2017 Results

Young Guns
2017 KanJam World Champions
Young Guns
Ajay Cybulski & Charles Rizzo

Young Guns capture KanJam World title!

Mud and rain cannot stop the best of the best

While 2016 was remembered as the "wind year," 2017 will be known as the "mud year." Officially, 98 teams from across the United States (12 different states), Canada, and Europe (The Netherlands) battled on the muddy field after some heavy rain for the opportunity to become KanJam World Champions. Like always, the tournament took place on the second Saturday in August (12th) in the city where the game was invented, North Tonawanda, NY.

Like the prior year, the two remaining teams left at the end of the tournament were two #1 seeds from their respective divisions. Both teams were comprised of a pair of cousins; Young Guns (Charles Rizzo & Ajay Cybulski from Eden, NY and Angola, NY) and PhiLorkus (Josh Greenauer from Lawtons, NY and Phil Schneider from Cheektowaga, NY). Young Guns threw extremely well in the Finals and shut out PhiLorkus in the series four games to none to be crowned as 2017 KanJam World Champions. For Young Guns, at just 16 and 17 years old, they tie Team Domination (2008) as the youngest team to win the KanJam World Championship.

Overall

OVERALL STANDINGS
Official Ranks including Playoffs

RankTeamWL
1Young Guns444
2PhiLorkus3716
3The Benchwarmers3310
4Matteson Brothers398
5Stallion Survivors346
6Kardiac Kids319
7Serenity Now!2810
8Shirley Temple Black3111
9Disciples of st jam2610
10The Modest Duo2311
11BUILT FORD TOUGH278
12The Showstoppers2411
13Skillz That Killz249
14No Big Deal2812
15Double Tap2611
16Milo's Minions2713
17Game of Throws239
18Team Domination209
19Amerikans209
20Slackers2113
21Not Hammered, but Tipsy2212
22We talking about practice?2511
23Burnardo Bucket Boys2011
24Hold my beer and watch this!2213
25NH Slot Patrol2112
26Team Tsujimoto2112
27Vicious and Delicious1914
28Kan Jobs2013
29Let's KJ Baby1915
30Pink Panthers1816
31A Kan's Purpose1815
32Kan It1914

 

Determined by regular season seedings, playoff records, and regular season records against other playoff teams.

Dinger

AMERICAN KANJAM CONFERENCE
Regular Season Standings
DINGER DIVISION

SeedTeamWL
1Matteson Brothers241
2Kardiac Kids223
3BUILT FORD TOUGH223
4The Showstoppers196
5Slackers178
6The Bad Boys178
7NH Slot Patrol178
8What The169
9Kan Jobs169
10Slot Life1510
11Kan It1510
12Bucket After Bucket1510
13Daddy DayKare1411
14LCLC Jammers1312
15Sleazetrench1312
16Playground Legends1213
17716ers1114
18Super Trash Bros1015
19Slot Machines817
20slammma jammma817
21Positive Addiction817
22Slots of Fun in the sun619
23Guardians of the Slot Shot421
24The Old Kan of the Mountain322
25C and J025

 

Ties decided by head-to-head play.
The top 12 teams from this division qualified for the playoffs, with the top four teams receiving a "bye" for the first round.

Bucket

AMERICAN KANJAM CONFERENCE
Regular Season Standings
BUCKET DIVISION

SeedTeamWL
1PhiLorkus212
2The Modest Duo185
3Serenity Now!185
4Team Domination185
5No Big Deal185
6Burnardo Bucket Boys176
7The French Toastmen167
8Team Tsujimoto158
9The Last Kan Standing139
10Pink Panthers1310
11Big Discs Swingin'1310
12Brief Nudity1211
13Team Battum1211
14Backyard Kings1112
15McDonoughs1112
16L&M1013
17Drunkin Slots914
18Team Monty815
19Nothing But Slot815
20Lt Dan Jam518
21The Squad419
22Kan't Jam419
23Disc In A Box122

 

Ties decided by head-to-head play.
The top 12 teams from this division qualified for the playoffs, with the top four teams receiving a "bye" for the first round.

Deuce

NATIONAL KANJAM CONFERENCE
Regular Season Standings
DEUCE DIVISION

SeedTeamWL
1Stallion Survivors241
2The Benchwarmers214
3Game of Throws205
4Amerikans205
5Double Tap196
6Milo's Minions196
7Maximum Effort187
8Vicious and Delicious169
9Stud Muffins1510
10A Kan's Purpose1510
11Just Tap It In1411
12We Take L's1312
13We Kan Overcome1213
14Welcome to Moe's1114
15The ROOKS!1114
16Disc-o Inferno1015
17Citizen Kan1014
18The Beverly Magicians1015
19Aces in the hole916
20Slot Machine 716817
21The Jammers Of House Kan816
22Masters of Discguise718
23Fox and Fennec619
24Two-Three518
25Peanut Butter and KanJam322

 

Ties decided by head-to-head play.
The top 12 teams from this division qualified for the playoffs, with the top four teams receiving a "bye" for the first round.

