The 2014 USA Spikeball Nationals went far better than any of us could’ve imagined. There were a lot of things going on behind the scenes to make it run so smoothly; from getting permits secured for the area, to getting artwork done and approved for posters and shirts, to the logistics of all of the Spikeball sets/flags/tents/etc, to the surprise awards for some of the ‘Ballers that stuck out this year, or even the order of events and scoring of games. There are a lot of meetings, calls, and last minute changes that happened to make the whole event run as fluid as possible. The planning and execution of the 3 Regional Championships was a huge undertaking. It was team effort to say the least.
It’s fair to say that most people understand that there’s a community being built around this new sport of Spikeball. As I arrived at the beach, the sun was rising and I saw teams from across the nation who had come early specifically to help set up for the day. It was marvelous to watch everyone work side-by-side with the CEO of the company. I began to fully understand the relationships that have been solidified by Spikeball. This trend continued all day long, and well into the night.
Lesson number one for an event this size is that it’s not a matter of if something will go wrong, but when. The funny thing is, even though we had a few hurdles to overcome (e.g. Life guards telling us to move our setup over to clear room 20 minutes before sign-ins, or dealing with time constraints for video purposes, etc.) there were enough people ready and willing to help, that those “issues” were quickly resolved. Again, it’s a shining example of the kind of people that Spikeball brings together.
The power pool was an incredible addition to the flow of the day. I liked how the top teams from each region got to play each other and to put to rest who was the more dominant team. I loved that everyone got to sit back and watch a couple power pool games, just to breathe in the amazing athleticism of the nation’s top teams. I think having all eyes on those games urged those teams to play even harder, which was awesome to watch as well.
While there were some questions about the strength of schedule on different corners of the 64 team bracket, at the end of the day you have to go by the way the bracket is set up and let the cards fall as they will. That being said, we are always looking for the best and most fair/accurate way to give teams a chance to prove themselves, so if anyone has feedback, please pass that along to me :) (Thomas@spikeball.com)
Finally, during the finals, as the sun was setting over the water, and the air started to cool…I’m confident I wasn’t the only one saying to myself, “I’m so blessed to be a part of something so amazing.” To look around and see hundreds of people that a couple years ago had no reason to even know each other, but have all rallied behind an incredible new sport that’s sweeping the nation and attracting the best people to it in the process…it was quite inspiring.
A special shout out to Harding Brumby for getting the 2014 Travel Champ award; to Jenna Coleman for getting the 2014 Lady ‘Baller of the Year; and to John Schumacher for getting the 2014 HS ‘Baller Scholarship. Also, congrats are in order for: Chico Spikeball for getting 1st place, Handsome Beavers for placing 2nd, Nashburgh for taking 3rd, and The Rookies for securing 4th place!
Here is the list of the teams who have made the top 8 in the country. These teams will be the 2015 Spikeball Elite (National Team) and will be sponsored by Spikeball: