Credit: Courtesy | Sam Buckman

The Cal Poly Roundnet Club, the university’s club spikeball association, geared up to compete in nationals. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic hit and officials canceled the championship tournament.

Architectural engineering senior and president of the Roundnet Club Sam Buckman said that the team’s dream of winning was short lived.

“College nationals is in the spring, so we all had to cancel our flights for [the championship], which really was a bummer,” Buckman said.

However, this would be the start of a long road back to competing with their teammates again.

“Basically the way we [stayed connected] was through hosting meet-ups and occasional tournaments, but both of those have been compromised due to COVID-19,” Buckman said.

The Roundnet Club has not hosted any meetings or gatherings, and the club does not have any plans to compete during Fall quarter, Buckman said. Prior to COVID-19, the university would host four to five tournaments throughout the year, but these have all been put on hold due to the pandemic. 

Despite the limited amount of students living on campus, the club still received widespread interest from the freshman class, Buckamn said. However, the number of total participants was still affected, as many students preferred to stay home rather than to return to San Luis Obispo. 

“[There has been less participation] definitely for returning club members, but we’ve actually had a good amount of freshmen show interest which has been great,” Buckman said.

While the club is not participating or hosting any in-person events this quarter, they said they encourage students to keep the sport alive and act as a “middle man” between potentially interested players and current club members. 

“What we’ve done is we’ve basically collected contact information from people interested in playing,” Buckman said. “We gave them each other’s contact information, so if they ever want to play with other people they have the means to do so, but we can’t host anything.” 

A group of students captured in a video posted to the @calpolyspike Instagram page shows them engaging in a game of Spikeball while wearing masks, a practice that has been encouraged throughout the Spikeball community. 

Although the pandemic put the club on a temporary hold, Buckman said he is hopeful and excited about the possibility of returning in the future. 

“We’re looking forward to hosting some tournaments once Cal Poly revises its club protocols,” Buckman said.

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