SlamBall is the trademark name for a form of basketball that is played in a few countries and SlamBall locations around the world including Australia and China. Similar to basketball, it is played on a court with boards around the edge and four trampolines in front of the nets making it like a trampoline basketball court. The first Slamball games to be shown on TV were aired in 2002 through till 2003, and were shown once again on television from 2007 to 2008, and then in 2009 when Slamball Australia was aired. Most recently, the first ever major tournament that was aired was in 2012 and took place in China.
The SlamBall rules are similar to, but different from basketball, and the SlamBall equipment required for a game is of course different due to the presence of trampolines on the court. The teams score points by passing the ball into the opponent’s net and preventing the ball from entering into their own, the winner of the game being the team with the most points at the end. When the ball is thrown straight through the hoop without actually touching the side, two points are given, three points being given for a slam dunk.
The SlamBall teams will consist of eight or nine players, and of these players, four will be on the court at any time, a roster being used. Players from the SlamBall team can be substituted at any point during the game, rather like in the game of hockey. A SlamBall team will have a coach as well as other assistants, managers, and doctors. As well as the coaches and assistants, a SlamBall game will be controlled by table officials and two referees. At the table, tracks will be kept of the score as well as the fouls committed, the possessions of both teams, and the time elapsed of the game.
SlamBall vs. Basketball
One difference to be noted between SlamBall and NBA is the time each game takes to play. The games are considerably shorter, each one being played in four quarters of just five minutes instead of 12. The start of a SlamBall game is marked by a bounce off where the ball is bounced at the center of the court. During each game only one time out is allowed, and the half time break will last ten minutes. After the half time break the players will change ends of the court, and in the event of a tie at the end of full time “face offs” will be played until one team wins.
With just four players of the SlamBall team on court at any time, there are just three different positions to play, these being the handler, the gunner, and the stopper. The handler can be seen as being the team leader of the game, the gunner being the primary scorer for the game. Each team will normally choose to have two gunners, one handler, and one defensive that are known as the stopper, but the teams are free to choose their own configuration for play. Although SlamBall may be less known than basketball, it is a game that add extra bounce to the court, and its short games are excellent to watch and are guaranteed to be full of action and fun for even the younger audience.