The Unspoken Rules of Butt Slapping in Sports

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!

Comments 31 comments

Eric Newland profile image

Eric Newland 4 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.

TravelinAsia profile image

TravelinAsia 4 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!

alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

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

Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 4 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.

Cliff Mendrez profile image

Cliff Mendrez 4 years ago from Philippines Author

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.

emievil profile image

emievil 4 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 image

Cliff Mendrez 4 years ago from Philippines Author

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

adjkp25 profile image

adjkp25 4 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 image

Cliff Mendrez 4 years ago from Philippines Author

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

Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 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.

alissaroberts profile image

alissaroberts 4 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!

ThePracticalMommy profile image

ThePracticalMommy 4 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!

JoshuaDR profile image

JoshuaDR 4 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

Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 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?

Elani-Lee profile image

Elani-Lee 4 years ago from Los Angeles

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

VendettaVixen profile image

VendettaVixen 4 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.

donnaisabella profile image

donnaisabella 4 years ago from Fort Myers

That was hilarious! Thanks.

Cliff Mendrez profile image

Cliff Mendrez 4 years ago from Philippines Author

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!

stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 4 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.... :)

Turtlewoman profile image

Turtlewoman 4 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.

Cliff Mendrez profile image

Cliff Mendrez 4 years ago from Philippines Author

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!

Virtual Treasures profile image

Virtual Treasures 4 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 image

Cliff Mendrez 4 years ago from Philippines Author

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

adjkp25 profile image

adjkp25 4 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.

chipsball profile image

chipsball 4 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 comment..." to get his ask in gear! That's baseball.

Cliff Mendrez profile image

Cliff Mendrez 4 years ago from Philippines Author

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.

brian s. 4 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 image

Cliff Mendrez 4 years ago from Philippines Author

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

Jobert 4 years ago

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

My Blending 8 months ago

I wrote an article about this habit in Korea

Being occasionally slapped on the butt in Korea

Is that OK?


Mrs S 6 months ago

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

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