We never cease to be amazed by the exceptional nature of the Spikeball® community. Time and time again we see family, friends, and sometimes even complete strangers build relationships around their common love for the game. Father and son duo, Steve and Ryan Foulke, are no exception. With over 7 tournaments under their belt, they've created quite a unique bond on and off the court.
We sat down with Steve and asked him a handful of questions to see how competing as a team has impacted their relationship:
Q: Your age and Ryan's age?
Steve: I am 45 and Ryan is 17
Q: When did you and Ryan first start playing together?
Steve: Ryan and his friends started playing about a year and a half ago up in Mammoth. They frequently only had 3 players, one afternoon they convinced me to be the 4th. I very quickly became obsessed with the sport and instead of being the fourth I was pushing them to play. At first we were just playing in a noncompetitive manner, then we went to our first tournament at Pismo Beach and we realized how competitive roundnet can be! After that tournament, Ryan and I began practicing together and doing drills and we have slowly been getting better.
It was really May of 2015 when Ryan and I decided that since he only had a year until he went off to college, we were going to start playing as a team and going to as many tournaments as we could. (I also think he figured it would be much easier to travel around the state going to tournaments with me).
Q: How many tourneys have you played in together?
Steve: 7 tourneys ranging from Pismo Beach, Santa Monica, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Drankgon.
Q: How would you describe your and Ryan's play style in 3 words?
Steve: Dedicated / Offense / Fun
Q: What's the best part about having your son as your teammate?
Steve: The benefits are truly endless – First, I just get to go outside and play roundnet! However, the best part is simply the time spent with Ryan - the bond that is created when you compete, practice and play together is hard to replicate, and the insight I have gained from being able to hangout with him and his friends is invaluable.
Q: Most memorable trip to a tourney together and why?
Steve: Seattle for sure! We went up a couple days early, got some great games in on Friday with Norcal Gravity and Chico Phantom Spike – It was great to hang out with them. In fact, we watched Mike playing disc golf and we were intrigued. So now when we are in Mammoth, if we are not hitting the spikeball, we are hucking a disc around the forest – thanks Mike! In Seattle the weather was perfect, and following the SF tourney, it seemed everyone was in great spirits. The Spikeball community is really a huge part of what makes the sport so amazing and that spirit was abundant that day. In addition, Seattle was the first time we made it into the power pool and almost got to the Elite 8. But the best part was we got to hang out all weekend together.
Q: Who's better?
Steve: Really? You are going to make me admit in writing that my son kicks my ass!
Q: Next event you plan on playing in?
Steve: We will be in NY for SummerSpike 2016. We have heard a ton of great things about SummerSpike, and we are extremely excited to travel across the country to play roundnet! We also plan to go to Santa Cruz before the Fourth of July. For Nationals in DC, Ryan will already be in college (at Stanford), so I am hoping I still get to steal him away to play with me in Nationals…before he finds a partner who is better/younger/cooler than me and boots me to the curb.