Spikeball Club aims to help community

Drew Stevens, junior in kinesiology and ambassador of the K-State Spikeball Club, returns a hit during a Spikeball game in the sand volleyball courts at Chester E. Peters Recreation Complex on Jan. 21, 2016. (Emily Starkey | The Collegian)

Members of the new K-State Spikeball Club can be seen playing the sport in yards and sand courts around K-State. The club was officially formed as of Jan. 1.

Drew Stevens, ambassador of the club and junior in kinesiology, said the main reason he applied for ambassadorship was to start a club that would bring people together.

“Spikeball creates an unbelievable community,” Stevens said. “Talking with other ambassadors around the country, I’ve seen what a huge community it builds, as people will drive eight or 10 hours just to play Spikeball.”

The club has done just that by creating a friendly atmosphere here at K-State, Andrew Barba, sophomore in mechanical engineering and K-State Spikeball executive, said.

“Through the entire Spikeball community, I’ve met so many friends,” Barba said. “It’s really cool for a kid like me, who is from out-of-state, meeting a bunch of new people who share the same interest as me.”

Barba said those interests include a love for volleyball and the childhood game four square as Spikeball is a combination of the two.

Spikeball is a sport played with two teams of two players who line up across from each other with the Spikeball roundnet set in the center. The server hits the ball at the net toward the opposing player facing opposite of them. Once served, the object of the game is to hit the ball off the net, using up to three hits. The rally continues until a team is unable to successfully return the ball, according to the official rules on spikeball.com.

Tim Gauntt, K-State Spikeball executive and junior in kinesiology and athletic training, said the club is more community-oriented than anything else.

“It is important to us to give back to the community,” Gauntt said. “Not only to K-State, but to the Manhattan community at large.”

The club will be hosting three tournaments this semester and donating a portion of the proceeds from the tournaments to the local organization Katie’s Way.

Katie’s Way, in cooperation with the No Stone Unturned Foundation, “provides services to promote social-emotional development, prevent development of mental health challenges and address social-emotional problems that currently exist,” according to its website.

“The more money we can get through the tournaments, the more money we can donate,” Gauntt said.

The first tournament will be the Kansas State Spikeball Open, which is free for teams to enter and will be at the sand volleyball courts in the Chester E. Peters Recreation Complex on March 26.

The second tournament will be the First Annual Roundnet Tournament, which will have a $20 entry fee for teams to play, in the event fields at the Rec Complex on April 9. There will be two categories of play, one for beginners and one for more experienced players. During the tournament, there will be a raffle for a ticket to Country Stampede.

The third tournament, the KSA Campus Tournament, will be in cooperation with the Kinesiology Student Association and will have a $20 entry fee for teams. The tournament will be held at Memorial Stadium on April 30. This tournament will help raise money for the department of kinesiology and future scholarships, Stevens said.

The club will also be hosting an Orange Leaf Fundraiser on March 9.

Barba said there are members of this club who carry their Spikeball equipment in bright yellow bags wherever they go.

Don’t be shy about it,” Barba said. “If you ever see these (bags) around campus, just ask us to play and we will stop what we are doing and play.”

Hi there! I'm Emily Starkey. I'm a freshman in journalism and mass communications with the hopes of becoming a world-renowned photojournalist some day. I have big dreams of becoming the chief official White House photographer while dabbling in writing and drinking exorbitant amounts of coffee along the way.