The Spikeball Roundnet Association is the highest sanctioning authority and world governing body for the sport of roundnet, or more commonly known as spikeball. The sport is classified as a net sport and features aspects of volleyball and four square. Relatively new, it was created in 1989, but started to lose popularity nearly five years later as a result of outdated equipment. The game experienced a major boost in 2008 when Spikeball Inc began to promote it and manufacture equipment that was more modern and appealing to athletes. The most frequent way to play the game is between four players, but a match can also feature two or six players. What makes roundnet so popular with all age groups is that a match can be set up relatively anywhere, which makes beaches a favourite area. The equipment consists of a round object that resembles a trampoline with netting stretched across the middle. The ball is soft and is approximately 3.8 inches in diameter.
The most common version of the game is played between two teams of two. The four players are positioned around the net at specific points. A player serves the ball across the net to an opponent, who then has three hits to return the ball to the net. The serve is from a specific position, but after that players can move about anywhere around the net to set up an opportunity to spike the ball onto the net. Play will continue until a player fails to return the ball to the net or the return hits the rim. The point then goes to the winning side. When Chris Ruder founded Spikeball in Chicago, he was working fulltime in other firms while concentrating on his business in his spare time. Eventually by 2013, his company was earning over a $1 million in sales. The game was first played on a national level in the United States and Spikeball was a major sponsor to the events and the founder of the Spikeball Roundnet Association. With relatively low-cost to implement and the all-round appeal as a family or competitive sport, Roundnet has the potential to become a truly global sport.