Updated: Apr 30
The world of competitive roundnet is constantly changing, as are the organizations that influence and govern the sport. Ahead, we will provide more information about four major roundnet organizations around the world - Spikeball Roundnet Association (SRA), International Roundnet Federation (IRF), USA Roundnet, and Euhttps://www.roundnet.eu/ropean Roundnet Association (EURA).
The world of competitive roundnet has been full of CHANGE since the beginnings as a sport around the year 2011-ish (some may debate that date). Since then, the sport has grown from a few diehard 'pockets' of competitors around the United States and Canada back in the early 2010s, to now having dozens of roundnet organizations around the globe, including all the continents of the world, besides Antarctica ... for now!
Spikeball Roundnet Association
The SRA is recognized by most around the competitive roundnet world as the 'top' competitive roundnet tournament series in the world. The SRA tournament schedule features competition in North America.
The 2021 SRA tournament schedule features more 'marquee' events than years past. This means fewer events, with no 'regions', as there have been in the past.
This will allow the SRA to focus on implementing two-day tournaments for 'higher' competitive levels, more gameplay for all, increased spectating opportunities, and overall lots of positive upgrades, in my opinion.
Historically, the SRA has been the organization that has been the leader in setting the official rules for the sport of roundnet.
Rule change has been one major constant in the world of competitive roundnet. Historically, some of these rule variations across the roundnet world have been quite interesting!
Back in the early days of competitive roundnet some examples of those variations are ... allowing players set 'screens' on opponents, allowing the offense to play a ball off the rim if they had more than one 'touch' left, two-person serve return, the ability to 'adjust' the net mid-point ... I am sure there are more!
Simply put, there have been BIG changes implemented to the rules in the past, and for the 2021 season.
European Roundnet Association
The EURA is the CENTRAL hub for ALL things European roundnet. On their website you can learn what roundnet is, how to play, access sign-ups for tournaments, host a tournament, find national governing bodies, become a recognised roundnet community, access player rankings, and a lot MORE!
In my personal experience, the European roundnet community has a lot of PASSION. The strength of the communities, individually and collectively, seems to be one of the major positives of the EURA!
One QUESTION I have going forward ... what RULES will the EURA use, compared to the IRF, USA Roundnet, SRA, etc.? Along with the other smaller, blossoming, roundnet organizations around the globe ... ?
The future has a LOT of potential!
International Roundnet Federation
The IRF defines its mission as "The IRF’s mission is to advance the sport of roundnet by building an infrastructure for international competition in line with the Olympic Model. We are an independent, non-profit organization based on volunteer support."
The IRF lists four 'Major Initiatives' they are working towards. Those initiatives are: Pathway to the Olympics, National Governing Body (NGB) Development, Standards for Success and Sport Advancement.
Rules will be a MAJOR focus of the IRF going forward. The IRF released this statement regarding the rules of roundnet. One section of the statement that stood out to me was, "If independent organizers seek to have their events recognized and supported by their NGBs, then they’ll align with their NGBs standards of play. If NGBs seek to have their events recognized and supported by the IRF, then they’ll align with IRF standards of play.
The vision is that the standards of play for roundnet will be determined by a diverse perspective of participating countries and adopted universally. Right now, we are still a very young sport and experimentation is necessary to ensure that the rules we use allow roundnet to reach its greatest potential. We encourage players, independent organizers, and NGB leaders to try different approaches for themselves so that we can have a more informed decision-making process."
Overall, I am excited for what the IRF has outlined, and will be working towards in the future!
In FUTURE ARTICLES we will take a deeper dive into the IRF and each of these initiatives.
USA Roundnet is one of the more recent 'roundnet organizations' to be formed.
Their 'about us' states:
"USA Roundnet is the non-profit governing body for roundnet in the United States.
We aim to grow the sport of roundnet in America by fostering player advancement, developing inclusive roundnet communities, and representing the United States on the global stage.
We are excited to share our initiatives with you in the coming months."
The USA Roundnet board consists of four influential, and hard-working, people in the USA roundnet community. The USA Roundnet site states, "The USA Roundnet board consists of four members with diverse backgrounds who have contributed to the development of the sport." Those four individuals are - Nora White, Ben Dantowitz, Brian Childs, Jackie Yoo.
It will be interesting and exciting to see what the young organization does in the short term, and long term!
USA National Team Selection
USA Roundnet will form a committee to chose the men's and women's roundnet teams for the 2022 world roundnet championships. This is an EXCITING step in the advancement of competitive roundnet, both in the USA and around the world!
Check back for MORE in-depth information on these influential roundnet organizations, as well as the multitude of growing organizations around the roundnet world.
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