Cheerleader Toss

The cheerleader goes up, and comes down exactly through the basketball hoop. It seems like there has to be a trick to it somehow, though I can't figure out what the trick might be. As I watched the movie clip, I kept thinking 'what if her foot got caught in the net'. At the very least the net must be rigged so that it would rip away from the hoop if her foot were to catch it.


Posted on Fri Dec 24, 2004


Did you notice that, at the end of the clip, the girl is holding the back of her head as if she hit it on the hoop while going through it? I don't know if this thing is fake or not, but if it is, that's a nice touch.

Does anyone know the diameter of a regulation basketball hoop? They seem pretty small to me. How tiny would a person have to be to fit through one?

Another observation for what it's worth: at the end of the stunt, the guys are all high-fiving each other and mostly ignoring the girl who actually DID it. Just amusing.
Posted by crankymediaguy  on  Fri Dec 24, 2004  at  04:12 AM
hmmmmmmm interesting.
Could be faked. But its a very high tech good fake. I think it is real but crankymediaguys observations make it look strange...

I paused it as her head was going through and it does look very like she could have hit her head.
Posted by Tom  on  Fri Dec 24, 2004  at  09:04 AM
This commercial -- for that is what it really is -- has the same kind of production values as the ads for videogames that appear to be "home video" but include bizarre special effects. You know, the ones where the kids accidentally turn mom into a goat with a sci-fi weapon, etc.
This has all the hallmarks of those ads -- the effects, the concept, the humor, and the guys who are way too proud of themselves.
It's interesting to note that the net stops moving at the exact moment the girl passes through it -- it doesn't sway or quiver. Is that the normal behavior of a net after the ball is dunked?
Posted by Gene  on  Fri Dec 24, 2004  at  09:38 AM
From my experince, basketball nets swish when something goes through it.
Posted by Dany  on  Fri Dec 24, 2004  at  03:23 PM
Fake... totally fake... If you pause it, and look at the few frames that you can, her upper torso and head would have passed thru the rim itself. Anyways, click more than once on the page, it's a comedy movie. Why would anyone think that this isn't fake?
Posted by Drunk Stepdad  on  Fri Dec 24, 2004  at  03:41 PM
I did see her holding her head which made me laugh a little, as did the guys who didn't give a shit.

I didn't watch it in slow-mo or see any stills, but in my one viewing, the net did look a little suspicious.

I'm sure you could find someone who could fit through a basketball hoop (hell, I might be able to), but I don't think a couple of guys could throw someone into one with that kind of precision.
Posted by James D  on  Fri Dec 24, 2004  at  05:16 PM
It's fake. They are standing several feet in front of the basket so they could throw her high enough and she would not even come close in reality. But from the perspective angle it looks like she is going thru. If you grab the frames one at a time, you can see where they "photoshopped" the rim over he feet, but the next frame shows her back clearly outside the rim area. Nice though.
Posted by Mike M.  on  Fri Dec 24, 2004  at  05:58 PM
I've watched it a few times, and I think it's a fake. Because the camera never pulls back or down enough to show the peoples' feet. If it's a legitimate stunt, there's no reason not to do that, since it would let you judge the perspective much better.
Posted by El Guapo  on  Fri Dec 24, 2004  at  06:45 PM
Here's how they do it...

It's a complete optical illusion. They DO throw the cheerleader up in the air and catch her. However, she never goes "through" the basket, but is actually in front of it. The illusion is that she went through the hoop, but in reality, only her left hand brushes it to make it appear that she has.

While her feet appear to be going through the basket, her torso does not. (a little creative editing) The camera never shows where the group is actually located. (you don't see their feet) By positioning the camera far away, you lose the perspective of how close the group is to the basket.

'nuff said.
Posted by jack  on  Fri Dec 24, 2004  at  07:20 PM
Oops, I need to read better. I agree with Mike M. and El Guapo. (not my fault, look at the posting time) 😊
Posted by jack  on  Fri Dec 24, 2004  at  07:22 PM
Gene said:

"This commercial -- for that is what it really is -- has the same kind of production values as the ads for videogames that appear to be "home video" but include bizarre special effects. You know, the ones where the kids accidentally turn mom into a goat with a sci-fi weapon, etc."

