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The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks to Hold National ’Hoop Shoot’ Program


News Advisory:

Local Elks Lodges are looking for boys and girls ages 8 to 13 who love to shoot free throw. The largest coeducational sports program in the country is about to begin. They need help to encourage community kids to have a ball. Below is the background on the program. Please contact a local Elks lodge for more details.

BACKGROUNDER on The Elks National “Hoop Shoot” Program

The Elks National “Hoop Shoot” free throw shooting contest is the largest and most visible of the many youth activities sponsored by Elks lodges throughout the country. More than three million boys and girls from ages 8 to 13 participate each 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, Ore. in 1946.

Out of that local program grew the national competition. Each of the more than 2,200 Lodges was encouraged to establish its own local contest involving boys from ages 8 to 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, more then 750,000 boys from 42 states took part in the contest. In the following year, girls joined the competition, and the program has continued to expand ever since. All 50 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 age groups: 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, Mass. Past champions include Chris Mullin of the Indiana Pacers, former North Carolina State star Jennifer Howard, and Chicago White Sox infielder Chris Snopek. The competition to become a champion is tough. At each level, contestants take a total of 25 free throws. National finalists average around 90 percent.

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.

See the Elks’ Web page at Contact Cam Cronk, National Hoop Shoot director at 406-656-5818 or 406-652-1378 (fax),


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