It’s an understatement to say the summer of 2020 has been unlike any summer Milwaukee has ever known. Every festival and block party has been canceled. Wisconsin State Fair has turned into a drive-thru affair (with Sporkies being awarded based on how voters think food might taste). The Bucks are prepping for postseason play in “a bubble” in Orlando and the Brewers are playing an abbreviated season in empty stadiums. The city was supposed to get the DNC, which is now pretty much dead in the water.

In short, shit is fucked. As messed up as things are, though, we’re happy to bring you news that HORSE is alive and well in Milwaukee this summer. At least it will be when a new “socially distanced weekly HORSE tournament” kicks off later this month.

Starting August 24 and running through the championship round the week of September 21, “HORSE MKE” will let hoops enthusiasts compete against one another in the time-tested basketball offshoot activity in a safe and socially distant way. Not only will social distancing be practiced throughout the (best two out of three) match-ups, but competitors will have to bring their own NBA regulation-sized ball and masks will be worn if any participant requests they be worn during the games.

There’s a $30 fee to take part in HORSE MKE, with $20 of each entrance fee being donated to BLOC Milwaukee. The remaining $10 of each sign-up fee will go into a prize pool. The top finisher will get a cash prize, “a cool trophy,” and prizes from area businesses. The second place, third place, and loser’s bracket winners will also get cash and prizes from area businesses. Awesome!

If you’re interested in taking part in the inaugural HORSE MKE tournament, sign up here and check out the full list of rules and regulations below.

Round 1 – Week of Aug 24th
Round 2 – Week of Aug 31st
Round 3 – Week of Sept 7th
Round 4 – Week of Sept 14th
Championship – Week of Sept 21st

1. Participants are matched up once a week to play a best 2 out of 3 match of HORSE.

2. Social distancing must be practiced throughout the match.

3. If your opponent wants masks to be worn, then you must both wear masks.

4. Don’t be a jerk.

5. Bring your own NBA full sized ball. No sharing. The NBA Official Game Ball is a size 7 basketball and meets all size and weight specifications set by the NBA with a circumference of 29.5″ (75cm).

6. First round matchups will be determined randomly by utilizing:

7. Higher seed in matchup will be determined by last name, changing from week to week from alphabetical order to reverse alphabetical order.

Round 1 – Higher seed is determined by last name A – Z.
Round 2 – Higher seed is determined by last name Z – A.
Round 3 – Higher seed is determined by last name A – Z.
Round 4 – Higher seed is determined by last name Z – A.
Round 5 – Higher seed is determined by last name A – Z.

8. Whoever is higher seed chooses court where the match takes place. Date and time must be mutually agreed upon. Please be considerate of your opponent’s location and ability to travel.

9. The court must be an outside public court in the city of Milwaukee. School, park, etc. This is a great opportunity to explore and play on different courts.

10. Match Order – Lower seed goes first in game 1. Higher seed goes first in the second game. Lower seed goes first in game 3.

11. After “Round 1” the losers bracket will be determined and executed.

12. All effort must be made by both parties to get the match played in the designated week. Seriously people, it is just HORSE! Get it done! In the unlikely event that a match is not completed in the designated week, the winner will be determined by a coin flip by the commissioner.

13. Matches must be completed by Sunday at 9pm.

14. Winner and score must be emailed to [email protected] by winner after completion.

15. If you take pictures and videos please tag with #horsemke and email to [email protected]

Official HORSE MKE Basics and Rules

H-O-R-S-E is a game played by two people on a basketball court. The idea of the game involves matching baskets. The player who makes shots that the opponent does not duplicate, wins the game. Example: The second person shooting must duplicate the first person’s shot, if it is made. If the second shooter misses, he/she receives the letter “H”. If the first person’s shot is missed, the second shooter may attempt any shot. If his/her shot is made, the opponent is obligated to duplicate it. Each time a shooter misses a shot that he/she attempted to duplicate, a letter is “awarded”. The game continues until one person accumulates 5 letters or H-O-R-S-E.

1. Shots can be attempted from anywhere on the court.

2. Shots may be “slop” shots or “called” shots. “Called” shots must be made as the call indicates or counts as a miss. “Called” shots must be called before the shot. “Called” shots are as follows:

Bank – off backboard and into basket, may touch rim.
Bank Swish – off backboard and into basket without touching rim.
Swish – directly into basket without touching backboard or rim.
Jump Shot – both feet off court when ball is released.
Set Shot – both feet in contact with court when ball is released.
One Bouce – thrown directly on ground from any location on the court.

3. The following type of shots may not be “called shots”:

No dunking
No hook shots
No opposite hand shots
Trick shots involving spins and ball movement prior to release are not allowed.

5. No shot may be attempted twice in a row from the same spot to give the opponent 2 consecutive letters.

6. All games will be self-officiated on the honor system.

7. Match – best 2 out of 3 games.

About The Author

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Co-Founder and Editor

Before co-founding Milwaukee Record, Tyler Maas wrote for virtually every Milwaukee publication (except Wassup! Magazine). He lives in Bay View and enjoys both stuff and things.