Waynesville, NC 1769

Hoop Shoot

An Elk's Idea: The History of the Hoop Shoot
(Reprinted from the Elks Magazine)

The Hoop Shoot program began more than sixty years ago. Frank Hise, of the Corvallis, Oregon Lodge came up with this idea as a way to bring a sense of accomplishment to every child who enjoys basketball. While observing a group of boys playing the sport, Hise noted that taller chilldren had a distinct advantage over the smaller boys. This inspired him to devise a free thow contest where every child would have an equal chance to experience success. Older boys take turns shooting from the foul line fifteen feet from the basket and younger boys shoot four feet closer to the basket to ensure that everyone has a fair chance at making the baskets.

Today, all fifty states are represented in the program which is open to girls as well as boys. The Hoop Shoot free-throw shooting contest is the largest non-commercial, co-educational sport program in America and is sponsored by the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks. All of the competitions are free and if a child wins at the lodge level, the travel expenses to the district and state competitions are covered by the lodge and state associations. The Hoop Shoot prgram builds character while promoting integrity, hard work (with contestants practicing shooting hundredreds of free throws a day), setting goals, increasing quality family time, and good sportsmanship.

The contest features three divisions for boys and three divisions for girls according to age: 8-9, 10-11, & 12-13 years old. Each year, the top six winners in their division at the national finals have their names inscribed on an Elks plaque permanently housed at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusets.

The 39th Annual Elks Hoop Shoot 2011 contest was a huge success! The 72 national finalists from across the country competed to win the title of top overall scorer in their division. The competition was fierce. Three finalists shot a perfect 25 out of 25. Kendal Cloninger from Gastonia, N.C., Lodge No. 1644, who's perfect score landed her in first place in the 12- to 13-year-old girls' division, claimed the Getty Powell Award for being the top overall female scorer.

Both Henry Westphal from Portland, Maine, Lodge No. 188, and Jerrik Rydbom from Blairsville, Pa., Lodge No. 406, shot 25 out of 25, so they competed in a shoot-out for the Getty Powell Award for best overall male scorer. After eight tense rounds, Henry, who competed in the 8- to 9-year old boys' division, claimed the Getty Powell Award.

For further information about our local BPOE hoop shoot contest (to be held in the spring of 2012) or to volunteer, please go online to waynesvilleelks@hotmail.com