ISSUE #2015-03
Horseshoe Pitching Newsline
Bring the Action of the HOF Tournament to You
The Hall of Fame Invitational Tournament is happening this weekend at the NHPF Hall of Fame in Wentzville, Missouri, and live cameras are installed, letting you "be" there, in what they call "your building."

The series of five cameras capture the action of all courts, as well as the leaderboard. This annual tournament invites the top 50 pitchers in the 30- and 40-foot divisions with the top 16 entrants in each category competing in a round-robin tournament Saturday-Sunday, May 2-3.

Follow this link to tune in and see "the top guns" competing for $8,000 in prize money. Further instructions are located at the link for viewing on your computer or mobile device.

Future Hall of Fame happenings will also be live via camera.
President's Message
Kicking Off the Season and the Pitch
by Stu Sipma, NHPA President

I just attended our North Dakota State Meeting on Saturday and am very excited about getting new members signed up and getting our leagues organized to start, so we can get outside and enjoy this great sport!

Just a reminder for everyone (and I know you have heard me say this before) that it is "all" of our responsibility to get out there and sign up new members to pitch this season. My selling pitch has always been it's a family sport where everyone can participate; you get to play outdoors; in addition to getting some exercise, you get to meet new friends and create new relationships; and where can you find a sport that is so reasonable to participate in? Please try and do your part and grow your clubs. We have found in North Dakota ...

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Council Elections See No Competitors for Incumbents
by Stu Sipma, NHPA President

NHPA Executive Council positions up for election this year at the delegate meeting are 5th Vice President and President, currently Bill Marvin and I hold these positions respectively. Both of us have submitted our intentions to run for another term. For other NHPA members, April 1 was the deadline. With the deadline past, there are no other candidates running for either position.
Two Repeat Sites to Vie for 2017 World Tournament
by Stu Sipma, NHPA President

Two sites will be bidding to host the 2017 World Tournament. These sites include Monroe/West Monroe, Louisiana and St. George, Utah. Both are proposing July 17-29 tournament dates and both will host booths during the 2015 World Tournament in Topeka.

Monroe/West Monroe
Scott Bruscato, Senior Vice President of Sales, has put together a bid package including hosting the event at the Monroe Civic Center, the same facility which hosted the 2011 World Tournament.

St. George
Kevin Lewis, Director of Sports Marketing, has assembled a bid package to include the Dixie Center as the tournament venue, the same facility that hosted the 2013 World Tournament.
South Africa Horseshoe Tournament Medal Winners 2015
Making the Connection: Horseshoe and the Sport of Jukskei

by Casey Sluys

With the first ever South African Horseshoe Tournament having been played on April 3 (photo above), it's the perfect time to shed some light on the relationship between jukskei, a 270-year-old sport, and horseshoe.

My initial contact with jukskei and South Africa (SA) began in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, at the 2010 World Tournament. The SA contingent was there to showcase jukskei and point out its similarities to horseshoe pitching. Realizing that their Afrikaans language and the Dutch language are similar piqued my interest. Listening carefully, I found I could still understand some of their words, as I was born in Holland and immigrated to the U.S. when I was eight.  My grandson Travis took a keen interest in jukskei and became quite good at it quickly.

A plan was devised for alternate visits to each others' countries along with a grandiose plan to combine the two sports under one umbrella called "precision throwing sports." In 2011, a group of horseshoe pitchers traveled to SA to compete in their Jukskei Championships. From there, the plan was put in motion.

