ISSUE #2015-02
Horseshoe Pitching Newsline

"What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness."

-John Steinbeck

President's Message
Recapping the Annual Winter Meeting
by Stu Sipma, NHPA President

The NHPA Council held their annual winter meeting February 6-7 in Topeka, Kansas, host city of the 2015 World Horseshoe Tournament. The meeting was held at the Capital Plaza Hotel, which is attached to the Expocentre, the actual World Tournament facility.

Our time there included two full, extended days of meeting topics. Some of the main topics on the agenda included: our 2015 goals, the 2014 financial report, establishing our 2015 budget, proposed rule changes, the 2015 World Tournament, membership and sanction league reports, to name a few.

Below are the 2015 goals the Executive Council agreed to. All of these goals are very important to the Council and I hope they are just as important to all of you.

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Incumbents Declare Election Intentions
Per NHPA bylaws, incumbents must announce their candidacy in writing, to be received by the President and the Newsline editor no later than February 1. The following incumbents have officially announced their intentions. Non-incumbent candidates for office must announce their candidacy in the same manner, no later than April 1.
Stu Sipma
It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as your NHPA President this past year and I would like to announce my candidacy for re-election. I've really enjoyed the experiences this position has provided and have enjoyed working with the other NHPA officers in carrying out the responsibilities of the President as outlined in the NHPA bylaws. We still have many challenges that face our sport with the tough economic times, and I am ready for these challenges and will continue to do my best to make the decisions that are in the best interest of the NHPA and its members. My promise to you is I will continue to work hard to promote and grow the sport. It has been a pleasure serving as your President, and I would appreciate your continued support at the 2015 convention in Topeka, Kansas this July.
Bill Marvin
5th Vice President
My first term as your 5th Vice President has thus far been a great experience. Learning all the tasks performed by your Regional Directors has confirmed my conviction that they are some of the hardest working volunteers in the NHPA.  I would like very much to serve another term in this office and am asking for your support and vote in Topeka. Together we can grow our membership and share our sport with others. Thank you.

World Tournament Links
July 13 - 25
Topeka,  Kansas

Entry Deadline is May 18

question and answer
Rules and Bylaws Q & A

What can a pitcher carry with them in a game?

It is legal to carry and use a blunt-ended hook or pick-up device, but it cannot exceed 36 inches in total length. Any hook cannot protrude more than two inches from the main shaft. Take care in using the hook so as not to endanger your opponent or other contestants. All are also encouraged to carry measuring tools as well as a file and towel to keep their shoes burr-free and shoes/hands clean and dry. Note: all measurement tools manufactured for sale purposes must be pre-approved by the NHPA Council. (See Rules and Bylaws story below and left.)
The NHPA Logo is Ready for a Facelift
Calling for your creative submissions
by Tina Hawkins, 2nd Vice President and Publicity/Promotion Director

We are looking for a new, exciting logo to modernize our image, increase our public appeal and take the association away from the "backyard" visions that horseshoe pitching normally invokes.

To NHPA members, our logo is very recognizable, but in a study by the University of Central Oklahoma marketing department, it was found that (unless you already know what it is) people cannot tell what the emblem depicts.

The Executive Council feels it may be time for a change and is launching a logo design contest open to NHPA members to find a more modern, discernable logo that will help attract attention and entice prospective new members into the association.

See rules and entry form for more information. Deadline for submissions is June 30.
Prepping for a World-Class World Tournament
Anticipating the largest indoor tournament set-up ever
Kansas Expocentre
by Jerry LaBrosse, 4th Vice President and Charter Communications Director

This year's World Tournament in Topeka, Kansas, is expected to be the largest in years. In anticipation of this increase, we are planning to set up all 60 portable courts of the NHPA inventory. This will include seven banks of eight courts each, and four playoff courts.

The tournament itself will be held at The Expocentre, located in the center of town, a couple of blocks from the State Capitol. The building has two arenas that will be used for pitching - the Landon Arena and the Exhibition Hall. The Landon Arena will hold 24 courts and will host our Championships. It has 360-degree, stadium seating, so bring your binoculars, as there will be no spectators on the floor.

Just a short stroll over to the Exhibition Hall and you see will the other 32 tournament courts and ...

