The Unspoken Rules of Butt Slapping in Sports

Updated on October 6, 2016

I was watching a basketball game featuring my favorite team. It was a thrilling game; the scores were tied with 10 seconds remaining on the clock. The team’s superstar called for an isolation play, waited for the clock to dwindle down, and sank a fadeaway jumper at the buzzer. The players began celebrating. The hero of the game rushed to the bench, pumping his fist and giving high-fives. While doing this, his teammates started slapping him on the butt, one after another.

And so I began to wonder. What is the origin of the butt slap? Why is it only done in sports? Do guys slapping each other on their behinds gain a boost in confidence or something?

As you may very well know, this gesture is very common in different sports, even those played by big and tough men like football. Can you imagine what these big dudes say to each other, or more interestingly, what they feel while giving and receiving a butt slap?

Nice play man! *butt slap*
Nice play man! *butt slap*

Science Behind the Butt Slap?

To provide you with a little bit of useful information, some say that there is science behind butt slapping. It is said that it has similarities with horseracing, where jockeys whip their horses to encourage them to go faster. But then again, some studies claim that whipping horses does not increase their chances of finishing first, second or whatever. But there’s still a useful tip we can get from horseracing. There is actually a limit to the number of times a jockey can whip a horse. The same goes with butt slapping.

Actually, I played basketball back in high school and I’ve had my fair share of those “confidence and energy boosters”. Honestly, at first it didn’t come very awkward to me, probably because I’ve been seeing athletes doing it way before I started playing basketball. So I thought it was a natural thing for sportsmen. I hate to admit this but I think I’ve given more butt slaps to men than women. But hey, don’t start laughing now. You know you’re in the same league as mine.

That realization sparked another question in my mind. Are butt slaps also common in women’s sports? If so, that’s worthy of a whole different hub! But in any case, the butt slap is here and here to stay. For beginners, if you want to avoid people questioning your manhood or if you want to hide your real intentions, you must learn these unspoken rules of butt slapping.

See the look on the guy in the middle? That's the look you want to avoid.
See the look on the guy in the middle? That's the look you want to avoid.

The Art of Butt Slapping

1. No squeezing. This is the number one rule. A butt slap should always be a quick tap. Make sure your fingers are together to avoid accidental cupping or so as to avoid temptation. If your hand is still in contact with the guy’s butt after half a second, your thoughts are not on the game; it’s lingering somewhere else.

2. Pick just one cheek. No matter how much you want to smack both, get a hold of yourself and pick only one cheek. Preferably, slap the one nearest you to avoid that split second of choosing which one you think is better to smack.

Never stare!
Never stare!

3. Keep your eyes up. You don’t have to look at the guy’s behind when giving him a butt slap. This will only make you look like you’re actually enjoying this crazy antic.

4. Fall in line. Did your teammate make a fantastic play? Wait for your turn to give him a smack. Don’t go rushing towards him like a kid drooling for ice cream. Don’t you worry; you’ll get your chance.

5. Listen to the horn. When the game ends, it also signals the end of butt slapping, or at least after a few seconds after the game to congratulate your team for winning or to tell them you’ll get ‘em next time. As for you, this is your last chance so go get ‘em now! Oh and one more thing: Never take it to the showers!

Are you ready for one?

For having the patience to read this hub, here's one for you...

Well, on second thought, there might be hubbers who do not want to be on the receiving end of a butt slap. As a matter of fact, I'm also done with it. So if you enjoyed this hub, please leave a comment instead. Many thanks!

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • profile image

        4 months ago

        Mr. Openhimer, probably because of sexual harassment. While some, or even many, people may be fine with it, there are some who aren't and those might cause issues.

      • profile image

        Mr. Openhimer 

        8 months ago

        I swat my secretary's butt any time she does a great job. She giggles and seems to enjoy the recognition. Several weeks ago she started slapping my butt when I closed a big deal, and I have to admit, it actually makes me work much harder to close every deal and earn that swat from her. I was looking this up to see if there was some sort of science behind the motivating factor behind the swat. Why don't more people do it in the office setting as well?

      • profile image

        Mickey 

        9 months ago

        Touch my butt, and be prepared to stabbed in the face with a soldering iron...hazing often hides behind the name of tradition.

      • profile image

        Culley 

        15 months ago

        Itve always found it to be in good fun. It is a playful gesture that incites bonding & encouragement.

      • profile image

        Richard mota 

        15 months ago

        Exactly what I wanted to find out great article!

