Slamball looks to take off

IMG, Tollin start league for TV

IMG and Mike Tollin Prods. have formed a joint venture to create a league around the action sport slamball, with plans to find a network to televise the competitions.

Slamball, which was televised on Spike TV for two seasons in 2002-03, was created by Mason Gordon. It's touted as the "first action team sport," a full-contact competition pitting two teams against each other on a court that features four trampolines and basketball-style nets.

Former Philadelphia 76ers president Pat Croce will serve as the league's commissioner, with athletes and coaches being trained at Florida-based IMG Academies starting in April. The plan is to feature 64 players and 16 coaches playing in a single-venue season starting in June, with eight franchises playing in U.S. cities next year.

Discussions are under way with broadcast partners to expand the league and air competitions in the U.S. and globally.

"This project leverages our expertise in entertainment with our capabilities in athletic training and sports production and distribution to create a multiplatform slamball league with the potential to attract a worldwide audience," said Chris Albrecht, the former HBO topper who became head of global media at IMG in September.

Added Tollin: "To combine our long-standing relationship with Chris with the reach of an IMG will allow us to raise the visibility of the sport around the world and maximize its opportunities on a wide range of platforms."

Tollin most recently produced the film "Wild Hogs" and ESPN's miniseries "The Bronx Is Burning."

Croce recently hosted his own short-lived syndicated show, "Pat Croce: Moving In."
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