FAQ

How will COVID-19 impact TBT 2021?
With our event held in late July / early August, we anticipate fans in attendance. 

How can I watch?
All games will be broadcast through ESPN. The specific game schedule will be released after the bracket is released in mid June. 

Where/When are the games?
Sites and dates for TBT 2021 will be announced in early April.

How is the field selected?
We select the field from the application pool, which runs May 1 – June 15.

Who can apply to enter a team?
Anyone 18 or older.

Who has won TBT?
2014: Notre Dame Fighting Alumni (Notre Dame Alumni)
2015: Overseas Elite
2016: Overseas Elite
2017: Overseas Elite
2018: Overseas Elite
2019: Carmen’s Crew (Ohio State Alumni)
2020: Golden Eagles Alumni (Marquette Alumni)

Do NBA players play in TBT?
Lots of players with NBA experience participate each year. NBA players under contract typically play the part of de facto team owner, GM, Booster, or Coach.

Do players ever go on from TBT to play in the NBA?
34 players have gone on from TBT to sign deals with NBA teams. Malcolm Miller has gone on to win a NBA Championship with the Toronto Raptors. Mike James holds the career high for points in a NBA game by a former TBT player (26 pts, 11/26/17, Phoenix Suns).

How do you seed the teams?
We make an assessment on each team’s talent, chemistry, and reliability.

What is the tournament format?
Single-elimination.

What are the game rules?
College rules (5-on-5) except we play four 9-minute quarters, each team gets 4 timeouts per game, each player gets 6 fouls, international rules on basket interference (except on foul shots), and we use the Elam Ending.

What TBT innovations are now used in other sports leagues?
The NCAA Tournament now uses TBT’s post game bracket celebration ritual, which features someone from the winning team placing its team name into the next round on an oversized bracket board. The NBA All Star game adopted the Elam Ending in 2020, which eliminates the game clock at the end of play and sets a Target Score.

What is the origin of the Elam Ending?
Basketball superfan, member of Mensa, Ball State Professor, and Cincinnati Reds Groundskeeper Nick Elam emailed us blindly at info@thetournament.com in August of 2016 with a rule change proposal he called the "Hybrid Duration Format," which TBT would later rename the Elam Ending. Nick DVR’d over 2,000 NBA and NCAA basketball games over a ten-year period and found that the trailing team resorted to intentional fouling at the end of the game in roughly half of all games. Furthermore, he noted it was only an effective strategy for the trailing team 1.5% of the time. So Nick’s idea was to shut the game clock off halfway through the fourth quarter and set a Target Score. The first team to the Target Score wins. After working with Nick, TBT decided to implement the format in June of 2017. It has proven to be wildly successful amongst fans of all ages.

Since all TBT games end on a game winning shot, here’s a list of our top Closers and how many games they’ve ended:
Jeremy Pargo (Overseas Elite) – 5
Jamil Wilson (Marquette Alumni) - 5
Marvelle Harris (Challenge ALS) - 4
Jerome Randle (Eberlein Drive) - 4
Travis Diener (Marquette Alumni) - 3
Samme Givens (Brotherly Love) – 3
Jordon Crawford (Team Fredette) – 3
David Lighty (Carmen’s Crew, Ohio State Alumni) – 3

How is the championship prize split up?
GMs negotiate with each team member over his/her share of the final prize. 

What does a GM do?
The GM builds and runs the team. He or she is the final voice when it comes to any team issues.

Can players play in both NBA Summer League and TBT?
Yes. Lots of players do this. This year, none of our games overlap with NBA Summer League.

Can women play?
Yes. We've had 15 women play in TBT thus far, and several more have served as GM or Coach.

If we want to give our winnings to charity, how do we do that?
Teams may give their after-tax portions of the winnings to any charity they desire (as Notre Dame Fighting Alumni did with Coaches vs. Cancer in 2014). If you’d like to give ALL of your winnings to a non-profit, it would be beneficial for the non-profit to enter the team itself. If this is an option you'd like to pursue, please email teams@thetournament.com.

How do I sign up to play?
Email us at teams@thetournament.com.

ABOUT TBT

Why are you doing this?
Our goal is to find the most competitve basketball team in the world.

The TBT team:
Jon Mugar (@jonmugar) – Founder/CEO
Dan Friel (@tbtfriel) –EVP, Team Relationships & General Counsel / Co-founder
Jen Todd (@tbttodd) – EVP / Co-founder
Jennette Puzzo (@nettieb15) – VP, Events
George Alexander – Event Director
Josh Brown (@josh_brown31) –Manager of Content
Jake Pavorsky (@jakepavorsky) – Director, Player Personnel & PR
Brett Danahy – VP, Partnerships
Jack Roberts – Partnership Manager
Andrew Krause (@ndrewkrause) – Art Director
Brian Gemma – Event Coordinator
Hakeem Williams (@CoachHakeem) – Team Relationships
Rob Kennedy – Game Operations
Mike Burks – Producer
Rod Reichley – Producer
Mark Sullivan – Security
HallPass – Content
Tupelo Raycom – TV Production
Advisors – Vin Martelli, Tony Ponturo, Len DeLuca, Andy Dolich

ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS

Email us at info@thetournament.com

The information provided on this page is intended as a general guideline, subject to the Rules, which provide discretion to TBT concerning the final selection of players and teams.