Spikeball Banned In Building Outside PE Classes After Disruptions, Broken Light Fixtures
Students playing Spikeball in the GW quad / Credits: Adah Svetlik
Just a few weeks ago, it would have been impossible to miss clusters of cheering students playing Spikeball in the halls of school. Seen at field day, pep rallies, and PE classes, most Walls students have enjoyed the game. Now, games in the school building can only be seen during an occasional PE class, supervised by a teacher.
Simply put, Spikeball is a game in which two teams of two compete to keep a ball in the air for as long as possible, similar to volleyball.
Although Spikeball has always been a popular activity at Walls, it has not always been as prominent as it was a couple of months ago. “During the weeks leading up to December break, it was all of the sudden everywhere, all
of the time,” Assistant Principal Jennifer Tully said in an interview.
Ms. Tully said that the game became a problem to administration when students began skipping class to play it.
At the end of January, administration put an end to Spikeball games in the building. Ms. Tully recognized that students enjoy Spikeball, but announced that the game would no longer be allowed indoors unless it “aligns with the curriculum” of P.E. classes.
Ms. Tully cited broken light fixtures as another reason for the ban. Additionally, she said that the administration wanted to protect other students in the building because they were getting hit by the balls when they walked by. The biggest issue, though, was that students in unrelated classes were missing class to join Spikeball games held in PE classes.
Administration has acknowledged student responses and understands their frustration with the new limitations on Spikeball. Ms. Tully stressed that the administration’s move was not an unconditional ban and that “if kids are looking for alternative ways to play or [more] physical activity, we are happy to support it.”
Spikeball may still make appearances at school events such as pep rallies and continue to be played for P.E. class or on the terrace.
Many students are upset about the effective ban on Spikeball. Sophomore Rafi Fox said that he and his friends used to spend significant time during lunch playing Spikeball. “They’re penalizing us for having fun during lunch,” Fox said.
Fox started a student petition to reverse or lessen the restriction. As of this writing, 28 of his peers had joined his petition, and he hopes to continue to spread awareness and get the message to administration.
Sophomore Elijah Lott was similarly frustrated with administration’s choices, saying the restrictions were “unjust in that there [was] a lack of communication and transparency between administration and the student body.”
Many who play Spikeball feel that it is an imperative part of school culture. “In its absence, [Walls] is not the same,” sophomore Kailas Campen said.
Students also emphasized that Spikeball is a good way to connect with others. Sophomore Noah Lee said, “Anybody can play it and anybody can learn it.”