ISSUE #2016-01
Horseshoe Pitching Newsline

Happy New Year!

President's Message
Looking Ahead to the NHPA Council Winter Meeting
by Stu Sipma, NHPA President

Happy New Year! I hope 2016 will be a great year for everyone!

Our 2016 NHPA Council Winter Meeting is scheduled for January 22-24 in Montgomery, Alabama. I have scheduled this meeting for two full days. Items on the agenda include reviewing and setting our 2016 goals, review of our NHPA financials, creating a 2016 budget, reviewing the 2015 budget, discussions on the 2016 World Tournament, sponsorship packages, charter concerns, membership growth ideas, five-year plan, Game Related Sales, NHPA director concerns, just to name a few.

I have also scheduled time to do a walkthrough of the Multiplex at Cramton Bowl, the facility that will host the 2016 World Horseshoe Tournament.

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NHPA Officers Attend TEAMS Conference
by Stu Sipma, NHPA President

On November 9-12, Tina Hawkins, 2nd Vice President and Publicity/Promotion Director, and I attended the 2015 Travel, Events, and Management in Sports (TEAMS) Conference in Las Vegas. We look forward to events like this as they benefit the sport of horseshoes. Not only do these events draw interest in sites bidding to host our World Tournament, but they also raise awareness that horseshoes is played at a competitive level to the various sports marketing groups from all over the United States. We have many sites still showing interest in hosting the World Tournament, and even sites who have hosted the event in the past wanting to pursue the event again. These sites include Charleston, West Virginia; Knoxville, Tennessee; Erie, Pennsylvania; and Biloxi, Mississippi. March 15 is the deadline for sites to submit bids to host the 2018 tournament.
Seeking Nominations for National Awards: Achievement and Hall of Fame
by Stu Sipma, NHPA President

Each year the NHPA recognizes members for their contributions to the NHPA, their charter, and/or local club. The Council is asking all charters to provide a list of individuals who you believe would be good candidates to receive an NHPA Achievement Award. These awards will be presented at the 2016 World Tournament in Montgomery, Alabama. To obtain a form, visit the link.

The NHPA is also looking for your assistance in pinpointing candidates who you believe would qualify for the NHPA Hall of Fame.

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World Tournament Preparations
by Stu Sipma, NHPA President

The 2016 World Horseshoe Tournament will be held July 25-August 6 at the Multiplex, located in Montgomery, Alabama. The NHPA trailer has already arrived from Topeka, Kansas, and plans are being finalized for this event. Those looking to attend should begin making plans and getting reservations made. Details on the venue, camping, hotels, things to see and do, and other information can be found through a banner link on the NHPA website or directly via this link.
Candidates for Vice President Positions Sought
by Stu Sipma, NHPA President

This year positions of 1st Vice President and 3rd Vice President are up for re-election. According to our 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, therefore those of you who are interested in one of these positions, please let me know.
New RGS Book Revision Released
by David Sidles, NHPA Secretary-Treasurer

The latest revision of the Rules, Guidelines and Specifications book (the RGS Book) has been published. Copies have been sent to charter secretaries for distribution and are also available by email request from the NHPA office. The online publication of the RGS book will be completed soon; look for the January 1, 2016 date once it is on the website
We Have a Winner in Logo Design Contest
by Tina Hawkins, 2nd Vice President and Publicity/Promotion Director

The votes have been tallied and there is a clear-cut winner! With 32 percent of the total votes, the winning design for an updated NHPA logo was submitted by Bobby White of Pennsylvania, and meets ALL the requirements outlined in the contest rules.

Not only can you tell at a glance that it is "horseshoe pitching," you can also see male and female participation, the association name and the website. This eye-catching design would show well on the back of a jacket or shirt and would need no explanation to those who view it.

As explained in the contest and voting announcements, the intention is NOT to replace the existing NHPA logo, but to add a "companion" design that is easily identifiable to be used in promoting the association to the general public. An announcement will be made when the design becomes available to members.

Bobby will be the recipient of a $50 prepaid VISA card for his victory! A sincere thank you goes out to every member who gave their time and effort to create and submit all the contest designs.
Are You Properly Carded?
A couple of notes about membership, card numbers, medical exemptions
by David Sidles, NHPA Secretary-Treasurer

Once you are issued an NHPA card number, it should never change, unless you move to a different charter. Most charters can issue up to 9,999 unique numbers. We hope that each charter gets that many members someday. The official record of your name and card number is what is on NATSTATS. You are encouraged to check to see if your number and name are correct. If it is not correct, let the NHPA office know and we'll correct it.

