On December 2, 2014, Bucknell University hosted its first Spikeball tournament. As an intern in the Department of Athletics, I helped to organize the tournament as part of Late Night at KLARC, a program that provides students with opportunities to participate in late-night fitness and recreation. These activities are designed to serve as a sober alternative to normal college nightlife and a fitness break from the stress of classes. Each month Late Night at KLARC selects a different activity to serve as their main event of the month. I thought Spikeball would be a perfect activity to incorporate in the programming.
Spikeball has had a growing presence on Bucknell’s campus for about two years. At first, Spikeball was played in small groups, but over the past year the popularity has grown, as it has become an activity during Fraternity Rush. The popularity had plateaued because there was no structure to bring together all the players on campus. The Late Night at Klarc platform provided the perfect opportunity to bring together players from all ends of campus and create a great late night activity.
Through working with Spikeball Inc., the Department of Athletics and my fraternity I was able to design a tournament that would provide a sober late-night activity for Bucknell’s campus and also raise money for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America through tournament registration fees. The tournament was promoted through USASPIKEBALL.com and through the social media channels of the Department of Athletics. Interest was instantly generated because of the campus’ passion for Spikeball and also because of the prizes provided by the Department of Athletics for the tournament. Over $1,000 worth of prizes was to be allotted to the top three teams. After two weeks of registration there were 36 teams signed up with over 72 players. Furthermore, the registration fees raised $780 for Big Brother and Big Sisters of America!
The tournament was a huge success. Students enthusiastically showed up at 7:30PM eager to prove they were the best on the campus. After warm-ups the teams were divided up into pools of four and began to play the early rounds of the tournament. After the pool play, the top two teams from each pool advanced into a single elimination bracket style tournament. The final rounds were quite intense with individuals from a variety of athletic teams and campus organizations competing for the title as best on campus. At the conclusion of the tournament “Spumoni” took home the title and won a $600 gift card to Amazon.com. Student feedback from the event was very positive and many students hope this is the start of a larger Spikeball movement at Bucknell. According to Drew Hitcher and Scotty Stafford, the two members of team Spumoni, “We were really excited to hear Spikeball was coming to Bucknell and the amount of teams involved made the tournament competitive and exciting. Although Spikeball started out West, there’s no doubt about the emerging talent of East Coast Spikeballers.”
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