Ringer Digest
Nov/Dec 2017 
A Charter of the NHPA
Official Publication of the Minnesota Gopher State Horseshoe Pitchers' Association
               Happy Holidays 
                      from your MGSHPA Board of Directors
  (L-R)      Robin Constance-South VP,  Ann Hagman-Sec/Treas/Mem Director
 Rick Wright- President, Janet Larson-North VP, Jerry LaBrosse-NHPA Regional Director 
Editor's note:
Beginning in 2018, the timing of the Ringer Digest will be adjusted. We will be publishing 5 regular issues plus a special State Tournament Edition. The issues will be; Jan-Feb-Mar, April-May, June -July, Aug-Sept, and Oct-Nov-Dec. The deadline for submitting material will be the 15th of the month before the issue. Anyone can submit to this Digest. If you have any questions about your Digest,  Call me !
Jerry LaBrosse, Editor

Rick Wright
From the Prez

Hey Everyone,
    I hope all you fellow pitchers are enjoying  a little down time and gearing up to enjoy some quality time with your families this holiday season.  
    Let's begin the 2018 season off with a new and fresh start. We as a board would like to jump start your 2018 season by sharing information with your clubs and having some long overdue discussion. We are planning another summit meeting for March 24th, 2018 at 10 am at the VFW in Forest Lake. Lunch will be served. I would like to see a League Director, Tournament Director, President or Vice President to represent their club and attend this important meeting.
    We're going to be hosting an exciting promotional event on June 2nd in Forest Lake. It will be a sanctioned doubles tournament where a current member teams up with a non-member. Watch for all the details to follow in the January Digest, and start thinking about who your partner is going to be. We all need to put some effort into recruiting new members, and what better way than to introduce them to sanctioned pitching than with a tournament. It will be a fun and challenging event.
    Don't forget, there are winter tournaments in Upsala, Becker, and Isanti going on every month. Check the announcements in this digest for details, and also check Minnesotahorseshoes.com  It is highly suggested that you sign up early.
    I hope you all have a very happy holiday season, and I look forward to seeing you on the courts.

2017 Fall MGSHPA Membership Meeting Minutes
Sunday, Sept 3 rd, 2017
Attendance 47 members
          Officers and Directors present, Rick Wright, Bonnie Holland, Jerry LaBrosse, Marlys Timm, April Lynch, Robin Constance, Shawn Warnemunde, Janet Larson, Joe Mueller, Josh Olson, Rob Hagman and Gordy Schmidt.
Not present were: Dustin Dahl, Denny Keogh and Jim Woods.
          President Rick Wright called the meeting to order at 12:41 pm. A motion was made to approve the minutes of the spring meeting held at Forest Lake as published in the June digest. Motion was made, seconded and passed.
          Bonnie Holland gave the financial report with a balance of $9500 and $1400 in savings. Motion made to accept the report, and passed.
          We were honored to have George & June Nick in the audience who received their lifetime member awards. Standing Ovation!!!
          All officers present gave their reports. Highlites were Janet Larson reported that Alex started a Junior League with 14 participants.
          Joe Mueller said that we had a lot of nominations for our awards this year and that plans for painting our Hall of Fame trailer were moving forward.
          April Lynch reported that the junior party went well and that 20 kids participated. She also mentioned that Forest Lake had 21 kids in the junior program this year. Rick added the way to keep the kids involved was to keep and make things interesting.
          Josh Olson, our statistician, thanked all the tournament directors for getting their results in on a timely fashion.
          Jerry LaBrosse, Regional Director, reported that the 2017 World Tournament went very well. He stated some MN statistics, and that MN pitchers did exceptionally well. At the annual meeting,there were a few bylaw changes. The big one was that the dues will be raised by $8.00, which means that the Minnesota dues for 2018 will be $38.00. The 2018 world tournament will be held in Florence, South Carolina July 9th - 22nd. The 2019 world tournament was awarded to Wichita Falls, Texas. In NHPA officer elections, Rob Hagman was elected to the 4th VP position vacated by Jerry LaBrosse. Laurie Lampkin KY, was voted into the 2nd VP position over incumbent Tina Hawkins,OK.
          The 2018 State SinglesTournament will be hosted by Pine City & the Forest Lake Club. Rick reported that it went well for the first year and is looking forward to 2018. We are currently taking bids for the 2019-20 State Tournament.
          Ray Pierce stated that the Hibbing Horseshoe Club is excited and ready to host the 2017 State Doubles on Sept 16th-17th, and still had room for more teams.
          There was no old business. In new Business, Rick made a proposal to reduce the number of Districts from 6 to 2. Reasons given included declining membership numbers, and also the lack of interest to fill the current district VP positions. Currently MN has 26 clubs. By using US Hwy 94 as a divider, it would split the state in half and balance out the number of clubs in each district. It was felt that 2 VP's could handle this. Janet Larson would be our new North VP and Robin Constance is our South VP. After 10 min. of discussion, the proposal passed. Rick then made a motion that the VP's salary of $100 be raised to $200, and it passed.
          A proposal was made by Rick to change a by-law requiring that proposed changes to the CB&L be publicly announced 60 days prior to the next state meeting. He proposed changing it to a 30 day notice requirement. Reasoning for this change is that with the communication technology available to us today, 30 days is more than ample time to make such an announcement. The proposal passed.
          The president then stated that he was completing Cathy's term as President and was seeking another term as President. He was elected by acclamation. It was announced that after 14 years of service, Bonnie Holland was stepping down as sec/treas. After great applause, Rick thanked Bonnie for her service and said she would be greatly missed. Ann Hagman was approved to finish Bonnie's term.
          In closing statements, Rick gave directions to our banquet venue and encouraged everyone to attend and have fun.
Meeting adjourned 1:37pm. Thank you to Ann Hagman for taking meeting notes.