Hammer

NATIONAL KANJAM CONFERENCE
Regular Season Standings
HAMMER DIVISION

SeedTeamWL
1Young Guns241
2Disciples of st jam214
3Shirley Temple Black213
4Skillz That Killz205
5Not Hammered, but Tipsy196
6We talking about practice?196
7Hold my beer and watch this!178
8CanJam169
9Let's KJ Baby1510
10Three Goggles1510
11Hey, This Aint Cornhole1411
12Guardians of the Kanaxy1411
13Show Me Some Leg1312
14The Kan-tet1213
15Slotter House1213
16We Love Nate1015
17Delco Donuts916
18Boats 'N Throws916
19ROCford Peaches916
20Bucket Getters817
21Mandalorian Fire817
22Guys on the Couch718
23YES WE KAN520
24Kilted Michiganians421
25Inked Ninjas322

 

Ties decided by head-to-head play.
The top 12 teams from this division qualified for the playoffs, with the top four teams receiving a "bye" for the first round.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Upon arrival to the tournament, teams located their assigned division on the marked sign and checked-in to receive their team bag, which included everything they needed for the day. Jayce Grefrath, game-day tournament coordinator, called in all the teams to the main pavilion for opening announcements, and the timing couldn't have been more perfect. While the weather was clear all morning, it started to rain pretty heavy, but worked well since all players were in the pavilion at this time. For Jayce, this was his third year at the helm of the tournament. Jayce kept his new tradition by concluding the opening announcements with a new KanJam song, before dropping the tunes and getting the tournament officially started. By this time, the rain had already stopped, and teams dispersed to their assigned divisions for regular season play.

Warmups, opening announcements, and start of the tournament video

REGULAR SEASON

In keeping with the format that has worked so perfectly in the past, all 98 teams were randomly divided into one of two conferences, each consisting of two divisions (four divisions total). These were the American KanJam Conference, composed of the Dinger (Red) & Bucket (Blue) Divisions, and the National KanJam Conference, composed of the Deuce (Yellow) & Hammer (Green) Divisions. Each division had their own marked area, which included about 15 courts.

2017wc-logo

While the rain didn't last long during the opening annoucements, because it was so heavy, this created puddles. These puddles quickly turned into mud pits at the base of each goal as games went on, creating quite a unique playing experience. It actually didn't even take long for the sun to come out, and the weather itself was actually quite nice for the Regular Season thereafter, and the wind wasn't anywhere close to as bad as it was the year before. Many players either adjusted to playing barefeet, while some came prepared with spikes and towels. The conditions were similar to that of the 2004 KanJam World Championship from 13 years ago, but no question this time around was much muddier. Still, players were very good sports and were committed - after all, this being the KanJam World Championship, it is played in anything!

2017 mud
"The Mud Year" - Before and After
On the left, teams warm up in the morning prior to the tournament. On the right, after a heavy downpour during the opening announcements, mud was everywhere!

Teams were given a three-hour time limit in the Regular Season to play every team in their division only one game to 21 points, which equated to approximately 23-25 games. This timeframe was extended to allow all teams to finish. Since teams were ranked on a basis of total wins, everyone was encouraged to play at a continuous pace. Almost every team was able to finish all their games, with the exception of one team that did not complete nine games and resulted in a forfeit. As an interesting note, The Popovec's became the first ever three generations family to play in the KanJam World Championship. Tom Popovec, his son, Nick, and Nick's son, Aidan, all partipated in the 2017 KanJam World Championship. Tom and Nick were also Runners-Up in the KanJam World Championship back in 2002.

Regular Season - Dinger Division video

Regular Season - Bucket Division video

This marked the 7th year for KanJam referees, which was an absolute necessity to ensure fair and consistent play. Also, since teams did not have printed copies of rules (only via a mobile version online), only the referees had printed copies of the rules, so they were available to answer any rules questions that would arise or resolve any disputes. There were a total of three referees, and they walked around divisions throughout the day to oversee play and enforce rules. The referees were Mike Matikosh (6th year as ref), Josh Tonn (6th year), and Andy Evans (5th year). Like the prior year, they all had walkie-talkies to easily communicate with each other and Jayce, the game-day tournament coordinator. The referees also helped out in the playoffs and officiated games later on as the tournament progressed, calling "carries" on illegal deflections and enforcing the release rule to name a few.

