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Film / Church Ball

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It's the last season of church ball. Are you ready to get schooled?
Church Ball is a 2006 comedy film about a basketball competition between wards from the LDS Church. The film's main character is Dennis Buckstead, who's tasked with assembling a Ragtag Team of Misfits from the Mud Lake Ward to take on reigning champions from the Crystal Hills Ward.

This film contains examples of:

  • Bookends: The movie starts with a fight at a basketball game, and ends with a fight at a baseball game.
  • Brick Joke: Rodney Munch, Mud Lake temporary coach, seen at the start of the movie appears in a post-credits scene wandering around the bleachers.
  • Cluster Bleep-Bomb: Mickey Morgan gets this as Sir Swearsalot in a family-friendly film.
  • Down to the Last Play: Jeremiah Jones scores the winning point.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Bishop Linderman wears one.
  • Fluffy Cloud Heaven: Thurman apparently dies during a game and goes to a cloudy heaven, where he dances with his love interest.
  • Funny Foreigner: Nadar Nazbarechov from Uzbekistan, who is still adapting to American culture and actually prefers soccer over basketball.
  • Groin Attack: Played for Laughs. During the final game, a person fires a T-shirt cannon at the audience, hitting one guy in the groin.
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  • How Many Fingers?: Dennis Buckstead holds up his pointer finger and asks a player how many fingers he's holding up. The answer is "one thumb", though another player says he's improving because last time he said four.
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: Right after one player prays that they will play as good Christians, a fight breaks out.
  • Jenny's Number: Jeremiah's house has a "For Sale" sign with 867-5309.
  • Jerk Jock: Bruce and Blake Bracken from the Crystal Hills team, who has bullied Dennis since they were kids.
  • Jesus Taboo: Probably the least religious film by Halestorm Entertainment. The only religious elements of this film are an opening prayer and a heavenly near-death experience. It's more targeted at a general Christian audience than a Mormon audience.
  • Like Father, Unlike Son: Dennis gets new neighbors and is excited because the three kids are very tall and like basketball, but it turns out their father Charles Higgins is very short. However, Charles is the only one who wants to play church ball.
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  • Mentor Archetype: Mosey, who gives the team some advice on playing basketball. In the DVD commentary, the creators say they wanted him to be a Yoda-like character.
  • Opposing Sports Team: Crystal Hills, the long-time reigning champions.
  • Public Service Announcement: The movie starts with a black-and-white commercial about the spiritual benefits of church basketball.
  • Serious Business: It's a movie about a church basketball tournament, and it's taken very seriously.
  • Sir Swearsalot: Mickey Morgan, though all his swears are bleeped. It's often the reason Mud Lake gets a foul.
  • The Swear Jar: One character asks if Mickey has ever tried a swear jar. He says that he did once, and that his wife used the money to buy a gazebo.
  • Training Montage: After the team convinces Jeremiah Jones to join, the get a proper training montage.
  • Underdogs Never Lose: Long-time losers Mud Lake beats the reigning champions Crystal Hills.
  • Whoopee Cushion: The doctor tells Dennis Buckstead he has a fractured tail-bone, so he puts an inflatable cushion in his car seat. The cushion deflates when he sits on it, which a passing lady finds "charming".