ISSUE #2015-01
Horseshoe Pitching Newsline
Topeka Welcomes You
New website provides travel and tournament information for planning
by Roger Vogel and Terry Cuthbertson, World Tournament Hosts

On behalf of the 2015 World Tournament Steering Committee, we invite you to Topeka for this year's World Tournament! We're excited to have you in the heartland of the United States for an event that promises to be fabulous, happening July 13-25 at the Kansas Expocentre.

In prep for the tournament, we've set up a website that contains all kinds of information -- from qualifying to getting to Topeka to hotels and camping.

 read more
The 2015 tournament committee introduces informational website.
President's Message
Welcome to Newsline; Growth of Membership
by Stu Sipma, NPHA President

Happy Holidays to all and I hope 2015 will be a great year for everyone!

As we move into the electronic era with Newsline, I know some of you are wondering why? As your President the last six years, I can tell you, the cost of publishing and editing Newsline has gone up significantly. With the number of members subscribing decreasing, the NHPA had no choice but to go this direction.

The NHPA Council looks at this as a positive in that using email to send you the Newsline, you will be able to share it with your friends and relatives from distant places, and we are hopeful this may draw interest for people wanting to become members. Wouldn't that be great to grow our membership through Newsline?

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Welcome to New NHPA Officers
The NHPA welcomes Jerry Smith (starting January 1) as our new NHPA 3rd Vice President, replacing Dave Sidles who will be taking over the Secretary/Treasurer position. Jerry will be taking over the duties of Sanction League Director and Junior Scholarships. We look forward to working with Jerry and Dave in their new positions.
NHPA Council Winter Meeting and World Tourney Site Meeting on the Horizon
The annual winter meeting of the NHPA Council is scheduled for February 6-7 in Topeka, Kansas. This year we will be reviewing many topics and exploring new ideas for promotions and membership growth. Other topics of discussion include the 2015 financial budget; World Tournament topics such as schedule and entry fee, number of Divisions, Championship payouts; national sponsorship; and software updates and changes.

Each year, two Council members travel to the World Tournament site to meet with World Tournament team members and assist them with the planning and preparations necessary for hosting this event. This next year, 4th Vice President Jerry LaBrosse and Secretary/Treasurer Dave Sidles will travel to Topeka for the site visit one day before our winter meeting. A report of the site visit will be provided in the next Newsline.
In the News
The Topeka Capital-Journal newspaper is already chronicling the approaching World Tournament. Check out their feature story here.

Reach Horsesehoe Pitchers Where They Are

Click here for Advertising Information
question and answer
Rules and Bylaws Q & A

Does a state have the right to say that your (required) sanctioned tournaments have to be pitched in your respective state in order to play for the "state championship" of your respective state? A person may live just a few miles from the border of a state that has a lot of sanctioned tournaments but in your own state you may have to travel 200 miles or more to find a sanctioned event?
see answer
Hall of Fame Nominations Due January 31
The NHPA is looking for candidates for the NHPA Hall of Fame Award. Qualifications for this prestigious award include being an NHPA member for at least 10 years, and either distinguished outstanding performances in World Tournament Championship play or as a person who has made significant and beneficial contributions to the NHPA.

Any current NHPA member or sanctioned club can make a nomination. You are not allowed to nominate yourself. All nominations are submitted to the HOF screening committee for approval before a name is placed on the ballot. If a nomination is rejected, it will be returned to the sender.

Nominations for this award should be submitted to our NHPA Hall of Fame Director Vicki Winston Read more and find the form on the Hall of Fame tab on the website.
Charter Contributors Sought for Achievement Awards
Each year the NHPA recognizes members for their contributions to the NHPA, their charter and/or their local club. The Council is asking all the charters to provide a list of individuals they believe would be good candidates to receive an NHPA Achievement Award. The selections are made by the Executive Council and the awards will be presented at the World Tournament in Topeka. To see past awardees and obtain a nomination form, visit the Achievement Awards page of the website.
Calling for NHPA Officer Candidates
Elections are open for the positions of President and 5th Vice President. According to NHPA bylaws, candidates for NHPA office must announce their candidacy in writing to be received by the President and the Newsline editor no later than April 1. Incumbents however, must announce their candidacy in the same manner, by February 1.

"I encourage competition," says NHPA President Stu Sipma, "therefore, those of you who are interested in one of these positions, please let me know."
NHPA Offering Refund for Extended Newsline Subscriptions
Action required by April 1
As the NHPA is no longer printing Newsline, we are offering a refund for any unfulfilled portion of your print-version subscription. But it requires action from you prior to April 1. Requests must be made in writing, either by mail or email, to the NHPA office. No phone calls.

