Pop-A-Slam Official Player’s Guide


Pop-A-Slam is a new yard game inspired by the sport of basketball. The game is easy to learn, fast-paced and can be played anywhere – at the beach, in the park or even in your own backyard. To master Pop-A-Slam, you’ll need to be a clutch shooter, make game-changing fastbreaks and be an elite defender. Don’t worry though – you won’t have to break too much of a sweat to be a champion!


The goal of any Pop-A-Slam game is to be the first team to score 21 or more points. Sound too easy? In Pop-A-Slam it’s not enough just to make a few baskets. To win the game you’ll have to watch out for a defense waiting to start a Fastbreak when you least expect it or Slam missed shots.


Each Pop-A-Slam set comes with the following materials:

  • Pop-A-Slam basket x 1
  • Official ball x 1
  • Shooting markers x 3
  • Stickers x 2


Setting up Pop-A-Slam takes less than 60 seconds and can be done in three simple steps.

Step 1: Stand up the basket and decide where the basket should be placed

Open all four legs and stand the board right-side up. Find a location with a relatively even surface and plenty of open space

Step 2: Place the shooting markers

Once the basket is set up, all players must agree to the location of the three shooting markets. Each Pop-A-Slam set comes with a 2-point, 3-point and Fastbreak marker.

As rule of thumb, the starting distance for the 2-point marker is about 10 feet away from the basket and 12 feet away for the 3-point marker. The Fastbreak marker can be placed anywhere but we recommend placing it off to the side and between the 2 and 3-point marker.

Step 3: Pump up the ball

The first time you play Pop-A-Slam you will need to pump up the ball. After that, you should be all set except for the occasional booster pumps.


  • Players should move the point markers as close or as far away as skill level dictates
  • Shooting markers can be placed straight away from the basket or diagonally for more challenging shots
  • While Pop-A-Slam can be played indoors, we recommend going outside and enjoying the fresh air!


Pop-A-Slam follows a similar game flow to a basketball game. One team shoots and one team defends, then the roles switch and it’s the other team’s turn to shoot. This back and forth continues until one team scores 21 or more points. In Pop-A-Slam, gameplay officially begins when the offensive team takes their first shot – this initiates a Possession.

What is a Possession?

A Possession is the offensive team’s opportunity to shoot the ball into the basket for points. For each Possession, players may attempt the following number of shots per turn:

  • Two-player games = 2 shot attempts
  • Three-player games = 2 shot attempts
  • Four-player games = 4 shot attempts (Two consecutive shots for each player)

Free Throw vs Live Ball shots

Each Possession includes two types of shots – Free Throw and Live Ball

  • The first shot attempt is always considered a Free Throw shot
    • The shot must be taken from the 2-point marker
    • The defender cannot interfere with the shot in any way
  • The second shot attempt is the Live Ball
    • The shot can be taken from either the 2-point or 3-point marker – it’s up to the shooter.
    • On a missed Live Ball, thedefensive team can Slam the shot back into the basket to score points
    • If the offensive team gets the Rebound first, then the shooter may attempt a shot from the spot of the Rebound worth 1 point


  • On a Live Ball, the offensive shooter may shoot from either the 2 or 3-point marker
  • A made Slam is awarded points equal to the value of where the offensive player attempted the shot
  • Shots must be taken at or behind the shooting marker
  • A made shot occurs when a shot goes into the basket – if the ball pops out, points are still awarded
  • If there is a significant difference in skill level between players, we recommend more advanced players use a 1-point and 2-point scoring instead of 2-point and 3-points

What is a Slam and how does it work?

This is what puts the slam in Pop-A-Slam! It’s a move that allows the defense to score points even when they’re not shooting the ball.

  • A Slam may be attempted by the defensive team on any Live Ball
  • Once a Live Ball has hit the basket, the defensive team has two body deflections to Slam the ball back into the basket


  • The defensive team may not grip or hold the ball during a Slam attempt
  • If playing 2 vs 2, the two deflections may be split between the defensive players

Scoring table breakdown


The Fastbreak can quickly change momentum of the entire game. A Fastbreak is initiated when a defensive player steals a shot attempt by grabbing the ball out of the air before it hits the ground or the basket.

Fastbreak scoring breakdown table

If the team who initiated the Fastbreak makes the shot, then the other team’s score is impacted according to the table below. However, if a Fastbreak shot is missed, then the other team has a chance to Slam. If there is a successful Slam attempt, then the shooting team’s score is impacted according to the table breakdown.


