Time to work on those free throws: Elks Hoop Shoot set for Dec. 18

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Organizers and participants at a recent Rochester Hoop Shoot (Courtesy/Rochester Elks)

ROCHESTER - The annual Rochester Elks Hoop Shoot Contest will be held at the James W. Foley Memorial Community Center gym on Dec. 18.

The contest will run from 10 a.m.-noon, with registration beginning at 8 a.m.

Parents and guardians should remember to bring their child's birth certificates for registration (required to verify age).

The event is open to all boys and girls from ages 8 to 13. Trophies will be presented to the 1st and 2nd place winners of the boys and girls in each age group. Winners of this contest will move on to the District Contest in January.

The contest originated in 1946 when the late Elks Past National President Frank Hise was watching a group of boys playing ball and noticed that the smaller kids had a hard time keeping up with the others. To level this imbalance, he organized a free-throw contest where every kid could participate. On that day, the Elks Hoop Shoot was born. But, it wasn't until 1972 that the program held its first national finals in Kansas City, Mo.

The Elks Hoop Shoot is almost 50 years old and has been a very successful youth program. Each contestant shoots 25 free throws to determine the winner in each age category. Winners can then compete in the District, State, Regional and National Championships if they win at each level. The Nationals are currently being held in Chicago. Winners and their parents / guardians are provided complimentary hotel and travel arrangements at some of the various levels of competition beyond the local contests conducted by the Lodges.

Each year, the six Hoop Shoot National Champions have their names listed alongside their picture in a digital exhibit in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. Additionally, two of the Frank Hise National Champions are in attendance when the Hall of Fame inductees are honored at the Enshrinement Ceremony.

The gym is located at 150 Wakefield St., Rochester.

For more information, contact Event Chair Peter Ducharme (email: )

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