Yes, exactly. I thought of those ads, too, when I saw this one. They are for a video game called "Ratchet and Clank" and they are shot in the same hand-held style and feature impossible special effects. It seems probable that this was done by the same people and that it also features special effects (in other words, the girl didn't really go through the hoop). Nice job, though, you have to admit. The guys conferring before throwing the girl and the hand-held camera work are nice touches.
Posted by crankymediaguy  on  Fri Dec 24, 2004  at  08:09 PM
she didn go thru the hoop ,as she would have slowed down....hoop drag you know...all they had to do was stand far enough away ,throw the girl in the air and have her hand brush the net on the way down... other than photo-shopping.
Posted by e m butler  on  Sun Dec 26, 2004  at  07:38 PM
This is definitely not real. If you look at the other things on the site, the trailer for the movie is an AMC theaters turn off your cell phone spot, and the old school cheerleading moves are all jokes like "probed by aliens." Definitely a nice job though. I'm sure it will end up with some moronic cheerleader getting maimed actually trying to do the stunt.
Posted by Jay Wulff  on  Sun Dec 26, 2004  at  09:58 PM
Did you notice those guys are gay? I'm just saying, I'd be grabbing and groping the girl instead.
Posted by Craig  on  Mon Dec 27, 2004  at  10:11 AM
Inside diameter of a regulation hoop is 18". I looked at the video a few times and noted that there is no reflection on the glass as she passes through the hoop. The lighting is set rather flat and appears to be directly in front of the backboard--there should be a distinct reflection as she passes six inches from the backboard.

Net is probably rigged with a thread or they rotoscoped out a basketball going through it and layered her in.

The bump on the head is a nice touch.
Posted by ktownson  on  Mon Dec 27, 2004  at  10:40 AM
The way the blond guy is looking up at the rim, right before the toss, he should be directly under it and have to strain much harder to look up and see it. He is in front!!!!!
Posted by sbnature  on  Mon Dec 27, 2004  at  06:58 PM
>>>Did you notice those guys are gay? I'm just saying, I'd be grabbing and groping the girl instead.<<<

Heh. If you 'grab and grope' random girls every single time you get the opportunity, you're going to end up in jail pretty quick.
Posted by Barghest  on  Mon Dec 27, 2004  at  09:00 PM
Nope. Been at it for 35 years and have YET to land in jail.
Posted by Craig  on  Tue Dec 28, 2004  at  05:51 AM
I dont know about you all, but I can see a reflection in the backboard as she passes. Since the camera is right in front of the backboard the edge of the reflection is very close to the cheerleaders body. Look carefully it is there.

Also, if she faked the head hitting the rim, she did a masterful job as a frame by frame examination shows that her head moves forward at the exact time the rim appears to hit her head. Much like the Zapruder film!

As to the net moving, you can see it follow her feet as she moves through the rim. As she drops through, you feet move to the right. The net follows her feet as she passes through. And for those of you asking about moving nets, because of the way they are designed, they do not move much at all after the initial motion. After a ball (or cheerleader) moves through, they become still quite quickly.

And my number one reason for believe this.....They are college students. College students are the only folks dumb enough to try this! And college guys are the only ones dumb enough to ignore the girl afterward!
Posted by thorndike  on  Tue Dec 28, 2004  at  04:24 PM
"Nope. Been at it for 35 years and have YET to land in jail."
Don't know if any prosecutors are reading this, but I think Craig just confessed.
Posted by Big Gary  on  Tue Dec 28, 2004  at  06:22 PM
For me the most suspicious thing is that elaborate measures were taken to prevent the curious from downloading the actual clip and looking at it closely. The second most suspicious is that if I were actually able to pull of such a stunt it would be after lots and lots of practice and I would NOT skimp on the videography and would be wearing something presentable. In other words, why have crappy hand-held video of a practice session? If you can *really* do the stunt, you would want it to be as slick as possible.
Posted by John.  on  Wed Dec 29, 2004  at  10:05 AM
"In other words, why have crappy hand-held video of a practice session? If you can *really* do the stunt, you would want it to be as slick as possible."

