Roundnet becomes the best club sport – The Oakland Post
Club sports are an essential part of the college experience, and Oakland University is no exception. One of the fastest growing clubs in OU is the Roundnet Club.
Roundnet – commonly known as Spikeball – is a fast-paced game with two teams of two going back and forth with volleys played around a circular net. A common inference is that roundnet is the baby of volleyball and foursquare.
Roundnet originally started in 1989, lost popularity in 1995 due to outdated equipment, then enjoyed a resurgence in 2008 when Spikeball CEO chris ruder took over the brand. Fast forward to 2020 – when the roundnet club was founded – roundnet club president and co-founder Alex Doty is ready to bring the game to OU.
“We worked together to build what it would look like because I had this idea since 2019 to start the club,” says Doty. “I was able to bring people together and bring my idea to fruition.”
Doty first discovered Roundnet in 2018 while attending several grad parties that summer, saying it was “kind of like the grad party game.” He would go on to buy his own net and eventually travel to Grand Rapids to compete in a tournament with a friend.
“It opened my eyes to Spikeball as a competitive sport,” says Doty. “It could be something I do in Oakland…it would be up to me to do and see how things go.”
Vice President Jon Herppich has also been touring the roundnet world since 2019, and he’s partnered with Alex to make this club a reality. Herppich says being vice president is a really cool experience.
“Since I’ve been here since the club started, the coolest thing I’ve seen from the roundnet is the transformation from the first meeting on the grass behind the track – with around 10 people – to our meetings now that matter around 40,” Herppich says. “Being vice-president of a club that’s growing so fast is great because we can plan events, run practices, and know that people are going to come in and want to learn and play the game of spikeball.”
Meetings are currently held from 9:45 pm to 11:45 pm every Monday at the Grizz Dome with a possible outdoor meeting to be added in late March, weather permitting. For meetings, all people must bring is a mask and shoes as nets and balls are provided.
Doty and Herppich are excited about the club’s future, with the club’s first collegiate tournament set to take place in April at University Bowling Green. The high-stakes tournament will send the winner to the national championships.
Doty’s goal is to bring three teams – one team being three teams of two – to the tournament, so there’s still time to join. Tournament registration will be available on the club’s link tree.
Herppich believes Roundnet Club will continue to grow as it is accessible to almost anyone.
“You don’t need to have any special talents or physical attributes to play – you can just show up and have fun,” says Herppich. “I also think Spikeball is going to continue to grow on college campuses everywhere…it provides community when you have a club, and it provides competition with college tournaments.”
Roundnet Club is open to teach new people who have never played Spikeball before, with the goal of having a competitive team and having fun. Some students express interest in the club, regardless of their experience with the game.
“I’ve played it many times,” says sophomore Jason Washington. “I knew there was a club at OU. I thought about joining in passive thinking a few times.
“I’ve never played Spikeball before – I didn’t know the Roundnet Club,” says Stephen Green. “I would be interested in learning to play Spikeball and getting competitive.”
For more information, check roundnet’s Instagram page @ouroundnet or visit their link tree.