GALLIPOLIS — Gallia’s three-on-three basketball tournament, The Hoop Project, will be returning July 21 and 22 with age brackets for children and on into adulthood.
The Hoop Project has traditionally been a double-elimination style tournament bracket. The deadline to register is July 14 at 9 p.m. Referees will be available for every game and professional medical staff will be on hand. The event has been recognized in recent years as being the largest operating event held in Gallipolis City Park.
“I think it means a lot to the youth and the kids of the community,” said event organizer Robbie Pugh. “My daughter is only six years-old. She played for her first time last year. They’ve been talking about it for months, talking about who’s going to be on her team and what color their jerseys are going to be. I get approached by a lot of parents in the community to talk about how their kids play in (national games) but they’re coming back a day early just so their kids can play in the Hoop Project.”
Players are guaranteed three games minimum on 50 by 50-foot courts. Games will have two 15-minute halves with five minutes of half-time. Up to six players are allowed per team. The Men’s “A” Division will have a $2,500 cash prize with its winner. Referees are guaranteed for every game.
Brackets will be available for individuals 9-10, 11-12, 13-14, 15-16, 17-18, 19-35, 36 and up. The Men’s “A” Division is its own category as well.
The event was originally organized by the Downtown Revitalization Project with a goal to generate revenue for local businesses and provide entertainment to attract visitors to Gallipolis. It has featured a variety of attractions in the past. Youtube viral performer Froggy Fresh performed before crowds last year. This year bounce houses and food are being discussed for Saturday events.
In the first year, the event had 65 teams sign up, then 75, then 115 and 2016 had 155. Pugh said the event has grown every year and upcoming years made need to reconsider logistical needs given the size of the event. Last year, the event featured around 180 teams with six players each.
This will be the second year prize money is offered for the men’s “A” division. The event will also utilize a mobile app called Tourney Machine to help organize brackets, schedules and game notifications for the day of the event. Cash prizes, by tournament rules, can not be given to high school or college athletes. Players will be sorted into pools of four teams. The top three teams from each pool will continue on to perform for their respective division titles on Sunday. Three games are guaranteed to every team. The second day of play will feature a single elimination tournament to determine winners.
Through its history, the tournament has attracted teams from across Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky and parts of North Carolina. Pugh has said players from Nashville and Pennsylvania have also expressed interest this year.
For more information, visit TheHoopProject.com or visit The Hoop Project on Facebook.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.