I agree. Further, if it's a legitimate stunt, why not set up an extra camera or two at different angles?
Posted by ElGuapo  on  Wed Dec 29, 2004  at  10:14 AM
i think it is real, when she start to pass through the hoop, you can see her left leg reflected in the glass, the reflex can be seen at the same size that her real left leg.
this only can happen if she is passing by very close from the glass.
Posted by angelo  on  Wed Dec 29, 2004  at  12:53 PM
I watched the clip and happened to pause it as she was "passing" through the hoop. The hoop is visible behind her back but not on her shirt. Even though she is wearing a white shirt, the same shade as the hoop - surprise! - there is no shading from the hoop cords on her shirt. And, if she indeed did go through the hoop, how do we know it was a regulation hoop? The clip is of such low quality the shading of the hoop cords might be there and just not visible. I haven't been on a basketball court in years, but that backboard looks larger than I remember compared to the people in front.
Posted by Christopher Cole  on  Sat Jan 01, 2005  at  09:37 PM
Yep, this is really fake, and it doesn't appear that anyone spent very much time on it. The framerate is very low, presumably because it's a streaming video, but actually the framerate is kept low to avoid actually having to edit any video. There's exactly one frame where you can see her actually interacting with the basket, and, funny thing, it appears the rim has blurred and her body is being peirced by the basket, as there is person where rim should be. They didn't even take the time to edit the *one* image where you see her touching the rim. Fake. Fakefake.
Posted by antivert  on  Sun Jan 02, 2005  at  03:27 PM
It appears the video is showing more frames when playing than when seeking, so there appear to be more frames where she's interacting with the basket. So they may have spent a little more time on it than I first thought.

I also forgot to mention how I think it was filmed. The people were shot throwing the girl with no basket, then the basket was shot by itself and the two videos were composited and then edited to look more realistic. This should have been easy because of the indoor environment, the lighting is extremely controllable. There are other ways it could have been done, but this seems to be the easiest and fastest.

They could have done a better job on the editing, as it doesn't look very real in slow motion, but it probably wasn't a very big deal to whomever was working on it.
Posted by antivert  on  Sun Jan 02, 2005  at  03:46 PM
Who cares it is fukin' funny
Posted by Knobson  on  Tue Jan 18, 2005  at  03:34 AM
its real. period. if you keep zooming in it allows you to look at more frames. when her feet first go in, the hoop swooshes to the right(the direction her feet are going), but as her head comes through, the hoop swooshes to the left(the direction her head is going). how could you fake the hoop switching directions. even if you could, who would think of doing that. as for them not showing their feet, its probably because they dont want you to see the mats they have incase they mess up.
Posted by mike reed  on  Tue Jan 18, 2005  at  10:42 PM
Looks real to me too. Made a gif anmation just to see for myself

Posted by Paradroid  on  Wed Jan 19, 2005  at  04:38 AM
The diameter of a basketball hoop is 18". The diameter across an typical economy airline seat is 17"
Posted by Dr. Dre  on  Wed Jan 19, 2005  at  04:54 PM
Absosmurfly fake. Ain't it amazing that all of the frames are nice and crisp EXCEPT when her head is going through the rim; except some of the picture of the cheerleader is very clear. Poor photoshop job.
Posted by Saint Cad  on  Fri Jan 21, 2005  at  03:09 AM
i am a cheerleader and it is defintly possible for someone to do that.have any of you EVER been to a cheerleading competition?they do some crazy things and this video is like nothing compared to yeah.its real.
Posted by Kayla  on  Sun Jan 23, 2005  at  05:27 PM
Kayla said:

"i am a cheerleader and it is defintly possible for someone to do that.have any of you EVER been to a cheerleading competition?they do some crazy things and this video is like nothing compared to yeah.its real."

