According to organizers Ted Sieving of WE Labs and Chico Spikeball’s Skyler Boles, the event will begin at 9:00AM with a 30 minute beach clean up, followed by 10:00AM Spikeball tutorials by the Chico Spikeball team and lastly, tournaments starting at 12:00PM.
“We thought: how about we do a Spikeball tournament and spread the word in Long Beach?” said Sieving. Shortly after WE Labs and Long Beach Clean UP decided to partner with Chico Spikeball, they discovered Saturday was International Spikeball Day.
“It just so happened to work out,” said Sieving.
Spikeball was first created in 1989 and was brought back to life “about eight years ago in Chicago,” according to Boles. The sport is enjoying a slow rise in popularity across the country, although Boles would acknowledge the scene in Long Beach is relatively small.
Chris Ruder, the current CEO of Spikeball Inc., was one of the people to purchase the set while it was available in stores in the 80s. His decision to buy the rights and resuscitate the product came to fruition when Spikeball sold its first set in 2008. Six years have passed and the weird trampoline game is making its way onto campuses, classrooms and beaches nationwide.
The sport was even featured on the season six finale of NBC’s Shark Tank.
Similar to two-on-two volleyball, Spikeball features two-person teams spiking a volleyball at each other. However, in lieu of a normal volleyball net, each team has up to three hits to spike the ball onto a net near the ground that resembles a trampoline.
No sides and no boundaries mean the ball can be hit in any direction.
“The Spikeball scene in Long Beach is small compared to other places, but we have an incredible amount of talent,” said Boles. “Some of the best players in the world reside in Long Beach and we want to spread the word about this beautiful game and grow the scene because everyone [who] plays instantly falls in love.”
Boles and Shaun Boyer make up the two-person Chico Spikeball team. The duo, who moved to Long Beach from Chico last year, are the de facto national champions of the sport, having not lost a tournament in over a year.
Their team has taken down opponents in the muddy, frozen confines of Harvard University, blew over the competition in the Windy City and reigned victorious at a tournament held last year in New York where 90 plus teams helped set the world record for competitors in a Spikeball tournament.
Boles said Saturday is “about getting anyone and everyone to play” Spikeball.
“We want to celebrate the joy that people get when they play and spread it to others,” he said. “We are hoping to have people play in all 50 states and 10 or more countries on Saturday!”
File photo of Shaun Boyer [pink shirt, left] and Skyler Boles [pink shirt, right] during a semifinal match in Santa Barbara last year. Photo by Robert Austin.
The beach clean up and Spikeball tutorial and tournaments will be held between the Granada volleyball courts and Cerritos Avenue at Granada Beach.