What do you do when you arrive at the park and find the disc golf course closed? You play Spikeball!
At least that’s what a group of disc golf players at Homewood Park were up to last week.
The closure of the disc golf course at Homewood Park is a result of the restrictions put in place by the province due to the current COVID stay-at-home order.
When brothers Ben and Eric Gooley found the disc golf baskets (targets) sealed off, instead of leaving the park, they pulled out their Spikeball game, set it up, turned on some music and were ready for some fun outdoor competition.
The Gooleys, along with Ben’s fiancé, Paige Bundy, and Eric’s girlfriend, Naomi Zwahlen, have ended up in the same household (the parents of Ben and Eric) while in a transition as a result of COVID restrictions. It turns out that the game of Spikeball, designed for four players, is an ideal and perfectly allowable way for the foursome to enjoy time in the park.
The group had been introduced to the game in Whistler, B.C., where they had been working for the past few years.
“It’s really big in Whistler,” said Eric and Ben. “I’ve also noticed it becoming really popular in Toronto,” added Ben. “I’ve seen what must have been about 100 nets set up at one park in Toronto.”
So what is Spikeball? According to the Instagram site of Spikeball Inc, the company that manufactures the equipment, it is “The lawn game of your wildest dreams.”
The game has also been known as “Roundnet,” but has become more widely known Spikeball, the brand name for the sport. It is played with two teams of two using a small round net that looks like a mini trampoline and a small squishy yellow ball. Inspired by the sport of volleyball, each team is allowed three touches before they have to hit the ball down into the net.
“It’s easy to learn; it’s good exercise, and really portable,” said Eric, who explained how the net folds up into a small bag that he can carry in his knapsack.
Paige added that they can even play it at home in their rec room. “That’s the beauty of having the soft ball.”
“It goes from really casual to highly competitive,” added Ben. “Either way, it’s lots of fun.”
They all agreed that it was not only a great workout, but a very social game.
“Before COVID, we found that playing Spikeball was a great way to hang out and socialize,” explained Ben. “Everyone can easily join in. Once your game is over, you can just tag someone else [another twosome] for the next game.”
Naomi said she had never played until a couple of months ago.
“It’s awesome; very easy to pick up.” She also said that when people see them playing the game in the park, they are intrigued. “Every time we come to the park, someone asks us about what we’re doing.”
This “lawn game of your wildest dreams” has turned out to be a great solution for the Gooley family foursome who want to stay active during a pandemic. Eric and Naomi will soon return to B.C. where they work at ZipTrek EcoTours, while Ben and Paige are planning to move back to Ottawa, where they both went to university.
In the meantime, watch out for them in the park and now you’ll know what they’re doing.