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    Spikeball Rulebook

    Rulebook Original Source


    Roundnet is a team sport played by two teams consisting of two players each. Opposing team members line up across from each other with the Spikeball roundnet set in the center. A point begins when the server hits the ball off the net towards the opposing player. The object of the game is to hit the ball off the net in such a way that the opposing team cannot successfully return it.

    A team is allowed up to three touches to return the ball onto the net. Once the ball is played off the net, possession switches to the opposing team. The rally continues until a team is unable to legally return the ball. Players may move as they wish during a point, so long as they do not physically impede the opponent's play on the ball.


    Before Play

    • The ball should be inflated to 12 inches in circumference.
    • The tension on the net should be consistent throughout. A ball dropped from 5 feet above the net should bounce up approximately 1 foot.
    • Play best of 3 rock, paper, scissor with the winner picking side or serve/receive. In match play side and serve/receive will switch in the second game. If a series goes to three games, teams will play rock, paper, scissors again to determine who has choice of side or serve/receive for game three.


    • Roundnet is played using rally scoring; points can be won by the serving or receiving team.
    • Games are typically played to 11, 15, or 21. In tournament play, the tournament director specifies the winning score.
    • Games must be won by two points unless otherwise agreed or specified.
    • Teams are allowed 1 timeout lasting 30 seconds per game. Timeouts must be called in between points.

      • A 5 minute injury timeout is available once per match if players get hurt. If players cannot continue after 5 minutes they must forfeit the match.
    • The rally ends and a point is awarded when:

      • The ball contacts the ground or otherwise isn't returned onto the net within 3 touches.
      • The ball is hit directly into the rim at any time, including on a serve. (This does not apply to "roll-up" hits; see Rallies section.)
      • The ball bounces and falls back onto the net or rim.
      • The ball clearly rolls across the net.
      • There are two service faults.
      • Certain infractions occur (see Infractions section).


    • Determine a serving order which alternates players from the two teams (e.g. Player 3 follows Player 1, etc.).

      • This order can be changed between games in match play.
    • The server sets their position first. Non-receiving players set up 90 degrees from the server (see Figure 1). The receiver - the only player allowed to field the serve - stands wherever they want.
    • All players except the receiver must begin the point at least 6 feet from the net.
    • Serves may be struck with any amount of force; short serves are allowed
    • Once the server strikes the ball, players may move anywhere they choose.
    • If the receiving team wins the point, the next designated player serves according to the initial sequence. Otherwise the server switches places with their partner answers the other member of the receiving team.
    • To equalize sun and wind effects, rotate starting positions and 90° counterclockwise every 5 points if desired.
    • If a server commits two faults, the receiving team wins the point. Violation of any of the following rules is a fault:

      • The server must announce the score before serving to ensure the opposing team is ready.

        • Say the serving team's score before the receiving team's score.
        • The ball must travel at least 4 inches from the server's hand before it is hit.
        • If the server tosses the ball he must hit it.

          • Dropping, catching, or swinging at and missing the toss all count as a fault.
        • The server's feet must be completely behind the service line, if drawn, or otherwise at least 6 feet from the net when the ball is hit.
    • The ball must be hit at least 6 feet from the net. The server may not lean, fall, or toss the ball as to strike it closer to the net.
    • The server may take one pivot step or direct approach steps, but may not move laterally beyond a pivot or change directions during approach.
    • The server may contact the ball with 1 foot airborne, but that foot must contact the ground at least 6 feet from the net before further movement.
    • Serves may not pass higher than the receiver's upwardly extended hand.

      • If the receiver can catch the ball without jumping, it is playable. If not, the receiving team may say "fault" before the next touch or ground contact to signal a fault, or they may elect to continue play.
    • The serve should cleanly off the net.

      • If the ball takes an unpredictable bounce (commonly called a pocket) and/or hits the net but then rolls into the rim and off (commonly called a roll-up), the receiving team may say "fault" before the next touch or ground contact, or they may continue play.
    • If the ball hits near the server's side of the net (commonly called a near-net), it typically bounces low and hard without an unpredictable change of direction. This is a legal serve.
    • If the serve misses the net, hits the rim directly, or bounces and lands back on the net or rim, the receiving team wins the point


    • Possession changes when the ball contacts the net.
    • Each team has up to 3 touches per possession.
    • Touches must alternate between teammates. Consecutive touches by one player result in a loss of point.
    • The ball and he contacted cleanly, not caught, lifted, or thrown.

      • Players may not hit the ball with two hands, even if placed together "volleyball style".
    • Players may use any individual part of their bodies to hit the ball.
    • If the ball is hit directly into the rim, or bounces and lands back on the net or rim, the rally ends and the non-hitting team wins the point.
    • After the serve, any unusual bounce (i.e. pocket) that does not contact the rim is legal and playable.
    • A shot which lands on the net, rolls and the rim and then off the net (i.e. roll-up) is played as a pocket, not a direct rim hit.
    • If teams cannot determine the legality of a hit, replay the point.


    • Remember: Player safety is paramount.
    • Defending players must make an effort not to impede the offending team's possession or play on the ball.
    • If the defender's position prevents a makeable play on the ball, the infracted player may call "hinder".

      • If the hinder is avoidable and the offensive player has a strong play on the ball, the point is awarded to the offensive team.

        • Example: Defensive team throws arm in front of shot over the net, preventing offensive player from swinging.
        • Example: The hitter is contacted by a defensive player during the act of swinging in close proximity to the net.
      • If the defender has no time to avoid the hinder when playing in a legitimate defensive position, the point is replayed, even if the offensive team has a strong play on the ball.
      • Example: A close range body block pops up and goes directly into the defending team.
    • If during possession (or en route to the net), the ball contacts a defender to prevent a makeable offensive play, the infracted team may call "hinder" to force a replay.
    • The following infractions cause a loss of point:

      • A defensive player attempts to play a ball out of turn.
      • A player hits a shot off the net which subsequently hits himself or his teammate.
      • A player makes contact with the Spikeball roundnet set (rim, leg, or net).

        • Even if you hit a kill shot, you will lose the point if you contact the net before the point is over (i.e. the ball must hit the ground, ball must double hit opposing player etc.)