A feature of the new 2016 membership card is a place to designate a granted medical exemption. These exemptions are going to be tracked more closely, particularly at this year's World Tournament. If your charter has granted you a medical exemption, make sure you are able to provide copies of the NHPA provided exemption forms.

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NHPF Grants Awarded to Established Clubs
by Casey Sluys, President, National Horseshoe Pitchers Foundation

The three allotted NHPF grants in the second half of 2015 went to three established horseshoe clubs - one in Montana for the purpose of becoming fully sanctioned so they can host their state championships; and the other two to small facilities in the Central Valley of California, Lindsay and Exeter. Both California clubs run sanctioned events and were forced to run three shifts per day in order to accommodate everyone that signed in for the tournaments.  Six courts will be added to the existing facilities for both clubs.
"Fuming" about Painting World Tournament Stakes
Painting a Stake Demo Video
Painting a Stake Demo Video
Jerry LaBrosse , 4th Vice President and Charter Communications Director
At the World Tournament in Topeka, Kansas, I was informed of concerns about the fumes and smell from the white spray paint used on the stakes. NHPA President Stu Sipma asked me to research this issue and make some recommendations to the board for future World Tournaments.

As we all know, many pitchers are accustomed to painting the stake to create a visual contrast between the stake and the backstop. Asking many pitchers what they think of this practice, the results vary widely. It seems that the higher percentage pitchers are more onboard with this practice than the lower percentage pitchers. This also holds true for other "on court" practices, such as turning the clay between games.

My research on this topic began by identifying all possible ways to create a contrast between stake and backstop.

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Patching it Together
Distributing patches for tournament prizes
by Bill Marvin, 5th Vice President and Regional Director and Court Sanctioning Director

The top prize at local horseshoe tournaments is never a huge amount of money. It is something much more valuable: The Patch! Tournament and class champion patches bring a smile to the face of those who are the winners. Proudly displayed on shirts, jackets, hats and more, these are examples of having a great day on the courts and are symbolic of being on your game. Ever wonder how the tournament director gets them?

As NHPA's 5th Vice President, one of my major responsibilities is to distribute patches to the regional director for each charter. For 2016, nearly 13,000 tournament patches will be awarded. Not included in this total are the patches for the World Tournament, years of participation patches, number of World Tournaments pitched, and all league patches.

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Welcoming Non-Sanctioned Leagues
by David Sidles, NHPA Secretary-Treasurer

At this year's annual Hall of Fame banquet, the East Nebraska charter will be recognized for the largest increase in membership in both numbers and percentage. This is usually a phenomenon of hosting the World Tournament, but in this case it was the result of bringing a non-sanctioned league into the NHPA. The result was a 65 percent increase in charter membership; 80 new members are now enjoying the benefits of participating in a sanctioned league, competing for various league awards and patches. They can also achieve national recognition at the annual National Sanctioned League Championship Tournament and with the Top Ten league awards.

We extend an invitation to all non-sanctioned horseshoe pitching leagues and pitchers around the country to take a look at the NHPA.
Growing the NHPA: Shoes Fit Everyone
by Bill Marvin, 5th Vice President and Regional Director and Court Sanctioning Director

Feeling obliged to put in my two cents on how to grow the NHPA ... it has been shown that the best way to recruit new pitchers is by word of mouth. Members who are excited about horseshoes and ask a friend or neighbor to join them have the best success. This is not to diminish other recruiting methods, but some folks feel a bit intimidated walking up and asking, "How do I get involved?"

Whether you are a pitcher in a league, club and/or tournaments, there is someone you know who wants to join. Take the time to explain how it works and let them know that in the NHPA "our shoes fit everyone."
One Year Down, Ready for Another
by Jerry Smith, 3rd Vice President and Sanction League Director, Junior Scholarships

When this is published, I will have completed my first year as NHPA 3rd Vice President and Director of the Sanctioned League Program. I'm reflecting back on my year, which required an intense learning process and the need to expand my skill sets. The processes needed to successfully direct the Sanctioned League Program certainly are varied and need attention from January to December.

The year started slow enough when data for winter leagues began to arrive in early January, as did several thousand league patches. The storage and sorting of patches presented an interesting logistics problem, solved by plastic bins and new shelves.

I set up an Excel spreadsheet to deal with incoming league results, thinking it could do what I needed for data manipulation while I tried to understand my predecessor David Sidles's Access program. Not being literate in Access, I struggled ...

