Guelph's first-ever league for the game of Spikeball is now operational.
Perpetual Motion Sports has introduced the sport to its complement, with the first Guelph Spikeball League already underway for a spring session.
"It's become a very popular sport," said Dave Kelly of Perpetual Motion Sports, the league convenor. "It's in a lot of backyards, people playing at the beach and with friends. A lot of the young generations really enjoy playing it, and it's so portable and easy to play wherever you go."
Spikeball is a mix of volleyball and four-square, and played two against two.
All that is needed to play is a ball and a hula hoop sized net on the ground.
The players surround the net, and play rallies to score points, similar to volleyball.
Kelly said he sent out an email to the 4,000 players involved in the other sports run by Perpetual Motion. He said 19 teams already signed up.
"I was hoping for 12 to start, so I was really ecstatic having 19," he said.
He had to be patient, as a Spikeball league was set to be introduced in spring 2020, but COVID-19 had other plans.
Now, it's an eight-week league – running every Thursday evening at the University of Guelph's turf field – culminating with a championship night in the final week of June. A summer league will start immediately after.
There's also what Kelly refers to as a 'spirit award,' where players can rank how much fun it was to play against a certain opponent. The team with the highest 'spirit average' wins a prize at the end of the season. It also serves as the first tiebreaker for teams at the end of the season.
Kelly said it's a fun atmosphere to be a part of, with music going and nine courts active.
He said there is great parity within the league, but eventually the goal is to get enough teams to get two leagues running simultaneously, based on skill level.
It is more of an adults league, but Kelly said high school students are allowed to register as a team and play.
"We can have up to 20 courts going at one time, so that would be 40 teams," Kelly said about the league's capacity. "People kind of sit and wait to see how this spring league goes, and they're going to join in for the summer.
"Hopefully this sport just keeps growing."
Check the Perpetual Motion Sports website to register, find out more about the league and learn the rules to the game.