Despite being the favorite game of beachgoers, the best spikeball players are actually members of the Mennonite community in Lancaster County, write Andrew Beaton and Ben Cohen for The Wall Street Journal.
The relatively new sport has rules similar to volleyball, but instead of a spiking the ball over the net, players smash a smaller ball into a trampoline-style net. The game has become popular at its global hub in rural Pennsylvania.
“You get a lot of fraternity guys,” said Peter Jon Showalter, the reigning national champion. “And then you have a lot of conservative Mennonite guys.”
The game spread in Lancaster County thanks to Corey Heck. He first learned about the game when he went to “Creation,” the Christian music festival five years ago. When he returned to Lancaster, he taught his brother Caleb before starting a Facebook group to organize a regular Tuesday game.
However, when organizers chose Philadelphia for the national competition, the reception was muted. So the organizers asked for other suggestions, and the answer was clear.
“It was overwhelming,” said Caleb Heck. “People picked Lancaster.”
Read more about spikeball in The Wall Street Journal by clicking here.