Encinitas resident launches BoxxyBall, a new catch-and throw game

Kids play BoxxyBall on the beach.
(Copyright of Alex McLelland )

Encinitas resident Alex McLellan has invented a fun new ball game he hopes will help families and people of all ages get more active. Called BoxxyBall, the game is designed for play at the beach or park, and for players of any level to support a healthy lifestyle.

“BoxxyBall is a catch-and-throw ball game everyone can play,” McLellan said. “If you can catch and throw a ball you can play it.”

A native of Scotland who has lived in Encinitas for 12 years, McLellan considers himself very sporty— he played soccer at the semi-pro level and he loves to stay active.

“I feel like I’m part Labrador, if there’s a ball I want to chase it and throw it,” he said.

BoxxyBall was proudly born in Encinitas, at the Encinitas Community Park. McLellan had gone to the park to play soccer with his three kids and while his son was climbing on the play structure, he threw the ball to him through an opening: “That is what spiked the idea,” he said.

McLellan went to Home Depot and got some PVC pipe and net and built a BoxxyBall prototype—he took it out to Ponto Beach and his family had a blast playing the new game he invented. The more they played at local parks and beaches, the more attention it got.

Alex McLelland the creator of BoxxyBall.
(Copyright of Alex McLelland)

“Others would see us playing and the idea just wouldn’t die,” McLellan said of families frequently stopping to watch and ask questions. “It built momentum.”

As McLellan said, the game is “all about the boxes”. The BoxxyBall net has three rows of 10 boxes, a space about 12 by 12 inches. Players throw a five-inch diameter ball through the boxes and their opponent has to catch it and return it. In one-on-one play, the player is only allowed one touch. On two against two, three touches are allowed on each side. Both singles and doubles play to 11 points to win.

“It’s not quite as easy as it looks,” he said.

After three years of testing, he started a new company and went into production. The first shipment arrived a couple weeks ago and BoxxyBall is now available for all.

What he loves most about the game is that it reaches a wide demographic—it can be played more socially for fun or it can be more competitive and athletic: “It can be quite hard if you push it.”

Kids seem to love the game as he has developed a fan base at Capri Elementary where his son attends. Last week, McLellan introduced the game to students at Dieguno Middle School, where he is a substitute teacher known as “Mr. Mac” or “the BoxxyBall guy”. Diegueno was the first school to play BoxxyBall and McLellan hopes to bring it to other schools, getting more kids more involved in a positive and fun activity.

A total of 10% of BoxxyBall’s profits go back to charity, supporting San Diego’s Gigi’s Playhouse, a center that provides services for individuals with down syndrome. It is a cause close to McLlellan’s heart as he and his wife visited Gigi’s Playhouse last year to learn more and got involved with the center, bringing BoxxyBall for families to play on World Down Syndrome Day. He was happy to return again for this year’s event on March 21.

McLellan’s goal is to get the word out and grow BoxxyBall across the country and around the world—his little game that started right here in Encinitas.

“We’re just so excited about it,” McLlellan said. “It brings a smile to my face to see people playing it.”

Visit to get playing.