Ballers (Shirley Smith)
College guys are reaching out to high schools this semester to the kids after school.
Buddy Hammon, Bryce Clifford, Austin Fraker, David Quick and Austin Sodaro are regular college guys. You can catch these guys on quad turf every Wednesday from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., playing their favorite pastime sport, called spikeball.
“Spikeball is like volleyball. You spike the ball like you spike a volleyball, and it has been around since 1989,” Hammon said. “The name of our division is West Coast Spikeball.”
The game is played with a palm size ball and bounced on a small trampoline net, that resembles a Hula Hoop on very short legs. Two teams of two players spike the ball off the net to their teammates, in three hits. If they miss, the other team scores.
Rim balls are the same as a miss. The first team to get 21 points wins.
It is a polite game. The only debate is in the serving style. Some people like to serve hard, some like to serve soft and if there is any question about the point, they just do it over.
”Bryce and I were actually doing a lot of beach volleyball tournaments together,” Hammon said. “I couldn’t move around as well.
West Coast Spikeball just sponsored a tournament in Manhattan Beach. We had over 20 team. We had teams down from Seattle, Chico, New York, Arizona. We had teams from all over,” Hammon said.
The team plays in tournaments all over, including: San Francisco, Chicago and New York . The guys are doing a big charity tournament held in Pismo Beach for Lifewater International, a nonprofit development organization, that believes all people should have safe water for life. They focus on sustainability, helping communities gain safe water, adequate sanitation and effective hygiene.
”Newcomers are welcome and women do very well. The trampoline folds up and fits in a backpack,” Hammon said. “My girlfriend, Karissa Hartman, who attends Azusa Pacific University, also plays in tournaments. She made it to the semi-finals at the Manhattan Beach tournament, playing with Austin Fraker.”
West Coast Spikeball teams have gotten some of the colleges interested in the game and have sold sets to various gyms and coaches.
“We go to college at Saddleback, but we hit other colleges two or three times a week to promote the game, like Fullerton, San Marcos, San Diego,” Hammon said.
“We are reaching out to high schools this semester to the kids after school. We send out representatives to every high school in our local area,” Hammon said. “We got over 100 likes
yesterday, just from the high schools.”