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Spikeball Comes to Roanoke

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Written by Garrett Ruggieri

Have you been walking to class at any point this semester and seen people on the back quad or on the rugby field hitting a ball onto a little trampoline? You may have wondered, “what the heck are these people doing?” These strange people are members of the Roanoke College Spikeball Club. Spikeball is a sport that began gaining popularity in the mid 2000’s and has since become a staple on college campuses, beaches, and parks everywhere. It involves two teams of two facing off; teams must return the ball onto the net within three hits, or the other team gets the point.

The Spikeball Club Team was founded in the spring of 2018 by students Ryan Denholm and Seth Foster, who loved playing the sport before they got to college and wanted to introduce it to the campus. After a lengthy process that included meetings with club sports, a presentation to SGA, an initial interest meeting, and plenty of paperwork, Ryan and Seth were able to officially establish the club prior to the fall 2019 activities fair. It is there where they were able to recruit new members to come to an initial practice. The first practice of the semester yielded nearly 30 students, and new members were taught the rules and assisted by those who had played the prior semester before there was an official club.

The Brackety-Ack caught up with club president Ryan Denholm in order to hear about the growth of the club. “It’s really incredible the amount of active members we have playing after just one semester,” he said. With over 30 actively participating members, the Spikeball team has become the largest club sports team on campus, something that is sure to excite new club sports director, Gabby Arnold.

The Spikeball team has participated in numerous tournaments this semester under the leadership of President Denholm, including sending six players to the East Bay College Sectional at the University of Maryland, where Ryan and Seth finished tied for 9th place out of 64 teams. The next weekend, they sent a total of 14 members to Spikeball Nationals in Richmond, Virginia, many of whom had never participated in a tournament prior to this one. Then on Sunday October 27th they hosted a tournament on the rugby field that featured 16 teams, including multiple teams from Virginia Tech and JMU.

“The tournament was just a great way to bring together spikeball players on the campus community and to further establish the popularity of the sport and the club on campus,” Ryan explained. The club is now planning to attend another tournament the weekend of November 16th in Richmond, and will bring over 18 people, including five female teams. 

If you are interested in coming to a club spikeball practice, reach out to rgdenholm@mail.roanoke.edu Players of all skill levels are welcomed!