsessed with this unique fusion of volleyball and table tennis?
Self-appointed varsity Spikeball player Pablo Garza ’22 said, “Spikeball is just a game that is so easy and fast to play. Games take at most 15 minutes, and it’s easy to set up.” Regarding the game’s sudden popularity, Garza added, “I think with the free time we get on the weekdays, it makes it really easy to play.”
When asked what drew him to the sport, Zeke Waddlington ’23 said, “The competitiveness and playing with your friends really pulled me in. Anyone can play.”
Similar to other players, Kenneth Yonke ’22 believes its low difficulty has made it a hit. “I think it’s become popular because we’ve made it such an accessible thing,” he said.
Tomiwa Salako ’22 said, “It just a time where I feel I can let loose.”
“I think Spikeball is such a simple game, that it’s not about experience, it’s more about chemistry with your partner. If you and your partner have chemistry, then you win the game,” Garza further remarked.
These days, the campus is filled with people playing Spikeball between classes and after school on the Quad, Tippetts Beach, and Regents Field. Students are attracted by simplicity, competition, and a great way to spend their free time.
Ryan MacInnis ’23, a veteran Spikeball player said, “I really like the community atmosphere… plus I crush everyone.”