Where To Buy 'Shark Tank's Spikeball & Start Playing "The Next Great American Sport"
It's currently one of the best times of the year for sports: Major League Baseball is back on the field, while the NBA and NHL are in the thick of playoffs. It can be tough for not-as-established sports to get attention, but they definitely try. On this week's episode of Shark Tank, Spikeball will get its time to shine and introduce everyone to a brand new sport that'll either make the Sharks want to open their wallets — or drop the ball.
Never heard of it? Well, it's already a growing sport with more than 250,000 players in the United States playing for more than 1,000 nationally ranked teams in tournaments. According to Esquire, Spikeball clubs have even popped up at Ohio State University, Harvard University, and the University of Alabama. You can play it on a lawn or at the beach — pretty much anywhere you have a decent amount of space and nothing breakable around, because there will be balls in the air and on the ground.
But the question remains: Will the Sharks think this new sport is a worthy investment? Check out the basics of Spikeball for yourself below and make the call.
How Did They Come Up With This?
Spikeball founder Chris Ruder actually grew up playing the sport in the '80s. According to his interview in Esquire, he had an old Spikeball set from Toys "R" Us and played around with it. But whenever folks asked where they could get their own set, it turned out that the toy store discontinued selling the equipment. And that's when Ruder stepped in.
"So we acquired the rights – my brother, my cousin and some childhood friends all chipped in – and we launched it, fully intending to lose our ass because none of us had ever done anything like this," Ruder said. "Lo and behold, it's worked thus far."
What You Need & Where To Get It
One 12-inch ball (but you should probably have more than one) and a Spikeball net (it looks like a mini-trampoline + hula hoop + a net) that rests a few inches above the ground. That's it.
You can buy the equipment on the Spikeball website or Amazon, which describes the sport as "kinda sorta like volleyball and foursquare but on steroids." Ready to play? Spikeball sets and balls are for sale on the sport's website. The "Combo Meal Spikeball Set" comes with a Spikeball net, three balls, and a custom backpack, and costs $59 . If you'd rather order a la carte, Spikeballs are sold separately (in packs of 2 or 10 or glow in the dark balls), ranging in price from $10 to $65.
How To Play
Teams have two players each, standing around the net. Each player hits the ball into the net, where it'll bounce to the next player. But your goal is to have the ball not reach its next player, which is just like how you gain points in volleyball and tennis.
According to the sport's official rules, points are earned on every play (known as rally scoring). First team to 21 points wins.
Yup, there's already a whole Spikeball community waiting for you. You can officially join with a Baller Membership for $25 per year and it includes the following benefits: 2 "glow balls," 2 koozies, 1 "baller member" sticker, a membership card, and the ability to host a Spikeball tournament.
Even if Spikeball doesn't land a deal from one of the Sharks, I have a feeling they'll at least gain a few new "Baller" members.
Image: Michael Desmond/ABC