For fans of basketball, this event is a keeper! Coming up this Saturday, November 5th, the Butte Elks Lodge will host their district's Youth Hoop Shoot Contest at the Maroon Activity Center. Participants ages 8 to 13 have signed up and are set to display their basketball skills on the MAC court, with the girl's division beginning at 10 a.m. and the boy's division at 11:30 a.m. The competition is laid out distinctly, with each player allowed 25 free throws, split into two rounds. In addition, the contest rules are specific in that each player is only allowed to bounce the ball four times between shoots. The technicalities of the event are crucial in helping young athletes better understand the many techniques and aspects of basketball.

Also, the takeaway is how the annual Elks Lodge Hoop Shoot at the MAC this Saturday helps to prepare future competitors. Witnessing the event is an excellent way for young grade-schoolers who are not yet old enough to compete, better understand just how it's done. Plus, it's a great opportunity for family members and friends to support their determined young players out on the court. In fact, my family circle has been big fans of basketball competitions such as the Elks Hoop Shoot for years. It's partly why my youngest loves the sport so much and now even competes at the college level. Needless to say, the Elks Hoop Shoot is just one of many basketball competitions instrumental in building skill, confidence, and character.

As described by the Elks National Foundation online, hoop shoot competitions began in 1946 when former National Elks President Frank Hise observed how smaller basketball players on the court were at a disadvantage against taller and faster competitors. To level the playing field, he created a free-throw contest where every child had an opportunity to compete. By 1972, The Elks Hoops Shoot held its first national final in Missouri. With the help of funding in 1974, Getty Powell became the first national director of the program, and the key reason girls were allowed to compete in the contest.

Many counties across Montana have already held District Elks Hoop Shoot competitions, but a few are still underway, aside from Butte's this Saturday. Anaconda is set to host theirs on November 12th, Helena on November 13th, and Missoula on December 10th. 


Winners in each division will advance to the district contest in Dillon in January. The state contest will happen on February 4, 2023, in Livingston, and the Elks Hoop Shoot National Finals will take place in mid-April of 2023 in Chicago. To learn more about getting your child involved in upcoming hoop shoot events, contact your local Elks Lodge, and remember, practice makes for a heck of a shot, excellent stats, and a sense of accomplishment. Taking that first step makes all the difference.

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