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Shootout Tournament returns to Star Valley during the holidays

Hoopsters from Utah, Idaho and Wyoming will gather in Star Valley after Christmas for the third annual Star Valley Shootout Tournament. The court action begins with a noon tip-off on Thursday, Dec. 27 at Star Valley High School.

“We are doing a round robin format this year rather than a bracket,” said Duke Dance, one of the organizers of the tournament. “What that means is that you play everybody.”

Five schools are participating in the Shootout. Games will include varsity boys and girls as well as JV games.

The schools bringing teams include Star Valley; Evanston;  Sugar Salem (Idaho); Ridgeline (Utah); Bear River (Utah) and Judge Memorial (Utah).

Admission to the games is free.

Friday, Dec. 28 tip off is at 10:30 a.m. and games will continue throughout the day. Saturday, Dec. 29 play begins at 9 a.m.

“The Star Valley Shootout is a community run tournament,” said Dance. “A group of community volunteers put this whole thing together and then invites teams to participate. That is one of the things that makes this tournament unique. It is a community run tournament that Dan Dockstader and Ben Critchfield dreamed up and wrote down on a napkin during a lunch conversation.”

According to Dance, the 2018 Shootout will have less teams, but a higher quality of basketball.

“The whole idea of this tournament initially was to bring some of the best teams in the country to play basketball in Star Valley,” he said. “This year we are a step closer to achieving that. The teams we have coming are quality programs with very competitive teams. We have less teams playing, but the caliber of players is better than anything we have seen before in this tournament. The quality of play is going to be much better.”

According to Dan Dockstader, the goal of the tournament is three-fold.

1. The Shootout is designed to bring a holiday basketball tournament in Star Valley that showcases high school athletes.

2. The Shootout creates an economic impact in the valley. The 2017 tournament resulted in a 1 million economic benefit to the area.

“We anticipate a similar impact this year,” said Dance.

3. The Shootout provides yet another avenue of positive exposure for Star Valley.

“SVI broadcasts all the games, we have teams coming in from outside of the area,” said Dance. “All of that provides a level of exposure and promotions for Star Valley. We work with the Afton Tourism Board and the Star Valley Chamber of Commerce in getting the message out about what is here and why visiting Star Valley is a good idea.”

To access information on the tournament, visit The schedule, rosters and live broadcast links will be posted on the tournament website.

According to Dockstader, as the Star Valley Shootout is an example of how a community can pull together to create something extraordinary.

“This is an incredible event,” he said. “Teams come to the valley and experience what we have to offer. Star Valley is a very unique place. It is special. And events like this allow us to share what we have with the world.”