Since 1972, Councils have sponsored the Knights of Columbus Free Throw CHAMPIONSHIP for boys and girls between 10 and 14. Three years ago boys and girls age 9 were added to the competition. The Championship is set up to have the contestants compete within their own gender and age group. All competition starts at the Council level. The Winners move on to the District, then Chapter and State Levels.

All your Council needs is to order the Free Throw Championship Kit (#FT-KIT), which contains a couple of basketballs and necessary forms to get started. This is a great way to introduce the Knight’s to your community. The competition between the young adults provides and focuses on discipline required to achieve athletic excellence. It helps to develop character and faith within each young person. In addition, healthy competition helps young people to handle adversity with dignity and grace.

All Councils should make an effort to start a free throw contest. I have talked to a lot of District Deputies that claim they don’t have a Catholic school to draw students from. In order to have a team to represent their Councils. I would like to inform our new District Deputies and all Grand Knights, they don’t have to be Catholic students to represent their Council’s. You have a lot of public schools available to form the Council Free Throw competition, then from there on you have your representative.

The Knights of Columbus Free Throw program is a great way to provide entertainment for the young people in your community. They also learn about the Knight’s and their families.

There are certain steps that need to be followed in the planning stage. 

1.Order the Knights of Columbus (Free Throw Championship Kit) (#FT-KIT) using this form or you can also use the order form in the Council Report Forms Booklet (#1436), or call the Department of Fraternal Service at 203-752-4270..

  1. Schedule a date and location for the event. Contact schools, community centers and youth centers to reserve a basketball court. January is preferred or recommended for Council competition, February for District and Chapter competition and March for State Championship.

You must keep a vigil on the weather, in March, God does a lot of irrigating in March.

  1. Your Free Throw Kit contains posters announcing the contest. Obtain permission to display them in schools, youth and community centers, and church vestibules. Make sure that (ENTRY FORM /SCORE SHEET #1598) are available at these locations. Pre- register contestants whenever possible.
  1. Enlist help from schools. Ask superintendents, principles, and athletic directors to promote your Championship.
  1. See if schools will hold preliminary competitions as part of their intramural or physical education programs. High school students much check, about possible eligibility conflict. Don’t forget recreational and youth basketball programs in your community.
  1. Get your community involved. Use the “sample press release” in the Knights of Columbus Free Throw Championship Rules, Regulations, Tips, and Information Guide (#1928) to announce your Championship.
  1. Be sure to send in the Participation Report Form (FT-1)

This form provides the Supreme Council with information, which enables the contest to continue to be a success.

“Extra Steps to Ensure Success.”

When conducting the Knights of Columbus Free Throw Championship, taking a few extra steps can make the difference between a mediocre event and a great community affair.

Although the Knights of Columbus free Throw Championship seems simple to conduct here are a few simple details to ensure success.

  • If possible, get approval from the superintendent of schools to promote the program. Try to get the local physical education teachers to gain their support for the program.
  • Ask local businesses to show their support by allowing to you to place posters in their stores.
  • Sponsor a pancake breakfast or similar event for all school district level competitors.

Who May Enter?

   All boys and girls between the ages of 9 and 14 are eligible to compete in the Free Throw Championship. Age eligibility is determined by the age of the contestant as of January 1. High school athletes should check with their school athletic director, regarding possible eligibility conflicts. Each youngster may only compete in one Council’s competition.

 Championship entrants compete against youngsters of the same age and gender in six age groups: 9,10,11,12,13 and 14. Competition begins at the Council Level. Each competitor gets three 3 practice shots, then they start with 15 free throws, the one who makes the most shots wins. If there is a tie, a five shot tiebreaker round follows until a winner emerges. Second place is also very important, if there is a tie then a tiebreaker is used for them also until a winner emerges. If for any reason the first place winner is unavailable to compete at the next level then second place winner will replace either he or she and represent the area group.

For year 2018 we are going to add competition for the age groups of 15, 16 and 17-year-old boys and girls. The Knights of Columbus are always trying to work with young people. In the past, when a person became 14 years old they could no longer shoot in the free throw competition. This year we will add a “3” point competition for them.

Basically, the young adults 15,16, and 17 will be shooting “3” balls from “5” different positions around the “3”point circle. It’s a timed event, they have “2” minutes to shoot 15 balls. Scoring is simple, the first “2”shoots from each position is worth “1” point, the third balls from each position is worth “2” points which adds up to 20 points max. If there is a tie once again the tiebreaker will be used to determine the winner. Each contestant will have a total of “5” balls to shoot, “1”from each of the “5” positions. If there is a tie, another “5” balls will be shot the same way until a winner is determined. If a shooter crosses the “3” point line the shot will not count, be aware!!

All contestants must register using the official K of C Free Throw Championship Entry Form/Score Sheet (#1598). All entry forms/score sheets must include a parent’s signature. A copy of their Birth Certificate must accompany all registration forms and should be verified at all levels of competition. The entry form/score sheet also contains spaces to record the contestant’s scores. This form must accompany each champion as he or she progresses through the competition.


For the year 2018, the California State Free Throw Competition will take place at one location for the entire State of California and that is in Fresno.

To all the contestants we will be happy to see all of you and your families, the weather should be beautiful. If there are any questions please feel free to call.

Please drive careful and safe, God Bless


Yours in Christ.

Don Reitz
Free Throw Competition
California State Chairman