Spikeball a popular pastime for tree-planters

Ian McInnis dives forward to keep the ball in play while facing Brady Hutchinson. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Ian McInnis dives forward to keep the ball in play while facing Brady Hutchinson. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Ian McInnis (left) leaps over the spikeball net as he pursues the ball with Jacob Jones and Brady Hutchinson. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Ian McInnis (left) leaps over the spikeball net as he pursues the ball with Jacob Jones and Brady Hutchinson. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Ian McInnis dives forward to keep the ball in play during a game of spikeball in 100 Mile House. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Ian McInnis dives forward to keep the ball in play during a game of spikeball in 100 Mile House. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Ethan Portman (left), Brady Hutchinson, Jacob Jones and Ian McInnis are looking forward to a summer of tree planting and spikeball games. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Ethan Portman (left), Brady Hutchinson, Jacob Jones and Ian McInnis are looking forward to a summer of tree planting and spikeball games. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Brady Hutchinson (back left) watches with his teammate Ethan Portman as Jacob Jones returns a serve towards his team mate Ian McInnis. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Brady Hutchinson (back left) watches with his teammate Ethan Portman as Jacob Jones returns a serve towards his team mate Ian McInnis. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Ian McInnis spikes the ball into the net during a game of spikeball last Tuesday. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Ian McInnis spikes the ball into the net during a game of spikeball last Tuesday. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Ethan Portman (left) watches as his teammate Brady Hutchinson moves to spike the ball against Jacob Jones and Ian McInnis. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Ethan Portman (left) watches as his teammate Brady Hutchinson moves to spike the ball against Jacob Jones and Ian McInnis. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Brady Hutchinson prepares to spike the ball into the net past the reach of Jacob Jones. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Brady Hutchinson prepares to spike the ball into the net past the reach of Jacob Jones. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Ian McInnis dives forward to keep the ball in play while facing Brady Hutchinson. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Ian McInnis dives forward to keep the ball in play while facing Brady Hutchinson. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Ethan Portman (left) sets the ball for his teammate Brady Hutchinson (right) while their opponents Jacob Jones and Ian McInnis prepare to counter them. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Ethan Portman (left) sets the ball for his teammate Brady Hutchinson (right) while their opponents Jacob Jones and Ian McInnis prepare to counter them. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Jacob Jones goes for a low shot while serving during a game of spikeball. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Jacob Jones goes for a low shot while serving during a game of spikeball. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Ian McInnis spikes the ball into the net during a game of spikeball last Tuesday. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Ian McInnis spikes the ball into the net during a game of spikeball last Tuesday. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Ethan Portman serves while Jacob Jones watches during a game of spikeball. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Ethan Portman serves while Jacob Jones watches during a game of spikeball. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Brady Hutchinson spikes the ball into the net. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Brady Hutchinson spikes the ball into the net. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Brady Hutchinson spikes the ball into the net during a friendly game of spikeball. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Brady Hutchinson spikes the ball into the net during a friendly game of spikeball. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Brady Hutchinson watches as Jacob Jones goes low to keep the ball in play during a game of spikeball. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Brady Hutchinson watches as Jacob Jones goes low to keep the ball in play during a game of spikeball. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Brady Hutchinson and Ian McInnis congratulate each other after a game of spikeball in 100 Mile House. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Brady Hutchinson and Ian McInnis congratulate each other after a game of spikeball in 100 Mile House. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Whenever Ian McInnis has a day off from tree planting, he heads to the park to play spikeball.

McInnis picked up the sport last year while tree-planting in 100 Mile House. He and his colleagues were looking for a fun activity to do on their days off. Spikeball, with its portable net and simple rules, proved to be the perfect fit.

“We took it very seriously and we got into it. We were playing it for about five hours every off day and ever since I’ve been hooked. Now I’m a spikeball enthusiast,” said McInnis, 24, who is originally from Ottawa.

The rules of the game are a variation of volleyball, McInnis explained. Four players, two on each team, gather around a circular net the size of a small trampoline with a baseball-sized bouncy ball.

The game starts with a player spiking the ball off the net, bouncing it to their opponent, who then sets it for their teammate to spike it back. Similar to volleyball, each team can only touch the ball three times per side. The goal is to be the first team to score 21 points.

“It’s so satisfying when you get a sweet slam and the ball goes far or when the slam happens on you and you manage to get it,” McInnis said. “It’s a fun game that everyone can get into because it’s not super technical.”

The game can be played casually or competitively, depending on the players’ preference. He enjoys diving to keep the ball in play.

Ethan Portman prefers playing casually because it’s a great way to “actively recover” from tree planting because it’s not too strenuous.

“I just like hanging out on the field and having some Bubly. There’s nothing better than that, especially on a rest day,” Portman said.

McInnis said they have about eight spikeball players who meet up regularly in the fields on Cedar Avenue, where the former junior high school was located. They usually gather every three days at 1 p.m. He hopes to see that number grow to 60 by the summer’s end and encourages anyone to come by and join in.

“We love having more spikeball players, the more the better. If you see us spiking and you want to spike, come say hi.”

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patrick.davies@100milefreepress.net

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