Below are answers to some of the more Frequently Asked Questions about SlamBall. If your question is not addressed below, hit us up here and we’ll try to answer it directly or in the next mailbag feature.
Q:”What is SlamBall?”
A: SlamBall is a team sport comprised of a mash-up of the best elements and strategies from basketball, football and hockey with elements of gymnastics and the mentality of video game sports blended in. On each end of a specialized, spring-loaded court is a quad configuration of competition sprinbeds that propel players up to 17 feet in the air to attack the rim or create additional scoring or defensive angles. SlamBall is full contact, resembles basketball at times and is won by outscoring the other team in points scored by passing a ball through a hoop. Slams, as well as shots from beyond the three-point line are worth three points. All other shots are worth two. Slams are defined as forcing the ball through the hoop from above and making contact with the rim.
Q:”How many players comprise a SlamBall team?”
A: Each SlamBall team plays four players at any given time. The roster holds eight active players that sub in on the fly, like in ice hockey. When coaches run the teams properly, players go all out for every moment they are on the court and are subbed out regularly so the game is played constantly at full speed.
Q:”What are the positions in SlamBall?”
A” There are 3 positions in SlamBall – handlers, gunners and stoppers. Handlers are the quarterbacks of the team. They resemble point guards in basketball. They have the ability to not only handle the ball in the open floor, but to do so amidst violent hits while running an offense. They are unique passers in the sense that they are passing on two different planes – on the court floor and to players flying up to 17+ feet in the air. Gunners are athletic and tough, and there are different types of them. Usually longer and more agile than handlers, successful gunners avoid hits in the open floor and are the main scorers on the team, either by using their athleticism to score at the rim or knocking down outside shots. Specialty gunners that focus on open floor defense are also a developing trend. Stoppers are best thought of as goalies for each team. Their job is to protect the rim at all costs, and they only trail the offense into the front court when their presence is needed and primarily focus on staying back to defend the hoop. It takes a special type of person to play the stopper position, as the requirements of the position include strength, timing, acrobatic ability and terrific hands.
Q:”How old do I have to be to tryout for SlamBall?”
A: In order to play professional SlamBall, you must be at least 18 years old. Hey, if you’re 17 and that bums you out…hit the gym and lift those weights for a year. Trust me, you’re going to need the added muscle.
Q:”How old do I have to be just to play SlamBall in general?”
A: We’ve had kids as young as 10 years old play on full-size courts and were able to make plays.
Q:”What kind of athletes play SlamBall?”
A: We get athletes from many different backgrounds who are able to learn and play the game effectively. Typically, athletes are drawn to SlamBall from (1) Professional and college basketball programs, (2) Professional and college football programs, (3) Multi-sport athletes (Track & field, volleyball, gymnastics, hockey, rugby, action sports) and (4) Unstructured athletic programs (streetball, etc). Some of the best players to date have unique combinations of athletic experience. For example, Stan Fletcher’s vast skill set in SlamBall can be attributed to a background that consists of professional basketball that developed his ball skills (ABA & overseas) and a youth spent skateboarding that contributed to his ludicrous balance and body control.
Q:”I want to see the sport get bigger. How can I support SlamBall?”
A: There are VOD games available, and t-shirts and jerseys are a great way of supporting the game. The simplest and easiest way is to share SlamBall videos and posts on social platforms like facebook, instagram, twitter and vine. Tag everything you share with #slamball.
Q:”When will there be a SlamBall court in my city so I can play?”
A: The best way to bring SlamBall to your community is to immediately tag in social media, call, email or visit in person the nearest trampoline centers and let the management know that you want a real SlamBall court and program in your area. All social posts should be marked with #slamball
Q:”How does the scoring work?”
A: Each dunk is worth three points. A shot from behind the three-point line is also worth three points. Any shot from inside the three-point line is worth 2 points. When a foul is committed, the offended player is given a “face-off” in which he goes head to head with the player that committed the foul. A slam is defined as forcing the ball through the rim, so dunks that rattle around the hoop and aren’t clean jams are only awarded two points.
Q:”Can girls play?”