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Three Selected for 2015 Hall of Fame Induction
Jim Walters
Johnstown, Ohio
2015 Hall of Fame Inductee,
Player Category
Lorraine Sternberg
Richfield, Wisconsin
2015 Hall of Fame Inductee,
Promoter/Organizer Category
Harold Anthony
2015 Hall of Fame Inductee,
Historic Era Player Category
by Vicki Winston, Hall of Fame Committee Chairperson

The NHPA Hall of Fame Committee has elected three individuals who will make up the Class of 2015 and who will be inducted into the NHPA Hall of Fame at the 50th Annual NHPA Hall of Fame and Awards Banquet to be held on Sunday evening, July 19, in Topeka, Kansas. (See article below for ticket information.)

read more for bios on each inductee

This year the NHPA will be hosting the 50th Anniversary Hall of Fame Awards Banquet. The special event is open to everyone and will be held Sunday, July 19 at the Sunflower Ballroom in the Capital Plaza Hotel, host hotel of the World Tournament. This is your chance to meet many of the greats of our sport up close and personal. Social hour begins at 5 p.m., followed by dinner and awards ceremony.

Tickets are $30 per person and can be purchased along with your World Tournament entry (in one check) or separately by mail. Send banquet ticket requests to: NHPA, 17259 Jefferson Street, Omaha, NE 68135.

All tickets ordered by mail after June 15 will be available for pickup at the NHPA tournament office. Tickets can also be purchased during the first week of the World Tournament at the NHPF booth at the Kansas Expocentre.

Social Security numbers; registration notes for cadets and juniors
The deadline for submitting your entry for the World Tournament is May 18.   Entry forms and more information are available on the NHPA website.

Note that you do NOT need to include your Social Security number on your World Tournament Entry Form.

Please be sure, when submitting your entry, you are registering in the proper division. Parents of cadet and junior pitchers, this is especially important so your child will not be disqualified from the competition. Note also, we raised the adult entry fee from $125 to $130. The additional five dollars will go toward covering World Tournament expenses. All junior divisions will remain the same at $25.

With less than a month to go before registrations are due, entries for the 2015 World Tournament in Topeka, Kansas, are ahead of last year at this same time by 30 percent. More than 50 percent are NHPA members who were not entered last year! 

Watch the NHPA website for a list, updated weekly, of entered pitchers.

Hotels in Topeka have more than twice the number of reservations to entries.  RV Parks are also filling up.

In short, enter now and reserve rooms or campsites now!
Charters, clubs and individuals are being encouraged to pre-order 2015 World Tournament shirts. T-shirts and polos feature the tournament logo and are customizable with your name - first and/or last - and state. Shirt orders can be shipped to you for a charge or picked up in Lawrence, Kansas, beginning July 11. The shirt vendor will be onsite at the Kansas Expo Center July 11-25, taking orders and printing logos and lettered shirts there too. See the order form for additional details.
Don't forget t hose who don't have email.

Print out a World Tournament entry form

for your club and/or charter members. Bring them to any upcoming sanctioned events too. 


by Jerry LaBrosse, 4th Vice President and Charter Communications Director

Have you sent in your World Tournament entry? It must be postmarked by May 18. If it is late, you will be placed on a list and filled into the tournament only if an opening occurs within your class.

Remember, you need four sanctioned events in your division within the past 12 months (May 18, 2014 - May 18, 2015) to be eligible. Leagues count for qualifying events.

We encourage all charter officers and league directors to print off copies of the entry form from the NHPA website to share with those members who may not have internet access.

This is going to be the largest tournament we've seen in years, and there are lots of exciting extras in the works. If you have never been to a world tournament, this would be the perfect year to try it out. This is the only tournament in the world where you can go up against a class of players who are nearly the exact same skill level as you are. You will meet new friends from all over the country, as well as some other countries like Canada and maybe others.

Tracking and Awarding World Tournament Participation
by Mel Yockstick, NHPA Statistician

NHPA Officers approved a World Tournament Participation Patch (pictured at right), much like the Membership Patch, to be awarded to those who have pitched in 10+, 20+, 30+, 40+, 50+, or 60+ World Tournament events. A new World Tournament Participation file has been created for the NHPA website showing each player's years of tournament participation and results.

Thanks go out to Lombard "Bart" Sargent from Massachusetts who has kept our past pitching history available and up to date by compiling the National Horseshoe Pitchers World Tournament Record Book from 1909-2003. He recorded every player that pitched in world tournaments, their state, class, position, wins, losses, ringers, shoes pitched and percentages, plus other important data.

