LOS ANGELES, Calif. /eNewsChannels/ — The growing popularity of Sky Ball has prompted the formation of a new pro league – the Sky Ball League. As semi-finals begin to gain the attention of sports fans across the country, Fox Sports Arizona is set to air the semi-final playoffs, which were shot in L.A., August 20 and 27 (check local listings for times) between the Tampa Dragons and the Los Angeles 405’s. The team members consist of males and females who were selected from hundreds of hopefuls to compete in the first season of this up-and-coming next generation coed sport.
The four teams that were formed and competed in the first season of Sky Ball League (www.skyballleague.com) are the Tampa Dragons, Austin Starz, Youngstown Ballers and Los Angeles 405s. The final episode in the series will feature the remaining two teams standing, who will compete in the Tournament of Champions in Los Angeles. This final smackdown determines who gets the winner’s purse of $40,000.
Brian Dunkleman, one of the original co-hosts of American Idol, hosts the 16 episodes in the Sky Ball League series, which was created by Brian Kessler, who designed the Sky Ball, and sports executive Danny Swartz. “Sky Ball is an energetic combination of basketball, baseball and volleyball, with a little lacrosse thrown in,” says Kessler. “The game uses Sky Balls and smash gloves and is played on a court with goals set at each end that consist of three scoring pads 12 feet to 17 feet high.”
Slightly larger than a softball and constructed of a special combination of plastic and rubber material that is pumped with oxygen and helium, Sky Balls are capable of bouncing up to 75 feet. “Besides the requisite physical dexterity, the challenge to players,” says Swartz, “is that they must not only excel in controlling the ball, but the skillful manipulation of a challenging piece of equipment.”
“Age knows no bounds,” Kessler adds. “Across the league, this season’s players range between 18 and 39, and neither age nor gender has made a bit of difference on how well anyone plays.”
While the first season’s tryouts attracted almost a thousand hopefuls, since Sky Ball League started airing this summer, over 4,000 requests have come in for next season’s tryouts. Sky Ball League expects to significantly expand the number of teams participating in 2012.
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