The amount refunded will be determined by NHPA records and the NHPA Secretary/ Treasurer, minus a $1 per household postage and processing fee. After the refund deadline, the NHPA will make a donation to the National Horseshoe Pitchers Foundation (NHPF) using unclaimed refunds.

Send your refund requests, along with a valid mailing address, to: NHPA, 17259 Jefferson Street, Omaha, NE 68135 or email NHPA Secretary/Treasurer Dave Sidles.
Proposed Rules Changes in Process
by Dan Sanders, 1st Vice President and Bylaws/Rules/Grievance Director

By the time you receive this, the deadline for submitting Proposed Rules Changes (PRC) to the RGS Book (December 31) will have passed. Our Rules Committee is now processing the received PRCs and will be discussing/voting on which ones should be decided by the voting charter delegates, at this next NHPA World Tournament Convention in Topeka, Kansas. The PRCs that have been selected, and also approved by the NHPA Council for delegate voting, will be published in Newsline and on our NHPA website, several months in advance of the convention. Thus, all members will have an opportunity to discuss the proposals and express their opinions to their state/charter officers and delegates who will be voting at the WT Convention. I would recommend that all charters publish these PRCs in their newsletters so that their members will have the opportunity to know about these proposed changes.
Publicity/Sponsorship Committee Launches, Looking for Input
by Tina Hawkins, 2nd Vice President and Publicity/Promotion Director

A new Publicity/Sponsorship Committee is now in place with contributing members from all age and gender groups, representing all areas of the country - from Vermont to Arizona.

Committee members are: Chairperson Tina Hawkins, NHPA 2nd Vice President; Steve Summerlin, Michigan; Mike Brown, Vermont; Dalton Rakestraw, Illinois; Debra Odum, Texas; Amy Miller, Ohio; and Barb Carson, Arizona.

A lot of groundwork must be completed before approaching a company for support. The NHPA has to have viable offerings - in other words, sponsors want a return on their investment - to make supporting our organization worthwhile. Contrary to popular belief, the money is NOT just "out there for the asking!" Corporations expect to reap benefits for their dollars. Sponsorship is not simply a "donation." In the business world, it is ADVERTISING.

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Welcome to the First Edition of Newsline Online
Get connected and spread the word, connecting others
 by Jerry LaBrosse, 4th Vice President and Charter Communications Director

Welcome to the first edition of Newsline online! Thank all of the charters that have supplied us with their email lists. You are doing your members a great service by connecting them to the best horseshoe publication on the planet, free of charge!

If your charter hasn't yet supplied their membership list, it's not too late to get them connected. As NHPA members, they have a vested interest in association happenings. Recipients always have the option to opt out and unsubscribe. And, as you likely know, the NHPA will not share, otherwise distribute or share any members' email addresses. So, I encourage you to send all email addresses, without explicit permission from each member. Email lists can be sent directly to our Newsline editor Sara Otto. Individual subscriptions are also welcome via the online form.

At the bottom of every issue of Newsline, there is a link to forward, subscribe, and unsubscribe, so please forward this Newsline to others who do not receive it, and encourage to them to get connected.
Court Sanctioning and Patches "In the Mail"
by Bill Marvin, 5th Vice President and Regional Director and Court Sanctioning Director

All courts must be re-sanctioned in 2015. Regional Directors will be contacting every site to validate and ensure that all they are up to specifications.  Please reach out to your Regional Director to help make this task as seamless as possible. Regional Directors are a valuable asset to each charter and perform many jobs behind the scenes. If you have a specific question, they are your first point of contact.

I am in the process of mailing the 2015 tournament patches. It is awesome just how many sanctioned events are held throughout the country. Be sure and thank your local tournament directors. These folks are hard-working people who are dedicated to horseshoe pitching. Get your tournaments in early to qualify for the World Tournament.
TEAMS Conference Results in Bids by Potential World Tourney Host Sites
On November 10-13, NHPA President Stu Simpa attended the 2014 TEAMS (Travel, Events, and Management in Sports) Conference in Las Vegas. Stu has attended such before, looking forward to them and believing they benefit the sport. Not only do these events draw interest in sites bidding, but also raise awareness amongst the various sports marketing groups from all over the United States that horseshoes are played at a competitive level.

