The sport of slamball is a very recent invention with the first season taking place in 2002. The sport was created by Mason Gordon and is best described as a mix of basketball and ice hockey. The majority of the elements are based on basketball, including the use of a basketball and basketball hoop apparatus. However, slamball’s very physical style of play and the ability of constant substitutions mirror ice hockey. Gordon’s goal was to create a sport that would be able comparable to a real life video game.
Slamball is played on a 100’X62’ court with the floor being comprised of shock absorbent panels. The one characteristic that tends to separate slamball from all other sports is the use of trampolines. Each end of the floor is nearly completely covered by four 7’X14’ trampolines. This is what gives slamball its video-game-like qualities: the ability for the players to reach stunning heights and perform breathtaking dunks that were previously only found in video games and the imagination.
A team wins a game by outscoring their opponents through made shots and dunks and also playing defense with the goal of preventing the opposing team from scoring. A regular shot, the ball passing through the hoop by the offense, is worth two points, but a slam dunk, a player using one or both hands to forcibly jam the ball through the hoop, is worth three points. A game consists of two eight-minute halves with a 15-second shot clock governing each offensive possession (players have 15 seconds to attempt a shot).
Slamball consists of various rules that at the same time reflect hockey, basketball, and sport all its own. The game and second half both start off with what is called a “bounce off”. The bounce off is the opposite of the tip off that is used in basketball. As was mentioned before, teams are permitted limitless substitutions that are possible without a stoppage in play. Teams are given only one timeout which can only be used in the final two minutes of a game. There are various rules that govern the trampolines (the SlamZone) including no contact within the SlamZone, offensive players are not allowed to enter the SlamZone in an attempt to recover a loose ball, and a defender is forbidden from interrupting the natural course of an offensive player’s jump. Checking or full body contact is permitted within specific boundaries: no checking a player in possession of the ball who has not dribbled yet, players without the ball can be checked, and no checking in the back. These are only a few of the rules and any violation of these results in a foul, a player fouls out of a game with three fouls. A game is presided over by two referees and table officials.