The rise of roundnet

0
411
LeBaron and Mancia embrace in celebration after a close match. Photo credit: Kela Munnerlyn

Roundnet, the technical name for Spikeball, has risen in fame the last couple of years. Here at BYU-Idaho, multiple students, friends and families feel Spikeball is a new part of church culture. Is that really the case? Or is Spikeball bigger than we think?

The evolving sport of Spikeball.
The evolving sport of Spikeball. Photo credit: Kela Munnerlyn

Dylan LeBaron, a sophomore studying business finance, and Harold Mancia, a sophomore studying art, are teammates and students at BYU-I ranking top 25 at the collegiate level in the state of Idaho.

Dylan LeBaron and Harold Mancia shake hands in support of one another. Image Credit: Kela Munnerlyn
Dylan LeBaron and Harold Mancia shake hands in support of one another. Photo credit: Kela Munnerlyn
Dylan LeBaron (left) and Harold Mancia stand excited after their win.
Dylan LeBaron (left) and Harold Mancia (right) stand excited after their win. Photo credit: Kela Munnerlyn

“First it started as a hobby,” Mancia said. “I’ve invested many hours, hurt myself, made arguments and changed different teammates. It’s become a passion.”

Mancia has high hopes to play professionally in his future roundnet career.

Spikeball has been promoted all across the world. According to Spikeball Inc., over four million players participate worldwide. ESPN wrote about the rise of Spikeball worldwide, mentioning the Amish and Mennonite communities are high up in the population of Spikeball players.

The full story can be viewed at this link.

LeBaron stands ready for the serve.
LeBaron stands ready for the serve. Photo credit: Kela Munnerlyn
The team works together to get the point.
The team works together to get the point. Photo credit: Kela Munnerlyn

One player from a tournament mentioned the love the Amish and Mennonites have for volleyball making Spikeball a similar yet more fast-paced game. Thus, we see Spikeball is not solely within the culture of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it reaches far more cultures and communities.

LeBaron touches on his personal favorite pro Spikeball player, Buddy Hamon.

“I watch how he plays,” LeBaron said. “We both play very defensively so it’s really fun to watch and learn from.”

The ball lays ready for play. Image Credit: Unsplash
The ball lays ready for play. Image Credit: Unsplash Photo credit: Kela Munnerlyn

The desired number of Spikeball players in the Rexburg area is not being reached. LeBaron urges all to join the game and bring friends to play.

“The best way to improve in Spikeball is to play it more and more,” LeBaron said. “What I’ve noticed about myself is when I play a sport, I play to get better.”

Spikeball is one of the many sports where frequent practice makes progress with team members and personal improvements.

“I actively try to do more serves and learn new moves because that’s how you grow,” Mancia said. “When you are too constant you plateau in the sport.”

Both players emphasize their love for this sport and their passion to improve. The Spikeball community is welcoming and ready for a spike in player growth.

LeBaron intensely serves the ball.
LeBaron intensely serves the ball. Photo credit: Kela Munnerlyn
Mancia serving the ball to his opponent.
Mancia serving the ball to his opponent. Photo credit: Kela Munnerlyn

The more players out there, the better experience and performance. Increasing the Spikeball community moves the sport closer to the Olympics; a direction that’s not out of the question as the sport evolves and grows in popularity.

Harold Mancia is ready to pass the ball back to Dylan LeBaron his teammate.
Harold Mancia is ready to pass the ball back to Dylan LeBaron his teammate. Photo credit: Kela Munnerlyn