Robin Constance
Southern Side VP

Hi all
     Another successful and fun summer horseshoe season has been completed. Many new faces are seen at the various horseshoe pits around the state and within the horseshoe world. But, alarmingly we seem to be losing some of the older standbys who have been staples in the horseshoe community for years and years. Every time one of our senior pitchers either quits or passes we are losing a part of the family. This is unfortunate but has always been the way things are.
So, in order to replace these pitchers we need to grow our horseshoe community by adding new pitchers by whatever ways we can. We have gained many of our newest members through the bowling community or by golfers talking about the low cost of horseshoe pitching as they enjoy rounds of golf. Thus, whenever you are around groups of people whether at family gatherings, at work or any other function where people gather, talk about horseshoes. As we do the events for the kids we learn that not many of them immediately join leagues but maybe later on they will pick of the game by remembering some of the minor successes and fun they had at these teaching events.
     Now for the rest of us remember that there are now tournaments throughout the winter in Isanti, Becker, and Upsala. Check the Tournament Schedule in the Ringer Digest or on the website to see when these events are taking place.
Happy pitching and enjoy the upcoming Holidays.
North VP
Janet Larson

Some Teachers Never Stop Teaching

      Phil Swenson is one of those teachers.  Having taught Industrial Education and Driver's Education until 1995, today Phil teaches Junior and Senior High School students, the game of horseshoes.  They are part of the Alexandria High School Lifetime Activities classes.  He has been doing this for at least eight years.  In the past he has had assistance from Bob Olson and Jerry Zastrow, both members of our Alex League, Bob was also a former teacher.  This year Phil handled the project on his own.  The kids usually come down to the courts several times in the spring and then different groups will come in the fall.  This project has seen a steady growth over the years, this fall there were 3 classes with approximately 30 kids in each class.   Do the math, that's 90 young people that have been introduced to our sport this fall!  Phil wasn't introduced to horseshoes until after retirement and he doesn't want these guys and gals to have to wait that long to discover this game.  Some of you may recall that Phil was the recipient of the MN Rookie of the year award in 2008, at the age of 72.  You can spot Phil in the middle of this group, wearing the red jacket.  Phil also shared a picture of Brock Nohre, one of the students, admiring his double ringers.  Keep up the good work Phil!  We hope you never tire of sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm for the game. 

