Hoop Shoot

Hoop Shoot®

The Elks National Free Throw Contest, the Elks “Hoop Shoot”®, is the largest and most visible of the many youth activities sponsored by Elks lodges throughout the country. Over 3,000,000 boys and girls between the ages of 8 through 13 will participate this year.

The Elks “Hoop Shoot”® has served to highlight the Elks national commitment to youth. But the Program started originally as a local Elks activity in Corvallis, Oregon in 1946.

Out of that local program grew the national program, now in its 34th year. Each of the over 2,100 lodges were encouraged to establish its own local contest involving boys from ages 8 – 13. From the local area contestants would advance through district, state, regional, and national competitions.

In the first year, 1971, boys from 19 states participated. Two years later in 1973, over 750,000 boys from 42 states took part in the contest. In the following yer girls were added to the competition, and the program has continued to expand ever since. All fifty states and the District of Columbia are represented.

From the millions of youngsters who participate, six champions are named – one boy and one girl – in each of three categories: ages 8-9; 10-11; and 12-13. The winners each receive a trophy and their names are inscribed at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.

The competition to become a champion is tough. At each level contestants take a total of 25 free throws. National finalists average around 90 per cent. Families participate with contestants throughout the competition. The parents of finalists on the state, regional and national levels attend the competitions as guests of the Elks.

The Elks “Hoop Shoot”® has been effective not only in developing champions but character as well. Educators and parents have endorsed the program. One parent wrote, “It teaches a person how to win in good grace and how to accept the moment of defeat without bitterness…”








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