The term trick shot has become associated with lofty springboard-launched dunks, with baskets sunk from rooftops or from unicycles... or from unicycles on rooftops. With high-flying, somersaulting, triple flipping, nothing-but-net feats.
But trick-shottery is far too versatile a concept to be pigeon-holed in basketball-dom. Just about every sport with an orb, puck, "rock" or shuttlecock can serve up some sick stunts.
Granted the athletes behind the stunts had days or even weeks to get all those shots right. Granted we don't see the 10 bajillion takes in which they botched the shots. Granted, the bowling pins might not be a regulation distance from each other. Granted, the bat might be weighted. The table tilted. The net lowered. Whatever. If this trick is good enough, we forgive and forget.
Click on to see the magic happen in 20 different sports.
Pool trick shots often get bedecked with flashy props: dominoes, fire, even sexy females strewn across the table.
The maestro in this video though, is more of a purist. Using just the normal accoutrements of the game and a few everyday objects he pulls off some mind-numbing feats of physics.
His simplest layouts are truly his best. Check out the double cue ball shot at 3:07 in the video.
Confession: I've always thought of badminton as kiddie tennis. I mean come on, my fly swatter is heavier than a badminton racquet. Oh and also, I can't help but giggle any time someone says "shuttlecock."
My own hang ups, I know. It's a legit world sport with skilled athletes.
And these Swiss shuttlecockers (snicker) have got some insane moves to prove it. The video starts out tame, but then crescendos with a phenomenal handstand shot at the 2:44 mark.
The Dude Perfect sextet has been viral-ing up YouTube for a few years now. They specialize in basketball tricks, but this an admirable and entertaining foray into football wizardry.
Best of the vid? I'll go with the pigskin skeet shooting that starts at 0:44.
Ben Croft, who currently holds position 8 in the International Racquetball Tour Rankings, puts some serious pizazz in a sport not really known (or not known at all) to rock audiences.
The shot from across a park into the camera person's jar target (1:17) is especially impressive.
The internet is rife with supposed ping pong trick shot videos. Most of these however are just wacky obstacle courses through which a ball is bounced before coming to rest in a cup of water.
Impressive in a frat party or carnival goldfish toss kind of way. But not true to the sport of table tennis.
A true table tennis trick shot requires both ball and racket.
This video is technically not a compilation. And the shots depicted are not true trick shots. But a pair of lobs in this video of a single tournament point are so tremendous, so mystifying, so surreal that I opted to break the article pattern here.
The Dude Perfect crew back at it again. This time the guys allow volleyball goddess Morgan Beck to doff the trickster cap.
The full-court serve into a basket at 1:40 is pretty damn impressive.
Also, the outtakes starting at 2:07 are hilarious.
Wolf Wigo is one of the high lords of the American water polo scene.
His spinning backhand slap shot (0:44) is a sly little weapon that looks more MMA than WP.
After some creepy gator caressing at the start of this video, ultimate/Frisbee guru Brodie Smith pulls out the sniper rifle that is his wrist and guns away.
The spin and smack shot into the garbage can from the top row of the bleachers (1:58) is beyond insane.
But he just might top it with the ace in the hole in front of the food court (3:14).
The How Ridiculous team, like the Dude Perfect crew, are a collection of guys that said "hey, this goofing off on camera might really lead to something" and then actually made it happen.
The juggle to over-the-shoulder toss to forehand smash to connect with target on top of the fence (1:50) packs the best wows in this collection.
In this video, pro golfer Gareth Maybin proves he is a court jester in the Kingdom of Golf with some simple but impressive juggling, swinging, kicking.
But the true heroes of the realm are the knights: Sir Tee-in-the-mouth (1:17) and Sire Coke-can-on-the-head (1:35).
Team How Ridiculous at it again.
The across-the-lawn strike from a moving car (2:55) is definitely worth checking out.
And the climactic "world's longest try" (3:30) will... [pick your double entendre]...
a) bowl you over
b) strike your fancy
c) knock you down
More a compilation of pump fake shots than true trick shots, these are nonetheless intense and fun to watch. In fact, I found myself shadowing along with the video, just to see if I could mimic the shots. (The other folks in the doctor's office waiting room slid a few seats away and glared at me.)
Check out player #11's behind the back rifle shot as he takes a tumble (0:40). I almost took out the kid across from me trying to do that move.
This video plays out like Styx's "Come Sail Away." The dull croquet of the first thirty seconds being like the song's gentle piano ballad, then the transition to bombastic electric guitar, or in this case to "Extreme Croquet."
The down-the-cliff-and-through-the-wicket shot (1:00) is worth the watch.
If you're ever attacked by a band of orcs, no doubt you'll want these guys in your party.
The boys of the NHL break out their best Cirque du Soleil in this video.
The Bertuzzi Shootout Trick (3:43) though not anything truly new in the realm of hockey trick shots, is still beautifully executed and played out in slo-mo for your viewing pleasure.
Want a thrill? Size the video at full screen, max out the volume and watch closely beginning at 5:10. Oh and set that drink down. If not, somewhere about 5:16, it'll be all over your shirt.
Another video at the University of Florida campus? What do they teach a course in trick shots down there?
Anyway, lots of repetitive bounce-into-the-garbage-can shots here. But the best of the bunch is the over-the-shoulder ground-to-second-floor balcony shot. I'm guessing it was about a thousand and one takes to nail that one. But hey, if you are going to film outside for hours on end, Florida is probably the best place to do it.
I'm pretty sure if any one of these guys were a field goal kicker in the NFL, his team could win every game just on field goals.
Fourth and five on our own thirty yard line? All right, get the Wallaby out here; we'll take the three points.
Meet Rémi Gaillard. Rebel. Funny man. Soccer sniper.
So many highlights here. Hard to pare them down. But for sheer awesomeness I'll go with kicking the soccer ball into a shopping cart as it rolls down a hill (4:12).
And for hilarity, the fail at 5:05.