     Regional Director Report
        by Jerry LaBrosse
I would like to thank the Tournament Directors for submitting their 2018 tournament information in a timely manner. We have all the info for tournaments through April for now, with more coming in the January Ringer Digest.
Have you got plans to attend the 2018 World Tournament In Florence, NC ? Do you have the required 4 events to enter? If not, you are lucky to have a wide variety of tournaments to choose from during the fall and winter months. Check the tournament listings in your Digests, and also on the MGSHPA website. 
  NHPA Rules Proposal Deadline Change  by Gary Roberts,NHPA 1st VP
I would like to make sure all members of the NHPA are aware that rules proposals will be voted on at the 2018 NHPA Convention in Florence , South Carolina . In order to get a rules proposal on the agenda, the proposal must be submitted to Gary Roberts at gbroberts5542@yahoo.com no later than November 30, 2017 . Proposals can be mailed to Gary at 638 Salem Cave Road , Beaver , Ohio 45613 . Proposals should include current wording, proposed wording, and the reason you feel the rule is needed. Once the proposals are received, they will be reviewed by the Rules Committee and those recommended will be forwarded to the NHPA Executive Council for consideration. Finalized rules proposals will then be published in Newsline and will be included in the 2018 delegate packets. The delegates at the 2018 NHPA Convention will vote on each proposed rule. If you have any questions concerning this, please contact Gary Roberts at 740-835-1925.

Helen pitching at World
Memories from the State Tourney
by Helen Hawkinson-Mike

    This year our Forest Lake Horseshoe Club jointly with the Pine City Horseshoe Club took on the daunting task of running the tournament.  However, we found that it wasn't all that bad, in fact, most of it was enjoyable.  Rick Wright was chief organizer and purchaser and Eric and Jessica Dehkes were a huge help with running the kitchen.   Walking tacos were added to the menu and were a big hit.  It was nice to see both clubs volunteering and working together for the benefit of everyone who loves the sport of horseshoes.  

    I was asked to contribute a bit about my experience this year at the tournament.  I can honestly say that the women who participated this year were both professional, competitive and fun.  Although I have competed for the past 5 years at the state level, this year I got to know the women better, both on and off the courts.  I enjoyed each and every game.  However, one thing stands out in my mind the most.  I personally played in what I would call a "shoot out" in the finals against Sara Otto and Janet Larson.  Everyone in my class was finished except us.  The type of pressure I felt in those two games was something I have never experienced before.  The games were nail biters (at least for us), but in the end even though I ended up losing, I felt as though I had won because I played the best I possibly could have during the games.  The spectators applauded our finish and I know we will meet again on the courts - maybe in a different venue - on a different date - but we will meet again.  They are great competitors and I am lucky to call them my friends.  

Contributed by Helen Hawkinson-Mike
          Minnesota Women at the 2017 World Tournament in St George, UT
       (L-R)   Sara Otto, Cyndi Stepka, Marlys Timm, Kayla Kvacik, Janet Larson, Pat Stumpf   
                                   State Doubles Report
                                                    by Ray Pierce Jr

Stat Man Josh
Let me start off by saying THANK YOU to ALL Tournament Directors and League Directors for getting their information to me in a timely fashion, it makes the whole process much better for everyone involved.
 Reminder to all League Directors :  send your final league results to Jerry Smith,   leagues@horseshoepitching.com  
  Jerry  is the NHPA Sanctioned League Director and will take care of all the final stats and report them to NATSATS. And PLEASE make sure all the name spellings and sanctioned numbers are correct when reporting to Jerry Smith or myself. Wayne at NATSTATS does a very good job to making sure we have all the names, and sanctioned numbers correct, so please make his job easier.
 If anyone discovers that they haven't been credited for a tournament or a league in NATSTATS, contact me and I will make sure you receive Natstats credit for that event.

