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'Spikeball' coming to Fort High

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It's a sport the whole community can gather around and it will be making its way to the district in the near future.

The Health and Wellness Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) students at Fort Frances High School are planning on holding a “try day" on April 30 to introduce the sport of "spikeball” to Fort High students and the community at large.

As part of their SHSM requirements, OFSAA has graciously given students at Fort High a grant in which the school has purchased a total of eight spikeball sets that will also be shared with United Native Friendship Centre and the Fort Frances Public Library for public use.

“Spikeball,” also known as roundnet, is a net sport inspired primarily by concepts from volleyball.

There are multiple ways to play roundnet. Most games consist of four players, but there are also two- and six-player variants.

Differences include where the players line up and infraction penalties, among others.

The materials used in spikeball include a small trampoline-like object with string netting, a small bouncing ball with a 12-inch circumference, and four players.

In standard play, players line up next to each other around the trampoline while in other versions, they line up across from each other.

In all versions, the game starts with a serve from one team to another, continues as long as the ball is being hit from players to trampoline, and ends when an infraction occurs between either the players or the ball.

Spikeball is a fast-paced hybrid between volleyball and four square that pits two teams of two against each other in a battle to keep a ball in the air, mixing the rules of both sports.

“It's a low-impact sport that is also very accommodating to people of all athletic skill levels,” Health and Wellness SHSM student Jaykob Ryll said of spikeball.

“It is also an easy enough sport that it can be played by all ages and is easy to set up. The game is very fast-paced for those who are experienced but can be slowed down for new players,” he stressed.

Ryll also noted that the students' goal is to bring it to as many students and community groups as possible to learn about and experience the sport.

“Giving students a new sport that will keep them active,” is what Ryll cited as one of the biggest benefits to spikeball.

“It is something that they haven't tried before and they haven't had access to in the past,” he reasoned.

“It also creates a stronger school community and allows the SHSM students to experience event organization as this whole day has been planned by students,” added Ryll.

Ryll also noted that these easy setup, fast spikeball games are a great way to strengthen community bonds and improve community fitness.

“They also allow for local children to have access to more physical organized games,” he remarked.

“The equipment will be able to be loaned out from the library and we hope that it will be used throughout the summer,” added Ryll.

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