Spikeball Rules


  1. GVSU IM Sports will provide the game equipment
  2. Guards, casts and braces must be covered and protected. 
  3. Hats are permitted. Bandanas with a single knot may be worn

Players and Substitutes

  1. A team consists of two (2) players. Two is needed to start the game. 
  2. There are no gender requirements for Spikeball.
  3. Teams may have substitutes on their roster, but players can only sub in after each game or for injury. 

Spikeball Basics

The Game

  1. A match is won by the first team to win two games. 
  2. Teams will determine which team serves first by rock-paper-scissors. The winner can choose to serve first in game one or game two
    1. Whichever team receives to start game one, will serve to start game two. 
    2. If the match goes three games, the teams will determine who serves first for game 3 by rock-paper-scissors.
  3. There will be no game officials, only GVSU IM Sports staff. Players and teams will be expected to call their own faults. Any disagreements may be brought to the attention of the staff for a ruling. All staff decisions are final.
  4. The first two games will be won when one team reaches 21 points, provided they win by two.
    1. There is a cap of 23 points.
  5. The third game, if necessary, will be won when one team reaches 15 points, provided they win by two.
    1. There is a cap of 17 points.
  6. There is no cap in game 3 of a playoff match. A team must win game 3 by two points.

Game Play

  1. Positions at the serve
    1. All players, except the receiver, must begin the point at least 6 feet from the net
    2. The receiver may stand at any distance. 
    3. Once the server strikes the ball, players may go anywhere they choose.
  2. The serve
    1. Serves may be struck with any amount of force. Short serves are not allowed
    2. The receiving team sets its position first. The server stands 180 degrees across from the designated receiver
      1. The receiver is the only player allowed to field the serve.
    3. If a server serves two faults, the receiving team wins the point. A service fault includes
      1. The server must toss the ball upward at least two inches
      2. If the server tosses the ball, they must hit it. Dropping, catching or swinging at and missing a toss all count as a fault.
      3. A pocket hit on the serve is a fault. 
  3. Possession changes when the ball contacts the net
  4. Teams have three touches to return the ball to the net.
  5. After each point, the server will serve to a different opponent. 
  6. Rallies
    1. Touches must alternate between teammates.
    2. The ball must be contacted cleanly, not caught, lifted or thrown.
    3. Players can never hit the ball with two hands.
    4. Players may use any body part to contact the ball.
    5. After the serve, an unusual bounce (pocket) that does not contact the rim is legal.
    6. Defending players must make an effort not to impede the offending team's possession or play on the ball. 

Page last modified March 21, 2023