Many sites are still showing interest in hosting the World Tournament, even sites who have hosted the event in the past want to pursue the event again. These sites include Charleston, West Virginia; Knoxville, Tennessee; and Reno, Nevada. March 15 is the deadline for sites to submit bids for hosting the 2017 tournament.
Junior Profile: Christina Heinritz
Horseshoes: It's in Her Blood
Junior Christina Heinritz
by Aleena Lepak, Junior Promotion Director

Along with her grandpa, dad, two uncles, two older brothers, older sister, and cousins, Christina Heinritz from Pewaukee, Wisconsin, is an avid pitcher. Pitching horseshoes is tradition for the Heinritz family. Growing up seeing only her grandpa, dad and uncles pitch, she thought horseshoes was just a sport for men. Christina tried it with her dad and siblings in their backyard, had fun, and realized this was something she wanted to pursue. Christina pitched in her first tournament, which happened to be the Wisconsin State Tournament, when she was seven years old.

Winning her first title, 2010 Wisconsin Cadet State Champion, Christina started with a double flip using Imperials but has moved to a single flip with Snyder EZ Flips. She has placed second at State for Junior Girls ...

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Judging Clinics Opportunities Abound
Materials and instruction available in various charters, more planned
by Dan Sanders, 1st Vice President and Bylaws/Rules/Grievance Director

Ever wanted to be an official tournament judge? Or ever wanted to just see some rulings on some scoring scenarios? Well, pitchers are being offered exactly those things at Playing Rules and Judging Clinics.

As you may recall from an earlier Newsline article, Judging Clinics were offered at the 2014 World Tournament (WT) at Buffalo, New York, and were well attended and deemed to be very successful! Since the WT, several of these clinics have been held by several of our charter 'teachers/instructors' (some during state tournaments) and others will be offered during 2015 and before our next WT in Topeka, Kansas.

It's likely easier to offer these clinics during club meetings or at promotional events, such as fairs, rather than at a tournament where most people are either pitching or needed for scorekeeping, judging, keeping stats, etc.

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Hall of Fame Committee Says Goodbye to Reno, Welcomes Elmore
Standard operating procedures changed
by Vicki Winston, Hall of Fame Committee Chairperson

Not too long after the World Tournament, I received a letter from Ottie Reno stating that due to health reasons, he was resigning his position as a member of the NHPA Hall of Fame Committee. Ottie has served on the committee for many years and was a source of much information and knowledge, even writing several books about our sport. He will be missed, and I thank him for his many years of service to the NHPA as a member of this important committee.

I am pleased to announce that Joan Elmore, member of the Hall of Fame and repeat Women's World Champion, has accepted NHPA President Stu Sipma's appointment to the HOF committee. Our committee is now back to its full complement of 15 voting members.

As the chair of the HOF committee, I have been discussing some changes to our standard operating procedures ...

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NHPF Promotes, Advances the Game of Horseshoes
An introduction to the Foundation
by Casey Sluys, President, National Horseshoe Pitchers Foundation

The National Horseshoe Pitchers Foundation (NHPF) Board of Directors would like to welcome all the NHPA members who have not had the opportunity to read the printed version Newsline. For those not familiar with the NHPF, it was established in 1996 as a vehicle to raise funds to build the National Horseshoe Pitchers Hall of Fame and Museum. This YouTube video provides a history of the Hall of Fame and Museum.
Now that it is built and operational, we also thank the Quailridge Horseshoe Club of Wentzville, Missouri, for "living" there and maintaining the facility. Without the fine people in that club, it would be a difficult task to maintain.  Please take a few minutes to glance at our website and familiarize yourselves with the Foundation and its goals.

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From the Statman:
State Championship Updates
by Mel Yockstick, NHPA Statistician

The NHPA State Championship Tournaments are now concluded for 2014. With all stats in, the Recognitions Page on the NHPA website has been updated. The page lists men with 10 or more state tourney wins; women with at least five wins; elders, boys, and girls with three or more wins; and cadets with two or more.

Look for these new names on the website listing, as they entered the list with their 2014 State Championships:

Cindy Hoffman, Pennsylvania
Trisha Hoshaw, Arizona

Denise Daly, Illinois 

Ted Sprinkle, Indiana
Sig Armitage, Minnesota
Paul Jennings, South Carolina
Ron Button, Wisconsin

Kevin Kyle, California
Matthew Medina, Colorado
Ryan Schepers, Missouri
Brian Nussbaum, Wyoming
Austin Byram, Alabama
Brandon Pearl, New Hampshire
Gavin Barteau, New York
Jeffery Haufschild, South Dakota
Kyler Magnus, Washington
Horseshoe Pitching Facts & Folklore
Who is the Greatest?
by Bob Dunn, NHPA Historian

A common discussion when and where horseshoe pitchers gather, especially at World Tournaments, is "Who is the best horseshoe pitcher to have played the game?" That conversation is fueled by the presence of today's Alan Francis and his incredible record.