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You Could Win a 2016 World Tourney Experience!
Annual raffle benefits the NHPA and NHPF
by Chris Callihan Sr., Raffle Committee Chair

Now that football season is over, we begin another season that is near and dear to our hearts: horseshoe-pitching season! And with the kickoff of this season, I'm pleased to announce the World Tournament Experience Raffle (WTER) of 2015. Ticket sales have begun!

Just one ticket is all it takes, but increase your odds and buy more! You could win a ticket package that includes your 2016 World Tournament entry in Montgomery, Alabama, hotel stay and other associated prizes. Four runner-up prizes of tournament entries will also be awarded. Tickets are just $5 each or five for $20.

Ticket sellers around the nation are in place. Tickets will also be available at the NHPF booth at this year's World Tournament and by U.S. Mail. (See below for further details.)

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Rules and Bylaws Update

by Dan Sanders, 1st Vice President and Bylaws/Rules/Grievance Director


As President Stu Sipma recapped in his article above, the NHPA Council's winter meeting was held in Topeka, Kansas, the first weekend in February. From that, I'm providing here an update of our Rules Committee progress with the Proposed Rules Changes (PRCs) that were submitted on or before the December 31 deadline. I say "progress" only because our Rules Committee was unable to process all of the PRCs that were submitted, as many of these PRCs (12 or so) weren't received until just before the deadline.


The PRCs that had been processed and voted on were presented to our NHPA Council, for their consideration and approval. Most, but not all, were approved by the Council and will be advanced for voting by the World Tournament Convention delegates in July. The remaining PRCs will be processed by the Rules Committee, and also by our Council, during March and April ... 


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Random Thoughts from Bill Marvin
by Bill Marvin, 5th Vice President and Regional Director and Court Sanctioning Director

One of the more interesting and challenging facets of being an NHPA vice president is writing an article for each edition of Newsline. Sometimes writer's block prevents me from focusing on one topic, so this month I am beginning the theme "random thoughts from Bill Marvin." I hope it doesn't bore you and isn't too disjointed.

Court Re-sanctioning
As stated in the NHPA's official Playing Rules, Guidelines and Specifications (RGS), all courts must be re-sanctioned in 2015.  The process is done under the direction of regional directors. Court sanctions fall into two categories, conditional and full ...

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NEWSLINE: Meant for Email
Over the last couple of months, a handful of people have once again questioned getting a hard copy of Newsline. As of January 2015, Newsline is no longer printed in any form by the NHPA itself. It's strictly a bi-monthly email.

As it was first announced, it is the responsibility of the charters to distribute any printed copies to their members who don't have email, but still wish to receive it. To assist with this, each issue will be available in a text-only PDF document on the NHPA website. The document will contain all stories, and the "continued' text.

Archived issues will continue to be available under the Our History tab on the website.

Roll the Cameras: Put Your Skills to Use at the World Tournament

Are you an aspiring filmmaker? A seasoned cinematographer? Someone who just enjoys shooting and editing video?

If you are looking for an outlet for your creative talents, the NHPA may just have the job for you! Volunteers are being sought for filming World Tournament action, using the NHPA digital video camera, or your own video camera if you have one, and editing the footage into viewable, usable videos and video montages.

Videos could be used for historical and/or entertainment purposes, online as well as in the theater of the NHPA Hall of Fame Museum.

Contact NHPA Secretary/Treasurer Dave Sidles to volunteer or for more information.

Deadline for World Tournament Sponsorships is Fast-Approaching

If you are interested in supporting the World Tournament in Topeka, as well as getting your name and/or product in front of horseshoe pitchers from across the country, act fast. The deadline for sponsorship commitments is March 15. Learn more on the World Tournament website.

Keep an Eye on Your Calendars:
Consider NATSTATS with April and May Tournaments

So, do you have your required four events to qualify for the 2015 World Tournament? You must have them registered with NATSTATS by May 13.

A note to all tournament directors that will be having tournaments in late April and early May ... pitchers are going to need these events for World Tournament qualifiers. Make certain that you report the results right away so credit can be given to the players. This is especially and critically true for those running tournaments on the weekend of May 9. You will need to submit your results immediately following your event. The NHPA sees this problem every year. Please be a part of the solution.
Horseshoes by the Numbers
2014 league results add up to interesting facts and figures, Top Ten Awards
Horseshoe is a game of numbers. Three points, six points, one point, 30 feet, 40 feet, ringer percentages, shoes pitched, and on and on.

