The first signs of Spikeball go back to the late 1980s. It was a toy – a round net and ball, that was designed to be a team sports game. It was meant to be played in a 2 v 2 format, but the options were diverse and could be easily adapted to be played in a multitude of different ways. 1-on-1’s are pretty common, 3-v-3’s, and can also be in 2-team style.
Spikeball involves a round net in the center, with opposing teams lined up facing each other. One team serves the ball, which has to bounce off the center net towards an opposing player. The opposing team has to return the ball, also having to bounce it off the center net. After the serve takes place, the players can move anywhere around the net they like. The objective is to stop the opposing team from returning the ball. Each team can have up to 3 touches, alternating between the players, before they have to return the ball.
After Spikeballs initial release, the toy quickly lost steam, stopped getting updated, and faded from popularity. However, now it is an incredibly popular game being played by people of all ages. It continues to gain popularity due to how easy it is to learn and play for casuals and also because of how competitive it can get as you move upwards on the skill ladder.
Chris Ruder, the founder of Spikeball, learned about the game after he came across his old Spikeball toy and found out the trademark had expired. He saw the potential the game had to become a sport loved by casuals and those looking for some intense competition. He renewed the trademark and started manufacturing the products and selling them. Chris and his team also started to run tournaments in order to further publicize their sport and product.
Chris and his team appeared in Season 6, Episode 29, of Shark Tank. They were looking for a $500,000 investment for a 10% stake in the company. The first thing they did was play a game of intense Spikeball in front of the Sharks to demonstrate their product.
Chris then told his story of finding his old toy and renewing the trademark. Chris and his team also provide stats about their sales, their per-unit costs, and how much they sell them for. Chris states he wants the cash injection from the Sharks to fulfill Dick’s Sporting Goods order of 10,000 Spikeball units.
Kevin O’Leary was the first Shark to question the company’s valuation but decided to wait on the other shark’s actions before offering a deal. Lori was quick to be out, stating she didn’t believe the valuation. Nick Woodman was next out as he just wasn’t passionate about the product. Mark Cuban was interested but also couldn’t come to terms with the valuation of the company.
Kevin and Daymond battle it out with a couple of offers back and forth. Daymond’s offer of $500,000 for licensing rights at 25% equity piques Chris’ interest. They counter back and forth for a while, and the pair finally set at a 20% equity deal. In the end, the completed deal is a $500,000 investment for 20% equity.
Since the episode aired, the deal between Daymond and Chris fell through and was never completed. But Spikeball as a company has experienced significant growth over the years. They’ve sold millions of sets worldwide, have annual revenue of almost $20 million, and the first Spikeball or Roundnet World Championship is about to take place later in 2022.
Our Review of Spikeball
Spikeball is an amazing game for people of all ages – children and adults alike can have a lot of intense entertainment with Spikeball. It is easy to set up – all you have to do is join the rim, attach the five legs to the rim, and finally secure the net. The standard set comes with 3 balls that might need a little filling when they first arrive.
The game is super fun and easy to learn. For kids, it can be a casual but fun game of volleying the ball to each other. For older kids, teens, and adults, Spikeball can get as competitive as you want. The competitive aspect of the game also makes it incredibly addictive as you continue to challenge yourself to your maximum ability.
Spikeball also has a community app where you can find players, pick-up games, and of course, competitive tournaments. Over 150 tournaments are taking place this year alone, which you can take part in and win some cash!
Pros of Spikeball
- Entertaining, athletic, and active game.
- Easy to learn and play
- Can be played casually or competitively
- Doesn’t require you to be incredibly athletic to play casually
- Easy assembly and Storage
- High-quality and durable nets, balls, and legs
Cons of Spikeball
- Net is irreplaceable if broken
- Net needs to be adjusted regularly
- Can’t be played in very large groups or numbers
Who is Spikeball for?
Spikeball is a game for anyone and everyone. Children can enjoy playing it. Teenagers and adults will also love this sport, especially those who like team or competitive sports. It is also a great game to bring to the beach or a picnic for hours of family fun!
Are There Any Alternatives?
There are a lot of alternatives available on the market today. Spikeball is the name of this particular product, but the sport as a whole is now known as Roundnet. Roundnet products are readily available in Sports stores and online, and there are alternative tournaments that are run by the Roundnet Association.
Our Final Thoughts
Spikeball is an incredibly fun game to play. Whether you like to stay casually active, are an athlete, or just love outdoor sports in general – Spikeball will suit all these kinds of users. The product itself is of high quality, durable, and well-made. The only problem people usually have is with the stability of the net. Other than that, Spikeball is completely worth every penny!