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Aug-09-2019 01:49printcomments

Salem Celebrates Twenty Exciting Years of Hoopla

The bulk of the basketball competitions at Hoopla are 3-on-3 games

Hoopla 2019
Kids compete at 2019 Hoopla in front of Oregon's State Capitol.
Photo: Facebook (OregonHoopla)

(SALEM, Ore.) - When the first Salem Hoopla event launched in 1999, the organizers weren’t sure whether the idea would catch on with the public. Now, twenty years later, it’s hard to imagine summer in Salem without the annual celebration taking to the streets.

Some of the children who attended that first event are now adults, and they brought their own children along to take part in the fun when it kicked off again last week.

For those who are new to the idea, the only thing you need to know in advance is that Hoopla is a basketball-inspired event, and everybody’s welcome to play. That includes activities for children and adults alike!

Whether you’re planning to take part or not, there are a few things you should know in advance - such as the impact that Hoopla has on roads downtown while the event is taking place. The bulk of the action happened on the weekend of August 3rd to August 4th, but preparation and build-up mean that certain streets were off-limits all week.

As of Monday, and ending at 8 pm on Sunday, drivers were not able to access Court Street NE, Waverly Street NE, and Winter Street NE. In addition, State Street and College Street were also closed to traffic from Friday through to Sunday.

Salemites were asked to plan ahead if traveling on those days. As many as five thousand people were within the area at peak times, and so journeys on foot may also have been difficult until Hoopla's 2019 celebration came to an end.

The bulk of the basketball competitions which take place at Hoopla are conducted as 3-on-3 games - a condensed version of basketball which is believed to be the most popular team sport in the world.

There are some exceptions to that rule, though. If you want to get involved with the fun early on, a 2-on-2 Invitational Tournament is happening on Thursday night as an introduction to the event.

If you weren't invited to play by mid-July, then you missed out this year, but those who were on the court welcomed your support, especially the championship court.

The invited players are drawn mainly from college and high school basketball standouts from Salem's past, so it's a great chance to catch up with people you used to know.

Friday started with another popular feature of the Hoopla events - the kids' clinic. Young basketball fans are welcome to come to this event every year, and take part in the clinic free of charge. The clinic starts at 10 am on Friday and lasts for two hours, during which the youngsters will be taught new skills and then split into groups for more skill drills and a competitive game.

Really though, Hoopla is all about what happens on Saturday and Sunday. This is when the 3-on-3 tournaments start, with players of different skill-levels split into classification groups to face off against each other until winning teams are crowned.

There are separate competitions for men and women, and also separate competitions for those under and over six feet tall. That means you don’t have to worry about coming up against a team of giants if you’re one of the shorter entrants!

If you're not part of a team, you can still show your individual skills in one of the many other competitions which take place on Saturday. That includes the always-popular dunk challenge, free-throw games, two ball contests, and other skills challenges which will give you the chance to win a whole host of prizes. There was even a brand new Toyota available in the shooting challenge!

Winning the Toyota wasn't easy. To stand a chance, you had to register for the competition and turn up outside of the State Capital Building in time for the tournament on Saturday. Entrants have only 24 seconds to successfully complete a three-pointer from the baselines, a free throw, and finally another three-pointer from the top of the key. They also have to fetch their own rebounds when they miss - so missing costs precious time!

Because there are prizes to be won, there's also a fee for entering the event. For most categories, it's $180 per individual, although prices for some events differ.

That makes entering the competition a little like playing the popular mobile slots game Basketball Star; you're paying a fee to play ball, and you're not sure whether you'll make the money back. When playing mobile slots, though, you have no control over whether your bet will go in your favor.

With Hoopla tournaments, so long as you have the skills you've always got a a chance. Some of the winnings on offer may not exceed the top jackpot prizes of mobile slots UK, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a mobile slots game which gives you the chance to drive away a brand new car!

If you are planning to get involved with Hoopla - whether it's as a player or as a spectator -you're advised to bring supplies with you on the day. We all know how hot Salem gets during the summer, and even though it's a little cooler this year; temperatures were in the 80s as opposed to the high end of the 90s, as they were during last year's sun-soaked event.

As this year's Hoopla XXI was a celebratory event, marking two decades of basketball-themed celebrations, it was also the busiest Hoopla so far. Congratulations to the organizers for making it to this milestone with such passion for the sport - and here's to the next twenty years!

After a record breaking attendance for #HooplaXXI, they are already gearing up for #HooplaXXII...BE THERE! . Make sure you have your A-Team ready for August 8 & 9, 2020 for the best street basketball around! Stay tuned to and all Hoopla's social media platforms and channels to get the latest hoop news!

Source: Special Features Dept.


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