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It's Time I Introduce Myself, Jerry Smith
by Jerry Smith, 3rd Vice President and Sanction League Director, Junior Scholarships

As a new NHPA Officer, I felt I would use this first article to introduce myself. Those of you that frequent the World Tournament probably know me from the stat room, my home away from home for the last five years.

I got my first NHPA membership card in 1985 and pitched in (and won, by the way) my first tournament in April 1986. In November of 1988, I was elected to 3rd Vice President of the Northern California charter (NORCAL) and in 1989 directed the first of many state championships in both California and Idaho. In 1991, I was elected to the position of NORCAL Charter Secretary/Treasurer and, in 1994, to the position of statistician. I felt honored to be elected to the NORCAL Hall of Fame in 1999. I held these offices until 2012 when my wife Diane and I moved to Idaho.

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Don't Throw Them to the Wolves; Be a Mentor
by Tina Hawkins, 2nd Vice President and Publicity/Promotion Director 

You are always encouraged to recruit, recruit, recruit!

But what do you do with those new people once you get them?

Be a mentor to your new members!

Many people come home from a horseshoe tournament, complaining about how Joe Blow doesn't even know how to call his score, Jane Doe never knows who is supposed to pitch first, and Little Jimmy never stands in the right place while his opponent is pitching.

Maybe nobody has ever taken the time to explain proper horseshoe pitching etiquette to them.

A Little Horseshoe Tournament Protocol Please
by Bill Marvin, 5th Vice President and Regional Director and Court Sanctioning Director

The calendar says it is Spring, which means the outdoor pitching season can begin (in most areas). Tournament schedules have, for the most part, been set. Take the time to call in advance to notify tournament directors if you are planning on attending their event. The tournament director will appreciate it, making their job easier.

While on the subject of tournaments, plan on arriving early and help out. Simple things like uncovering courts, setting up scorekeeper chairs, filling water cans ... you get the idea. These tasks take time and should be shared. And bring correct change for entry fee; expecting change for a $50 or $100 is just silly.

Membership in a sanctioned league is a good way to give exposure to our sport, while at the same time honing your skills. It is also a way to introduce horseshoes to newbies. The same faces each week will make them more comfortable while learning how to pitch, keep score, call points, every facet of the game. No league in your area? Contact 3rd Vice President Jerry Smith for the details on getting one going.
Thanks for Nomination Letters
by Stu Sipma, NHPA President

The NHPA Council thanks all charters who provided nomination letters recommending individuals they feel deserve an NHPA Achievement Award. The council will be reviewing the applications and the recipient will be receiving their award at the Hall of Fame Banquet in Topeka.
Attempting to Break a Guinness World Record
Connecticut horseshoe pitchers Mitchell Miles and Mathew Shanahan will be attempting to set the Guinness world record for continuously playing the game of horseshoes. They will begin at 3 p.m. on May 22 and plan to pitch until at least 3 p.m. on May 23, at the American Legion Hall in Bethlehem, Connecticut. Mitch is the president of the Bethlehem Horseshoe League, and Matt is a member of the league.

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HOF Committee Says Goodbye to Reno and Leclerc, Hello to Elmore and Seibold
by Stu Sipma, NHPA President

After many years of serving on the Hall of Fame Committee, Ottie Reno and Andre Leclerc have decided to step down. Thanks to Ottie and Andre for all of their years of service on the committee. As the NHPA President, I have appointed Joan Elmore and Mark Seibold to serve on the HOF committee. My sincere appreciation to these two individuals for agreeing to serve on the committee.
Updated Information on Proposed Rule Changes
by Dan Sanders, 1st Vice President and Bylaws/Rules/Grievance Director

Most of you are probably aware that 2015 is the year for Charter Delegates to consider and vote on Proposed Rule Changes (PRC) to the RGS Book. This voting will take place at the NHPA Convention in Topeka, Kansas, the location of this year's World Tournament. There have been an unusually large number of PRCs submitted this year and it is taking longer for our Rules Committee and NHPA Council to process all of these proposals.