Kayla, your logic is flawed. The fact that you have seen some interesting and/or dangerous things done during a cheerleading competition does NOT prove that THIS particular thing WAS done as it appears.

Have you ever seen someone do, in real life, what seems to be happening in this video? Even that wouldn't prove that it happened for real in the video, but it would prove that it COULD have happened.

This is why I strongly think that logic and critical thinking (along with media literacy) need to be taught in school.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Sun Jan 23, 2005  at  09:39 PM
The clip is great, very funny and entertaining but I want to explain a few things that many of you may not know. This was shot most likely on digital video then was manipulated in one or more of various applications such as After Effects, Shake or Maya. The final video that you see is a highly compressed version of the original, not to mention that it is playing as a Flash movie (prohibits saving) as opposed to playing in QuickTime. Without a doubt, this is a fake. The average person that may come across this video would be amazed at what can be done with computers.
Posted by Chip  on  Tue Jan 25, 2005  at  12:10 AM
Ok I've watched this bad boy a few times... True or fake? Here's my take...

Can this be done? You bet. Some of the more adept and light cheerleaders are able to flip on top of high targets (2 man high pyramids, etc.)

A hoop is just another target - IF you can get high enough and if the guys are the right distance... The girl looks up to see if she is far enough ahead of the basket because she knows that's her target. Her doubt is if the guys can boost her that high, not if she can hit the target.

Fact is, 4 guys who are not basketball players are able to boost an even tinier girl (she is very small) up high enough to do the flip, so long as she sets herself up to basically do a dismount on the hoop.

The physics of the piece is flawless, except for two things... One, I realized she clamps her arms down to slow her spin - but that was the real danger. I entirely expected to see her lose a finger... and yes, BTW that gets rid of the entire 'she hit the net on the way down' thing... She is looking at her feet and the target, not the left to 'tap' the basket... pulling the net at that speed is like grabbing a tree branch whie riding in a school bus... good way to dislocate something...

Dollars to donuts judging by her physical conditioning she's a stellar high dive as well. That plus cheerleading skill would make it entirely possible that she'd be able to straighten out for a straight-through...

The odds of a gymnast being able to do all of the right things on a fake is unlikely. If they know they are not going through a hoop, but just trying to make it 'look' like it, they would not be careful enough to get everything right. A whole lot more things happen when you know you could really get hurt... although if worse came to worse, she'd probably just try to land on the spring base and hope it didn't break...

And yeah, the one thing that is not fake is that she is HOT.

Fake? tough call... depends on what it's shot with... off the cuff, I noticed double rims in a few frames... trouble is, if this thing was shot with a MiniDV (which I believe it was, considering the amount of light in the frame with zoom) then fast movement of the camera will pick up the vibrations of the gym lights (try taking a digital picture of something lit up by flourescent light while moving the camera to smear the image and you will see what I mean..)

A MiniDV would also explain the ability to focus on the part of her body not swinging (torso, center of weight) vs the legs which are basically what is spinning her around. They smear the legs - you don't need PS to do that...

I'd love to hear the story behind this footage, and also find out if these folks got paid well for it...
Posted by J.Go  on  Sun Feb 06, 2005  at  03:46 PM
If you stop the frames by right clicking in the picture and then clicking on "forward" or "back", you can call the frame where her feet seem to touch the top of the hoop frame 1. Now forward to frames 6 and 7.
In frame 6 you can see that the net is pushed to the right and extends down below her knees. In frame 7 look at where her left hand is. It would have to be sticking thru the netting the way I see it. That would have been catastrophic!

They should have had her hold her arms over her head if real or fake. I think I did see a reflection in the glass and I can't see any indication that see is not passing thru the hoop except for the hand position. Very impressive. Fake.
Posted by Jim  on  Mon Feb 07, 2005  at  10:05 AM
I think all you have to do is watch the guys at the beginning of the video. They continually look up, like they're judging the distance to the hoop..."aiming", if you will.

Follow their sight lines, though. They're all looking at least 5 feet to the left of where the basket actually is.

