Watch College Nationals 2023 on ESPN

Preparation Tips

  • Getting Started
  • Launching the Event
  • Getting Ready
  • Final Prep
  • Day of Event

Organize your team - A tournament is a lot of work. Make sure you've got the right people to help support you. Each person should have a specific role and responsibility.

Select a date - Look for dates that don't conflict with other major events. If you're thinking of running this event every year, it can be good to choose the same day so people know to plan for it.

Apply early for a permit - This can be a lengthy process that includes creating site plans, providing insurance, and attending meetings. Do your research and figure out how long it will take.

Field Space - We recommend 1,300 sq. feet per net. You want to setup nets approximately 36 feet (12 yards) apart.

Registration Page- Spikeball does not offer a specific platform for tournament registration. Some are using a Google Doc and having players pay day-of or through Venmo, or utilizing an event platform such as EventBrite or RedPodium.

Get people excited - Before you open up registration it's helpful to get as many people as you can pumped to sign up. Make sure they know when registration is opening by sending emails, posting on social media, and using word of mouth.

Incentivize early registration - Use discounts, contests, or special prizes to get people to sign up early. When people see that an event has lots of teams registered it makes them more likely to register.

Include all the details - On the registration page include all the possible information. Think about things like where people should stay if they're coming from out of town, where to park, what activities they could to do in the area, what division they should sign up for, when registration will close, etc. If you notice a few people are asking the same questions consider adding an FAQ section to the event page to share that information.

Add your tournament - List your tournament on the Spikeball App and the Independent Event webpage for others to find.

Provide updates - Use email and social media to give progress updates on registration, new sponsors or prizes, and to encourage teams already signed up to spread the word.

Stay active - Continue to provide updates through the event page, social media, and email.

Prepare big ticket items - Take a look at the tournament checklist and see if there are things you need to purchase. For things like UHaul rentals or food vendors you'll need to make sure that you prepare this ahead of time to prevent surprises.

  • If you're purchasing water we recommend one gallon per team for hot days.

  • If you're ordering jersey to sell, we've seen that about 25% of players will purchase.

Get commitments from volunteers - You want to make sure you have enough people for the event to run smoothly.

  • Our formula is at least 1 volunteer for every 20 teams.

Visit the site - You don't want to be surprised the week before your event that the field is not what you expected. Make sure to do a site visit so you can plan accordingly.

Close registration - We recommend closing registration at the very least the Thursday before the tournament to give you ample time to organize pools, print information.

Print out all necessary material - You're going to want to have everything prepared ahead of time. This means print out all the pools, the score taking sheets, and the order of the games. Draw the bracket board in advance.

Final check of materials - Make sure you have enough sets, tents, chairs, etc. Actually take inventory and confirm you have what you need. Review the tournament checklist and make sure you're not missing any small items like clipboards or markers.

Send final email - Let everyone know when to arrive, what to bring, where to park, the schedule of the day, etc. Also tell teams to let you know if they can no longer attend - this will save you a lot of last minute scrambling.

Show up early - Depending on the size of the event we recommend at least 2 hours in order to prepare the venue.

Set up - Prepare tournament central where teams will check in. Make sure flags and signs are visible so that teams no they arrived to the right place. Lay out the sets and label the pools (if necessary).

Serving Lines - When painting serving lines, it is best to first plan the layout your field and spray paint a dot where each net will be. You will then need a 7.5 foot string to make the serving line. The serving line is 7.5 feet from the center of the net. Is it easiest to have one end of the string on a stake which one person can hold at the center dot. The other end of the string is attached to the spray can which the other person is using to paint the serving line. It is important to stay low to the ground when walking the circle painting the line. We recommend using chalk/water based spray paint.


Check in - As teams arrive make sure that they check in. Have your check in sheet ready to go and be prepared to rearrange some pools based on teams that don't show up.

Opening announcements - explain format of the day, location of water/food/bathrooms, rules clarifications, and any other necessary information. Take a group picture before games start!

Pool play and bracket play - use results from pool play to determine seeds for the elimination bracket. Make sure you have a system to record and calculate rankings. See the calculating and reporting scores resources.  

Wrap up - announce the winners. Clean up venue and pack up equipment!