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What is LEST?

It stands for the Lutheran Elementary Schools Tournament and is hosted every February by Concordia University in Portland. The first LEST was held in 1962 with four Portland area schools participating in a boys basketball tournament. A few years later a volleyball competition was added for the girls. As word of the tournament spread, schools from out of the Portland area (Idaho, Montana, California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington) began traveling by train, plane, or bus to participate in LEST. Over the years, additional activities and competitions were added, and there are now more than 15 individual and/or team events in which students can participate. Over 1000 fifth through eighth graders from as many as 21 Lutheran elementary schools from around the northwest now attend LEST every February.

What is the goal of LEST?

The primary goal of LEST is to provide an organized structure to promote fun, skill development, fair play, and fellowship among Lutheran elementary school youth through academic, athletic, and recreational activities. The tournament is always held on the Thursday through Saturday before the third Monday of the month in February.

Who can participate?

All of Hope’s fifth through eighth graders are encouraged to participate in LEST. Students may participate in one or more of the competitions. Most competitions have a certain number of participants that are allowed from each school, so just because a student signs up to participate in an event doesn’t mean that he/she will be chosen to be Hope’s LEST representative in that event. For most events teachers will either chose the participant(s) for a certain event or we will have in-school competitions to determine the students who will represent Hope at LEST.  Also, some events such as basketball and cheerleading are limited to certain grade levels.

Competition Descriptions

LEST Brochure

CU Neighborhood Map and PDX Places

Concordia University In a Nutshell

Campus Dining Information from SODEXO

LEST 2018 Hotels

LEST 2019 Schedule – TBD

Hope School 2019 Schedule: TBD

Basketball Brackets for Boys and Girls: TBD

LEST Drama Schedule: TBD

LEST Knowledge Bowl Schedule: TBD

LEST 2018 Digital Program

Visit official site here for up-to-date schedules, purchase of game passes and general information –

A few notes about LEST:

LEST is a few weeks away and the planning team is continuing to work on all of the details as we get ready for LEST 2018!

A few notes about basketball:

  • We will again have two divisions:  AA and A.  Enrollment in grades 5 through 8 and previous team performance and bracket placement were used to determine the placement of teams in the two divisions for LEST 2018.  Please note that the brackets are still “tentative” and there may still be some changes.
  • All schools will have the opportunity to play at least two games.  If needed, byes in the first round were given to schools that finished in first, second, or third in their division in LEST 2017.
  • Some teams will have the possibility of two games on Friday and/or Saturday, so follow the brackets carefully to determine the possible days and times for games.

A few notes about the schedule:

  • The Opening Ceremony will begin at 3:00 pm on Thursday. This year the entire Knowledge Bowl will be finished before the Opening Ceremony.
  • There aren’t any LEST basketball games Thursday evening, so there won’t be any conflicts between Basketball and Swimming.  Swimming will again be Thursday evening at the David Douglas Aquatic Center in SE Portland.
  • The Robotics competition will be held on Saturday morning in SEAC.  There will be some robotics practice time late in the afternoon on Friday.
  •  The first few rounds of the Chess Tournament will be held on Friday afternoon and the concluding rounds will be held on Saturday morning.
  • Music judging times and locations are still being determined.

LEST Hotel Reminder

If you haven’t already, be sure to book your hotel room. As mentioned previously, again this year we have booked the Embassy Suites, Portland Airport. The room rate for a two double bed suite is $144, which includes a delicious and bountiful complimentary breakfast for all, happy hour drinks and appetizers, indoor pool, and refrigerators/microwaves in each suite. Rooms are reserved under “Hope Lutheran School” and can be reserved by calling the hotel directly at (800) 821-5879 or online at  (block code: HLS) no later than January 25, 2018 or until they are fully booked.


LEST Spirit Days – TBD

All students in preschool through 8th grade are invited to join us in spirit days as we gear up for LEST!