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The City Journals

South Salt Lake brings Spikeball to Columbus Center

Feb 03, 2017 11:43AM ● By Brian Shaw

Area residents enjoy playing a game of Spikeball. (Elvert Barnes)

By Brian Shaw | [email protected]

Spikeball. A sport that originated in the dark recesses of someone's mind who had the guts to take it to “Shark Tank”, the popular TV show on ABC, five years ago. Born from combining the sports of volleyball and four-square, they took their idea to national TV, from whence it started becoming a household name. 


Now, recreation department coordinator Myrna Clark brings this big idea to South Salt Lake's Columbus Center gymnasium every Saturday, where Spikeball open play will take place from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. 


“We really hope to get some interest in Spikeball so that we can continue it in the future,” said Clark, who added that city officials will give information and instructions to anyone who comes out Saturdays so that they understand how to play.  


What is the sport exactly?


Spikeball is a sport that is played with four players, two on each team, on which a hula hoop-sized net is placed between each team. That's where the fun begins, because as soon as a player serves the ball into net and it ricochets, it's game on. 


Like volleyball, each team can take up to three hits to return the ball to their opponent by bouncing it back off the net. 


But, that's where the volleyball similarity ends. Because unlike volleyball, there aren't any boundaries in Spikeball. So, if you or your teammate smash a ball into the stratosphere and it lands somewhere in Murray's city limits, the ball is still in play. Newsflash: you can move anywhere. 


However, if your opponent whiffs on the ball you just hit, you get a point. You can also get a point by hitting the ball on rim of the Spikeball net. Or, if it lands on the ground, point for you. But don't let the ball bounce twice on the net, because if you do, it's a point for the other team. 


Spikeball has been catching on across the country, according to Clark, who along with several recreation department members, first saw it displayed at a conference and then tried it out on a volleyball club last year. 


Later, Clark gave it a shot at her family reunion and it took off. Late last year, she said the decision was made to introduce it to the general public. 


Starting on Sat. Jan. 21, the city will lay down the Spikeball court and see what happens. While the jury is out on the sport, Clark is confident that Spikeball could have the same effect as another popular pastime in the city. 


“We hope it picks up like pickleball did,” said Clark, who added that she would like to hold a Spikeball tournament in the summer if the sport takes off.