Slamball

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SlamBall
Corey vs Ivan in 2008.jpg
Slashers Handler Corey Beezhold going in for a slam dunk.
First played2001
Characteristics
ContactFull-contact
Team membersHombres, Mob, Slashers, Maulers, Rumble and Bouncers
EquipmentWilson Custom – All-Red "Wave" Basketball
 
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SlamBall
Corey vs Ivan in 2008.jpg
Slashers Handler Corey Beezhold going in for a slam dunk.
First played2001
Characteristics
ContactFull-contact
Team membersHombres, Mob, Slashers, Maulers, Rumble and Bouncers
EquipmentWilson Custom – All-Red "Wave" Basketball
SlamBall
Slamball Logo 51.jpg
SportSlamBall
Founded2002
CommissionerPat Croce
MottoSlam or Go Home
No. of teams6
Country(ies)United States, Portugal, etc
Most recent champion(s)Slashers
Most titlesTied at 1
(Rumble, Riders, Mob, and Slashers
TV partner(s)United States ESPN, CBS, Versus, Cartoon Network
Portugal SIC K, SIC Radical
Spain Cuatro
Flag of Italy.svg GXT, Italia 1
Australia One HD
Official websiteSlamBall.net

SlamBall is a form of basketball played with 4 trampolines in front of each net. It is played "full contact" and has boards around the court. The name SlamBall is the trademark of SlamBall, LLC.

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, now CBS Sports Network, in 2007. SlamBall returned in August 2008,[1] airing on Versus, now NBC Sports Network, and CBS. The 2008 SlamBall season aired at one point on weekends on Cartoon Network. Slamball was shown on One HD in Australia during 2009.

Contents

Rules and regulations

Scoring 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 which includes assistant coaches, managers, statisticians, doctors, etc.

Team uniforms consists of shorts and a jersey with the team logo, a number and the player's name on the back. Typically players wear basketball sneakers, 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 15-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).

Positions

Diagram of a SlamBall court

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

Teams are free to choose their own configuration, the usual formations being 1 stopper, 2 handlers, and 1 gunner OR 1 stopper, 1 handler, and 2 gunners.

Fouls

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. In the case of any tie-ups, the defensive team always gain possession, but if the shot was blocked, the offensive team retains the ball from center court.

List of Common Fouls:[2]

Equipment

3D render of a SlamBall court.

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 (2.1 m 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) Plexiglass 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.

History

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,[3] and the name SlamBall is owned by Gordon's company. Upon developing the concept, Gordon 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 Blob. 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, 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. Former NBA All-Star Reggie Theus served as studio co-host and color commentator. ReelSports served as the event organizers for the new league. 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 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.”[4]

Confrontation between Rob Wilson and Kevin Cassidy.

The first SlamBall draft in 2002 saw Canadian Robert Wilson drafted as the first No. 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.[5]

In Italy SlamBall made its debut on Italia 1 on 16 July 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.[6]

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 Academy[7] 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 31 August and led up to the finals on CBS on 2 November 2008.

In the 2008 season championship, the Slashers, led by Ken Stapleton, defeated the Rumble.[8] The coach of the Rumble was Ken Carter, of the famed Coach Carter.[9] The season has aired on Australia’s One HD and Fuel TV.[10] SlamBall is currently setting up tournaments in the US and in multiple overseas markets.[11]

Media exposure

On television, the sport has been seen on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, One Tree Hill, King of Queens, Method & Red, 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 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

Teams

Current

Team NameChampionshipsFormer Names
Bouncers
HombresDiablos
MaulersSteal
Mob2007
Rumble2002
Slashers2008

Inactive

Team NameChampionshipsFormer Names
RoustiesBandits
Riders2003

Seasons

2002

2002Regular SeasonPost Season
TeamCoachWonLostWin %FinishWonLostResult
RumbleKen Carter72.7781st20Champions
DiablosMark Ellis54.5562nd11Lost in finals
BouncersHernando Planells54.5563rd01Lost in semi-finals
StealBrian Taylor45.4444th01Lost in semi-finals
MobBrendan Kirsch45.4445thDid not qualify
SlashersKevin Stapleton27.2226thDid not qualify

2003

2003Regular SeasonPost Season
TeamCoachWonLostWin %FinishWonLostResult
RumbleKen Carter91.9001st01Lost in semi-finals
MobBrendan Kirsch73.7002nd01Lost in semi-finals
RidersXavier McDaniel64.6003rd20Champions
SlashersKevin Stapleton64.6004th11Lost in finals
DiablosJoey Bryant46.4005thDid not qualify
BouncersHernando Planells46.4006thDid not qualify
StealBrian Taylor28.2007thDid not qualify
BanditsMark Berekoff28.2008thDid not qualify

2008

2008Regular SeasonPost Season
TeamCoachWonLostWin %FinishWonLostResult
RumbleKen Carter93.7501st11Lost in finals
SlashersKevin Stapleton75.5832nd20Champions
MobBrendan Kirsch75.5833rd01Lost in semi-finals
HombresKenny Anderson66.5004th01Lost in semi-finals
MaulersJohn Starks57.4175thDid not qualify
BouncersRocket Ismail210.1676thDid not qualify

Past Champions

YearChampionScoreRunner-up
2002 SlamBall SeasonRumble46–41Diablos
2003 SlamBall SeasonRiders66–60Slashers
2007 Powerade Slamball ChallengeMob48–38Bouncers
2008 Slamball SeasonSlashers48–46Rumble

Popular culture

References

External links