Last year Portland's Rio Grands took home the trophy that dons a golden minivan atop its monolithic stand, but this wasn't your typical battle of the bands. Rio Grands were Rigsketball 2013 Tournament champions, meaning in addition to kicking out the jams, they know how to jam basketballs through a regulation height hoop rigged to the back of a day-glo tour van. Next month, Rio Grands will have to defend its title against 31 Portland bands in the 2014 Rigsketball Tournament.
With past participants that include Starfucker, Typhoon, The Woolen Men, and Aan, Rigsketball has become a Pacific Northwest phenomenon from the brain of Bim Ditson of And And And. His band had the ingenuity to not just see their tour van as a transportation vehicle for their gear and travel aspirations, but as an integral member of the band, which has grown to instill a brotherhood among bands throughout the country that have encountered And And And. Now, before sharing a bill, friendly competition happens at a near by parking lot as the 10-foot hoop is erected off the back of the van.
Rigsketball is a dangerous sport involving hard concrete and the risk of colliding into a fender on a lay-up, but for the past four years it's gathered growing interest and admiration in Portland—even TV crews look forward to its yearly arrival. Below is a high-light reel from last year's showdown:
Registration for this year's tournament opens June 13 at the Rigsketball website. The tournament begins July 18 and runs through July 25.
For more on Rigsketball read our interview from 2013 with founder Bim Ditson.