Slamball: Wikis


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Corey vs Ivan in 2008.jpg
Gunner Corey Beezhold going in for a slam dunk.
First played 2001
Contact Full-contact
Equipment Wilson Custom - All-Red "Wave" Basketball
Olympic No
Slamball Logo 51.jpg
Sport Slamball
Founded 2002
Commissioner Pat Croce
No. of teams 6
Country(ies)  United States
Most recent champion(s) Slashers
Most championships Tied at 1
(Rumble, Riders, Mob, and Slashers)
TV partner(s) Cartoon Network, CBS, Versus
Official website

Slamball is full-contact basketball, with trampolines. Points are scored by playing the ball through the net, as in basketball, though the point-scoring rules are modified. The main differences from the parent sport is the court; below the padded basketball rim and backboard are four trampolines set into the floor which serve to propel players to great heights for slam dunks. The rules also permit some physical contact between the members of the four-player teams.

Professional SlamBall games were aired on television by Spike TV for two seasons in 2002 - 2003, and the POWERade SlamBall Challenge was aired on CSTV in 2007. SlamBall returned in August 2008[1], airing on Versus and CBS. The 2008 SlamBall season aired at one point on weekends on Cartoon Network. Slamball is now showing on One HD in Australia during 2009.


Rules and regulations

There is no international governing body for Slamball as a sport.

Scoring in Slamball is achieved by passing the ball into the net at the opponent's end of the court for points, while preventing the opposing team from doing the same at one's own net. The aim is to have outscored the opposing team when the game ends. A successful score can be worth two points if the ball is thrown through the hoop without the offensive player touching the hoop. Slam dunks are scored three points. All shots outside three-point arc are worth three points as well. In this sport four players from each team (out of an 8 or 9 player roster) may be on the court at one time. Substitutions are unlimited and can be done during play as in the game of hockey. Each team has a coach and additional staff include assistant coaches, managers, statisticians, doctors, etc.

Team uniforms consist of shorts and a jersey with the team logo, a number and the player's name on the back. Typically players wear basketball sneakers now but shoes unique to Slamball are in development to fit the needs of this new sport.

The game is controlled by two referees and the table officials. The table keeps track of the score, time, team possessions, fouls and the shot clock.


Playing regulations

Games are played in four 5-minute quarters, unlike the NBA, which plays for four 12-minute quarters. The game commences with a "bounce-off" in which the ball is bounced at center court. The ball must reach its apex uninterrupted, at which point the players are allowed to "check" each other. Ten minutes are allowed for a half-time break; only one time-out is permitted to each team, which may only be used during the last two minutes of regulation play. A 20-second shot clock is utilized. Teams change ends for the second half. A tie score at the end of regulation time is settled by a series of "face offs" (see Fouls below).

Full body contact is allowed within certain limitations. A player can be hit or "checked" at any time when he is not in possession of the ball. If the player has received the ball, he cannot be hit until he dribbles the ball; at that point he is known as "live" or "hot" and can be hit. Players cannot be hit or checked in the back; doing so results in a foul.


Diagram of a Slamball court

Each team has four players on the court at any one time. There are three positions:

  • Handler: This would be the primary ball handler on the team. It is his job to run the offense and organize the other members while controlling the flow of the game. Typically he would be responsible to set up the gunners to attack the basket while adding in his own offensive threat.
  • Gunner: The primary scorer on the team. A team's gunner will be the player on the team that will attack the basket and finish plays against the opposing teams' stopper, comparable to a forward or wing player in soccer or hockey.
  • Stopper: This position is for the primary defensive player. He trails the offense only when necessary, and he protects the rim from attacking players by using himself as a shield.


Each player can commit just three personal fouls before he is "fouled out" from the match, unlike in the NBA, where it takes six personal fouls to be removed from the game. A coach or player displaying poor sportsmanship (for example, fighting, arguing vehemently against an official) may be charged with a technical foul. Two technical fouls will result in a disqualification. In the case a foul is called, the player who has committed the foul, will then take position on the baseline of the lower trampolines while the player who was offended will take up offensive position at center court. This is called a 'face-off'. Upon a signal from the referee the offensive player will be free to mount an attack at the basket, which the defender now must endeavor to stop. The defender must enter the lower trampoline only after bouncing in from the side trampoline. If the offensive player is successful, then points will be awarded depending on the shot converted and the offensive players' team will retain possession of the ball.

List of Common Fouls:[2]

  • 1. When an offensive player has the ball and a defensive player checks him in the back. Result: Faceoff
  • 2. When an offensive player has the ball and a defensive player checks him before he has begun to dribble the ball. Result: Faceoff
  • 3. When an offensive player has the ball and a defensive player checks him while he is attempting to enter the trampoline. Result: Faceoff
  • 4. When two offensive players step/bounce on the same trampoline. Result: Change of Possession
  • 5. When an offensive player bounces on a trampoline twice while in physical possession of the ball. Result: Change of Possession
  • 6. When either a Player or the Coach of a team argues with the referee and uses physical or verbal abuse in anger. Result: Can either be a Faceoff or Change of Possession (referee decides)


The basic Slamball court plan

A regulation Slamball court surface is 100 ft by 62 ft (30.4 m by 19 m.). A series of highly engineered articulating floor panels float on a bed of spring flooring to create a shock absorbent playing surface. The spring floor lies adjacent to two sets of four trampoline or spring bed 'quads' which dominate each end of the court. Each trampoline surface measures 7 ft by 14 ft (2.1m by 4.2 m.) The shock absorbent panels pair with the competition bed trampolines to create a unique playing surface that both launches players to inhuman heights and cushions their landing upon returning to the floor. Specifically engineered pads are designed to cover the frame rails and their tapered design allows for maximum safety for on-court play. This entire playing surface will be surrounded with an 8 ft (2.4 m) plexi-glass wall much like in a hockey rink. Players wear protective cups and special equipment to protect various areas of the body. This consists of knee and elbow pads, and an optional Slamball-specific helmet.


Mason Gordon, creator of the sport
Mike Tollin

Slamball is the creation of Mason Gordon, who wanted to create a combination of sports that approximated a real-life video game. Upon developing the concept, he approached Mike Tollin, a TV and film producer of Smallville, Wild Hogs, and Coach Carter fame. After giving it some thought, he agreed to help Gordon. Painstaking thought was put into the development of the game. Many different ideas and concepts encompassing everything from court construction to team strategies were addressed. Six months after their first meeting, a court was constructed in a warehouse in East Los Angeles, California.

Gordon then tried to convince street basketball players to test his new idea; he wanted to find skilled, strong players who could compete comfortably while launching off trampolines and crashing into each other in mid-air.

Five recruits - James Willis, Sean Jackson, David Redmond, Michael Goldman and Jeff Sheridan - trained with Gordon to produce the first games. These original six players were part of the first two teams, the Los Angeles Rumble and the Chicago Mob. These two teams played an exhibition series in 2001, which the Chicago Mob won. Soon, more players were brought in, including Stan Fletcher, Rob Wilson and Dion Mays.

First ever SlamBall combine in 2002

First played in Los Angeles, California, the game gained attention from street basketball players in the area. Within a year, 400 people had been enlisted as potential players. Open tryouts were held and the selection of players based on athletic ability, body control and court awareness started. Reducing numbers to about 60 players, the first ever SlamBall combine was held where players and coaches learned safety, the game and basic strategy.

Early SlamBall Team Photo

In 2002, SlamBall made its television debut, on The National Network (now Spike TV), soon after former Philadelphia 76ers owner Pat Croce had signed on as a partner. Six teams (the Bouncers, Diablos, Mob, Rumble, Slashers, and Steal) played in the inaugural season. SlamBall also aired on the British television station Trouble and ESPN aired a feature on the new league.

After the second season in 2003, Slamball league creator Mason Gordon and Warner Bros. Television had a disagreement. The league was dissolved for the time being. Five years later the league resurfaced for one more season. The league opened its doors to open try-outs and was looking for the perfect combination of “the athleticism of Michael Jordan, the physicality of Lawrence Taylor and the creativity of Tony Hawk.” [3]

Confrontation between Rob Wilson and Kevin Cassidy.

The first SlamBall draft in 2002 saw Canadian Robert Wilson drafted as the first #1 pick ever in the sport.

Prior to the launch of the second season more than 20,000 online applications were submitted by potential players. Before the second season of SlamBall debuted on the newly-renamed Spike TV, two expansion teams (the Riders and Bandits) were added and a new court was built at Universal City, California.

