Slamball: Trampoline-fueled basketball returns to the air


Slamball is a professional game of basketball, football, and hockey combined played on trampolines. Intrigued yet?

Nick Shwaery, who grew up in the area, though he now lives in Florida, will be featured on CBS in November for a new season of Slamball.

There was a tryout April 10, Shwaery said. I was working a normal desk job as a designer and animator at Disney and I got an email from Slamball. Apparently they were drafting basketball players and I had played for New York Institute of Technology.

He made the first cut, though he had never played before. He was then asked to check into the hotel for a two-week stay.

I had to call Disney and tell them I needed two weeks off, Shwaery said. Disney said it was a once in a lifetime experience and to go for it.

For the next two weeks, Shwaery made cut after cut until finally he was drafted to the Bouncers as a stopper. A stopper is similar to a goalie. The position requires the player to wait under the basket to block a ball coming towards him while an opponent is running at full speed towards him. 

Shwaery said they continued to mix up the teams and he was then put on Hombres with coach Kenny Anderson who has played for the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers among others.

After two months of training the teams traveled to Los Angeles to compete.  As a safety precaution elbow pads, kneepads, chest and mouth guards are worn and the players taught how to properly crashout. This is a procedure that teaches how to successfully land on the trampolines while dunking.

Its like any other sport, Shwaery said. Theres always a chance of injury but its magnified when you combine football, basketball and hockey on trampolines.

The court is set up as any basketball court would be but underneath the basketball hoops are four rectangular trampolines adding height and agility to the game. The game runs 20 minutes long with four, five-minute quarters.  The 20 minutes is run on a continual clock and no time outs are taken. I didnt get much playtime, Shwaery said. The guy ahead of me played for a few yearsso I played one quarter and he would play three.

Though CBS will be airing the playoffs for the season, its not yet decided which station will air the entirety of the season. 

Shwaery has returned to Florida and no longer works at Disney World. He has since changed jobs to Clickbooth, a marketing company where he does web design. Though considered a rookie, he plans to continue playing on the team. The teams will most likely begin touring next season.