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The Return of SlamBall

Wikipedia

It is official, SlamBall will be returning in the summer of 2023! Mason Gordon, original founder of the sport, confirmed on August 3rd of this year that the league would be revived after its last iteration in 2008. Gordon took it upon himself to announce the news on the 20th anniversary of the first televised game in 2002. 

“There have been all kinds of people clamoring for SlamBall to come back… So, I’m ready to announce next summer, 2023, SlamBall is coming back, live!” Gordon said with exuberance.

This will be a huge step forward for the game with all the opportunities via live streaming & social media today that weren’t available in its original form in the early 2000’s. There has not been an official announcement yet as to the plans on where SlamBall will air but leading up to next year those details will most likely become available. 

Gordon has been patient and methodical in his approach regarding the return of the game. 

“We’ve gotten opportunities pretty much every couple of months, there will be an opportunity to bring SlamBall back in some form,” Gordon stated. “My partners and I have always looked at it and said, ‘we’re not gonna come back until the market conditions are like really optimal,’ and the alternate sports marketplace is on fire.” 

 

What Is SlamBall?

For the uninitiated, SlamBall is basically basketball, football & hockey thrown into a cauldron and stirred together to concoct one of the more exhilarating & high-flying sports in existence. The court consists of a total of eight trampolines with four located within each basket’s three-point line and the court is surrounded by glass similar to a hockey rink with the court structure taking on the traditional setup of basketball with a three-point arc and half court mark. 

The play is governed by four quarters of five-minute intervals totaling a twenty-minute game where players can cross check each other into the boards in 4 on 4 play with unlimited on the fly substitutions and slam dunks counting for three points. SlamBall has what is called a “face off” as a substitute for free throws where two players will go head-to-head, one trying to score and the other attempting to prevent a score similar to hockey. For a more extensive overview of the rules see here. 

The game consists of three different positions: handler, gunner & stopper. The names are relatively implicit in their purposes: the handler being the primary handler of the ball similar to a point guard, the gunner being the player that is gunning towards the basket & the primary scorer for the team and the stopper being akin to a Defenseman in hockey specializing in stopping the other team from scoring.

Each will interchangeably rotate these positions and players depending on the flow of the game and who controls the ball. Some teams opt for more tough bruising players that lends toward intimidation & physical play while others will have fast & athletic gunners/handlers to facilitate an aerial assault on the opponent. 

 

Past, Present & Future

SlamBall had a successful television run from 2002-2003 on Spike TV but with changes to format and Spike TV wanting to move away from the game being a live televised sport, SlamBall and the network parted ways. The sport should have a bit more creative liberty this time around with innovations in technology as well as the cultural shift away from cable television. 

With other alternative sports like MMA/UFC, Ice Cube’s Big3 basketball and Premier League Lacrosse gaining popularity in recent years, SlamBall should have a high level of marketability between newer generations discovering the game and some of the original viewers looking to recapture the nostalgia of their youth. Stay tuned for more news about SlamBall as it rolls in!

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