JULY-AUGUST 2015
ISSUE #2015-04
Horseshoe Pitching Newsline
ESPN Sports Science Studies Horseshoe Pitching
NHPA teamwork makes it possible
by Tina Hawkins, 2nd Vice President and Publicity/Promotion Director

With the upcoming live SportsCenter broadcast from the 2015 World Horseshoe Tournament, the people at ESPN wanted to know all about horseshoe pitching. Not just rules and regulations or classes and divisions ... they wanted to KNOW horseshoe pitching from the inside out!

When NHPA 2nd Vice President Tina Hawkins received the decision on Saturday for a trip to California on Monday to do the project, the wheels needed to be set in motion QUICKLY. A whirlwind of planning then ensued!

Who would be comfortable doing the project? Who would do a good job representing the NHPA? Who could go on such short notice? The Council brainstormed a few ideas and decided to ask Austin Bailey of Illinois.

NHPA 5th Vice President Bill Marvin just happened to be standing beside Austin when the decision was made ...

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On camera, ESPN Sports Science explains the full-body suit and the various electrodes and how they will capture information as Austin pitches horseshoe.




Fully outfitted, Austin takes to pitching, while the suit's electrodes capture information and cameras snap images.


Wanting to capture pictures of Austin's shoe hitting the stake, a GoPro camera is attached to backboard.


Getting ready to start the taping, ESPN staffers instruct Austin on where to stand and walk while the opening music plays.

President's Message
Happy Summer! Talking Numbers, Hall of Fame Tourney and World Tournament
by Stu Sipma, NHPA President

I want to take a moment and wish everyone a happy summer. Horseshoe season has officially started throughout the country and I want to thank everyone for their efforts in recruiting new members. Based on our preliminary numbers, it appears our numbers are about the same (maybe a little down) from last year. Congratulations to all the charters in their efforts to go out and seek new members.

The 4th Annual Hall of Fame Invitational was hosted by the Quail Ridge Horseshoe Club (QRHC) this past May at the Hall of Fame building located at Wentzville, MO. Our new "rookie" officer Jerry Smith was the tournament director and in talking to Jerry, it sounds like it was a very successful tournament. I want to apologize to the participants and the QRHC for not being able to attend. The NHPA would like to thank all the sponsors who supported this event, and we look forward to another successful tournament next year.

The 2015 World Horseshoe Tournament will be held July 13-25 at Topeka, Kansas. The host site, the Kansas Expocentre, is located right in downtown Topeka ...

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Proposed Rules Changes:
Review and Update for Convention and Voting
by Dan Sanders, 1st Vice President and Bylaws/Rules/Grievance Director

Only a couple of weeks remain before this year's World Tournament and hopefully each of you has read through the Proposed Rules Changes that will be voted on by the charter delegates. It is important that all members let their charter officers and/or delegates know about their thoughts and opinions for each of these proposed changes before the voting takes place on Sunday, July 19.

Delegate chairpersons are reminded that they should meet with their charter delegates before the Convention to discuss the proposals and how their tentative votes will be cast. The amount of time allotted for the presentation, discussion, and voting will necessarily be limited to no more than about 10 minutes for each of the 12 proposed changes. Even with these time limitations, it will take approximately two hours just for the completion of this single agenda item. So please come prepared to vote, with limited discussion on the floor, so that all items on the convention agenda can be completed in a timely manner.
ESPN to Broadcast Live from World Tournament, Focus on Juniors' Competition
by Tina Hawkins, 2nd Vice President and Publicity/Promotion Director

The Junior and Cadet Championship finals will be the focus of ESPN SportsCenter's July 18 live broadcast from the site of the 2015 NHPA World Tournament in Topeka.

With pre-taped segments, special features, and possible celebrity appearances, the junior competition will take place in the background of the set. Hopes are high that a World Champion might be crowned LIVE during the broadcast in at least one of the divisions - Junior Boys, Junior Girls or Cadets.

The broadcast will begin at 9 a.m. Eastern Time and conclude at noon (8-11 a.m. Central or Topeka time). All NHPA members, fans, family and friends are encouraged to PACK THE STANDS for this television coverage of our annual championship event! Come early to get a seat and to help with scorekeeping and judging!

ESPN coverage of the World Tournament was last done in 1989 when the tournament was in Spearfish, South Dakota.

50th Hall of Fame Banquet to be a Red Carpet Affair
by Tina Hawkins, 2nd Vice President and Publicity/Promotion Director

The 2015 NHPA Hall of Fame banquet will be the 50th such event in NHPA history. In celebration of this historic milestone, there will be a Red Carpet with backdrop to make your banquet photo opportunities more special and memorable! NHPA photographer Ernie Bowdell will be present to take professional red carpet photos. Be sure to wear your "red carpet finery" for this monumental event!

Make plans to attend this historic Hall of Fame Banquet on Sunday, July 19. Tickets are $30 each and will be available at the National Horseshoe Pitchers Foundation (NHPF) booth at the world tournament until July 15.

The banquet will be held in the Sunflower Ballroom at the Capital Plaza Hotel adjacent to the pitching arena.
You Make the Call: World Tournament Judging Clinics to be Offered Again at World Tournament
by Dan Sanders, 1st Vice President and Bylaws/Rules/Grievance Director

World Tournament Judging Clinics will once again be offered during the World Tournament this year. This clinic is unique in that it includes a classroom session where 20 selected True/False - Yes/No questions have been selected and are used as a basis of discussion. These questions/answers deal primarily with situations that are more likely to occur during the course of tournament play. A slide presentation has been developed and several tabletop pit models will be available for demonstrating the use of measuring tools, including the bridge tool -- have you ever heard of that one? All participants will have an opportunity to use each of the measuring tools that are featured.