Good video editing...but thats all.
Posted by Greg  on  Thu Feb 10, 2005  at  06:58 AM
OK, I have taught cheerleading for twenty years and cheered on a national championship college team.

This is fake.

For those of you cheerleaders out there that want to somehow think this is real just because it is "cool", think about it.

You would have to:
a) stop your rotation from the tuck, would would be a pretty impressive slap in the face to the laws of physics, or
b) you would have to time your rotation like that of a pole vaulter or high jumper going over a bar so that your feet, legs, hips, torso, shoulders and head would rotate through the hoop. One problem with that. You get one shot. Either you make it, and get this cool video or you miss it and tear up your face so bad you wouldn't be recognizeable. Don't forget.. if you over rotate, you're going to have a 10-gauge wire hoop ramming itself through the back of your head. Woops, that didn't work... next girl?

It's a cool video that got people talking. But don't believe for a minute that it's real.
Posted by Jim L  on  Thu Feb 10, 2005  at  12:50 PM
This was filmed at the univeristy of st thomas in saint paul, they were on the radio the other morning talking about this and claim that its legit. For whatever thats worth - the authors are claiming its real.
Posted by john  on  Sat Feb 19, 2005  at  10:22 AM
You can see her aiming her feet for the basket, there is an obvious reflection of her shoes, then her legs, then her shorts and body as she passes the glass; the net follows her body to the right and her head to the left as she passes through; and the rim moves when her head hits it. If that's fake, I'll be very surprised.
Posted by Clint  on  Wed Mar 02, 2005  at  10:29 PM
Fake, no doubt about it.

Look at how you can go frame to frmae without any blur up until the frames which would prove
if this was fake or not...once she gets over the
goal the frames go from every 10th of a second to
a full second or higher! Obviously they were trying to hide something. You can also see that
as her butt hits the rim, both of her hands are outside of the rim and would never be able to get back in at that speed...both of her arms would have been broken. What scares me is that young cheerleaders will see this, think it can be done, and get hurt or worse trying to attempt it.
Posted by Dracula  on  Mon Mar 07, 2005  at  10:16 PM
Well, as a former male cheerleader, I think it's a fake. Although, I do have to take issue with whoever said the guys would have to be closer to the camera to make it look like they threw her that high. Our squad has thrown girls higher than that; it's definitely possible to get a girl 15, maybe even 20 feet in the air with strong enough guys and a good enough girl. Anyway, I tend to think it's fake because:

1. No guys would be that irresponsible to put her at such risk

2. If she's anything like our girls, no way in hell she'd willingly try this. We had enough trouble getting them to leave the ground for basic stunts, they were so lazy...

Oh, and whoever said those guys are gay, YOU'RE AN IDIOT. How many times have you seen football players slap each others' asses? I agree, the guys here we a little over the top, but I think it was just all part of the act, the big celebration. After cheering 6 years, I think I've met 1 gay cheerleader, ever - most guys get into cheering for the girls, then get hooked on the stunting. I know I did.
Posted by mike  on  Fri Mar 25, 2005  at  10:36 PM
"look at where her left hand is. It would have to be sticking thru the netting the way I see it."

Exactly. I didn't believe it when I saw it but I'm a Flash designer, I have extracted every frame with a special program. When you look frame by frame, her hands (especially the left) would have went through the holes in the net. At the angle she was falling and the way her hands are pointing, it's impossible that they would have passed through. THAT is a fact. NOT an opinion. It's right there in the frames. They should have had her hands straight up above her head. In my OPINION, the over-acting and script at the beginning of the short clip was pretty bad. They are acting as if they just decided to do all this in a few seconds of standing near a basket.

Saying it isn't real because of the way the net is bouncing or that someone wouldn't have thought about the physics of how to make it bounce in the right directions is hilarious. There are digital film students and hobbies going on with all kind of great looking stuff. I've seen it. It's just not your world. If you took this thread to the right forum, you would get a few different ways to do it. The software to set up something like this is getting cheaper and cheaper to do right at home. It's a very cool clip though. I'm just confused about why everyone would even question whether it could be done, with todays computer programs. I guess poeple here just haven't played with that sort of thing. Everyone just dubs things "photoshop". Has anyone here been to the movies lately? Look what can be done. ?? It doesn't take thousands and thousands of dollars to pull this off.

The reflection can be put anywhere you want. In fact, the old-school blue screen and lighting problems are gone. Really, they didn't even have to be at the basketball court.
Posted by Tony  on  Thu Mar 31, 2005  at  12:06 AM
Tony, that's some load of work you've put into this. I'm inclined to believe you when you say that it's fake.

First off, a commercial venture (or any group of reasonably intelligent people) would be VERY concerned about the potential liability if the girl got injured (the likelihood of which is high) on their behalf.

Let's look at this objectively: You're a company that wants an interesting piece of video. You can either throw a girl up in the air and pray that she goes through the hoop with no injury OR you can simply do what Tony is suggesting and FAKE THE DAMN THING!

Remember, all you really care about is the resulting video and the reaction it provokes. Why would you NOT fake it?
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Thu Mar 31, 2005  at  12:16 AM
I have been a cheerleader in High School and for an elite team. There is no way that she could have made it through that net! If they threw her a few inches back she could have severely hurt herself or even died! And when a flyer comes down she has to open her arms to catch her bases and she open her arm
Posted by Rudy  on  Fri Apr 01, 2005  at  03:36 PM
or it could be real and you guys need to all shut up
Posted by thomas  on  Wed Apr 06, 2005  at  06:21 PM
Wow, another convincing argument for the 'real' side.

Posted by Rod  on  Wed Apr 06, 2005  at  06:37 PM
Yeah, we should shut up. Obviously, Thomas is a deep thinker and really focused on the details. His facts are obvious. I have no common sense.

Thanks for your perceptive view Thomas. Next time, I will shut up. With your wisdom you have taught me a lesson, stimulated my mind, and raised my awareness.

I apologize for my existence. Please, please accept.
Posted by Tony  on  Fri Apr 08, 2005  at  05:23 PM
Ive seen this movie a couple of times even had a slightly higer res version of it.

Im 6'2 and weigh 64 KGs (Im an Aussie) which equates to around 140 pounds. I was a gymnast for 7+ years and moved from gymnastics to highjump and basketball when I got to tall and my skinny frame was never getting any bigger.

The quality is niether here nor there in my opinion because most crazy videos on the net are in low quality to help them spread quickly (thats not to say low quality doesnt help the fake rumours)

This is something I would perhaps try I remember setting up high jump matts and mini tramps and messing around like the guys in the half time slam dunk competions all the time in school. (those guys dive head first through the hoop all the time)

I would be worried that one of my fingers would catch on the net and her toes are nearly pointed enough to gaurentee a nice smooth entry and exit from the net. Her overall rotation path seems a little strange for me I would expect her to pop out of that tuck much earlier and pin drop through the hoop. If you also look at the frame before she is caught her arms are not by her sides they are outstretched and with the net allready pushed right its almost certain that her fingers would be caught by the net.

Hands up next time and a less convincing swish noise would help a basketball swish noise lasts for that long and she travels through the net for longer than a basketball.

I was still very impressed by it, just seems like its either a reasonable fake. or a very very lucky try at something a little stupid.

I the final thing that told me it was fake was she didnt seem at all impressed with her efforts the head grab seems very on cue to me if that was me i would be jumping around like an idiot.

Still very funny 😊
Posted by Jason  on  Fri Apr 08, 2005  at  09:03 PM
A regulation basketball hoop is wide enough for two basketballs to pass through side by side, and that girl is a typically petite cheerleader. A topnotch college squad is precise enough to know the path of the cheerleader in the air. I'm sure they've run this stunt without the basketball hoop so many times, adding the basketball hoop was just a matter of choosing a precise starting point.
Posted by basketballfan  on  Mon Apr 11, 2005  at  09:31 PM
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