Sam Jones and Whitney White going head to head at training camp

In 2007, the "POWERade SlamBall Challenge" took place at Hoop City, a fan interactive event, at the 2007 Final Four in Atlanta, Georgia, and aired on CSTV in April 2007.[4]

In Italy SlamBall made its debut on Italia 1 on July 16, 2007 gaining impressive ratings and media fervor. Plans for a new season are in motion with an International model as the basis for the new league structure.[5]

In 2008, SlamBall began planning for a new season, to be financed by IMG. The league accepted applications through its website for new players and coaches, and tryouts were held in three U.S. cities in April, 2008. A training camp for the 2008 season of SlamBall was held at IMG Academies[6] in Bradenton, Florida from April to June 2008. Over 100 potential players participated in tryouts, eventually leaving 64 players after an 8-team draft. The league was cut to the 6 current teams. Some well-known figures associated with the new season of SlamBall include: Commissioner Pat Croce and Coaches Kenny Anderson, John Starks, Raghib Ismail and Ken Carter. In summer 2008, SlamBall played its first season since 2003 at Universal Citywalk in Universal Studios, California. These games aired in a "Game of the Week" format on Versus beginning August 31 and led up to the finals on CBS on November 2, 2008.

In the 2008 season championship, the Slashers, led by Ken Stapleton, defeated the Rumble.[7] The coach of the Rumble was Ken Carter, of the famed Coach Carter.[8] This season was scheduled to reair on Cartoon Network with the championship airing in August 2009. It was later cancelled. The season is currently airing on Australia’s One HD and Fuel TV.[9]

Media exposure

On television, the sport has been seen on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, King of Queens, Method & Red, CW's One Tree Hill, ESPN's SportsCenter, The Best Damn Sports Show Period and Fuel TV. In print, Slamball has been featured in the New York Times, Sports Illustrated, USA Today, Time Magazine and European editions of Maxim, GQ and FHM.

Athletes and training

SlamBall hopefuls at tryout camp in 2002

Because of the nature of Slamball, a broad scope is considered in the recruitment of the players. New players for the League have come from various areas. Slamball has recruited players directly from college and pro basketball programs across the country. Football players are used to the full-contact, up-tempo style of play, and many of the better players of Slamball find their origins on the gridiron.

Because Slamball is a fairly new sport, the primary skill set has yet to be determined. Skill sets from sports like track & field, gymnastics, volleyball, baseball and action sports have the potential to impact the development of the sport. The development of Street Ball also makes athletes from outside the college and pro ranks an exciting addition to the talent pool.

Anthony White vs the trampolines early in training camp
Aerial awareness and body control trampoline exercises
'Shakes' Fletcher in training camp 2002




Team Name Championships Former Names
Hombres Diablos
Maulers Steal
Mob 2007
Rumble 2002
Slashers 2008


Team Name Championships Former Names
Rousties Bandits
Riders 2003

Past Champions

Year Champion Score Runner-up
2002 SlamBall Season Rumble 46-41 Diablos
2003 SlamBall Season Riders 66-60 Slashers
2007 Powerade Slamball Challenge Mob 48-38 Bouncers
2008 Slamball Season Slashers 48-46 Rumble

Fun Facts

  • In the 1989 movie Back to the Future Part II, "Slamball" was mentioned as one of Douglas J Needles' favorite sports during a scene that took place in 2015. This fact was listed in the databank captions shown on the videophone screen during a call between him and Marty McFly. Slamball was also mentioned on the front page of a 2015 USA Today newspaper.[10] The movie was released 13 years before Slamball was ultimately founded in 2002.
  • "Stuttering" Craig Skistimas of ScrewAttack used to play Slamball professionally.
  • In the The King of Queens episode "Knee Jerk," Doug Heffernan lies to his wife Carrie about having a knee injury but is ultimately caught when she finds him playing slamball with his friends.
  • On a episode of Method and Red, Method Man, Redman, and friends were playing Slamball in their backyard.
  • In the One Tree Hill episode "Choosing My Own Way of Life", Nathan is offered a position on a Slamball team. The storyline ran five episodes and featured several of Slamball's top players.
  • Slamball was covered on VH1's Best Week Ever.


External links


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