Spikeball Rules

Information & Rules


  • Players must have a valid Dartmouth College ID to be listed on the IMLeagues roster. Players must play in one (1) regular season game to be eligible to play in the playoffs.
  • A team consists of 2-4 players. The league will be “open”, meaning any combination of males and females may play on a team.
  • Free substitution is permitted. Players must substitute from the same position throughout the game; except in the case of an injury.
  • Changes to your roster can only be made during the regular season. Rosters will be locked prior to the playoffs.

The Game

  • An official match will be the best 2 out of 3 games. Games 1 and 2 will be played to 15 points. Game 3, if necessary will be played to 11. Only the serving team can score points. Teams MUST win by 2 points.
  • A coin flip, rock/paper/scissors or odd/even call at the start of the first and third game will determine serve. The team who did NOT serve the first game serves first the second game.
  • Teams have five (5) minutes after scheduled start time to begin play, if they are missing players the game will be forfeited.
  • Teams are allowed one (1) time-out per game of 30 seconds in length.


  • Spikeball is a team sport played by two teams consisting of two players each. Opposing team members line up across from each other with the net set in the center. A point begins when the server hits the ball off the net towards the opposing player facing him/her. The object of the game is to hit the ball off the net in such a way that the opposing team cannot successfully return it.
  • A team is allowed up to three touches to return the ball onto the net. Once the ball is played off the net, possession switches to the opposing team. The rally continues until a team is unable to legally return the ball. Players may move as they wish during a point, so long as they do not physically impede the opponents' play on the ball.


  • Points can be won by the serving team.
  • Games 1 and 2 are played to 15 points. Game 3, if necessary, is played to 11.
  • Games must be won by 2 points.
  • The rally ends and a point is awarded when:
    • The ball contacts the ground or otherwise isn't returned on the net within 3 touches.
    • The ball is hit directly into the rim at any time, including on a serve.
    • The ball bounces and falls back onto the net or rim.
    • The ball clearly rolls across the net.
  • At the end of the match, it is the winner's responsibility to report the results on IMLeagues.com.


  • If the receiving team wins the point, the next designated player serves according to the initial sequence. Otherwise, the server switches places his/her partner and serves to the other receiving team member.
  • The server stands directly across from the designated receiver, who is the only player allowed to field the serve.
  • “Recreational Serve Rule” Applies. This means that the serve must be reasonably playable by the receiver. The receiving team can call a service fault* on the following:
    • The ball is out of the receivers reach
    • The ball hits a pocket
    • The ball hits the rim
  • A service fault results in a re-serve and no point is awarded. An unlimited number of service faults may be called until a playable ball is served. The receiving team must call a service fault before, or without attempting to return the serve. Once the serve is returned, a service fault cannot be called.


  • Touches must alternate between teammates. Consecutive touches by one player result in a loss of point.
  • The ball must be contacted cleanly, not caught, lifted, or thrown.
  • Players my not hit the ball with two hands, even if placed together “volleyball style”.
  • Players may use any individual part of their body to hit the ball.
  • If the ball is hit directly into the net, or bounces and lands back on the net or rim, the rally ends and the non-hitting team wins the point.
  • After the serve, any unusual bounce (i.e. pocket) that does not contact the rim is legal and playable.
  • A shot which lands on the net, rolls into the rim and then off the net (i.e.. roll-up) is played as a pocket, not a direct rim hit.
  • If teams cannot determine the legality of a hit, replay the point.


  • Defending players must make an effort not to impede the offending team's possession or play on the ball.
  • If an offender collides with a defender, or a defender's position prevents a reasonable offensive play on the ball, the player imposed upon may call “obstruction” to force a replay of the point.
  • If during possession (or en route to the net), the ball contacts a defender to prevent a reasonable offensive play, the imposed upon team may call “obstruction” to force a replay of the point.
  • The following infractions cause a loss of the point:
    • A defensive player attempts to play a ball out of turn.
    • A player hits a shot off the net which subsequently hits himself/herself or teammate.
    • If the defensive team has no play on the ball, they should cede the point to the offense.
    • A player makes contact with the net, moving the set from its position or affecting the trajectory of the ball.
      • If neither net position nor trajectory changed, play on.