New intramural sports offer variety for players

Chris Ferguson, Campus Carrier Asst. Sports Editor

Intramural sports provide college students with a fun, social way to exercise and compete. Berry is offering two new intramural sports that continue to sweep college campuses across the nation. The first sport is called Pickleball which involves a solid, square racquet and a plastic ball with holes in it, like a whiffle ball. According to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association’s (SFIA) 2016 Participant Report, there are more than 2.5 million Pickleball participants in the United States. Such a high number of participants can only mean that there are exciting, competitive elements to that game that contribute to its increasing popularity. 

The next sport can only be described as similar to four square, but has some elements of volleyball. Many people who have tried the game say that it reminds them of being back in recess playing four square. Spikeball is played with a hula hoop sized net and a ball about the size of a grapefruit. Since its appearance on ABC’s hit TV show Shark Tank, the new sport has swept the nation and is being played by young adults everywhere. 

Pickleball is played either as doubles (two players per team) or singles. However, doubles is most common. The serve must be made underhand, and the paddle must make contact with the ball below the server’s waist. The serve is initiated with at least one foot behind the baseline and must travel diagonally crosscourt. The ball must land within the confines of the diagonally opposite service court, just like a serve in tennis. Points are scored when the opposing team commits a fault, which is any action that stops play due to a rule violation. An example of a fault would be when the ball is hit into the net or out of bounds. Another would be if the player hits the ball before it bounces once, or if the ball bounces twice on their side. Games are normally played to 11 points, and must be won by two points. 

Spikeball is usually played two vs. two, with a hula-hoop sized net placed between the two teams. A player starts a point by standing six feet away when serving the ball down on the net so it ricochets up at the opponents. They have up to three hits between themselves (just like volleyball) to control the ball and bounce it back off the net. If the ball hits the rim or the ground, then the team who performed the last touch loses the volley. This results in a point for the other team. However, if the other team fails to continue the volley by letting the ball bounce twice, this results in a point for the attacking team. Unlike most traditional sports, there are no boundaries that the players must stay in. Once a point starts, players can move or hit the ball anywhere in free space. Games are typically played to 11, 15, or 21 and must be won by two. 

Registration for both sports is open until October 9 through the Berry intramurals website.

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