What about tallying some of those numbers?
  • A total of 287 sanctioned leagues reported results in 2014
  • Those leagues pitched a total of 6,780,986 horseshoes
  • Of those total shoes, 1,667,520 were ringers
  • That's an all-league, nationwide average of 24.59 percent
Check out further breakdowns for all divisions and the Top Ten League Award list on the NHPA website. Congratulations to all the winners and to the league secretaries for all their number-crunching throughout the year!
Junior Profile: Denise Daly
Fierce 'til the End
Junior Denise Daly
by Aleena Lepak, Junior Promotion Director
Fierce, fabulous, and talented are only a few words to describe 17-year-old Denise Daly. Living in Winchester, Illinois, Denise is enjoying her high school senior year to the fullest with a smile on her face every day. She participates in color guard, runs hurdles and the 4 X 100 in track. She enjoys painting, hanging out with her friends, and loves reading about different languages and time periods. With so many things in her life, Denise still makes time for her passion of horseshoes.
Over the winter, Denise practices every other weekend at indoor courts in Jerseyville, then at her grandma's house or at her league courts in the summer. Right now she practices about once a week, but will start going out every day once the weather warms up.

Denise practices with her grandma and some of her friends who find the sport intriguing. She is even in the process of helping with a junior tournament to get her friends interested ...

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Beyond Borders: NHPF Supports Horseshoe Outside of U.S.
by Casey Sluys, President, National Horseshoe Pitchers Foundation

In addition to supporting the NHPA Hall of Fame, the National Horseshoe Pitchers Foundation (NHPF) supports promotion and publicity of horseshoe pitching, not only in the United States, but overseas as well, an example of which is South Africa. 

The NHPF assisted in shipping horseshoes to their country in 2011-2012. Then, in 2011, the first South African pitchers participated in our World Tournament in Monroe, Louisiana. They proved to be very good at pitching, winning two class championships, one second place and an 11th place.

In 2013, we welcomed both South African and Namibian pitchers, making it a true "World" tournament and an international event.

The next year, 2014, during the Junior Jukskei Championships in South Africa, they held a small horseshoe pitching tournament for the juniors with the same horseshoes that we had sent them. It gives one a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment knowing that ...

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

(Continued from the previous issue of Newsline)

Another great pitcher from the 1940s and 1950s was Don Titcomb (California). He battled both Ted Allen and Fernando Isais, but could not bring home a title until 1960. That decade brought a new era and a host of great pitchers. In fact, during the 1960s, there were seven different champions; only Harold Reno (Ohio), Elmer Hohl (Ontario) and Dan Kuchcinski (Pennsylvania) were able to repeat as the Men's World Champion. That was a tremendous change in the sport, as two pitchers had previously dominated the sport; there were just three different champions in the past three decades; and Guy Zimmerman had just the one championship at that.

The other champions from the 1960s were Paul Focht (Ohio), John Monasmith (Washington) and Curt Day (Indiana). Of these three, only Day would go on to win another title, doing so in 1971 and again in 1974. Picking the best pitcher of the 1960s is next to impossible, but by bringing the 1970s into view, ...

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Let's Get Back to the Joy of Pitching
by Randy L. Johnson

Do you remember the first time you tossed a horseshoe? How about the first time you made a rock-solid, locked-on ringer? Oh what a sweet sound and a great feeling!

I would wager to say that it was not at a tournament, or in a league or anything to do with an organized event. It was probably in the backyard with family, or maybe at a campground or park. You can remember when strict adherence to the rules was not needed. C'mon now, you all remember that shoe that bounced off a hill and went on the stake and we bragged that we meant that to happen, then laughed so hard. We loved pitching and were hooked; yet it may have taken years to join a club.  

Horseshoe pitching is a social sport. Have we gotten too focused on winning? Or maybe on our NATSTATS? And maybe that next tournament. With the membership numbers falling, I propose we need to get back to our roots, when we threw shoes mainly for the pure enjoyment of the sport ...

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