ISSUE #2016-02
Horseshoe Pitching Newsline

Future Champions Youth Tournament Held in Missouri
Submitted by Jeanette Claas
After the Quail Ridge Horseshoe Club's Happy Heart Tournament on February 6, it was time for the junior and cadets tournament ... the first Future Champions Youth Tournament.

For most of the 16 participants, ages 7 - 15, it was their first tournament. Tournament director Mark Snead oversaw the competition where participants each received a personalized "Future Champions" t-shirt, hand towel, and a pick-up hook, plus a trophy.
President's Message
Reporting In from the NHPA Council Winter Meeting
by Stu Sipma, NHPA President

The NHPA Council held their annual winter meeting January 22-23 in Montgomery, Alabama, host site of the 2016 World Horseshoe Tournament. The meeting was held at the Embassy Suites for two full days with a short break to tour the 70,000-square-foot Multiplex Center at the Cramton Bowl, located on the edge of downtown Montgomery. The host hotels for this year's World Tournament will be the Embassy Suites, Renaissance, and DoubleTree.

This year's winter meeting included two full days of meeting topics. Some of the main topics on the agenda included: finalizing our 2016 goals; reviewing the 2015 financial report; establishing our 2016 budget; reviewing Proposed Rule Changes; reviewing the 2016 World Tournament; membership and sanction league reports, to name a few.

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V.P. Election Deadlines are on the Horizon
by Stu Sipma, NHPA President

Positions up for re-election this year are 1st Vice President and 3rd Vice President. Jerry Smith, current 3rd Vice President, has submitted to me his intent to seek another term. However, the position of 1st Vice President is open for candidacy, as Dan Sanders has decided not to pursue another term.

Per the NHPA bylaws (ARTICLE V, Section 7) 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.

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Announcing Candidacy for Third Vice President
by Jerry Smith, 3rd Vice President and Sanction League Director, Junior Scholarships

I would like to announce my candidacy for the position of NHPA Third Vice President, a position I now hold. I was appointed to fill this position when newly elected NHPA Secretary-Treasurer David Sidles vacated it in 2014. I have just finished an exciting first year and all that it entailed.

Currently the position holds the responsibility of National Sanction League Director as its main chore, and is a position that requires a good deal of time and training. Having gone through the process of learning the many aspects of this position and having the necessary time to devote to it, I believe it advantageous to retain the position for another term. I appreciate all of the support that I have received and hope that it will continue, particularly into and through the election at the 2016 World Tournament. It is an honor to sit on this prestigious Council.

Thank You.
Junior Scholarship Winners Announced
by Jerry Smith, 3rd Vice President and Sanction League Director, Junior Scholarships

It is my pleasure to announce the winners of the 2015 Junior Scholarship program. Congratulations to these seven Junior Scholarship recipients for their academic achievements and their NHPA involvement:



Scholarship Amount
Savanna Johnson
Taylor Coile
Cortnie Raine       
Kansas $150
Jessica Wilson
Missouri $125
Megan McLeod    
Missouri $125
Audrey Jackson      
Missouri $100
Alisha Prasalowicz    
Wisconsin $75

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World Tournament Entry Form Available
by Stu Sipma, NHPA President

The World Tournament entry form is on the web site for you to print out, complete and send in. Minor changes have been made to the shift schedule and divisions. If you need to find out approximately which days you pitch, please contact Secretary-Treasurer David Sidles. The entry fee has not changed from last year; adults are $130 and juniors are $25.

The form explains the requirements and how to qualify. There is still ample time to get the tournaments you need. Take a look at what events are in your area, contact the local tournament director, and bring a friend along. Who knows; your invite may be all it takes to add an NHPA member. What will it hurt to ask?

I am looking forward to a great turnout this summer at the 2016 World Tournament in Montgomery, Alabama, July 25-August 6. Don't forget to make your reservations, especially campers, as I was told campsites are filling up fast.
New NHPA Logo Approved by Council
by Tina Hawkins, 2nd Vice President and Publicity/ Promotion Director

Bobby White was announced as the winner of the NHPA logo contest for his design, which can be seen above. After careful deliberation and consideration, the NHPA Executive Council has decided this fresh, modern logo is a perfect representation of our association and sport.

By unanimous vote, the council approved this new design as the official logo of the NHPA. This change will go into full effect following delegate approval at the convention in Montgomery, Alabama. At that time, the image will be made available to the membership for use in club newsletters, banners, etc.

The existing logo will not be banished, but as items imprinted with it need to be replenished, it will be replaced with the new representation. This more identifiable and recognizable emblem will be a great benefit in attracting attention to the NHPA and the sport of horseshoe pitching.
Taking a Look at Montgomery - the City and the
2016 World Tournament Venue
by Jerry LaBrosse, 4th Vice President and Charter Communications Director

World Tournament pitchers are in for quite a treat this year in Montgomery, Alabama. The Multiplex at Cramton Bowl is one of the best venues I have seen to host our event. It is spacious, modern, clean, air-conditioned, and beautifully laid out.

