Spikeball gaining steam in New Jersey
Take a quick stroll down the beach on a sunny summer day, and chances are you'll pass by at least one game of the sport known as Spikeball. It has taken the state and country by storm, attracting mostly young active males.
The ball-and-net game was available at stores decades ago, but today it's making the ultimate comeback.
Spikeball, in the most basic terms, is volleyball in a 360-degree format. Teams of two position themselves around the net - a trampoline-like structure on the ground - and the volley begins when a player bounces the ball from one side to the other.
Just like volleyball, each side can hit the ball a maximum of three times before passing it off to the other team. Possession changes when one team "spikes" the ball into the net.
But, making the sport more unique than any other, there are no boundaries. Once the ball is in motion, players can run, jump or dive anywhere necessary in order to keep the ball alive. The first team to hit 21 points wins, and a point is awarded when the ball hits the ground, the rim of the net, or bounces more than once.
"It took us a while to get used to it. We were pretty bad at first," said Ryan Bongo of Morristown, playing the sport with his friends on the beach in Manasquan.
Spikeball received a big surge in popularity recently when it was featured on the hit ABC show "Shark Tank" and secured a $500,000 investment. A quick search online uncovers a number of Facebook groups in New Jersey devoted to the sport.
The basic Spikeball set, including some back-up balls, costs about $60.