A: HELLS YEAH THEY CAN (and it’s kind of awesome when they do)! We have plans to establish two girl SlamBall teams to play at SlamBall live events so if you’ve got what it takes, fill out an application. If enough people like watching the girls play, we’ll add more teams.
Q:”What are the court dimensions?”
A: A regulation SlamBall court surface is 100 ft by 62 ft (30.4 m by 19 m.) The SlamBall competition floor is the most advanced gymnastics apparatus ever created. 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 springbed ‘quads’ which dominate each end of the court. Each springbed surface measures 7 ft by 14 ft (2.1m by 4.2 m.) The shock absorbent panels pair with the competition springbeds 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.
Q:”Why don’t you use the word ‘trampolines?”
A: The SlamBall court uses competition springbeds that are highly engineered. Some in the sport, refer to them as “tramps”, which sounds slightly better to me.
Q:”What do I need to know to watch the game?”
A: You will be able to appreciate SlamBall right away. There’s lots of smashing, crashing and WOW moments…and there are a lot of little rules you’ll pick up on along the way. The main rule to understand is that the defenders can hit you in the open floor, but not when you jump from the floor towards the springbeds. Once you’re off the ground, on your way into the springs, the defenders can’t touch you. If they do, it results in a Face Off. The other rules like “don’t hit people in the back” and “punching people in the face is frowned upon” are either obvious or easy to pick up as you watch.
Q:”What’s a Face Off?”
A: Possibly the coolest thing about SlamBall, the Face Off is the remedy for a foul. The player who gets fouled get’s the ball at mid court and gets to go heads up, one-on-one against the player who fouled him. So if I get hit with a cheap shot, I get a chance to give it right back to the player who hacked me. It’s more interpersonal and dramatic than free throws. The offensive player can elect to attack straight on, or from either side bed to force the defender to their weak hand. Click here to see a great example.
Q:”Could I get out there and play SlamBall?”
A: If you’re asking about recreational participation…ABSOLUTELY. We set up the court at NBA All-Star Weekend and put over 4000 fans onto the court to experience SlamBall first hand. What you probably couldn’t do is play with the pros, who really are no-joke — big, strong and talented athletes that bring it for REAL (I have the bruises to prove it…). Don’t believe me?
Q:”Who the hell are you?”
A: I’m the mental patient that came up with SlamBall and (some of the time) answers your email. Nice to meet you.
Q:”Can I see SlamBall live?”
A: We’re working on setting up the next set of live events now. There’s some HUGE things in the works. We will make all news announcements on this site, so keep checking back. We’ll keep publishing content we hope you like, including exclusive never-before-seen highlights, videos, interviews, photos, posters and features and break all the news that’s fit to print right here on slamball.net.
Q:”Is SlamBall International?”
A: SlamBall is operating license agreements in 14 countries and counting.
Q:”What do coaches do in SlamBall?”
A: The strategies in SlamBall have grown vastly more sophisticated each year and the coaching has followed suit. Coaching SlamBall requires dedication and innovation at a very high level. Coaches like Kevin Stapleton, Brendan Kirsch, Hernando Planells, and Ken Carter (yes, THE Coach Carter) have all created distinct styles and coaching philosophies. Former NBA standouts Xavier McDaniel and Kenny Anderson have also developed a lot of great strategies and sets.
Q:”Have any NBA or NFL players participated?”
A: To date, we’ve had players from the NBA and NFL come to coach SlamBall and some have had tremendous success, highlighted by Xavier McDaniel’s championship with the Riders and Kenny Anderson’s strong showing leading the Hombres. Additional stars that have participated in coaching and/or broadcasting SlamBall include: John Starks, Joe “Jellybean” Bryant, Brian Taylor, Raghib “Rocket” Ismail, Michael Cooper, Spud Webb, Amare Stoudemire, Tony Gonzalez, Jason Seahorn, Shawn Marion, Shaquille O’neal, Marcellus Wiley, Mitch Richmond, Quentin Richardson, Jason Richardson and Andre Iguodala.
Q:”When is the video game coming out?”
A: Working on it. Email these guys and tell them you want a Slam Ball game.
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