Hoop Shoot® & Soccer Shoot Contests
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…”
Soccer is one of the fastest growing youth activities in the country. The Elks Soccer Shoot Program is geared to coincide with this sport phenomenon. From toddlers to teens, in our large urban centers to our small suburban settings, soccer is becoming the sport of choice for our youth. This program is the kind of sporting event to help keep our youth focused and away from undesirable activities.
The Elks Soccer Shoot program consists of two different contests that test different level skills at different ages. A "Five Goal Contest" consists of a series of five goals, decreasing in size from 48 inches to 17 inches. The age groups that use these goals are divided into two categories, U-8 contains all ages seven years old and younger, and U-10 group contains ages eight and nine. The contest is open to boys and girls who shoot separately. The U-8 contestants kick from 15 feet from the face of the goal, while the U-10 contestants kick from 18 feet from the goal.
The Grid Goal Contest consists of a full-size goal sectioned off so points can be scored when the ball is kicked into certain sections. The age groups that use this goal are U-12, which contain the ages ten and eleven, and U-14, which contain ages twelve and thirteen. The contest is open to both boys and girls and they shoot separately.
The Elks Soccer Shoot Program is a terrific program for our youth, the future of our country.
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