One of last year's participants commented: "Every pitcher should be required to attend this clinic, whether they plan to become a judge or not! If all pitchers were familiar with these questions/answers, there would be a lot fewer problems out there on the courts."

So, if you have the opportunity, please plan to attend one of these clinics! Look for posted announcements about the times/locations of these free clinics!
A Top 10 List for Those NOT Attending the 2015 World Tournament
by Jerry LaBrosse, 4th Vice President and Charter Communications Director

With our focus on the World Tournament coming up this month, we don't want to forget the NHPA members who are not making their way to Topeka. Even from afar, you can be involved, almost feeling like you're there, and support our sport too.

Since David Letterman has retired, how about we bring back a Top 10 list? Check out the visual list here.
Pitching Etiquette for World and Beyond
by Bill Marvin, 5th Vice President and Regional Director and Court Sanctioning Director

The horseshoe world is looking to the beginning of the 2015 World Tournament. By now the schedule has been set, reservations made, and travel plans are in their final stages. Understandably, this is the most anticipated event of the year. Before the pitching begins, I felt it might be a good time to review the "pitching etiquette" as outlined in the Official Playing Rules, Requirements, Guidelines and Specifications, or better known as the RGS book. Rule 12 covers "Appropriate NHPA Member Conduct."
 
Most of these rules are common sense: be courteous; turn off your cell phone; and no alcohol, tobacco products, or illegal controlled substance allowed for pitchers, scorekeepers or judges. Heckling or other inappropriate gestures meant to distract opponents are not only against the rules, but ...
 
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Looking at the Job of the 3rd Vice President
by Jerry Smith, 3rd Vice President and Sanction League Director, Junior Scholarships

Last year when I was approved to fill the remaining term of David Sidles as 3rd Vice President, I, of course, wondered what the job entailed. I have since come to learn that the job is quite a bit more complicated than one would think. So, what does the Sanction League Director do anyway?

You might think that the World Tournament (WT) is the big item on the plates of all NHPA officers, and I think it is fair to say that statement is mostly correct. I am looking forward to the WT and feel that it is my (our) job to make the WT the showcase of NHPA yearly activities. But, as it turns out, the WT may be a time for me to slow down. This year I have had to learn the processes of league play and the many ins and outs of how this is accomplished.

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Mission Accomplished
An update from last issue's "Attempting to Break a Guinness World Record"
Matt Shanahan and Mitchell Miles

Connecticut horseshoe pitchers Mitchell Miles and Mathew Shanahan report that they successfully played the game of horseshoes for 24 hours and 30 seconds consecutively, fulfilling the requirements for consideration in the Guinness World Record Book. After submitting all evidence, the pair awaits confirmation.

Over the course of their May 23 feat, Mitch and Matt completed a total of 110 games with Matt winning 60 of them. Matt totaled 842 points and Mitch had 703, over the course of all the 10-inning games. Mitch threw 110 ringers and Matt was close behind with 105. "Needless to say, the pits were hard to reach the last couple of hours," said Mitch.

The pair figures with all their pitching, they threw approximately two tons of metal over eight miles.
NHPF Adds Board Members, Addresses Issues at Annual Meeting
by Casey Sluys, President, National Horseshoe Pitchers Foundation

The National Horseshoe Pitchers Foundation (NHPF) Board of Directors has added two new members to its board. They are Ron Deckard of Florida and James Scully of Connecticut. Geographic location was indeed considered when asking these two gentlemen to serve on our board. With the added members we hope to broaden the awareness of the NHPF, thereby increasing participation in our brick purchase program and our fundraising effort to assist in supporting the NHPF Hall of Fame in Wentzville, Missouri.

The NHPF held our annual meeting during the Hall of Fame Invitational tournament with all board members present. A few items that were discussed include:

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Junior Profile: Kevin and Dillon Kyle
Double Ringers: California Bros Bonded In Sport
by Aleena Lepak, Junior Promotion Director

A bond between brothers is one of the strongest there is, no matter the time or their age. This couldn't be truer for two brothers from Bakersfield, California: Kevin and Dillon Kyle. Nine-year-old Dillion and 11-year-old Kevin are close in age and share many of the same interests.

Kevin plays basketball and is in band, recently receiving "most improved" in percussion. Dillon is also in basketball, along with football and track where he recently advanced to the Valley finals for long-distance running. The pair is as involved in Royal Rangers with Kevin earning a Bronze Medal in Adventure, and Dillon a Golden Falcon in Discovery. ...

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Kevin Kyle
Dillion Kyle
Horseshoe Pitching Facts & Folklore
Who is the Greatest Woman? (Part Two)
by Bob Dunn, NHPA Historian

Before we get into the article, I need to make a correction for last issue's article. When talking about our first Women's World Champion, I inadvertently stated that Marjorie Voorhees was from Asbury, New York. That is not correct. Marjorie was from Asbury, New Jersey. Thanks to Anne MacIntyre, for pointing that out to me, and for adding that Marjorie Voorhees is a member of the New Jersey Hall of Fame.

And now back to our story!

The 1970s brought more new stars. Ruth Hangen, a veteran of four world tournaments, with two third-place finishes and one runner-up finish, opened the decade with four straight world championships. That was an unheard of record. Previously, seven times a woman pitcher had consecutive titles but the record stood at just two in a row. Hangen had won four consecutive titles and pitched 79.6 percent ringers in the 1973 event. Was she about to step up to the top of all time?

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"Summertime is always the best
of what might be."

-CHARLES BOWDEN
 
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