Family members vs. students: IM spikeball over Family Weekend


Students and parents enjoy a friendly, competitive game of spikeball during Family Weekend. Photos contributed by Peter Fitch

Charlotte Elliott, Sports Reporter

Family Weekend is a time to showcase the best of what the college has to offer, and one of this year’s events certainly did not disappoint. 

On Saturday, Oct. 26., Whitman College’s intramural (IM) committee hosted a spikeball competition for current students and visiting family members. An estimated 25-30 people participated in the tournament, which involved teams of two playing each other until one team became the winner. The champions then received a blue IM shirt as a reward for their superior spike-balling skills.

Spikeball is a sport of similar style to volleyball, with two people on one team hitting the ball at each other before one of them directs it at a mini trampoline with enough force to prevent the opposing team from being able to volley it back. 

For many students, this tournament was a chance to make the most out of the time with their parents and have a bit of fun.

Peter Fitch, a first-year student and varsity swimmer, joined the tournament along with his friends and family. While they did not win the coveted blue shirt, they had a great time playing against some of the other athletes that participated. 

“I played with another swimmer and we got destroyed by some baseball players who were really good at spikeball,” Fitch said.

Fitch also spoke about how friendly the atmosphere was, with a slight tinge of competitiveness from some of the players.

This atmosphere was also noticed by organizer Sarah Smith who viewed the tournament as being a much-needed break from other parents’ day activities.

“The atmosphere was fun,” Smith said. “I think some people felt a little intimidated, but people were really willing to introduce themselves and meet new people.”

Even for people who were less inclined to join the high-energy activity, the tournament was a fun event to just relax and watch. The intramural committee organized provisions of hot chocolate and hot cider to keep hands warm enough to clap at the amazing effort being showcased by participants.

The tournament was also a good opportunity for people who had never played spikeball to learn how to play. Benny Jean Cytrynbaum, a senior biology major, joined the competition with her family. None of them had played the sport before, so they had a lot of fun learning the rules as the game progressed.

The game even made a lasting impression on Cytrynbaum’s parents.

“They had never played before and would now like to buy a spikeball net to have at home,” Cytrynbaum said.

Intramural sports are played by more than 46 percent of the student body and nine sports are hosted throughout the year. You can get involved by entering teams via a link found on the Whitman College website. The current intramural sports are basketball and football.