      • profile image

        Willie Forsythe 

        16 months ago

        It is always fun to learn new things and I was happy to read this. It was very interesting

      • profile image

        Betty Smith 

        19 months ago

        In today's SOCIETY the sexual culture of same gender,bisexual,transgender,and anything goes men slapping each other on the butt probably makes some feel uncomfortable,makes

        Spectators wonder and others indifferent.

      • profile image

        Ware No 

        2 years ago

        Me and my mom GG think it's gross and should be banned. That makes it easy for people with ulterior motives to get down without being exposed.

      • profile image

        Mrs S 

        2 years ago

        We are rolling with laugh! Just shared this with our teenagers- perhaps our maturity had us crying! Loved it!!!

      • profile image

        Jobert 

        6 years ago

        xD Funny hub cliff~ Now i'm ready to butt slap a teammate after the game :D

      • Cliff Mendrez profile imageAUTHOR

        Cliff Mendrez 

        6 years ago from Philippines

        Brought back awesome memories, eh? You're welcome brian!

      • profile image

        brian s. 

        6 years ago

        Lmfao!!!! I was an athlete in high school He did it when everybody slapped my @$&!!! Not to brag but I was star running back for my high school football team in got them all the time Until My junior year when I said enough is enough And I punched the running back coach!!! I deffly ran some laps for that thing never did it again!!! Funny stuff man thanks dude!!!

      • Cliff Mendrez profile imageAUTHOR

        Cliff Mendrez 

        6 years ago from Philippines

        I completely understand that. I've been a huge sports fan ever since I was a kid and I've been trying out pretty much any sport I get a chance to play. I think many people know that it's for giving a confidence boost or anything like that, similar with giving high-fives or a pat on the shoulder. It's just that it's unique in sports and very unusual in everyday activities. That's why it gets a lot of attention. The involvement of the butt in this gesture also makes it a topic for fun and laughter. But there's no denying that although there are players that do not appreciate butt slapping, there are many who consider it as a vital part of any game.

      • chipsball profile image

        chipsball 

        6 years ago from Houston, Texas USA

        Been playing all kinds of sports for over 60+ years and coaching little league baseball...butt slappin' has been a intregal part of baseball and other sports for years. It is a commonly used method of motivation and inspirations that puts some hop in the players and pumps them up. ANYBODY who finds it unusual and sexually distrubing has no idea what it' for and what it does to the players and coaches. Any other connodations with this beyond sports is misguided and misintrepreted. I had one mother from little league ask me why I slapped her son on the butt after he made a dam good play...my comment..." to get his ask in gear! That's baseball.

      • adjkp25 profile image

        David 

        6 years ago from Northern California

        Although I never appreciated the butt slapping on the baseball diamond I have no problem with it in my own house.

      • Cliff Mendrez profile imageAUTHOR

        Cliff Mendrez 

        6 years ago from Philippines

        Virtual Treasures, I bet your husband doesn't follow these rules. Haha. Thanks for reading!

      • Virtual Treasures profile image

        Kacie Turner 

        6 years ago from Michigan

        So now I know why my husband is always going around slapping my butt and telling me "good game!" Hahahaha! Good hub!

      • Cliff Mendrez profile imageAUTHOR

        Cliff Mendrez 

        6 years ago from Philippines

        Steph, isn't butt slapping extreme? Two NBA players were even ejected when they slapped each other! Poor guys.. Thank you for reading! I'm happy you loved the hub.

        Turtlewoman, I should really watch beach volleyball more!

      • Turtlewoman profile image

        Kim Lam 

        6 years ago from California

        How funny! I've pondered on this subject many times. I also wonder why only males participate in this ritual. The only sport where I've seen females butt-slap is in sand doubles volleyball.

      • stephhicks68 profile image

        Stephanie Hicks 

        6 years ago from Bend, Oregon

        Extreme sports? LOL! But love the hub, your wry sense of humor and commentary on the selected photos. Now, let's watch the Super Bowl for any demonstrations of proper "butt slap" etiquette.... :)

      • Cliff Mendrez profile imageAUTHOR

        Cliff Mendrez 

        6 years ago from Philippines

        Melovy, I'm also glad I was on-topic. I might have given myself a butt slap (a really hard one) if this wasn't accepted. Thanks for reading!

        Hi alissa! The rules must be strictly implemented! Thanks for sharing this.

        ThePracticalMommy, I wonder too. Once I have a kid, this will be one of the first things I will teach him. Maybe if all parents would do that, the butt slapping in sports will be gone at last.

        JoshuaDR, that rule is indeed important. Can you imagine guys slapping each others' butts in the locker room?

        Kathleen, I've only seen a picture of two female volleyball players doing it. Maybe I should watch women's sports more.

        Elani, I've always wondered too. I had those awkward moments when I gave my teammates a butt slap and immediately after that I'd ask myself, what did I just do?