Best regards from the STATS OFFICE,

Upsala Fall Recap
by Josh Olson

     Saturday October 14th, we held the Upsala Fall Tournament, it was a crappy day outside so it was perfect for the Fall kickoff this Fall/Winter Months in Minnesota. We had 30 pitchers from all over the State, 2 out of state pitchers, well 1, and a new MN pitcher. Paul Anderson came from West Fargo to pitch in another Tournament this year in Minnesota, Paul has made a trip to Minnesota quite a few times this summer and plans to hit Upsala when he can. We also have a new Member that came from the Big Apple, New York. EJ Messa, EJ lives in Dalton, MN which is over by Alexandria, and he is all ready to pitch in Minnesota!
     The Morning shift was kicked off with the C and D Classes, followed by the B and A Class Pitchers. Class D played a 6-person round robin of 50 shoe games, and the other 3 classes played a 8-person round robin with 40 shoe games. Class D Winners were Bill Nelson-3rd Place, Paul Olson-2nd Place, and Ken Giles-1st Place. Paul and Ken were tied going into the 5th and final game, but after starting the 5th game, Paul had experienced some pain in his lower leg and foot area, and decided to forfeit the game. Ken would play against a pacer to finish of the game. Class C was close all the way to the end, the top 3 pitchers all finished 6-1 and the winner would be determined by Ringer percentage. Paul Anderson (ND) would take 3rd, Joe Raycraft-2nd Place, and Al Woida, would edge Joe by 3 ringers to take 1st Place.
    The 2nd Shift would begin on time with Class B and A. Class A was the only class scheduled to be handicapped. Class B had a 4-way tie for 2nd place, with Brian Wipper edging out at 3rd place, and Ben LaCoursiere taking 2nd. Marlys Timm would only lose 1 game all day and would win Class B! Class A was very tough from the 1st pitch. Bob Knudtson was entered after coming off of a fantastic end of the summer run of winning tournament after tournament racking up a stack of points for the Pitcher of the Year contest, Bob would add 4 more points by taking 3rd place after being tied with Mel Larson for 2nd, Mel would edge Bob by 2 ringers in the tie breaker of High/Over average. Henry Greenwaldt would be crowned Class A Champion, Henry would go 6-1 and averaged 57.50%, Josh Olson had high average with 60.71%. THANK YOU everyone that signed up to pitch in the Tournament. The Next Upsala tournament is scheduled for December, Ron and Paula Mead will be running the Holland Classic on Saturday Dec 2nd. SIGN UP NOW!!

     I would like to make a special Thank you to Mel and Joyce Larson for everything that they Do before and after ALL tournaments that go on in the Upsala rec Building if it wasn't for them we wouldn't have what we have there! THANK YOU, Mel and Joyce

           Bob Knudtson, Henry Greenwaldt, Mel Larson

          Brian Wipper, Marlys Timm, Ben LaCoursiere

                    Joe Raycraft, Al Woida, Paul Anderson

                 William Nelson, Ken Giles, Paul Olson

Justice Martin
Rockford Ringers Horseshoe League Wrap Up
by Marlys Timm

    The Rockford Ringers Horseshoe Club held its awards and pot luck on Sept 13 at Riverside Park.
    Tuesday morning  league winners were 1st Marlys Timm, 2nd Len Anderson, 3rd Mike Littell, 4th tie Mary Denzin & Glen Berglund. Hi average, hi game over average & most improved was Len Anderson. Marlys Timm had hi game while Gary Klingelhoets was named rookie of the year. Sportsmanship patch, voted by pitchers went to 12 yr old cadet pitcher Tyler Lazenby.  
Wednesday league winners were 1st Mike Maguire, 2nd Lori Klein, 3rd Dave Borscheid, 4th Debi Pool. Hi average went to Dave Borscheid, hi game to Mike Maguire and hi game over average to Lori Klein. Most improved was Pete Klein and Mike Wright was named Rookie of the year. Sportsmanship patch winner for the second consecutive year was Merry Lanars.
    Rockford Ringers had 15 new club members this year with a total membership of 33. New members included the Littell family, Mike, Daryl, Michael, and Mike's other three grandsons 11 yr old  Tyler Condon, 12 yr old Tyler Lazenby & 10 yr old  Justice Martin , also Gary Klingelhoets, Mike Timm, Ron Heacock, Jim Schmitt, Milo Vail, Mike Wright, Renee Knapp, Jay Minchow, & Jack Bacon.
    Rockford Ringers sent 10 members to the MGSHPA State tourney Labor Day weekend at Genola with Glen Berglund capturing a 2nd place in Elders Class G, Mike Littell 1st place Elders Class F, Daryl Littell 3rd in Men's Class I, Tyler Condon 1st place Cadet Class A, Tyler Lazenby 2nd place Cadet Class A, & Justice Martin going into state with a 3.24% average and taking 1st place in Cadet Class B going 7-0 while averaging a whopping 20% ringers. Justice averaged higher than the Championship Classes at state.
Marv & Marlys Timm each placed fourth in their respective classes while Ron Fadden placed sixth and Mary Denzin seventh. More information on horseshoe may be found at www.minnesotahorseshoes.com