As NHPA Historian, I am authorized to write about the subject, however I may not be qualified or capable to make the final decision. The difficulty in all this is to evaluate various pitchers who never competed against each other, and that we never personally witnessed all the pitchers in competitive play.

In order to do this right, we need to go back to the beginning in order to list all the great ones. There have been several great ones and just maybe the greatest player pitched back in the 1920s or 1930s or 1950s.

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For a Healthy Pitch
Stay in shape during the "off season" for a general (and horseshoe) health
by Debby Michaud, RN

Winter is here - great for all of those horseshoe pitchers in the southern states where the season is just ramping up, but NOT as good for those pitchers in the northern parts of the country where, to find the horseshoe courts, you need to plow or shovel and dress up in four layers. Maybe you are lucky enough to be able to pitch indoors in the winter but, often, that is just one day per week.
So how do we stay "in shape" during all of those months when we are more often IN the house and not OUTSIDE of the house? We need to stay active, not only to alleviate boredom, but to keep our bodies in shape, AND to keep our hearts and legs in shape.

You may have read of the huge health concern in our country - it is the rapid increase in the diagnoses of pre-diabetes, diabetes and obesity. If you have NOT read that, then read it here because it is a big problem. If they are not treated ...

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Charter Chatter
News From Across the States

Lucky to Have Indoor Pitching at Four Locations
by John Wellsand

Even though winter is upon us in the Hoosier State, we don't just hang up our horseshoes, we take them inside! We are lucky to have four excellent indoor pitching facilities that host NHPA sanctioned tournaments.  Visit Indiana this winter and pitch with us at these locations:
  • Shelby Lions Club, Lake County
  • Stroh Horseshoe Palace, Lagrange County
  • Whitley County Horseshoe Club
  • Kokomo Indoor Courts, Howard County
Regretfully, we all lost a great man and great pitcher, Doc Rice, on September 27. Doc was a Men's State Champion three times, and was always there to help at our tourneys. He will be deeply missed by all of us.
Points Challenge Winners and New Courts
by Diana Ratliff

Congrats to the MDHPA 2014 Points Challenge Winners: Vicki Kunde, first; John "Chief" Sequoyah, second; and Jim Reabe, third. They were awarded $100, $75 and $50, respectively, for their participation in Maryland sanctioned events in 2014.  Chief deserves special mention, as this is the fourth consecutive year that he has placed in the top three.

We are pleased to report that 12 new courts have been sanctioned at the Kent Island Elks Lodge (location of the 2014 MD Senior Olympics horseshoe pitching). Special thanks to Tommy Thombs and his Elks crew for their work on the courts.  We also send out a big thank you to Dan Carter, Delaware Regional Director, for his time and efforts in getting them sanctioned.

Hall of Famers and First Female President
by Gene Gross

Over Labor Day weekend, at our annual banquet, three people were inducted to our state Hall of Fame. Honored were Sig Armitage for pitching accomplishments, Dick David as a promoter, and Glen Werk as a founder. Dale and Lenny Lipovsky were awarded lifetime memberships for their 50 years.  Dale was just a kid when he first joined.

That same weekend, we held our annual meeting and here, Rick Wright completed his very successful nine-year term as our President. Our new President is Cathy Ziemann. She is the first woman to lead our great state organization.
From the Editor
by Sara Otto, Newsline Editor

Thanks for reading this first issue of Newsline in its new electronic version. Please know this is a work in progress and the publication will continue to evolve and grow, as members and officers see this idea become reality. Look for regular features, photos and more.

The next issue will be out the first week of March, so the submission and advertising deadline is February 10. Anyone is welcome to submit material.

I also invite your comments, ideas, input and feedback -- good or bad -- and I'll continue to make this YOUR publication, your connection to the NHPA. Thanks for your patience and support!
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Horseshoe Pitching


NHPA Newsline is the official publication of the National Horseshoe Pitchers Association. The contents may not be reproduced in any manner without prior permission of the Editor. Six issues are published annually on a bimonthly basis. Subscriptions are free to members of the NHPA and other interested parties. Changes of email address can be sent directly to newsline@horseshoepitching.com.

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