So, instead of publishing them in this issue of Newsline, they will be distributed in a future communication via the NHPA to the Newsline distribution list. If you are getting Newsline, the proposed rule changes will arrive in your email box shortly.
Measure your Measuring Device
by Jerry LaBrosse, 4th Vice President and Charter Communications Director

I wonder how many games, class titles, or even tournament championships have been decided incorrectly because a crooked or otherwise inaccurate measuring tool was used. Have you ever checked your tool for straightness? Do you know for sure what part of your tool measures six inches for a point?

If you have a caliper-style straightedge, pull out the calipers to a right angle and measure from the tip to the back of the tool. It should read six inches exactly.

The first-ever tools of this type were built this way, and set a standard for all similar tools into the future. This is the way the NHPA views these types of tools. I can tell you that not all tools are built this way, so I want you to check yours to see if it is accurate ... it could save you a win.

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Council Urges Preparation for the Delegate Meeting
by Stu Sipma, NHPA President

This summer's delegate meeting will have a large agenda with this year addressing our rule proposal changes and two sites competing to host the 2017 World Tournament. The NHPA Council wants to remind all charters that when you choose your delegates, make sure you provide the information to them prior to the meeting so they are prepared to vote and maybe speak on each topic.
We're in it for the Smile: A Few Ways to Support the National Horseshoe Pitchers Foundation (NHPF)
by Casey Sluys, President, National Horseshoe Pitchers Foundation

Please check out the top contributors by state on the NHPF website. There has been some movement. Congratulations to Texas, as they moved up to the tenth spot. Is your state listed among the top 15? If not, it should be.

We have plenty of bricks left for you to purchase.  All charter presidents were sent about 100 or so NHPF brochures.  If you need information on the brick order see your charter president or see this link. More will be available at this year's World Tournament and anyone who would like to distribute them is welcome to take some back to your charter.

How much shopping does your family do online?  Do you shop around Christmas time, birthdays, for the convenience of having it delivered to you home in days? It certainly beats driving a 50-mile round trip to a box store. There is a new program with Amazon where half of one percent of your purchase will be designated to the charity of your choice. The NHPF has applied and received permission to become one of those recipients. 

You can now make your AmazonSmile purchases just like a normal Amazon purchase and the NHPF will benefit from your shopping. Our registered number is 62-1671910, if you need to submit it.

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Junior Profile: Dylan Holmberg
I'll be Back

Junior Dylan Holmberg
Aleena Lepak, Junior Promotion Director

It all started on a warm sunny day in Tampa, Florida. Dylan Holmberg was helping his mom with the dishes when he saw his dad and a friend outside. He asked his mom what they were doing and she replied, "playing horseshoes."

Intrigued, Dylan went outside to give it a try. His first shoe was a ringer and the sport has stuck with him ever since.

Three years later, at the age of 14, Dylan is still in love with the sport. He practices every day in his backyard, keeping his eyes focused on the stake ...

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Horseshoe Pitching Facts & Folklore
Who is the Greatest Woman?
by Bob Dunn, NHPA Historian
In this issue, we will take a look back in history and determine who is the greatest woman horseshoe pitcher of all time. Very little has been written about the Women's Division in World Tournament competition, although it dates back to 1920. There is a written book, "The World Champions of Horseshoe Pitching," that is somewhere between being published and some other form of distribution. That book does tell all about the women in the World Tournaments and all the other divisions also. Being that I did the research and wrote the book, I am equipped to write this article and determine who are the great ones in the women's history.

It began in 1920, in Akron, Ohio, as Marjorie Voorhees (Asbury Park, New York), won the first Women's World Championship. There was little fanfare for this event, as there were just two contestants, but it was a start for the ladies. That is significant, as the sport was a male-dominated sport, and remained so for four more decades.

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