  • Each team member may initiate up to two Fastbreaks each game
  • A Fastbreak may be initiated on Live Ball shot attempts only
  • When a defensive player attempts a Fastbreak shot, their feet must be at or behind the marker!


Pop-A-Slam can be played in a variety of ways depending on how many players are participating. In these instructions, we will cover how to set up game play for two, three and four player games.

Step 1: Determine the teams

Divide players so each team has an equal number of players

  • Two players = 1 vs 1
  • Three players = 1 vs 1 vs 1
  • Four players = 2 vs 2

Step 2: Determine which team starts on offense

  • The tried-and-true method to determine who starts on offense is for each player to take a turn shooting from the 2-point marker
  • The first player to make a basket is awarded offensive possession to start the game for their team even if other players have not attempted a shot yet
  • In the case of a three-player game, the second player to make a basket begins the game on defense and the player who did not make a basket begins the game at the Fastbreak marker

Starting positions for two players = 1 vs 1

In this example, Player 1 has won the first offensive possession and begins the game at the 2-point marker. Player 2 starts the game on defense and stands by the basket

Starting positions for three players = 1 vs 1 vs 1

Player 1 has again won the first offensive possession and begins the game at the 2-point marker. Player 2 still starts the game on defense and stands by the basket. Player 3 begins the game at the Fastbreak marker

Starting positions for four players = 2 vs 2

In four-player Pop-A Slam, the players are divided into two teams. Both players who begin the game on offense start at the 2-point marker. The two players beginning the game on defense start near the basket


Player rotations are intuitive but do change slightly depending on the number of players in each game.

For two players (1 vs 1)

  • Player 1 begins the game on offense and attempts both shots
  • Once the shots are completed, players switch making player 2 the offensive shooter
  • Once player 2 has attempted both shots, players rotate again

For three players (1 vs 1 vs 1)

  • Player 1 begins the game on offense, Players 2 begins the game on defense and player 3 begins the game by standing next to the Fastbreak marker
  • Once Player 1 has attempted both shots in their Possession the players rotate in the following direction:
    • Player 1 is now at the Fastbreak marker
    • Player 2 is now on offense
    • Player 3 is now on defense

For four players (2 vs 2)

  • Each player on the team that begins the game on offense has a Possession – resulting in four shots total
  • Once both players have completed their shot attempts, the teams switch positions so the team that was on defense in now on offense


  • All rotation patterns continue until one player scores 21 or more points
  • For three-play games, the player who is at the Fastbreak marker may run into Slam any Live Ball shot attempts at any point during the game


To win a game of Pop-A-Slam a player or team must be the first to score 21 or more points. Of course, the other team always has a chance to send the game into overtime.

Winning the game

  • The game is won when a team scores 21 or more points
  • There is no penalty of scoring above 21 and may work in that team’s favor
  • A team can win by any margin of victory even if it’s by a single point
  • A game can be won by a shot attempt, Slam or Fastbreak
  • The team that fails to score 21 or more points first has an opportunity to send the game into overtime through rebuttal shooting

Rebuttal shooting

  • During rebuttal shooting, each player on shoots until they miss
  • Rebuttal shots can be attempted from either the 2-point or 3-point marker and the shooter may alternate based on preference
  • The rebuttal is successful if the player or team can match or exceed the score of the other team
  • A successful rebuttal sends the game into overtime

Overtime rules

  • Overtime begins with a score of 0 for each team and is won by being the first to reach 11 or more points
  • All shot attempts are considered Live Ball and therefore eligible to be Slammed by the defensive team
  • There are no Fastbreaks in overtime
  • The team that fails to score 11 or more points first has an opportunity to send the game into another overtime through rebuttal shooting
  • There is no limit to the number of overtimes there can be during a Pop-A-Slam game


PossessionIncludes one Free Throw and one Live Ball shot attempt for each player on offense
OffenseThe player or team with ball and shooting
DefenseThe player or team guarding the basket and trying to Slam the offensive team’s shot attempt
Free ThrowThe first shot attempt during on offensive possession – note the defense may not interfere with this shot in anyway
Live BallThe second shot attempt during an offensive possession – note this shot may be Slammed by the Defense or Rebounded by the Offense for additional points
SlamAn opportunity for the defense to turn a missed shot into points by deflecting a missed shot into the basket
DeflectionUsing any part of a player’s body to direct a the ball into the basket
ReboundWhen the offensive player recovers a missed Live Ball shot before the defensive team. The player may shoot from wherever the rebound was recovered for a chance at 1 point
FastbreakAn attempt by the defensive team to steal away one shot from the offense and turn it into points by making a shot at the Fastbreak marker