How I learned of Horseshoe Pitching      by Tim Ahles
It was the summer of 1976. I was 39 years old and had been employed at the Northwestern Bell Telephone Co for the past ten years. Each summer, the St. Paul division of the company treated its local employees and their families to a picnic gathering at Harriet Island , located along the Mississippi River in downtown St. Paul . For several years, my friend, Larry, and I took a set of horseshoe stakes, pounded them into the sod on the island, and played a few games between the two of us. We did this for about three years until a police car stopped and informed us that, for safety reasons, we were not to continue playing in that city park.
Normally, at other times beside the picnics, we only played horseshoes amongst ourselves in our back yards. Then, one day at work, Larry mentioned that he had seen a flyer that the Ramsey County Fairgrounds was holding a horseshoe pitching tournament. It would be a good test to see how good we were and maybe we could win a prize.
We called the telephone number on the flyer and spoke to a Mr. Bob Lindberg, the tournament director. When we mentioned that we had no previous horseshoe pitching experience, he said that we should pitch 100 shoes in our back yard and report back to him as to how many ringers we each had thrown. We pitched the 100 shoes and I counted 17 ringers for myself and Larry posted 30 ringers. Larry and I reported our ringer percentages to Bob and we were placed in the tournament. When we received the schedule in the mail, we learned that the two of us would be playing in different classes.
We had no idea that the tournament was not part of the Ramsey County Fair but was simply hosted by a local horseshoe pitching club that happened to have its courts located next to the Fair Grounds and conducted its tournament during the Fair. The tournament was large, a two-day event held on Sat & Sun. Larry was to play in Class I on Saturday morning and I was placed in Class Q that was scheduled to play on Sat evening from 8pm to midnight . Larry won four games and finished in fifth place. I went 7-0 with a 23% ringer average and won 1st place and received a nice trophy and a few dollars.
During the tournament, we learned that there were many horseshoe pitching clubs throughout the state that were organized much like winter bowling leagues. And, that many of the clubs also hosted similar horseshoe pitching tournaments during the summer. Larry and I recruited a couple of other telephone company workers to form a team and we joined the St. Paul-Ramsey County Horseshoe Pitching Club in the following year.
At that time, the Ramsey Co, Club had a separate women's league. The men's leagues were organized as Class A, B, & C. New players were placed in Class C. As new players improved, they could be invited to move up to a higher level class. After, a couple of years, my average did improve and I was invited to move up to Class B.   My teammates wanted to keep our team together and remain in Class C. But, I wanted to play against some of the better players and improve my average even more, so, I made the move. My teammates decided to quit and our telephone company team dissolved.
During my 40 years of pitching in the Ramsey County Club, I have learned some of its history. The club was formed in 1935.   A new player must "try out" and then, according to his ability, be seated in Class A, B, or C. The leagues met on Mon, Tue, Wed, and Thur nights. During those early years, the club would report the weekly results to the St. Paul Pioneer Press Newspaper to be published, as did the softball and bowling leagues.
It is my belief that life was simpler, in the 30's/40's, and horseshoe pitching was an easy and an inexpensive form of sporting activity. Most families had just one automobile, few had cabins or the income for get-away vacations, and the availability of other forms of sporting or outside activities was limited.  Horseshoe pitching is for the young, the old, and for those who do not have the athletic ability for other games. So, I hope to be on the courts, next year, at the age of 80.
RIP   William V. Larson
Bill transitioned on Oct 18th 2017 at the age of 95. He was a well reknowned class A pitcher and class A guy. 
  From the Bill Larson Family
         I would like to thank the MSGSHPA for the lovely bouquet of flowers, Bill loved horseshoes and he wanted a pair in his casket and I made sure his wish came true, thanks again!
The Basics of Horseshoepitching     by Harry Fillafer

In September of this year, Harry Fillafer again conducted an "Introduction to Horseshoes" class for the Moorhead High School students. This is Harry's 28th class he's conducted since 2004. Harry wants to thank Ted Taylor and Linda Bush, who assisted on the courts with the students. The students were awarded trophies and medals donated by Harry.
      It is Harry's hope that he is planting the seeds for these students to come back later in life and enjoy the sport.