There is upper-level viewing on both ends of the arena and there will also be bleacher seating on the main floor for those who wish to be closer to the action. The tournament stat room will be off to the side of the main arena with the NHPA offices on the lower level. Watch for the signs. Registration will be at the main entrance.

It is centrally located, just minutes from the downtown area; and it is very easy to get around the city.

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Seeking Sponsorships
New levels of support offer something for everyone
by Tina Hawkins, 2nd Vice President and Publicity/Promotion Director

Horseshoe pitching is an activity that an estimated 20 million people participate in, at some level or in some form, each year! This number alone should make the NHPA one of the most sought after sponsorship opportunities in existence. However, sponsorship proposals have been in place for many, many years with no takers.

Much research and a new chain of thought have contributed to a brand new set of NHPA sponsorship opportunities, giving more flexibility in how sponsor dollars can be dedicated. From sponsoring membership cards to junior scholarships to naming rights of the World Tournament, there is now a viable opportunity to suit each interest and budget!

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Two New Additions to the Guidelines Section of the RGS Book 2016
by Dan Sanders, 1st Vice President and Bylaws/Rules/Grievance Director
Part 1
Hand Signals
'One ringer, three points'
Over the past two years, there have been several articles and discussions about the use of hand signals, to help ensure that scorekeepers understand the intended verbal calls being made during league and tournament play. Although hand signals, for some calls, have been used for many years, it is important that pitchers learn and use the same or similar hand signals, especially at larger events where pitchers (and scorekeepers) from larger geographic areas are competing  -- including all state tournaments and the World Tournament.

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Part 2 
Inappropriate Behavior during Sanctioned Events
The sport of horseshoe pitching is generally thought of as a "gentleman's game," with each game starting and ending with a handshake. Expected behavior is generally touched upon in some of the various Playing Rules sections, and may also be learned from other pitchers. Rule 12 includes some specific examples of inappropriate conduct and related consequences, and in our NHPA Bylaws, Article III, Section 8 lists six offenses that may result in an NHPA suspension for up to one year.

It is hoped that this set of Guidelines will be helpful to our members, Tournament/League Directors, and Charter Officers, informing them of what can/should be done about behaviors that are deemed inappropriate, what to do on subsequent offenses, and if and when the NHPA needs to become involved.

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Opening the World Tournament Comments Box
by Tina Hawkins, 2nd Vice President and Publicity/Promotion Director

During its recent winter business meeting, the NHPA Executive Council reviewed every comment received in the Comments Box during the 2015 World Tournament in Topeka. Many valuable suggestions were made and actions are being taken to address the situations in question.

Here are a few that were most important to world tournament goers, along with some comments:

Lower food prices in the concessions
World Tournament hosts are always cautioned that NHPA competitors prefer more ...

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Hawkins Receives Readers' Choice Award
SportsEvents Media Group, an industry publication focused on helping sports event planners produce competitions in the United States, has announced Tina Hawkins, the NHPA's 2nd Vice President and Publicity/Promotion Director, as one of its 2016 Readers' Choice Award winners in the Sports Event Planner category.

Sports event professionals were asked to nominate planners, destinations and sports venues that they believe display exemplary creativity and professionalism toward the groups and events they represent. Nominations were received from readers throughout the year, and the top picks were selected based on results from an online voting system.

Award winners were profiled in the January 2016 issue of SportsEvents magazine, beginning on page 14 of the publication.

"This award lets me know that what I am doing to promote the NHPA to the entire sports events world has not gone unnoticed," said Tina, "and people are talking about and thinking about our world tournament, because of what I present to them and the manner in which I present the information."
Voting Underway for Hall of Fame, Anticipating 2016 Inductees
by Vicki Winston, Hall of Fame Committee Chairperson

Materials needed to conduct the 2016 Hall of Fame voting have been sent to all members of the Hall of Fame committee. By the time you are reading this, voting will be well underway. Committee members must review a considerable number of bios each year before making their choices in each category. Making those choices can sometimes be a very difficult task. I am thankful for the individuals who are willing to perform this important service for the NHPA. If you are interested in knowing the names of the nominees who are being considered this year, a list has been posted on the NHPA website.

When I am able to make a public announcement of the 2016 inductees - which is after all inductees, or a family member, have been personally notified - I will post their names in the Hall of Fame portion of the NHPA website Forum. It is an exciting time as the ballots are returned and I tally the votes to see how many people I will get to surprise. When I call, I often ask the person if they are sitting down.  

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Keep it Fresh and Local to Promote the Sport
by Bill Marvin, 5th Vice President and Regional Director and Court Sanctioning Director

Looking out the window I see five inches of fresh snow. It is hard to imagine that in a few short weeks, the clanging of horseshoes in parks, backyards and at clubs throughout the nation will once again be in full swing. One of the things that can attract new pitchers to our sport is keeping the courts looking fresh, groomed and well-used. If there are weeds in the fence, crooked stakes, broken down backboards, and other things that give the appearance of nonuse, folks are not going to play a sport where the people ignore their facilities.

Working with local parks departments can be a challenge. Unless they are consulted in advance of improvements, there can and will be friction. Most local governments are strapped for funds and ...

