George Fox University earns the honors for our April Club of the Month! They crushed it and are quickly becoming a force in the Pacific Northwest! Check out how they made their magic below!
What is your Spikeball™ story?
I started playing roundnet back in early 2015. One of my good mates, Daniel, introduced me to the sport and we started playing whenever the sun came out. I’d team up with Ben, my tournament partner over the last couple of years, and Daniel would play with a dude called Calvin. The first 23 games we played, over 9 or so outings, Daniel and Calvin absolutely destroyed us, but we eventually got around to giving them some competition. We’d play side-out scoring to 11, so the average game length was 30-40 minutes. Daniel and Calvin graduated in the spring of 2016, which led to a bit of a lull in play, but Ben and I entered a random tournament, without any preparation, down in Lebanon, Oregon in the spring of 2017. By some miracle, we managed to pull out a third place finish as the Foxy Men, barely edging out Daniel and Calvin in the 3rd placed playoff. That sparked a resurgence of our play, and since then its been a rollercoaster. We hosted the PNW Collegiate tournament in October 2017 and took out first place, again with barely 30 minutes of practice the day beforehand. That won us a ton of sweet gear from Spikeball, so I felt it was about time we got a club started. We grew that club and in March of this year took 6 teams to the spring PNW Collegiate tournament. Foxy Men wasn’t able to secure the double, as we fell in the final to a couple of really cool dudes from Washington, but it was superb to see a bunch of the club turn up. Then just this month we ran a tourney at Fox, hosting nearly 50 ballers from all around the PNW. Somewhere in there I invented the ‘Evolved’ Spikeball set with my roommates, and the Foxy Men just graduated college holding a spot in the top 25 College Spikeball teams in the nation, which was pretty dang special (coming at you Easy Dug).
The George Fox University Club poses for a group photo at Paciific Northwest Sectionals.
What makes your club awesome?
Our club is incredible because of the vast array of people that come out. Since October we’ve grown from 3 guys (yup, in our first meeting we stood on the quad and asked random strangers to come play until we finally had a fourth) to more than 20-30 regulars and another 20 or so occasional drop ins. We meet Friday afternoons, giving everyone a way to end the week in the best way possible. We’ve got ballers ranging from a 6’5 baseballer to a 5’2 Honors student, and everything else in-between. It’s a club that welcomes players of all skills and styles to enjoy a time of community, and the attitude is one of enjoyment of skill development. We lend out club sets to the players who want to work on skills or set up a more competitive environment throughout the week, so those who want to get tourney ready have the chance, but our Friday club meet is a space for community. It’s a place where the best player we have will offer to partner with the guy who has never played before, just to make sure that new player has an enjoyable experience.
Do any club members have weird talents?
We’ve got a few strange ones in the crew. Carter features a flying chicken body block, jumping in the air with his arms at right angles, and it works with surprising effectiveness. Sticky has a drop-serve that seems to find the inside pocket every single time, and yet he can’t hit a normal serve to save his life. Yet the top would have to be Janelle. She manages to make setting look like the hardest thing in the world, and yet still manages to get the ball back within spiking distance. Every. Single. Time.
The "evolved set" that was created at George Fox University..
List some of your roundnet Pet Peeves.
Turf. We’re thankful to play on a field that is ready to go, no matter the weather, but the ball neeevveerr stops rolling. I’d say our teams have some of the best stamina on the college circuit, purely from chasing down missed serves and crazy pockets. Also rain. We had 23 meetings this year and only 5 of them featured a dry sky. Woo Oregon.
How did you grow your club?
Growing our club turned out to be way easier than that first day (3 people) suggested. We chatted to people at Ultimate Frisbee club, and that proved a fruitful place for interested individuals. We played in a public place, where people would walk by and get interested. But most importantly we set a stock time we would meet. It took some time, and a committed couple of guys and girls, but after 5 or 6 weeks, people realized we would always be meeting and there would always be people to play with, so would come out, even if the weather was bad. We also hooked into the school system and gained access to a bit of funding, which helped with equipment, but also funded some pretty sweet snacks.
Why should someone be a part of your club?
It’s a Friday afternoon at Fox… nothing important is happening, school work can wait, and you know you should enjoy the weather when it’s nice (though if it is raining, your skin is waterproof, so you should be alright to join us)! Also we have pizza now and then, and free food is always a plus!
Club members pose for a group photo at a Friday night play session.
What is your favorite George Fox roundnet club memory?
Too many to count. Winning the tournament back in October of 2017 was a ton of fun, but that was just the beginning of the club. The time we were written up in the college newsletter. When the field had patches of ice and we still played. Handing the club over to next year’s president. I guess I would have to say the tournament down at UofO. We had 3 cars, 12 guys and absolutely no idea what we were doing. 1 car ended up at the wrong college, barely making it in time for the bracket play, we failed to win anything, and then a different car got stuck for over an hour after they locked their keys in the boot. But it was the perfect representation of our club. Things didn’t go as planned. People had absolutely no idea what was happening. And we weren’t the best players around. But we showed up, had a raucous time, and got a little bit better than we had been the day before. It was exhausting. But one of the best weekends of my senior year.
What is your most cherished club accomplishment?
Putting six teams in the tournament this March was massive, including dudes who had only been playing a few weeks. While the results weren’t amazing, having guys (and girls) who were willing to take a chance on a tournament was incredible. That would come a close second to holding a 50 person, 2 division tournament at our college and having players come from up and down the coast. Both were feats which I never imagined when the club started up, yet somehow it all came together.
What is one piece of knowledge you want to share with high school and college players?
For growing a community, you don’t need to be the best player or the greatest organizer. Just get a net, play in a place that people will see you, and do it on a regular basis! It’s the kind of sport that makes people stop, watch and want to join in! Relating to competitive play… get your serves on! You can’t win a point if you don’t make the opponent play.
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