        VendettaVixen, really interesting isn't it? Thank you for reading.

        Donnaisabella, thank you too!

      • donnaisabella profile image

        Isabella Mukanda-Shamambo 

        6 years ago from Fort Myers

        That was hilarious! Thanks.

      • VendettaVixen profile image

        VendettaVixen 

        6 years ago from Ireland

        Fantastic hub. I've never actually wondered about the butt slap, maybe because I'm not sporty in the least and have never had to tolerate it, but this was really interesting, and funny too.

        Excellent job on tackling a quite unusual subject.

      • Elani-Lee profile image

        Elani-Lee 

        6 years ago from Los Angeles

        This is pretty funny. I always wondered why guys did that! Hilarious hub!

      • Kathleen Cochran profile image

        Kathleen Cochran 

        6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

        Is it any more personal than tearing off your shirt at the end of a soccer match? A butt slap is as much a male bonding ritual as anything else. Ever see two girls do it?

      • JoshuaDR profile image

        JoshuaDR 

        6 years ago from Charleston, SC

        Good stuff. I think the most important rule is the last one. Listen for the horn.

        voted up and funny

      • ThePracticalMommy profile image

        Marissa 

        6 years ago from United States

        I often wondered about this: what would prompt grown men to slap each other's behinds during/after a sweaty game? You have to wonder, though, why this thing is still acceptable after the recent abuse stories in sports lately?

        Your hub is hysterical nonetheless--not one I'd expect to see from this week's WTI! Thanks for the laugh!

        Voted up and sharing!

      • alissaroberts profile image

        Alissa Roberts 

        6 years ago from Normandy, TN

        Love this! I never knew there were rules to the art of the butt slap. Very funny - voted up and sharing this one!

      • Melovy profile image

        Yvonne Spence 

        6 years ago from UK

        Well, this is an interesting take on the WTI! Glad it was deemed suitable as it is very funny, as are the photos. Thanks for a laugh.

      • Cliff Mendrez profile imageAUTHOR

        Cliff Mendrez 

        6 years ago from Philippines

        Hey adjkp25! Awkward wasn't it? I can't believe I did those butt slaps when I was still a kid.

      • adjkp25 profile image

        David 

        6 years ago from Northern California

        I played baseball for many years when I was growing up and we always had that one guy who was totally into the butt slapping thing. Personally, I never got it and still don't. I certainly didn't enjoy being on the receiving end of them.

      • Cliff Mendrez profile imageAUTHOR

        Cliff Mendrez 

        6 years ago from Philippines

        Hi emie! There are really unspoken rules! Dare break even one of 'em and you'll pay the price. Haha. Thanks for reading!

      • emievil profile image

        emievil 

        6 years ago from Philippines

        Wow, I never knew there are rules for butt slapping. I thought it's just something they do! great hub topic here. Hope to read more of your hubs in the future.

      • Cliff Mendrez profile imageAUTHOR

        Cliff Mendrez 

        6 years ago from Philippines

        Hi Eric! Actually, I had troubles with choosing under which category to put this hub into. At first, I decided to put it under American Football, as the butt slap is believed to have started in that sport. But I scrolled down further the sub-categories and I found the perfect match: Extreme Sports! I don't know if I should be glad about the bots relating my hub to wedding etiquette though. Haha.

        TravelinAsia, your comment is enough. No butt slaps please.

        Alocsin, thank you once again. Glad you found this hub funny.

        Simone, thank you for this week's topic inspiration. I hope this would be of help to beginners in any sport. Lol.

      • Simone Smith profile image

        Simone Haruko Smith 

        6 years ago from San Francisco

        Hahaa, butt slapping in sports has always cracked me up, and I've always wondered about the etiquette surrounding the issue. This Hub rocks.

        Also, lol@ Eric Newland.

      • alocsin profile image

        alocsin 

        6 years ago from Orange County, CA

        Hilarious overview of a frequent sports ritural. Voting this Up and Funny.

      • TravelinAsia profile image

        TravelinAsia 

        6 years ago from Thailand/Southeast Asia

        I loved reading this .. Brilliant! A great subject to tackle, the legnedary butt slap! I enjoyed this hub so much, I reckon you deserve a good butt slap yourself.. hahaha.. Just kidding!

      • Eric Newland profile image

        Eric Newland 

        6 years ago from Dayton, Ohio

        Haha, I love it! You've shed some light on a sports subject that could definitely use more exposure. Or maybe not.

        I also like how the 'bots that be decided that your hub is related to a hub about wedding etiquette.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, howtheyplay.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://howtheyplay.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)