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Another Contributing Factor
by Casey Sluys, President, National Horseshoe Pitchers Foundation

Ladies and gentlemen, please allow me to broach a subject that is seldom spoken of. It is, indeed, a delicate subject, and I will attempt to speak about it with utmost decency. The subject matter pertains to all of us, and it is our eventual end-of-life predicament that we all face.

Recently, we had a member of our charter pass away and his obituary stated that it was his wish, in lieu of flowers, that donations be made to the Northern California Horseshoe Pitching Association. In my 30 + years with the NHPA, I dare say that this is only the second or third time I have seen this in print, where a person is willing to direct donations to the organization and sport that he/she loved.

Have you ever given any thought about what you would want your obituary to say? How do you wish people to remember you? Wouldn't it be nice if we could all think far enough ahead to have a statement in our obituary that says "in lieu of flowers, please send a donation to the NHPF?"

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Junior Profile: Damon Beatty
Horseshoes with a Smile
Damon Beatty, Oklahoma
by Aleena Lepak, Junior Promotion Director

Not many seniors in high school have their next years planned and want their senior year to never end. Damon Beatty from Sand Springs, Oklahoma, is having his best academic year and is looking forward to his college career. Damon is going to major in sports management, as he has always had an interest in sports. He currently participates in horseshoes, basketball, football, and working out; and loves to make people smile.

Pitching horseshoes is the newest sport for which Damon has found a love. About two years ago, his friend Jacob Fortune, Jr. talked to Damon about horseshoes and took him to his local league. While there, Glenn King gave him some pointers and Damon has been pitching ever since. With his family and friends being supportive and encouraging, Damon is already averaging 30 percent and is increasing that steadily.

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

To continue the series of Hall of Fame member bios, here is another offering of inductees from the early 1970s:

Ralph Dykes, Illinois, 1973, Promoter/Organizer
Ralph Dykes was born in 1913 and bought his first pair of horseshoes in 1937 from Hansford Jackson (son of Frank Jackson), a pair of 1936 Ohio shoes for $1.50. Before his involvement in the NHPA, Dykes was participating in several AAU pitching events in the Chicago area. He went on to serve as Illinois Association President for 20 years (1948-1968). He also was elected NHPA President from 1967 to 1972. Ralph is known for providing innovative improvements to the handling of World Tournaments, including construction of scoring devises, qualifying score posting board, and revision of a 36-player, round-robin schedule.

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Reliving Older Tournaments
by Bob Dunn, NHPA Historian

As the past Hall of Fame inductees are being reviewed and bios presented for an update to present members, here's a series of older tournaments that are also going to be researched and presented in this article space. Last issue we revisited the Congressional Horseshoe Tournament. This issue we will revisit the John Rosselet Memorial Open.

John Rosselet, a native of Summit, New Jersey, was NHPA 3rd Vice President, and is the only NHPA officer known to be killed in combat. He was only 19 years old when elected as an NHPA officer in 1941. A tournament was initiated in his memory in 1949, held on the sand and dirt courts in Warinanco Park in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and continued through 1985.  Sometime in the 1980s, clay courts were installed. .

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The Story of Bob Rogers, Designer of the Hall of Fame & Museum and '15 NHPA Achievement Award Winner

by Joe Faron, NHPF Vice President

In 2006, an article appeared in the local community newspaper of St. Charles County, Missouri, describing plans and the signing of a lease between the NHPA/NHPF and the St. Charles County Parks Department to build a new NHPA Hall of Fame (HOF) and Museum in Quail Ridge Park, in Wentzville, Missouri. Mary Lou Rogers, wife of Bob Rogers, Graphic Designer and owner of Gingko Design, noticed the article and contacted Joe Faron to inquire about the project. She asked if Bob might submit a proposed concept for the project. It should be noted that Bob and Mary Lou live only about three miles from the New Melle Horseshoe Club.

Joe and Bob had never met prior to the initial meeting. The meeting was scheduled, and Bob and Joe discussed Gingko's experience and capabilities. Bob agreed to produce exhibit concepts to demonstrate how the dedicated space might be developed. Joe took the concepts to the World Tournament in Gillette, Wyoming, where they were reviewed with Dave Loucks and the NHPA Council.

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TOLL OF TIME: Robert "Ozzie" Williams, Sr.
Remembering Our Horseshoe Friends
submitted by Robert Wells

Ozzie was born May 13, 1934 in Addison, Michigan. He passed away January 2, 2016, in Jackson, Michigan. Ozzie was the Men's Michigan State Champion in 1984, 1985, and 1989. He was inducted into the Michigan hall of Fame in 1990. He was a lifetime member of the Jackson County Horseshoe Club, and one of its founding officers.

Ozzie leaves behind his wife, Peg, of 60 years; three sons, Bob, Tom, Randy; two daughters, Sue and Sandy; and several grandchildren. His son Tom has finished Second in the Men's World Championship and has won the Michigan state title 19 times. Sue won the Junior Girls' World Championship and Michigan state title in 1980.

He will be missed by all of the Michigan family of horseshoe pitchers.
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