Regular Season - Deuce Division video

Regular Season - Hammer Division video

Once the Regular Season ended, there was a break in action as teams grabbed lunch, courtesy of the North Tonawanda Police. In addition, Lloyd's Taco Truck was there as another food option for players during the lunch hour. During this down time, coordinators figured out the playoff teams and filled in the playoff bracket. The timing of the weather was so perfect again, it couldn't have been planned any better. During this break, there was another short patch of heavy rain. Fortunately, the regular season was over and playoffs did not yet begin, so teams were just waiting for playoffs to be announced. But there was some hardcore KanJam to be played in this heavy rain. While most of the ties were broken by head-to-head play, there was one instance of a three-way tie in the Dinger Division for the #5 seed, with all teams finishing with a 17-8 record and a split 1-1 record against their counterparts. This setup a three-way, total points "shootout" between the tied teams to break the tie. Each team would take a court and simply have three rounds of throws to score as many points as possible (Instant Wins count as 10 points in shootouts). But this was no ordinary shootout. This would go down as one of the craziest, hardcore, tiebreaker shootouts ever in the tournament, as it took place in the pouring rain. Sure, the teams could have waited until the rain passed, but they didn't, and with an entire pavilion of over 90 teams watching them, it made for a memorable World Championship moment. Slackers (Jim Daugherty & Kim Klavoon, NY) won the shootout having scored 11 points to claim the #5 seed, while The Bad Boys (Caleb Dahlene & Evan Delacy, MA) took the #6 seed with nine points and NH Slot Patrol (Nick Page & Shea Whalen, NH) shot four points in the shootout for the #7 seed.

Shootout
Tiebreaker shootout in the rain
Dinger Division tie for 5th place
Slackers, The Bad Boys, and NH Slot Patrol walk back in after competing in memorable tiebreaker shootout in heavy downpour with over 90 teams cheering them on!

The top 12 teams from each division made the playoffs, with the top four receiving a "bye" for the first round. Of the four divisions, the top seed in three of them had just one loss. To date, there still has not been a team go undefeated in the Regular Season in the history of the KanJam World Championship, but these three teams in 2017 came very close to doing it, all posting the same exact record of 24-1. In the Dinger Division, the top seed was Matteson Brothers (Austin Matteson & Connor Matteson), the defending KanJam World Champions, losing their only game to an Instant Win. They actually had only one loss in last year's World Championship as well. In the Deuce Division, Stallion Survivors (Eric Klavoon & Jon Sandino, 2-time KanJam World Champions) were the top seed, while Young Guns claimed the top seed in the Hammer Division.

Since divisional play started in 2008, here are all the teams that have been close in acheiving a perfect Regular Season record:

  • 2017 - Matteson Brothers: 24-1
  • 2017 - Stallion Survivors: 24-1
  • 2017 - Young Guns: 24-1
  • 2016 - Matteson Brothers: 22-1
  • 2016 - The Heroes of Kanton: 22-1
  • 2015 - Young Guns: 21-1
  • 2013 - Team Domination: 24-1
  • 2009 - Rebel Survivors: 26-1

The other top seed was from the Bucket Division, and it was PhiLorkus (Josh Greenauer, 4-time KanJam World Champion, & Phil Schneider, NY). They finished the Regular Season with a record of 21-2.

The European Champions traveled to the KanJam World Championship for the third year in a row. Europe was represented by The Netherlands for the second straight year, this time by Team Battum, comprised of Maurice Laarhoven and Erwin Jonkman. They won the 2017 European Championship and a trip to the 2017 KanJam World Championship. Team Battum finished the Regular Season in a tie with Brief Nudity (Mike Andrews, NC & Danny Shea, NY) with a record of 12-11. Brief Nudity claimed the final playoff spot as the #12 seed since they beat Team Battum in head-to-head play, so the European Champs just barely missed the playoffs by one game.

Team Battum
Team Battum
2017 European Champions representing The Netherlands
Maurice Laarhoven & Erwin Jonkman and family at the 2017 KanJam World Championship

Other "bye" teams, from the Dinger Division, were the #2 seed, Kardiac Kids (Joe Schillero & Dan Schillero, OH) for the second year in a row, followed by #3 seed, BUILT FORD TOUGH (Keith Ford & Chase Ford, MI) and #4 seed, The Showstoppers (Ezra Nicholson & Kurt Watson, ON). In the Bucket Division, there was a four way tie at 18-5 for the #2 seed. The Modest Duo (Derek Green & Nate Mailly, NY) won the head-to-head battle to claim the #2 seed, followed by Serenity Now! (Tim Klavoon, NY & Dan Klavoon, 3-time KanJam World Champion, VA) as the #3 seed and Team Domination (Bryan Irish-Jones & Mark Lopian, 2-time KanJam World Champions, NY) as the #4 seed. No Big Deal (Matt Nelson & Shane Nelson, NY) just missed the cut as a bye team by losing the head-to-head battle, and landed the #5 seed.

