Strange sports in the Townships: Roundnet/spikeball

By Gordon Lambie

If you’ve been to a park in Sherbrooke recently, there’s a good chance you’ve seen people playing roundnet. Also known by the name “spikeball,” which refers to the company responsible for reviving the sport in recent years, roundnet is a game for four players played around a small round net that is placed parallel to the ground between them.
According to self-styled spikeball/roundnet ambassador Etienne Caron the game itself is mainly follows the rules of volleyball. Played by four people in two teams of two, the objective is to score points by getting the opposing pair to miss the ball while passing back and forth.
“You have to bounce the ball off the trampoline, and then the team has a maximum of three contacts with the ball before sending it back,” Caron said.
The origins of the game date back to 1989 but it has been regaining popularity in the United States since the launch of the “spikeball” brand in 2008. Caron said that he first heard of the game in Quebec about five years ago and fell in love with it almost immediately.
“I am a person who likes to try new and strange sports and was on the lookout for something new,” he said, explaining that he bought a set off the internet and brought it with him for a cottage weekend with friends, where the game was enjoyed by all. “It made me want to become a spikeball ambassador.”
For the last four years Caron said that he has been working on spreading the word locally by helping connect people with an interest in the game and arranging opportunities for people to try it for the first time.
“We’re starting to see more and more people playing, but it hasn’t reached its full potential,” he said.
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