The Unspoken Rules of Butt Slapping in Sports

Updated on April 7, 2020
Cliff Mendrez profile image

Cliff is an online marketer and freelance writer. He is passionate about health, sports, and travel.

I was watching a basketball game featuring my favorite team. It was a thrilling game; the score was 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 horse racing, 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 horse racing. 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 me.

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 article! 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 Unspoken Rules 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 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; they're 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 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 article, here's one for you . . .

Well, on second thought, there might be folks 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 article, please leave a comment instead. Many thanks!


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    • profile image


      5 months ago

      Thx u this is some new facts

    • profile image


      12 months ago

      You made laugh so hard, in regards to the rules of butt slapping!

      Haha haha

    • profile image

      Joseph Tabit 

      15 months ago

      There is a science behind it. The idea is to smack the guy at the very bottom of his vertebral column (Coccygeal Nerve #31) right at the tailbone just above the ass. The idea is to activate the most inferior nerve in the Central Nervous System and send it straight to the Brain Stem and into the Basal Ganglion of the Limbic System in the brain. This activates the Pleasure Center where the person feels like a million dollars, especially if the person who slapped him was older and well respected. It layman's terms "Atta boy kiddo"!!!!

    • profile image

      23 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 

      2 years 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


      2 years 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


      2 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Richard mota 

      2 years ago

      Exactly what I wanted to find out great article!

    • profile image

      Willie Forsythe 

      2 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Betty Smith 

      3 years 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 

      3 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 

      4 years ago

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

    • profile image


      8 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 

      8 years ago from Philippines

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

    • profile image

      brian s. 

      8 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 

      8 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


      8 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.

    • adjkp25 profile image


      8 years ago from Idaho

      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 

      8 years ago from Philippines

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

    • Virtual Treasures profile image

      Tonja Petrella 

      8 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 

      8 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 

      8 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 Marshall 

      8 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 

      8 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 

      8 years ago from Fort Myers

      That was hilarious! Thanks.

    • VendettaVixen profile image


      8 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


      8 years ago from Los Angeles

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

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 

      8 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


      8 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


      8 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 

      8 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 

      8 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 

      8 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


      8 years ago from Idaho

      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 

      8 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


      8 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 

      8 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 

      8 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

      Aurelio Locsin 

      8 years ago from Orange County, CA

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

    • TravelinAsia profile image


      8 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 

      8 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.


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