December 24, 2019

Who Invented Spikeball? Are They Who Owns the Company Today?

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Many people have heard about Shark Tank and the grand evolution and explosion of the sport of Spikeball, many don't know anything about how it started and who invented Spikeball. What many are unaware of is that the game in its current form is more of a renaissance and a rebirth of the original incarnation that was short-lived.

Who Invented Spikeball? Spikeball was an obscure 1980s game designed by a toymaker and cartoonist named Jeff Knurek who didn't patent his invention. As the game died out in the 80s it was largely forgotten to time.

Now we can jump into the more recent history including the rebirth of Spikeball and how the group who brought it back has worked to turn it into a passion. How taking something that may have been ahead of its time and bring it to full life, even now there is people wanting it to become an Olympic sport!

Who Invented Spikeball and When?

In 1989, while working for the I.D.E.A. toy invention studio, Jeff Knurek invented a game called Spikeball(link) that was marketed by Tomy. The game was mixed and fell out of the public eye, but one person who bought the set was Chris Ruder, who thoroughly loved the game and frequently was caught playing it in public.

Chris would play out in the public parks and on beaches and get asked about the game, the rules and about how or where to purchase the game. Since he had his set and it was long past being in stores he didn't have any answer at the time but the ideas started to take shape.

How Did The Game Start Again?

In 2008 the sport experienced a revival due to the aforementioned Chris Ruder, who found out there was no Trademark ever filed for Spikeball which meant if they could assemble the funds that they could manufacture and sell the game themselves.

He and a tight circle of friends took out the money for the initial investment and to get the company off the ground, all expecting to lose their money. What they have found instead is that the game is taking off to heights never expected.

Learn some more about Chris Ruder

This is what led to the appearance on Shark Tank, a story that didn't end up benefiting them much from a Shark investment perspective. What it did do though is expose the sport to the nearly seven million viewers of the television show, this catapulted them into the mainstream instead of mostly word of mouth.

So Big Dude Perfect Even Did a Spikeball Episode

Spikeball knew it had made it to the big time when it was featured in a Dude Perfect video, if you don't know about them they are a group who has made a name for doing outstanding videos about amazing shots and really are just fun to watch. If you haven't ever seen them then check out the video below as it showcases all the reasons why you should subscribe to their channel.

Final Thoughts

There are not many sports that have had this style of rags to riches story like this. This story is every entrepreneur's dream come true, he found a passion and that passion was free to be built upon by someone who wanted to see it succeed due to his personal enjoyment in it.

He was able to get people to make the initial investment to kickstart the design and manufacturing process and by word of mouth got the engine revving, for many, this is the point of failure, but Chris has taken this to another level and many colleges are now playing this sport, there are numerous clubs opening and there is a petition for it to be in the Olympics!

Interested In Playing Spikeball?

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Chris Ruder - The man Who Invented Spikeball
Article written by Josh Koop
I have loved to play outdoor games since I was a little kid, as I grew up I found more games and I also found out about alternate rules. I started Outdoor Diversions with Matt to help get this information out to everyone so they can enjoy these games as much as I do!