Spikeball is a lifestyle, Vikings say

Lynbrook+students+play+spikeball+in+the+quad+during+brunch+and+lunch%2C+a+sight+that+has+become+the+new+norm.
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Spikeball is a lifestyle, Vikings say

Lynbrook students play spikeball in the quad during brunch and lunch, a sight that has become the new norm.

Lynbrook students play spikeball in the quad during brunch and lunch, a sight that has become the new norm.

Michelle Zhu

Lynbrook students play spikeball in the quad during brunch and lunch, a sight that has become the new norm.

Michelle Zhu

Michelle Zhu

Lynbrook students play spikeball in the quad during brunch and lunch, a sight that has become the new norm.

Michelle Zhu

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With the new school year, spikeball has emerged as a popular sport among Lynbrook students. During brunch, lunch and after school, teachers and students alike have rapidly increased their participation in this new sport. 

Spikeball is a sport similar to volleyball, with a low circular net placed parallel to the ground surrounded by two teams of two players each. Players pass the ball to their teammates and bounce it off the net to the other team. A team scores a point when the opposing team allows the ball to drop to the ground. Spikeball requires communication and coordination between teammates.

Seniors Neil Warke and Stephen Zhong saw spikeball as more than just a fun sport to play with friends; they saw it as an opportunity to connect students through a fun activity for all grades to enjoy. The two organized a tournament with two brackets: one for beginners and another for more advanced players. The tournament was held from Sept. 6 to Sept. 20, with games taking place at brunch, lunch or tutorial in the quad. 

“My friends and I, we always play among each other in the same group of individuals,” Zhong said. “But through this tournament, we were able to create an environment where people interact with people they might have never talked to.”  

During the tournament, the pair provided nets for participating players and marked off boundaries for each court. They also invited their friends to come watch the tournament and provide an audience for players. To spread the word, they created an Instagram account dedicated to the spikeball community at Lynbrook, @spikevikes on Instagram, which now has more than 140 followers. The account will serve as a platform to promote updates on future tournaments and events.

Zhong recruited friend and student photographer junior Austin Tong to take professional pictures and to create a promotional video for the tournament. Tong’s photos were published on @spikevikes, and the official account of the Spikeball sporting goods company commented on the post.

“[The tournament] was super organized,” Tong said. “I came and shot a few scenes, went home and edited it. I was super excited when the official spikeball account acknowledged my work. It’s cool to see this little community being recognized.”

The tournament was not just a success for bracket winners, but for all competitors. Despite not winning his bracket, senior Luka Mandic says that gained something more lasting than the final prize. 

“I got to meet a bunch of new people,” Mandic said. “[the spikeball tournament] brings a lot of people together — freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors — they were all involved in the tournament.”

Sophomore Tammi Trujillo has also met new people and made new friends through spikeball.

“[Spikeball] brings more people together,” Trujillo said. “It breaks up more cliques and different groups, bringing them to all play in one game.”

For other students, spikeball helps relieve stress and serves an enjoyable way to pass time during breaks. 

Spikeball is rising in popularity not only with students, but with teachers at well. Often at lunch, biology teacher Isaac Pallone plays spikeball with students out in the middle of the quad or out on Stober Field. 

“I’m glad it’s finally taking off,” Pallone said. “I’ve been playing almost since it came out. I think people are just starting to realize how fun of a game it is.”

Warke and Zhong have plans to expand this one-time tournament. The two organized a tournament with Homestead High School that was held afterschool on Sept. 27. They also plan to have a coed tournament at Lynbrook to attract more girls to participate. The bracket for the tournament will open on Oct. 11. 

On the surface, spikeball may seem like a regular sport, but for many, it is a break from homework and studying, a chance to bond with the community and a way to bring people closer together.