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Achieving Perfection: Looking at Perfect Games
by Mel Yockstick, NHPA Statistician

Sports can have perfect games. Walter Ray Williams, Jr. (Florida) has accomplished this in two sports: bowling and horseshoes. In bowling, his career consists of 105 perfect 300-games. Alan Francis (Ohio) tops the sport of horseshoe with a total of 18 perfect games. Walter Ray is second with 13 perfect games. For the Women's Division, Sue Snyder (Indiana) leads with eight perfect games, while Joan Elmore (Tennessee) comes in second with six perfects. Over the years, the NHPA has awarded a total of 168 Perfect Game patches.

The NHPA website has a list of players with two or more perfect games.
NHPA State Champions Listing Updated
by Mel Yockstick, NHPA Statistician

With NHPA State Championship tournaments in the books, the records are also updated. On the NHPA website, you'll find a revised list of men with 10 wins or more, women with five wins or more, elders, boys, and girls with three or more, and cadets with two or more.

Men's Division
Dan Watson, Alabama; Charlie Meredith, Kentucky
Women's Division
Karen Wickham, Idaho; Terry Beagle, Michigan; Ruth Rife, Ohio; Tami Gilbert, Oregon
Elders' Division
Roger Vogel, Kansas; Bob Hudnall, Kentucky; Tim Gilmore, Louisiana; J.D. Drake, Michigan; Gregg Craven, Missouri; Don Branting, Nebraska; Virgil Rife, Ohio; Shirl Barney, Utah
Boys' Division
Hayden Lee, California; Nathan Evers, Missouri
Girls' Division
Taylor Colie, Georgia; Savanna Johnson, Missouri; Jamine Knapp, Ohio; Lexi Taylor, Oklahoma
Cadets' Division
Malcolm Clark, Iowa; Luiso Molinasa, New Mexico; Cale Matlock, Oklahoma; Gus Clark, Oregon
Repairing the Brick Patio at the Hall of Fame
by Casey Sluys, President, National Horseshoe Pitchers Foundation

The Hall of Fame Facility has a project happening real soon: the straightening of some patio bricks that have heaved or sunk due to expansion and contraction of the soil in the winter time. The drainage from the grassy area will also be improved, so as not to let the water seep under the bricks. The Missouri charter's allotted brick area is full and they will expand into the red brick areas on either side. Some of the single bricks will be taken up and replaced by newly purchased large bricks. The contractor doing the work located a facility in Illinois that manufactures the bricks we used on the patio initially so it should be a perfect match. Extra large bricks will be purchased and kept on hand at the facility.

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Junior Profile: Tyler Howard
Kentucky Horseshoes to the Bone
Tyler Howard, Kentucky
by Aleena Lepak, Junior Promotion Director

Tyler Howard may look like your average 17-year-old senior from Richmond, Kentucky. He has played basketball for 15 years and has been bowling for eight years, the last two on his high school team. This young man, however, can pitch a horseshoe like it's second nature.

Tyler is in his senior year at Madison Central High School and attained a Junior Boys' World title this past summer in Topeka, Kansas. He has also won six Junior Boys' state titles and three Cadet state titles. Even with so much hardware, his friends still think they can beat him. That is, until they see him pitch. Then, they suddenly want to play another sport.

At only three years old, Tyler first saw his mother keeping score ...

U.S. Congress Holds a Horseshoe Tournament
by Bob Dunn, NHPA Historian

As we approach an election year, we probably will take a closer look at what our representatives in Congress are doing or not doing. If they held a horseshoe tournament, we might salute the effort and the promotion it brings to our sport, but it may seem unlikely that Congress would take on such an endeavor.

Well, Congress has taken on such an endeavor, but way back in 1930. The Washington D.C. Evening Star wonderfully covered the event. As you read through the coverage from 85 years ago, do note that the horseshoe pitching was noted as "the grand old sport." The sport certainly could be termed that today, but back at the time of the Congressional Tournament; the sport was barely 10 years old, unless they knew something that we are not aware of.

The newspaper gave complete and thorough coverage, but the event was carried live ...

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Horseshoe Pitching Facts & Folklore
Hall of Fame Members Profiled (Continued)
by Bob Dunn, NHPA Historian

This issue will continue to review Hall of Fame inductees from years past:

Leland Mortenson of Des Moines, Iowa, became connected with the game and the NHPA back in 1921 and soon made his mark as a promoter, organizer, and director of big tournaments. He also became the recognized historian of the game in the early years, and his articles and writings have enabled the organization to keep track of events and personalities of the sport of the early years, which would have otherwise been lost. For 35 of their 42-year existence, he was superintendent of horseshoe pitching tournaments at the large Iowa State Fair. And when the NHPA was unable to hold official World Tournaments in the years 1936-1939, he organized ...

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Horseshoe Pitching


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