In the other conference, The Benchwarmers (David Morrison & Marcus Middleton, NY) took the #2 seed in the Deuce Division, while Game of Throws (Bob Greenauer, 4-time KanJam World Champion, NY & Scott Silverman, NY) landed #3 seed and Amerikans (Jonathan Dempsey & Tommy Dempsey, PA) secured the final bye spot as the #4 seed. In the Hammer Division, Disciples of st jam (Scott Sendlak & Michael Sweeney, NY) came in at #2, followed by two teams that made it to the final four last year: Shirley Temple Black (#3, Will Smeltzer & Avery DeVoe, PA) and Skillz That Killz (#4, Mitchel Ryberg & Matthew Ryberg, NY).

The entire breakdown by division can be viewed above.

WILD CARD
Wild Card Round
Maximum Effort (#7) faced A Kan's Purpose (#10) in first round
Seeds #5-#12 in each division competed in Wild Card Round, while top four in each division got a bye

Divisional Wild Card (best of 5) - In the first round of the playoffs, the top four teams from each division earned a "bye" and sat out, while seeds #5 through #12 competed. To highlight a few series, #11 seed, Kan It (Noah Gioiosa & Luke Gioiosa), upset the #6 seed, The Bad Boys, in a three-game sweep, in what was a matchup featuring two teams from Massachusetts in the Dinger Division. NH Slot Patrol (#7) swept Slot Life (#10, Derrick Isham & Josh Newborn, GA) in three games, moving into the top 32 for the first time. In the Bucket Division, Brief Nudity (#12) hit an over-the-top Instant Win in Game 2 of the series, but No Big Deal (#5) rebounded to win the next two games to close out the series 3-1. In a close series, The French Toastmen (#7 seed, Glenn Colton, 2-time World Champion & Adam Colton, NY) won the first two games of their series, but Pink Panthers (#10 seed, Tyler Dony & Cameron Dony, NY) came back to win the next three games to win the series 3-2 to advance.

Over in the other conference, We Take L's (#12, Zachary Chang & Joel Rivera, NY) and Double Tap (#5, Christopher Zakraysek & Matthew Zakraysek, NY) exhanged Instant Win slot shots in Game 2 and 3, with Double Tap winning the series 3-1 in the Deuce Division. In a tough series that went the distance in the Hammer Division, Not Hammered, but Tipsy (#5, Adam Moran & Kyle Merrifield, NY) took an early 2-0 series lead on Guardians of the Kanaxy (#12, John Woodin & Luke Traina, NY). However, Guardians of the Kanaxy fought back to tie the series 2-2, forcing a deciding Game 5. In the final game, Not Hammered, but Tipsy won to lock up the series 3-2.

The entire bracket from the playoffs can be viewed at the bottom of this summary.

DIVISIONAL QUARTER-FINALS
Round 2
Bye teams take on winners from Round 1
Avery DeVoe (Shirley Temple Black) makes the throw

Divisional Quarter-Finals (best of 7) - With 32 teams remaining, the winners from the Wild Card Round went up against the top four bye teams. From this point going forward, all playoff rounds were best of 7 game series. In total, there were only three upsets in this round out of the 16 total matchups, with two of them coming in the Deuce Division. The #3 seed, Game of Throws got out to a 3-2 series lead on #6 seed, Milo's Minions (Adam Williams & Nate Schutt, NY). However, Milo's Minions rebounded by winning the final two games and the series 4-3 to knock out the #3 seed to advance. Also, Double Tap (#5) defeated Amerikans (#4) in a four-game sweep. The #1 and #2 seeds both swept their counterparts to advance - Stallion Survivors (#1) beat #10, A Kan's Purpose (John DiLorenzo & Giancarlo DiLorenzo, NY) for the second straight year, while The Benchwarmers (#2) defeated #8, Vicious and Delicious (Pete Pavlovich, NY & Mike Marino, MI). In the Hammer Division, Hold my beer and watch this! (#7, Darryl Gear & Joel Blom, ON) started strong against #2 seed, Disciples of st jam, by taking a 2-0 series lead, including a double overtime win. However, Disciples of st jam came back to win the next four games including the final one in overtime to clinch the series 4-2. In a back-and-forth series, Shirley Temple Black (#3) took an early 2-0 series lead on #6 seed, We talking about practice? (Sean Nosky & Chris Nosky, NY). We talking about practice? then came back to win three games in a row to take a 3-2 series lead, but Shirley Temple Black won the final two games to win the series 4-3. Also, Young Guns (#1) knocked out Let's KJ Baby (#9, Sam Caquias & Antonio Zito, NY), 4-1, while Skillz That Killz (#4) swept Not Hammered, but Tipsy (#5).

