Can You Play Spikeball 1v1?   


Itching to play some spikeball but just can’t get a full squad to join in?

Normally that would be a problem. After all, a “regular” game of spikeball is play between two teams that have two players a piece.

Luckily, though, with some simple modifications, you can play spikeball 1v1. There are a couple of minor modifications you have to make to the rule set and the way the game is played to pull this off.

In this detailed breakdown we go over (almost) everything you need to know about playing spikeball one versus one.

Playing spikeball 1v1 on a beach
Playing spikeball 1v1 

There are a couple of minor modifications you have to make to the rule set and the way the game is played to pull this off.

But it isn’t hard, doesn’t change the “spirit” of the game, and it can even be a fun variation that you go to every once in a while even when there are enough people for two full teams.

Let’s jump right in!

Can You Play Spikeball 1v1?

A lot of people are under the impression that you have to have at least four people on hand to play spikeball.

Spikeball 1v1 rules
Spikeball 1v1 rules to follow

As we highlighted a moment ago, a traditional game of spikeball is played between two teams that have two players on each side.

With the standard rule set it’s easy to pass, it’s easy to cover a smaller area, and everything just sort of “flows”.

Luckily, though, it doesn’t take all that much to modify the rule set for the play style of spikeball to go for that one player versus one player kind of competition.

You can definitely pull it off and you won’t feel like you are playing a completely different game, either.

It’s still spikeball – even if it’s a bit of a different flavor.

What Are the Biggest Changes to Spikeball 1v1?

For starters, because you aren’t going to have a teammate you’re not going to be able to “pass” the ball with this version of spikeball the way you would have traditionally.

That’s a huge modification to be sure.

A big part of the fun of spikeball is setting your teammate up for a big hit or counting on them to cover a stretch of ground that you know you wouldn’t have been able to get to all on your own.

Best Ways to Play Spikeball 1v1
Tips for playing Spikeball 1v1

We’ve all seen YouTube clips of teammates working together where they are bouncing the ball in ways a lot of new players never would have even thought possible.

All that collaboration between teammates goes right out the window when you’re talking about a one player versus one player set up.

There are other modifications you want to consider – using a single hand, using only a small portion of the spikeball net, working with an individual half, etc. – but at the end of the day the lack of team play with this variation of spikeball is the biggest change.

What Are the Best Ways to Play Spikeball 1v1?

spikeball ball
Playing spikeball

All right, and other we’ve got that out of the way let’s dig little bit deeper into the “meat and potatoes” of how you’ll want to play Spikeball 1v1.


The “standard” 1v1 rule set is almost identical to the traditional game of spikeball – that’s why it’s called “standard”, after all!

Each team of one player will have the ability to touch the ball three times total during a turn, with a turn ending as soon as a ball gets spiked into the net.

The game rolls on until one of the two players ends up missing a chance to defend, isn’t able to get the ball back into the net within three hits, and then a point is scored for the opposing team.

Your Call: Most people like to play games all the way up to 10 or 11. Some people like to go all the way up to 21, though. That’s entirely up to you!

Short Game

A variation of Spikeball 1v1 has you playing what’s called “short game”.

Instead of using the entirety of the net you draw out a smaller inner circle that hits can’t go out of.

Any hit that lands outside of that initial circle is considered to be a miss and a point gets awarded to your opponent.

Spikeball gear
Having fun with spikeball

With this approach, the action is fast-paced but is also a little more targeted and a little more accurate.

You not going to have to worry about huge bombs that send the ball flying across the yard that you have to try and track down all on your own.

Instead you be working on your short game – your finesse and up close game – by making sure that every single one of your shots is highly accurate and lands inside of that inner circle on the net.

One Hand Only

Some people like to shake things up a little more and play with one hand only when it’s just one player versus another.

Maybe you decide to play with your strong hand (your dominant hand) or maybe you decide to play with your weak hand only. That’s entirely up to you.

There’s really no other rule set you have to change when you play with one hand. It’s challenging enough all on its own!


This modified version of spikeball is sort of like short game, but instead of you having a small circle to hit the ball inside of you put a piece of tape across the middle of the spikeball net and have to stay on your side.

Any hit on your opponent side is considered a miss and earns them a point instead.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, spikeball was definitely a game designed to be enjoyed by two teams of two players each side.

That being said, it doesn’t take a whole lot to shake things up and still get a great game when you only have two players that can compete against one another.

Modify the rules in the play style according to the tips and tricks above and you’ll be able to put 1v1 games together without any trouble at all.

Don’t be shy about shaking things up even more as you go along, making your own rule changes to make the game a lot more fun (and more challenging).

There’s no wrong way to play Spikeball!

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