TBT Announces Elam Ending To Be Used in All TBT2018 Games


By: TBT Staff | @thetournament 


*Entirety of this year’s tournament – including $2 Million Championship Game – to be played under “Elam Ending” rules, designed to eliminate deliberate fouling at the end of games and ensure every game ends on a made basket*

BOSTON – June 18, 2018 – The Basketball Tournament (TBT) – the $2 million, winner-take-all summer basketball event broadcast live on ESPN – announced today a groundbreaking rule change for this year’s tournament. First implemented during TBT’s play-in round in 2017, the “Elam Ending” – designed by Mensa member and basketball super fan Dr. Nick Elam – eliminates deliberate fouling at the end of games, ensures the final minutes are played at the same pace and flow as the rest of the game, and guarantees every game ends on a made basket. Under the rule, at the first dead ball after the four minute mark in the fourth quarter, the game clock shuts off. A Target Score is set by adding seven to the leading team’s score. The first team to reach the Target Score wins.


“When we tested the Elam Ending during our play-in games last year, we were floored by how much fans loved it,” said Jon Mugar, founder and CEO of TBT. “What Nick taught us is that deliberate fouling happens in 50% of games, but is only effective 1.5% of the time, so fans are having to put up with a strategy that sucks up time and rarely works. Data aside, the energy in the arena during the Elam Ending portion of our games was awesome, and those teams were seven wins away from $2 million. On August 3rd, at about 10:50pm, someone will have to make a shot for $2 million. I can’t wait for that moment.”

Prior to last year’s tournament, Nick Elam blindly emailed TBT a 67-page document outlining his research, which came from examining more than 2,000 NBA and NCAA games. Elam found that about half of those games ended with the trailing team employing a strategy of deliberate fouling, but that the strategy was only successful about 1.5% of the time. Elam’s solution eliminates the need for deliberate fouling while maintaining the flow and competitive integrity of the game.

TBT has attracted some of the best basketball players in the world. In all, more than 60 players with NBA experience are set to be involved in this year’s tournament, including multiple former lottery picks and All-Stars with 11 NBA championships between them. In addition, 24 players competing in this year’s tournament competed in NCAA basketball this past season.  Sixteen TBT 2017 players signed deals with NBA teams this past season. Overseas Elite, a team of American stars currently playing in top leagues around the world, won for the third consecutive year in 2017, and have taken home an astounding $5 million over three years. They will be back to defend their title. 

Games will air on ESPN networks beginning Friday, June 29, at Spokane Hoopfest.

Tickets for TBT are on sale now. For more information, visit www.thetournament.com.