In the American KanJam Conference, all the series in the Dinger Division were won by the higher seed 4-1. Matteson Brothers (#1) knocked out Kan It (#11), including an overtime win and a couple of perfect games, Kardiac Kids (#2) defeated #9, Kan Jobs (Harry Holtzclaw & Austin Michonski, VA), including an Instant Win in the first game, and BUILT FORD TOUGH (#3) won their series against NH Slot Patrol (#7), also with a perfect game in the mix. The final matchup was one of a somewhat new rivalry between The Showstoppers (#4) and Slackers (#5). Both teams had faced each other multiple times in the playoffs in recent major tournaments, with Slackers winning the battles, but this time around, The Showstoppers put a stop to that and beat Slackers to advance. In the Bucket Division, Pink Panthers (#10) took a 2-1 series lead on the #1 seed, PhiLorkus, including an overtime win. However, PhiLorkus regained form and won three games in a row to win the series 4-2. Team Tsujimoto, #8 seed (Steve Wood & Zach Schifferle, NY) gave the #2 seed, The Modest Duo some trouble. After The Modest Duo got out to a 2-1 series lead, Team Tsujimoto won the next two games to put the #2 seed on the brink of elimination with a 3-2 series lead. However, The Modest Duo fought back to win Game 6 and Game 7 to win the series 4-3 to knock out the KanJam veterans. In another matchup, Serenity Now! (#3) swept Burnado Bucket Boys, #6 (Evan Sardo & TJ Burns, NY) in just four games. The final matchup in this division was one that had some history behind it. This one featured 2-time KanJam World Champions and #4 seed, Team Domination vs #5 seed, No Big Deal. These two teams faced each other in the final four of the KanJam World Championship in 2013 and 2014, with Team Domination winning both times. This time, however, No Big Deal would have their shot at redemption. After tying up the series at 2-2 with an overtime win in Game 4, No Big Deal went on to win the next two games to finally knock out Team Domination and move on.

DIVISIONAL SEMI-FINALS

Playoffs - Round 3 video

Divisional Semi-Finals (best of 7) - A total of 16 teams remained, and of the eight series, only two had upsets.

In the Dinger Division, #1 seed, Matteson Brothers split the first two games with The Showstoppers (#4). Matteson Brothers then won Game 3 in overtime, and eventually the next two games to win the series 4-1 to advance. Kardiac Kids (#2) took a commanding 3-0 series lead on BUILT FORD TOUGH (#3) before dropping Game 4, but won the following game to win the series 4-1. PhiLorkus (#1) won Game 1 in overtime against No Big Deal (#5) in the Bucket Division, and went on to also take a 3-0 series lead. However, No Big Deal made it a series, winning the next three games to force a deciding Game 7. In the final game, PhiLorkus won to stay in the tournament and move on. Serenity Now! (#3) also went up 3-0 on their opponents, The Modest Duo (#2). The Modest Duo won Game 4 to bring the series to 3-1, but Tim Klavoon from Serenity Now! threw his first ever World Championship Instant Win in 17 years in the tournament to seal up the series 4-1 for Serenity Now! and advance to the Divisional Finals.

Round 3
The Benchwarmers
Marcus Middleton (The Benchwarmers) gets in position to make a play in the playoffs

In the National KanJam Conference, Stallion Survivors (#1) got out to an interesting start against Milo's Minions (#6) in the Deuce Division when Jon Sandino tipped the disc into the slot for bucket when it was needed to close out Game 1. They went on to take a 3-0 series lead and led Game 4 by a score of 14-3 until Nate Schutt from Milo's Minions threw an Instant Win over-the-top to bring the series to 3-1. Stallion Survivors won the next game in overtime to close out the series 4-1 to advance. The Benchwarmers (#2) continued their hot play by sweeping their second straight playoff series, beating Double Tap (#5) in just four games. In the Hammer Division, Young Guns (#1) took on Skillz That Killz (#4) in a rematch from last year's Divisional Finals. This time, Young Guns got their redemption by sweeping Skillz That Killz, 4-0 to advance. In the final matchup, Disciples of st jam (#2) faced Shirley Temple Black (#3). After a quick 2-0 series lead for Shirley Temple Black, Disciples of st jam won Game 3 in overtime to bring the series to 2-1. However, it wasn't enough, as Shirley Temple Black came back to win the next two games to close out the series 4-1.

