We can all agree that 2 on 2 roundnet is the greatest game in the universe (yeah, I said it Quidditch), but it’s always fun to change things up. Check out ways to play with fewer than 4 players, or some power-ups to keep things spicy.
2 Player Games
To start, have one player serve the ball to the other. From then on, alternate touches and hit the ball off the net on the third touch (as you usually would), but give your partner a reasonable chance to play defense on the hit. Keep going for as long as possible. This drill really works on your first touch defense and reading the offensive player.
1 vs. 1
One player serves the ball across the net to the other. The returner has 3 hits to return the ball back off the net. Play continues until one player can’t get the ball back on the net. Yeah, so it’s like regular roundnet with teams of 1. But, try these adjustments: (1) work on using only one hand or alternating hands (2) split the court into two sides and only hit the ball toward your opponent's’ side or (3) draw circle around the net that hits can’t go out of, forcing each player to work on their short, finesse game.
Player 1 stands next to the net and Player 2 stands between 6 to 10 feet away from the net. Player 2 should be standing behind a line that he or she cannot cross, but can move along laterally. Player 2 sets the ball to Player 1 who then hits the ball at Player 2. Player 2 tries to aim the first touch as a set back across the net so that Player 1 can hit the ball back on the net and at player 2. If the first touch is poor, player 1 can set the ball back to player 2 who then tries to hit the ball off the net from distance. Once he or she does this, player 1 passes the ball back to them and the game resumes. I know it’s a little confusing, but watching the video may help to clear things up.
3 Player Games
1 vs. 1 vs. 1
This might be one of our favorite games for when your fourth player is taking too long to put his or her cleats on. Start by one player serving across the net. The returner and the third player are now on a team and have three touches to hit the ball of the net. Once a player hits it off the net, the other two players are now on a team and have to work together to play defense on the initial hit, and hit the ball back off the net. Play continues until the point is put away. To make it more interesting, you can play “cut throat,” which has the same rules but adds the following: each player starts with 15 points, you lose a point if (1) you are on offense and mess up your hit off the net or (2) you are one of the players on defense and you fail to get the ball back on the net. The last player with points is the winner.
All Time Setter
It’s Player 1 vs Player 2. Player 3 is on both teams as an all-time setter and defender. Player 3 can play defense and hit the first touch, but they can never spike the ball onto the net.
The Blue Shell and Lightning Bolt make things so much more interesting in Mario Kart. Here are Spikeball’s versions:
The floor is lava - the ball can bounce off the ground once per possession for both teams
Double trouble - winning counts for 2 points for both teams
Ambidextrous - your opponents can only use their off-hand
Infinity touch - your team has unlimited touches
Infinity serve - your server has unlimited faults but once they get it on net the point starts
Flexing - whichever team loses has to immediately do 20 push-ups
Sharp shooter - your opponents server has to serve from twice the normal distance
Kill them with kindness - both teams can only win on a drop shot
Don't mess up - it is -2 points if either team hits rim
Deuces - your opponents only get two touches per possession
Freeze - one player on the opposing team can’t move from a pre-decided location for the duration of the point.
Sly five - at any time in a rally you can yell "SLY FIVE" and the opposing team must high five in the next 5 seconds or they lose the point.
Milk duds - all players can only hop on one foot for the duration of the point.
Food for thought - each player must yell the opposite hand of whichever one they are hitting with. (ex. when hitting with your right hand you yell “LEFT”)
Takes two to tango - all players must hold hands with their teammates for the duration of the point.
Use your noggin' - you must win the point by incorporating a head hit at some point in the rally or it doesn’t count.
Mortor combat - at any point in your possession your team can yell “MORTOR COMBAT” and wherever the ball lands you get to pick it up and throw it back towards the net resuming the rally with normal hits.
Double down - call double down before the start of a point and the winning team receives 2 points instead of 1.
Tweenerville - call Tweenerville before the start of a point and the winning team gets 5 points if they finish the point with a Tweener.
Fire extinguisher - changes who’s serving on the opposing team. Example if Opponent A hit two aces in a row call Fire Extinguisher so his partner takes possession of the serve.
Double cross -trade partners with your opponent. Can only be used if your team is behind by 7 or more points.
Yahtzee - one player starts the point holding an extra ball. This player must hold on to this ball throughout the point until he or she yells Yahtzee! At this point the extra ball becomes the active ball for the point. The “original” ball can be completely ignored. Immediately after Yahtzee is called the player must pass the new ball to his partner, this pass counts as the team’s first touch of the possession.
Simon says - call this before a point and the server has to announce what serve they are going to hit before they hit it
Simon sez - call this before a point and the reciever gets to tell the server what type of serve he/she must hit
Small ball - for the next point the ball can take two bounces on the net (no rim)
Bottoms up - losers of the next point owe the winners a 6-pack
Hals pals - players must keep at least one foot touching the ground at all times during the point
Sassy - players can only use the back of their hands to strike the ball
There's a me in team - passes do not have to alternate between players, consecutive touches are allowed
Stranger things - the next point is played with the net flipped upsidedown
Fingers crossed - for the next three serves the opposing team must have their eyes closed when serving
The bee's kness - for the next point everyone must play on their knees
Love love: the game must be played with tennis rackets
Try hards: players can only use closed fists to hit the ball
Blood in the water: either team can yell "Blood in the water!" during a rally when the other team has possession if they are feeling confident. Winners of the point get +2 and losers get -2 points.
Dito: your opponents must hit with the same hands to hit the ball in the same order (right, left, left)
Banana splits: if a player can do the splits mid rally and still win the point the opposing team owes them a banana
Going the distance: players who are not the sever or receiver must start the point standing 20 ft away from the net
Harder, better, faster, stronger: if a player is successfully able to do a push-up mid rally and still win the point they earn their team 2 points
Birds of a feather: all sets must be (roughly) above 15 ft in the air
The real deal: both teams must use at least one foot touch before finishing a point
Depth over distance: every player must play with one eye closed for the duration of the point
Eat dirt: each player must make an attempt to dive at every touch on the ball
Double double toil and trouble: each time you touch the ball you have to bounce it up to yourself first
Star Spangled Manners: you must say "thank you" every time your partner sets or passes to you. Loss of point for every unsaid "thank you"
Arnold Spikezenegger: to start the game you have a longest spike contest and the winning team gets 3 points
Beach bods: every time someone hits rim on the serve they have to do 5 push-ups
Jurassic Spike: every player must put their arms in their shirt up to their wrists.
Sisyphus: for the next point you get to choose one player on the opposing team to play on their hands and knees for the duration of the point.
Friendly fire: both teams can only win a point from the opposing team making an offensive mistake. Kill shots will result in a do over.
Have a cool modification or power-up?
Want to find more unique ways to play? Check out the Spikeball App: