Elks National Hoop Shoot Competition

The Elks National Free Throw Competition, better known as the “Hoop Shoot” has been in existence for nearly 50 years, and offers young people age 8-13 an opportuntity to test their basketball shooting skills against others of their own age. Contests are held by Local Elk Lodges, and winners advance to the District, then State, Regional, and National Contest.

Below are the rules for the competition:


1. A contestant may only enter one Lodge Hoop Shoot contest.

2. Contestants must be at least 8 and no older than 13 as of April 1, 2022, in order to participate.

3. Regarding eligibility, the Director is responsible only for ensuring that the contestant competes in the correct age-group. Use the Age-Group calculator on the Hoop Shoot website elks.org/hoopshoot to verify age-group assignments before your contestants compete. Contestants who shoot in the wrong age-group will be disqualified.

4. As the Hoop Shoot tournament progresses, contestants may not switch divisions and may not skip levels of the competition. In order to be eligible to advance to the next level of competition, a contestant must have participated in and won the previous level.

5. Contestants will compete in one of six divisions:

Boys, ages 8-9 Girls, ages 8-9
Boys, ages 10-11 Girls, ages 10-11
Boys, ages 12-13 Girls, ages 12-13

If the contestant will be age 7 on April 1, 2022, he/she is too young to participate.

If the contestant will be age 8 or 9 on April 1, 2022, he/she shoots in the 8 to 9 age-group.

If the contestant will be age 10 or 11 on April 1, 2022, he/she shoots in the 10 to 11 age-group.

If the contestant will be age 12 or 13 on April 1, 2022, he/she shoots in the 12 to 13 age- group.

If the contestant will be age 14 on April 1, 2022, he/she is too old to participate.


Contest Rules

1. All contestants must be present and ready to participate at their designated shooting time. In no case may a contestant shoot before or after the designated time. Shooting times are set by the Hoop Shoot Director. Contestants who shoot before or after their designated time will be disqualified. No exceptions.

2. Shooting positions will be drawn randomly. The method is left to the discretion of the Director.

3. All contestants should be allowed 10 minutes to warm up. Warm-ups should take place under the supervision of the contest officials.

4. To start the contest, boys 8 to 9 shoot at one end of the gym and girls 8 to 9 shoot at the opposite end of the gym at the same time. Boys and girls in the 8-to-9 year-old age-group shoot 4 feet in front of the regulation foul line. Use blue painter’s tape to mark the line.

5. A free throw is the opportunity given to the contestant to shoot a basket for score from within the free throw circle and behind the free throw line (except for 8-to-9 year-old contestants, see Rule 4). A free throw begins when the ball is given to the contestant at the free throw line. It ends when the shot is successful; or when it is certain that the shot will not be successful; or when the ball becomes dead.

6. Each contestant, in order of their draw, may have up to five warm-up shots (if desired) and then, will shoot 10 shots for score. The designated line judges should inform the contestant and the scorers that the contestant is shooting for score. This will be the last verbal contact that the judge will have with the contestant.

Upon completing their warm-up shots and 10 shots for score, the contestant will report to the end of the line or sit on a chair until the remaining contestants have completed their warm-ups and 10 shots. After the other contestants have finished shooting, the contestant will shoot 15 shots to complete their 25 shots for score.

7. The line judge should signal made or missed shots to the scorers.

8. Decisions by , line judge, and Hoop Shot Director are final. No spectators, because of their count, can change the Head Scorer’s decision.

9. Contestants cannot take more than four controlled bounces between shots. If the ball is bounced more than four times, a penalty occurs and the shot is void. See Rule 12.

10. Each free throw attempt shall be made within 10 seconds after the ball has been placed at the disposal of the contestant. If the contestant does not attempt a free throw as defined by Rule 6 within 10 seconds, as determined by the line judge, a penalty occurs, and the shot is void.

11. Contestants must stay behind the foul line until the ball has touched the hoop, backboard or net. If a line violation occurs, a penalty occurs, and the shot is void. See Rule 12.

12. In the event that a foul is committed, the line judge will indicate it by signaling a “T” with his/her hands, signifying that a technical foul has been committed. This should be done in clear view of the contestant and three scorers. Scorers should note a foul with a circled “T.”

13. Ties will be broken in the following sequence: a number of five-shot sets; previous contest score(s) if applicable; coin toss.

The Hoop Shoot Director determines the number of five-shot sets. The Hoop Shoot Director may choose to continue to shoot a series of five shots until the tie is broken and the first-, second- and third-place winners are determined in all six divisions.

During the tie-breaker, contestants will compete in the same shooting order as the regular contest. All tie-breaking shots will be made at the same basket as the previous 25.

In no way can a tie be broken in any other manner except by those described in Rule 13.

14. Any other indiscretion will be left to the judgement of the Hoop Shoot Director.


Contest Code of Conduct

1. Only contestants, officials and scorers and the official photographer—designated by the Director if applicable—are allowed on the floor during the contest.

2. No flash pictures should be taken of a contestant while shooting for score except by the official photographer.

3. No one should be allowed to sit close to the basket or cause any disturbance while the contestant is shooting. If this occurs, the official must pause the contest and clear the area.

4. All persons attending the contest should sit on the side of the gym and maintain complete silence. Phones should be turned to silent or vibrate for the duration of the contest. In no way should spectators cause any commotion that will distract the contestant.

5. All contestants should maintain silence and in no way cause any commotion that will intentionally distract another contestant. Taunting or purposely distracting a shooter, as determined by the contest Director, will result in the disqualification of the offending contestant.


Other Contest Regulations

1. The Hoop Shoot Director sets the time, date and location of the contest and promotes the contest information locally.

Directors should ensure that regulation size balls are used and the required air pressure (7-9 lbs.) has been checked.

2. There should be three scorers at each basket to record the results on score sheets. Scorers should sit behind the contestants while they shoot. To avoid error, scorers should focus their attention on the basket, not the shooter, during the competition.

3. There should be three officials represented by wearing matching referee shirts (or the same color/style shirt). At each basket, there should be one official on each side of the foul line to retrieve the ball, which should be passed to the line official standing by the contestant. The line official will then hand the ball to the contestant.



• Gym shoes are required.
• A t-shirt and pants or gym shorts may be worn.
• Basketball uniforms are acceptable, but not required.



Important Update! The boys 10-11 age group will now use the 28.5″ basketball.

In the Boys 8-9 and 10-11 age division, the 28.5″ size basketball will be used in all levels of competition. In the 12-13 age divisions, the basketball will be regulation size (29.5″). All basketballs should:

• Have 7-9 lbs. of air pressure
• Have channels and/or seams not exceeding 1/4 inch in width
• Be made of leather or composite leather


In the Girls Division, all basketballs used should:

• Be regulation size (official) for girls/women – 28.5 inches in circumference
• Have 7 to 9 lbs. of air pressure
• Have channels and/or seems that do not exceed 1/4 inch in width
• Be made of leather or composite leather


Skip to content