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What is Slamball? What to know about rules, teams, more before return

Jan 02, 2024

What happens when you mix basketball, football, gymnastics and some hockey? You get one of the most electrifying, high-flying sports that's set to make its return to the national spotlight: Slamball.

After nearly 15 years since it was last played in the U.S., Slamball is making its return with its Series 6 season set to take place in Las Vegas. There, eight teams will spend close to four weeks vying for a title, with all games broadcasted by ESPN.

But with the popular sport returning, viewers may need a refresher of the intense game before seeing any outrageous dunks. Here's everything you need to know about Slamball, from rules, the court and lingo:

Slamball is primarily basketball mixed with elements of football, gymnastics and hockey. The objective is to score through a basketball hoop, but the twist is there are trampolines inside the paint area of the court, allowing players to jump on and fly up to 20 feet in the air to deliver a slam dunk. The game is physical with players attempting to block dunks and meet players at the rim, allowing contact like in football and hockey. There are also barriers around the court to keep the action flowing like hockey, and substitutions are done in hockey-style line changes.

The game is played between two teams in a 4-on-4 format, with four five-minute quarters. The court has four trampolines on each side for players to jump on to perform dazzling moves and slam dunks. Slam dunks are worth three points, while jumpshots are worth two points. There is a 3-point line for 3-point shots, and a new introduction this year is the beginning of a 4-point shot.

There are fouls in the game, but instead of free throws, a face off happens between two players, similar to a penalty shot in hockey.

There are three positions in Slamball:

With four players on each side, teams can have various amount of positions on the court, like having two gunners or two handlers.

There are eight teams in the 2023 Slamball season. They are:

The 2023 Slamball season begins on July 21 with the Rumble taking on the Mob at 7 p.m. ET. Regular-season play will run through Aug. 13, with a six-team playoff beginning on Aug. 15 and championship game on Aug. 17.

All Slamball games will be broadcasted on the ESPN family of networks, with the first three games broadcasted on ESPN. The rest of the regular season will air on ESPN+ or ESPN2.

The playoff games will air on ESPN+ and the championship game will be on ESPN2.

Here are some of the word and phrases you can expect to see while watching Slamball, as well as what they mean, according to the league:

HandlerGunnerStopperBack bailout:Backdrop:Blender:Boomerang:BTB (behind the back):Burner:Chaser:Gainer:Kill bounce:Revolutions:Switchblade: