BUMP AND SPIKE

Directed by Michael Jacobs

In 1975 players from Motown and Hollywood launch the world's first professional co-ed sports league, The International Volleyball Association. Within a league that most have never heard of there lives a story of a successful team from Denver and the nefarious origins behind their success. Watch Video   More »

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30 for 30 Shorts is a collection of stories from the specific point of view of the filmmaker, showcasing his or her unique take and visual style. By moving away from the traditional multiple-act treatment with a tighter narrative, the short film format provides filmmakers flexibility in the types of stories they can tell. The first short film in the series, "Here Now" directed by Emmy winner Eric Drath, debuted in 2012 and told the story of Pete Rose -- banned for life by Major League Baseball -- finding work in a Las Vegas memorabilia store. It was followed by "Arnold's Blueprint," directed by Jeff and Michael Zimbalist ("The Two Escobars"), which focused on Arnold Schwarzenegger's teenage years in the Austrian army and his drive to use the sport of bodybuilding to catapult himself to international stardom. Since 2012, ESPN Films has debuted dozens of other shorts from directors such as Alex Gibney, Ken Jeong, Colin Hanks, Molly Schiot and Angus Wall, while tackling subjects from Muhammad Ali's rescue mission in Iraq to the bombing at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta to arguably the most lopsided trade in NFL history.

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Entire Series

Bump and Spike

In 1975 players from Hollywood launch the world's first professional co-ed sports league, the International Volleyball Association. Within this story is a team from Denver, bought their success from the sports page the front page.

We Are

"We Are" chronicles Penn State's path from the 2011 scandal that resulted in the removal of a statue of legendary coach Joe Paterno to the design of its community-encompassing replacement.

What the Hell Happened to Jai Alai

Back in the day, jai-alai players were celebrities that would ceremoniously march out to salute crowds of 15,000 fans, but after a disastrous 1988 strike the game became nothing more than a cultural afterthought.

The Guerrilla Fighter

Alexis Arguello is considered by many to be the greatest junior lightweight of the 20th century. He is also considered the greatest hero in Nicaraguan history for what he did for his people when his gloves were off.

The Shining Star of Losers Everywhere

Haru Urara was a thoroughbred who could never win a race, but she became a symbol of hope in Japan. And though she never did win, Haru Urara did accomplish something greater: she saved a racetrack.

A.C. Green: Iron Virgin

A.C. Green played in an record 1,192 consecutive games and won three NBA titles. What's even more impressive is how he managed to hold on to his devout Christian beliefs, staying celibate until he finally married at the age of 38.

Gonzo @ The Derby

The lasting legacy of the 1970 Kentucky Derby has nothing to do with the winner, Dust Commander. Its true impact came from the assignment that "Scanlan's Monthly" gave to a 32-year-old writer from Louisville named Hunter S. Thompson.

When The King Held Court

Elvis Presley was many things in America from rock and roll god to film star to cultural icon, but one thing most people didn't know about The King was how much he loved the game of racquetball and what lengths he went to keep it popular.

Tiger Hood

You have never seen Patrick Q.F. Barr at Augusta or Pebble Beach. That's because his golf course is lower Manhattan and his equipment is either borrowed, used or made from milk cartons.

No Kin To Me

Hours after President Reagan was shot, LSU and Virginia played in the now-defunct Final Four consolation game. After the game, LSU's star Rudy Macklin made a comment regarding the president that would put him on a fight to restore his honor.

I Am Yup'ik

The All-Native District Basketball Tournament isn't a big a stage as the Final Four, but to the high school teams on Alaska's Bering Sea coast it's even bigger.

The Bad Boy of Bowling

Dick Weber was the matinee idol of bowling, the guy who made the sport appointment watching on TV. But times changed and people started to move on until a rebel took to the lanes to claim the new throne: Dick's son Pete.

Slick, Nancy & the Telethon

When the Pacers were on the brink of extinction in Indiana, the state's first couple of basketball took to the airwaves to saved their beloved team.

Friedman's Shoes

Before the Internet, what did you do if you were a six-foot athlete in need of really big, really expensive shoes? You went and saw the guys in Atlanta.

Thicker Than Water

As Greg Louganis prepared for the 1988 Olympics he had not only the pressure of winning a gold medal on his mind, but the weight on his HIV status on his shoulders.

Tose: The Movie

Leonard Tose loved owning the Philadelphia Eagles and living fast (and not always in that order), but through it all he was the heart and sole of a team that went from pretender to contender.

Every Day

Joy Johnson raised four children, then took up running at age 59 and eventually ran 25 New York City Marathons, proving our final steps are not as important as taking the first of a million.

#BringBackSungWoo

What happens when a super fan becomes a talisman of good luck for your team, but then he has to go home to South Korea? You beg him to return for the World Series.

The Pittsburgh Drug Trials

The wild cocaine era in baseball and subsequent criminal trials scandalized America's pastime and tainted some of its biggest stars decades before steroids.

First Pitch

President George W. Bush threw out the first pitch at the World Series at Yankee Stadium, just six weeks after 9/11. That night the first pitch meant so much more than "play ball."

Delaney

Joe Delaney was an NFL running back full of promise, until he tragically tried to save the lives of drowning children.

Brave in the Attempt

Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver set a fundamental change in motion through sports.

Spyball

Moe Berg's post-baseball career included a top-secret mission and a license to kill.

Ted Turner's Greatest Race

A raging storm turned the 1979 Fastnet race into a life-or-death struggle at sea.

The Anti-Mascot

The 1984 San Francisco Giants were dreadful. The abuse their "Crazy Crab" mascot endured was even worse.

Unhittable: Sidd Finch and the Tibetan fastball

The Amazin' Mets became too good to be true with the addition of Sidd Finch and his 168 mph fastball.

The Billion Dollar Game

In 1989, the Princeton Tigers gave the Georgetown Hoyas everything they could, in a game that would forever change March Madness.

An Immortal Man

Ted Williams lived his life in the public eye. However, his death and preservation in cryostasis is shrouded in hearsay.

The Sweat Solution

The story of how Gatorade was invented at the University of Florida is told by its inventors, their families and the players who were there.

Student/Athlete

Reggie Ho didn't come to Notre Dame for football. He pursued a career in medicine after he left. But what he did in-between as a walk-on kicker is the stuff of legends.

Robbed

The Ali-Norton decision was one of boxing's most controversial but an uproar was unfolding behind the scenes.

Our Tough Guy

John Wensink legendary Bruins enforcer

The Great Trade Robbery

Most people consider the Vikings' trade for Herschel Walker among the worst ever made. Except for Jimmy Johnson. He'd say it's the best.

Fields of Fear

A compulsion ended Mackey Sasser's MLB career. Eventually, treatment for past traumas eased his mind

Kid Danny

Twelve years after Danny Almonte was accused of cheating at the LLWS, he discusses one of the strangest chapters in youth sports history.

The High Five

Glenn Burke invented the gesture most associated with celebration in sports, but few know the story.

MECCA

A Bucks fan puts down $20K to protect the iconic MECCA floor from the 1970s.

POSTERIZED

Former NBA center Shawn Bradley remembered for being one of the tallest players and being on the wrong end of a lot of dunks.

From Harlem With Love

At the height of the Cold War, the Soviets used segregation as propaganda. That's when the Harlem Globetrotters performed in Moscow.

Untucked

In 1977, Marquette coach Al McGuire let star player, Bo Ellis, design the team's uniforms. The most iconic, the untucked jersey, signified the power of uniforms and the benefits of a creative atmosphere, which let a Championship team flourish.

The Deal

On one side, New York. On the other, Boston. In the middle, the hired gun: Alex Rodriguez.

Judging Jewell

The death toll would have been higher at the Atlanta Games if not for security guard Richard Jewell, who hours after his heroism was called a murderer.

The Great Imposter

From 1979 to 1986, Berry Bremen posed as a player and official at more than 20 events in major professional sports in America.

The Schedule Makers

The story of how a mom-and-pop team ended up with the daunting and thankless job of MLB scheduling.

Collision Course: The Murder of Don Aronow

The rarely told fast life of one of the world's most intriguing adventurers, Don Aronow, a champion boat racer and international businessman.

Arthur and Johnnie

After Johnnie Ashe returned from Vietnam, brother Arthur was expected to go. Johnnie volunteered in his place so Arthur could keep playing tennis.

Wilt Chamberlain: Borscht Belt Bellhop

An unexplored chapter in the life of one of basketball's greatest, and a glimpse of when a very different era of basketball met the Borscht Belt.

Tommy and Frank

The relationship between Tommy John and his surgeon, Dr. Frank Jobe, who conceived of a revolutionary elbow operation in 1974.

Cutthroat

Clint Malarchuk, the "Cowboy Goalie," made a remarkable physical and emotional recovery after one of the most gruesome injuries in the history of sports.

The Irrelevant Giant

In 1983, during Bill Parcells' rookie season as head coach of the New York Giants, he came to know a very special athlete.

Silver Reunion

In 2012, a secret meeting took place. Twelve Team USA members needed to accept or refuse medals for a game many believe they never lost.

Holy Grail

The T206 Honus Wagner is the most infamous baseball card in the world, but does its value really lie in the eye of the beholder?

Ali: The Mission

Ali: The Mission delves into perhaps one of the most important, but least known, feats of Muhammad Ali's remarkable life.

The Arnold Palmer

The history, mystery and industry surrounding "The Arnold Palmer," the lemonade-and-iced tea beverage that has become a piece of Americana.

Arnold's Blueprint

Arnold Schwarzenegger's mandatory military service played a critical role in his journey to international fame.

Jake

Alfred Slote wrote many books about sports for young-adults. "Jake" is his favorite.

Here Now

Everyday Pete Rose wakes up, and goes to work. But instead of a dugout, he's seated in a folding chair in a memorabilia store in Las Vegas.