Elks Hoop Shoot turns 41

The 41st annual Elks Hoop Shoot competition will be held Saturday, Dec. 1, at the Cortez Middle School Gym.

Youngsters from throughout the 50 states enter the national free throw shooting contest. Each contestant has 25 shots at the hoop. The boy and girl in each age group with the best scores advance through four tiers of competition to qualify for the national finals, which will be held April 18-20, 2013 in Springfield, Mass.

Local winners will compete against other free throw shooters in the district event to be held in Hotchkiss on Sunday, Jan. 20. Those winners will advance to the state championship in Salida on Feb. 23. The four-state regional will be in Denver on March 9.

Names of the national winners will be inscribed on the Elks National “Hoop Shoot” plaque, which is on permanent display in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield.

The Cortez Elks appreciates, and welcomes participation from all the area schools, teachers and families of the surrounding communities in helping promote the event. Children from all areas served by Cortez Elks, which include Montezuma and Dolores counties, and Towaoc, are strongly encouraged to participate.

Registration starts at noon and competition begins at 1 p.m. There is no entry fee.

The Elks Hoop Shoot is open to all boys and girls in the age categories of 8-9, 10-11 and 12-13. Contestants’ age groups will be determined by their ages as of April 1, 2013. Those entering should bring proof of birth date (i.e. birth certificate, baptismal or passport) for verification and assignment to the proper age group shooting category, thereby eliminating disappointment that might arise on a technicality. This means that participants under the age of 8 and over the age of 13 on April 1, will be ineligible to compete.

Awards are presented for first, second and third in each category.

For more information, please call Gini Olson or Fred DeWitt at 882-4904.