While at times so many conflicting views on rule changes can feel contentious or counterproductive, it’s really a testament to how much everyone cares about the sport. Every criticism is someone wanting the sport to reach its full potential.
With the development of the International Roundnet Federation and USA Roundnet, the updated SRA rules by no means stand as a mandate for all competition. They are simply the rules that will be used at Spikeball organized events. They are what we think will help improve our series and the sport as a whole.
High-level updates for the 2021 Spikeball Series:
For detailed rules check out the doc below
7-foot service line with lean
Judging a player’s toss over an imaginary curved line is difficult, especially when self-officiating. This change makes it easier for both the server and receiver to know they’re getting a fair shake.
Maintain pivot foot on serve until net contact
It’s difficult to tell if a server maintains contact with their pivot foot when they strike the ball. Adding additional time makes identifying these violations easier.
More detailed definition of pockets
There are varying definitions of what constitutes a pocket. We’ve tried to create a more uniform understanding. Keep in mind, there’s still plenty of work to be done to reduce/eliminate pockets, but the first step is better defining what it is.
Consecutive contacts off first touches are allowed
Defensive touches are hard to come by so we want to create more opportunities for playable points.
Remove “strong play” hinder
Determining what constitutes a “strong play” is very subjective. We simplify this by removing the distinction. If a player made every effort to get out of the way, you replay the point. If not, you gain the point.
(For top divisions only) No-hit zone
By backing the hitter off the net, it makes angles harder for hitters and more readable for defense contributing to defensive touches and rallies. When defense is a more viable option to earn points, there’s an increased incentive to get the ball on the net (fewer double faults).
We understand that these are major changes. We also understand that there’s still a long way to go. Our goal is to help develop the Spikeball Tournament Series in a way that makes it more fun to play and watch. While people’s definition of “fun” varies, the huge disparity between offense and defense is undeniable and the symptoms that stem from that (i.e. serveball) are a limiting factor to growth.
We don’t pretend to have all the answers. We're continuously gathering data and will adjust accordingly to learnings. Like anything new, it'll take some time to adjust and we appreciate your patience along the way. Growth comes with growing pains and progress isn’t always a straight path, but it always requires action.
Of all the updates, the most important rules aren’t new ones. It’s been in our core values and part of the community from the start - have fun and don’t be a jerk!