DIVISIONAL FINALS

Playoffs - Round 4 video

Divisional Finals (best of 7) - With only eight total teams left and two in each division, this set up the final showdown to determine the division champs. All teams remaining were a #3 seed or higher, including all four top seeds. In the American KanJam Conference, Matteson Brothers (#1) won the first game of their series against Kardiac Kids (#2) in the Dinger Division Finals. Kardiac Kids came back to win Game 2 to tie up the series 1-1, but the defending World Champions won the next three games to win the series 4-1 and advance to the Conference Finals yet again. In the Bucket Division Finals, PhiLorkus (#1) won the first game against Serenity Now! (#3), but Serenity Now! came right back to win the next two games to take a 2-1 series lead. PhiLorkus went on to then win the next three games in a row to clinch the series 4-2, moving them into the final four for the first time as a team.

Final 8
Top 8
Matteson Brothers (#1) vs Kardiac Kids (#2)

In the National KanJam Conference, The Benchwarmers (#2) won their 9th consecutive playoff game when they won Game 1 against Stallion Surivors (#1) in the Deuce Division Finals. Stallion Survivors finally handed The Benchwarmers their first playoff loss in Game 2, and the series went back and forth until it was tied 2-2. The Benchwarmers stayed hot and won Game 5 and 6 to win the series 4-2, knocking out the 2-time World Champions. In the Hammer Division Finals, Shirley Temple Black (#3) defeated Young Guns (#1) in Game 1 in overtime, taking an early 1-0 series lead. Young Guns rebounded by winning the next two games, but Shirley Temple Black tied up the series 2-2 with a win in Game 4. In a very pivotal game, Young Guns won Game 5 to take a 3-2 series lead, and also won in Game 6 in overtime to clinch the series 4-2, advancing to the final four for the second time.

FINAL 4 - CONFERENCE FINALS
2017 4th place
2017 4th Place
Matteson Brothers

Austin Matteson & Connor Matteson

Final 4 (Conference Finals, best of 7) - A total of four teams remained, as the division champs in each conference clashed to decide a conference champion. Three of the four teams left were #1 seeds, while one of them was a #2 seed, setting up a battle of the heavyweights. Representing the Deuce Division, in their first final 4 appearance, was The Benchwarmers (#2), as they faced off against the Hammer Division Champion, Young Guns (#1). The series started with the first two games going to overtime, with Young Guns winning both of them to take a 2-0 series lead. Young Guns won Game 3 to take a commanding 3-0 lead, and then went to overtime yet again in Game 4. In overtime, Young Guns prevailed to sweep the series 4-0 and advanced to the World Championship Finals as winners of the National KanJam Conference.

2017 3rd place
2017 3rd Place
The Benchwarmers

Marcus Middleton & David Morrison

In the American KanJam Conference, it was a matchup of two #1 seeds. Matteson Brothers (Dinger Division) took on PhiLorkus (Bucket Division). Both teams struggled to score late in the series, resulting in a matchup that went the distance. While the usual Matteson strategy of going first has worked so well for the brothers, it ended up costing them in the deciding Game 7, where PhiLorkus had the upper hand and was able to close out to win the series 4-3. In doing so, this ended Matteson Brothers' bid at a repeat title, and propelled PhiLorkus ahead as champs of the American KanJam Conference.

With conclusion of these series, the two losers (The Benchwarmers and Matteson Brothers) faced each other in a quick best 2 out of 3 series to determine 3rd place in the overall standings while the video production was being setup for the Finals. This was a new addition this year, but was a great way to easily determine who would be 3rd place and who would be 4th place, as the two losers would never have placed each other otherwise since they were in separate conferences. The Benchwarmers defeated Matteson Brothers in the quick series 2-0 to place 3rd overall, while Matteson Brothers took 4th place.

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS

2017 KanJam World Championship Finals video

KanJam World Championship Finals (best of 7) - It started with 98 teams that traveled from 12 states, Canada, and Europe. After enduring the rain and mud, and outlasting the others over a period of almost eight hours, it came down to just two teams in one final series to see who would become 2017 KanJam World Champions. With Matteson Brothers eliminated, a new champion would be crowned. Featuring a matchup of two #1 seeds, the champion from each conference faced each other for the coveted title. From the American KanJam Conference was PhiLorkus (Dinger Division). As a team, this was their first trip to the World Championship Finals and first for Phil Schneider. For Josh Greenauer, he ranks second all-time in Finals appearances, having made it to the Finals now nine times (previously eight times as a member of Dorkus Malorkus).

Representating the National KanJam Conference (Hammer Division) was Young Guns. This marked their second trip to the World Championship Finals, making it back in 2013, but coming up short that year against Team Domination in that series.

