Snapback is an event played in several incarnations of the television series Gladiators. In this ground based event, contenders are attached to bungee cords and must race across the floor in order to score points. Snapback is the only Gladiators event to have had its gameplay completely changed when the event returned for the 2008 American revival.


Two Gladiators face off against two contenders opposite and all parties are attached to bungee cords. In the centre of the playing field are several canisters hanging from the ceiling, coloured red and blue. On the whistle, contenders race to the centre, attempting to grab the canisters whilst the Gladiators try to block the contenders and push them away.

Red scoring canisters are worth 1 point and blue cylinders which are placed higher up, 2 points. Contenders must grab the canister, keeping hold of it and deposit in a scoring bin. Only canisters placed in the basket will be counted. A canister which touches the ground is classed as dead.

International differences

In Sweden, the event is played one on one.

Event History


Years active: 1994-1996, 2008(ii)-

Snapback debuted in the penultimate season of the original American Gladiators run. Red canisters counted for 2 points and blue canisters 3 points. In the 1995 series, the scoring was reduced to 1 for a red and 2 for a blue.

Snapback returned in the second series of the 2008 revival. The gameplay has been drastically altered and is almost unrecognisable from its original format. In the revival version, two contenders simultaneously face two Gladiators. Contenders are stood in front of the Gladiators, facing away from them and on the whistle race towards a button on a post, fifty feet away from their starting position.

The Gladiators in turn are pulling on the bungee cord, similar to a tug of war, trying to hold the contenders back. The ultimate objective for the contender is to hit the button. In doing so they will receive 10 points and launch their respective Gladiator through the air, plus a puff of glitter. If the contender is unsuccessful, they earn points based on how far down the course they are when time expires.

It is currently unknown if this event is intended to be an improvement on the original, or whether it is a different event which happens to have the same name.


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