The Elks "Hoop Shoot" Free Throw Contest is the largest and most visible of the many youth activities sponsored by Elks Lodges. More than three million boys and girls, ages 8-13, will participate this year. The Elks "Hoop Shoot" highlights the Elks commitment to America's youth. From the millions of youngsters who participate and advance through local, district, state and regional competition, six national 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 on a plaque at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts. Parents accompany contestants throughout the competition. The parents of finalists at the state, regional and national levels attend the competitions as guests of the Elks.
Kids who compete learn about respect, dedication, loyalty and self-esteem. Participants learn the importance of hard work and how to accept defeat or win gracefully.
The Hoop Shoot provides a character-building, competitive experience for all kids. Through each of the levels of competition, kids support one another while learning from their unique strengths. Contestants regard meeting new friends as one of the top benefits of participating in the Hoop Shoot.
From hours of practice through all levels of competition, parents connect with their kids throughout the Hoop Shoot experience. Family members travel with the contestants through state and regional competitions, and for kids who advance to the national finals, parents get to travel to Springfield, Mass., to share this special event with their child.
The contestants dedicate themselves to discipline, hard work and practice. These life skills help kids face the challenges of today to become responsible, caring adult.