There were definitely some major upgrades for the World Championship Finals this year. For starters, the Finals court was marked off limits for play all day. This played a huge role especially this year with the mud to keep the Finals court in good shape. Secondly, there were custom goals with the 2017 KanJam World Championship logo on them to be used in the Finals. And lastly, there was a full video production set up for the Finals, which included three cameras, a switcher, scorebug graphics, and audio feed to produce the entire Finals and awards ceremony video right there at the tourney. This allowed us to post the full Finals video right away. The best feature was the addition of a KanJam backdrop for the awards cermony that took place right after the Finals.

2017 KanJam World Championship Finals
World Championship Finals
Referee does official flip for Hammer option for Game 1 of the series

GAME 1 - Young Guns won the toss and chose The Hammer for Game 1, and started the series with a bucket on the first throw and a miss on the second throw for a 3-0 lead. PhiLorkus came back with two dingers to make the score 3-2. But Young Guns pulled away very quickly, as they went perfect buckets the rest of the game, while PhiLorkus struggled to get anything going. Once Young Guns closed out at 21-4, PhiLorkus went for an Instant Win. Unable to get it, Young Guns won Game 1 to take a 1-0 series lead.

GAME 2 - Once again, Young Guns started the game and PhiLokus had The Hammer. Young Guns put up four points, and this was matched by PhiLorkus on Josh Greenauer's slam to tie the game at 4-4. Young Guns then made two great plays - one by Ajay Cybulski as he slid in the mud to still slam a bucket, and another by Charles Rizzo as he jumped high to slam down a bucket to give them a 10-4 lead. PhiLorkus returned with a total of two points, bringing the score to 10-6. Young Guns widened their lead to 14-6 with four more points, putting the pressure on. PhiLorkus stayed in it, making two great plays - Phil Schneider slamming a bucket from the side and Josh Greenauer doing the same to bring the score to 14-12. Young Guns then put up five points to take a 19-12 lead after Ajay's deuce shot. PhiLorkus got a bucket on their first throw to make it 19-15, but wisely caught an errant return throw to give themselves a chance the next round to tie. With no problem, Young Guns converted the two points needed to get to 21, forcing PhiLorkus to get six points to force overtime. Unable to get anything on the first throw, this set up another Instant Win attempt by PhiLorkus. Unsuccessful, Young Guns won Game 2 by a score of 21-15 to take a 2-0 series lead.

2017 KanJam World Championship Finals
World Championship Finals
Josh Greenauer (PhiLorkus) jumps in attempt to make a bucket

GAME 3 - Ajay Cybulski used his height to jump for a bucket to start Game 3, and threw a bucket back to Charles Rizzo to give Young Guns a 6-0 lead. PhiLorkus scored two points on their turn for a score of 6-2. Keeping the pressure on, Young Guns, tossed a bucket, and threw what initially appeared to be another bucket on the return throw, but the throw hit the goal directly on the fly first, so this was ruled a deuce (two points). Still, this gave Young Guns a commanding 11-2 lead. PhiLorkus scored just one point on their next turn, still trailing 11-3. And Young Guns kept making it harder - another six points, this time on Rizzo's flip play to extend the lead to 17-3. Realizing the game was out of reach, PhiLorkus took a few shots at the slot, and although they hit a deuce, they did not get that big time play. Young Guns closed out, setting up a final Instant Win attempt. Again, unable to get it, Young Guns won Game 3 by a score of 21-6 and took a 3-0 series lead.

GAME 4 - Again shooting first, Young Guns got four points to start. PhiLorkus matched them to tie up the score at 4-4. Young Guns hit a deuce on the next throw, followed by a dinger to take a 7-4 lead. PhiLorkus scored one point total on their next turn, still trailing in the game 7-5. Young Guns followed that up with double buckets, extending their lead to 13-5. PhiLorkus came back with four points on a perfect throw by Phil Schneider. With four more points, Young Guns went up to 17-9. PhiLorkus scored two more points, but trailed 17-11. Young Guns got four points to close out 21-11, forcing PhiLorkus into throwing an Instant Win to extend the series. After missing it, Young Guns clinched the series sweep 4-0 and the title of 2017 KanJam World Champions.

2017 KanJam World Championship Finals
World Championship Finals
Charles Rizzo makes another bucket for Young Guns as they continue to dominate

At ages 16 and 17 years old, Young Guns tie Team Domination (2008) as the youngest team to win the KanJam World Championship. For Young Guns, this was their 7th KanJam World Championship they played in, having first joined back in 2011 at only 9 and 10 years old. With an overall record of 44-4 in the 2017 KanJam World Championship, it is certainly one of the more impressive performances to date. For PhiLorkus, they had a tough run to the Finals, and they can be commended for knocking out prior Final 4 contender, No Big Deal, Serenity Now!, a team that included 3-time World Champion Dan Klavoon, and of course, the defending World Champions, Matteson Brothers.