  Moorhead High Schoolers 

Alexandria Finishes Another Successful Season
by Janet Larson

Regular Season winners, Left to Right, Gary Boots and Jerry Werk 1st place, Alan Larson and (not pictured) Mike Wegener 2nd place, and the 3 person, 3rd place Team Jerry Larson, Phil Swenson and Kelsey Nordick.

Alexandria Club singles tournament winners were Class A 1st place Janet Larson, 2nd Alan Larson.  Class B 1st place Mike Edwards, 2nd place Jerry Werk.  Class C 1st place Kelsey Nordick and (not pictured) 2nd place Kevin Richmond Sr.  Class D 2nd place Bruce Swenson and (not pictured) 1st place Devin Stone. 

Janet Larson earned patches for High Ringer Average and High Game.  Kelsey Nordick got Rookie of the Year.  Chuck Betterman got the Sportsmanship award.  Not pictured, Tyler Stone got High Game Over Average and  Kevin Richmond Jr got Most Improved. 

 Phil Swenson and Kelsey Nordick current winners of the traveling trophy for our season ending Double Elimination Playoff Tournament.   

 Members of the Alex League who placed 1st or 2nd in the MN State Tournament, Janet Larson, Gene Eitreim, Jerry Werk, Bruce Swenson, Tim Bayerl and (not pictured) Devin Stone.  

Double Elimination Playoff winners Phil Swenson and Kelsey Nordick with runner-ups Chuck Betterman and Mike Edwards.   

   Upcoming Events
       It is highly recommended that you sign up early for these indoor events

Jack Frost Open
Sanction # 23-17-031
Date 11/18/2017
Entry Fee $30 juniors free
Dead Line 11/10/2017
Director Wayne Peterson
Director Address
16910 Garden Grove Rd SE
Becker,MN 55308
Location Becker American Legion
Email wptrsn@icloud.com
Phone# 763-360-5914
Additional Information
Two Eight-person classes; 40-shoe games; Handicapped if needed;Tie Breaker is Head to Head then Over Avg.Shifts at 9:00, 12:30pm; Concessions; Cash Prizes; 50/50   

        Edi Holland Memorial 
Sanction # 23-17-032
Date 12/2/2017
Entry Fee $30
Dead Line 11/24/2017
Director Ron Mead
Director Address
14146 Norden DrRogers,MN 55374
Location Upsala
Email mead2010@gmail.com
Phone# 612-328-5229

Junction Toss
Sanction # 23-17-033
Date 12/16/2017
Entry Fee $25,juniors $5
Dead Line 12/9/2017
Director Shawn Warnemunde
Director Address
414 11th Ave NWIsanti,MN 55040
Location Isanti Indoor
Phone# 763-227-1804
Additional Information

MGSHPA Executive Board       MGSHPA Directors

Rick Wright
50586 Shorewood Circle
Rush City ,Mn 55069

North Vice President
Janet Larson
22651Co Rd 82 NW.
Evansville,MN 56326

South Vice President
Robin Constance
18273 Emerald Trail
Farmington, MN 55024


Ringer Digest Editor
Jerry LaBrosse
8170 Fern Lane
Greenfield,MN 55357

Josh Olson
PO Box 353
Bertha, MN 56437

Rob Hagman
652 Cross St.
Anoka,MN 55303

Nominations Director 
Joe Mueller
2057 152nd Lane
Ham Lake, MN 55304

Constitution and Bylaws
Gordy Schmidt
5631 187th St. W
Farmington, MN 55024

Promotion/News Media Director
Marlys Timm
4210 Woodhill Drive
Loretto ,MN 55357

Junior Promotions Director
April Lynch
25679 Friesland Ct
Wyoming, MN 55902

Communications Director
Jerry LaBrosse
8170 Fern Lane
Greenfield, MN 55357

About Us
MGSHPA's Ringer Digest is the official newsletter of the Minnesota Gopher State Horseshoe Pitchers' Association. It is free to members of the MGSHPA and other interested parties. Changes of email address can be sent directly to the editor     Jlabro6186@aol.com

All submissions to the Ringer Digest Editor is subject to editing, available space, and must be received by the 10th of the month preceding the date of issue.
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