2017 Runners-Up
2017 Runners-Up
PhiLorkus

Josh Greenauer & Phil Schneider

Young Guns become just the fifth KanJam team to win both the KanJam Klassic and KanJam World Championship in the same year - they join Sole Survivors, Rebel Survivors, Stallion Survivors, and Matteson Brothers on that list. In fact, the last four years (2014-2017) have all been sweeps for both tournaments - Stallion Survivors in 2014 and 2015, Matteson Brothers in 2016, and Young Guns in 2017. The KanJam Klassic is a major indoor tournament that usually takes place in April, and Young Guns won that one earlier this year, taking both "hammers" in 2017 to complete the sweep. No doubt, Young Guns are now the new team to beat heading into 2018.

A team plaque for Young Guns will be added to the permanent Hammer trophy for 2017 as official KanJam World Champions. In addition, they each won their own 2017 KanJam World Championship "Hammer" trophy to keep, along with other prizes, which included the custom 2017 KanJam World Championship game sets. Other top teams were awarded with prizes as well, including a custom medal and mini hammers for the runners-up.

2017wcyounggunsgettrophy
Trophy presentation
As per tradition, the winning team gets their own "Hammer" trophies to keep and their team plaque on the permanent trophy. KanJam co-owner, Mitch Rubin presents Young Guns with their 2017 Hammer trophies

There were some awesome changes to the tournament in 2017 - one of the big changes was the implementation of team clipboards instead of team folders. In the past, the folders would blow around in the wind, but the clipboards not only provided more stability to write on, but prevented this from ever happening again. Players also had access to all the rules on a nice, organized mobile-compatible website broken down into easy to find sections. There also was the addition of playoff scoresheets, which greatly helped track playoff results and immensely reduced the time to compile the official results. There also was more video footage shot - some live footage was done on the Facebook page, while other footage was recorded to be added afterwards. And the biggest of all, was of course the full video production setup for the Finals as desribed above. Luckily - just after the awards ceremony concluded, the third very heavy downpour hit, so the timing again couldn't have worked out any better.

For anyone that participated in both the 2016 and 2017 KanJam World Championship, weather-wise these were the most challenging years we've ever had. Last year, it was the wind gusts of 35 mph, and this year it was the heavy downpour (thankfully not during tournament play with the exception of the shooutout) and the mud. It is no secret that the KanJam World Championship is played no matter what conditions we get, and we want to say how grateful we are to all participating teams for your commitment! Generally speaking, we historically get good weather, so hopefully we'll get a "normal" day in 2018. Your passion and energy is what drives us to make this tournament even better every year, and we thank everyone that traveled from both near and far to be a part of KanJam history. This of course could not have been possible without the hard work and commitment from coordinators, volunteers, referees, and sponsors as well. Proceeds from the 2017 KanJam World Championship benefited Food Bank of WNY, Buffalo RACIN, #LipsitzStrong, Brian Moorman's P.U.N.T. Foundation, and the North Tonawanda Police Athletic League. On behalf of KanJam, Charlie and Mitch would like to thank everyone involved for another great year, and hope to see you again in 2018!

As always, to keep is easy for everyone, the KanJam World Championship will always take place on the second Saturday in August every year. So go ahead and mark your calendars and save the date - the 2018 KanJam World Championship will take place on Saturday, August 11th 2018. Registration and tournament details will be posted online at kanjamleague.com in May of 2018. Please spread the word and plan ahead! We hope to see you there.

PLAYOFF BRACKET
2017wcbracket
Playoff Bracket
2017 KanJam World Championship
PHOTOS

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MORE VIDEOS

Local TV News Channel 4 in Buffalo, NY (WIVB) posted a short video story from the tournament:


Pre-World Championship lottery "draft" of teams into divisions:

Live feed from first half of draft:

Draft


Recorded second half of the draft (most of the picks, some not included while we switched from Live feed to recorded version):


KanJam's Facebook Live videos:

Full opening announcements:
Click here!

Tiebreaker shootout for Regular Season:
Click here!

Announcement of Playoff teams:
Click here!

Announcement of Round 3 playoff matches:
Click here!

Round 3 - Stallion Survivors (#1) vs Milo's Minions (#6):
Click here!

Round 3 - Matteson Brothers (#1) vs The Showstoppers (#4):
Click here!

Announcement of Round 4 playoff matches:
Click here!

Announcement of Final 4 matches:
Click here!

Announcement of Final 2:
Click here!