ISSUE #2015-06
Horseshoe Pitching Newsline
"Autumn ... the year's last, loveliest smile."
- William Cullen Bryant
President's Message
Moving into Fall and Winter
by Stu Sipma, NHPA President

As we move into the fall - which has been very nice for us here in the Dakotas - for most of us, the 2015 pitching season has come to an end. I hope everyone had a great season of horseshoe pitching. I know many charters hosted their state tournament over Labor Day weekend. Congratulations to all State Champions and all competitors!

See the stories below for information about award nominations, election-related deadlines and more.

Don't forget to start making preparations to attend the 2016 World Tournament. Many of you have asked me if we were planning on having the same format and schedule. It is our intention to not change anything at this time, however each year is a challenge when working with different groups in different locations.

I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Stay warm and keep pitching.
Deadlines for Vice President Positions Upcoming
by Stu Sipma, NHPA President

This coming year, 2016, sees our 1st and 3rd Vice President positions open to re-election or new candidates. Per the bylaws, incumbents running for an NHPA office must announce their candidacy in writing to be received by the President and the Newsline Editor no later than February 1.

NHPA members who want to run must announce their candidacy in writing to be received by the President and Newsline Editor no later than April 1.
Nominations Sought for NHPA Awards
by Stu Sipma, NHPA President

Each year the NHPA votes to award an individual the Arch Stokes Award. This is the NHPA's most prestigious award and is awarded to a member who has done the most during the preceding three to five years to promote, foster, and build the sport. The entry deadline is March 31.

We also vote to award an NHPA Achievement Award to a member who the Council feels has worked at promoting and growing the sport of horseshoes. This deadline is March 1.

For charters who feel they have members worthy of being nominated to receive one of these awards, please contact me and I will send you a nomination form or you can find them on our website via the links above.

One other nomination for members to consider is the NHPA Hall of Fame. If any of you have an individual who you feel is a candidate, please see the online application or contact me or Hall of Fame Director Vicki Winston for a nomination form. Completed forms must be received by Vicki no later than January 31.
Time to Vote on NHPA Logo Submissions
NHPA logo
Current NHPA logo
by Tina Hawkins, 2nd Vice President and Publicity/Promotion Director

In an earlier issue of Newsline, the NHPA announced the launch of a logo design contest in an effort to bring a stronger visual identity to our association. We received 20 entries, which were on display during the second week of the World Tournament in Topeka. Now, it is time to vote!

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question and answer
Rules Q & A: Forfeits and Tournament Requirements

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

As I receive a fair number of questions about game forfeits, and about tournament requirements, here are several that I've received, mostly by email. These answers may be helpful to you and others as you make choices about the tournaments you enter. Tournament directors should also be aware of these rules.

Q: Is it okay to leave the courts during a game for an emergency restroom break, and then return and finish the game? Or is that game forfeited?
A: Yes, this should be considered a legitimate reason for leaving the courts. But, you must let your opponent and/or the scorekeeper know why you have to leave, and should be back in a reasonable period of time.

Q: I recently had to drop out of a game due to a dizzy spell. I know that I forfeited that game, but what about the shoes that I had pitched? Are they still counted in my 'stats' for that tournament?

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Multiplex at Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Alabama
Looking Ahead to the 2016 World Tournament
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 and plans are being finalized for the preparation for this event.

For more information, Ron Simmons of the Montgomery Chamber and his staff have put together a video and website that provides a glimpse at the venue, area attractions, hotels, camping information and more.
National Sanction League Tournament: Ultimately a Battle of Illinois Teams
by Jerry Smith, 3rd Vice President and Sanction League Director, Junior Scholarships

The National Sanctioned League Tournament was held in Wentzville, Missouri, at the NHPA's Hall of Fame facility on October 3 and 4. Twenty three-person teams competed for the top prize of $1,500 over the two days of pitching. The teams were cross-seeded into the Scarlet and Gray divisions and played a full nine-game round robin. The tournament was handicapped at 85 percent and count-all scoring was utilized. Bonus points were awarded when a team won two or three games from an opponent during any given round. The winners of the two divisions then played for the championship. Monetary prizes were given for second through forth places in each division.

CHAMPIONS Illinois Team 2
Ken Reid, Denise Daly and Austin Bailey

RUNNERS UP Illinois Team 1
Larry Thomason, Bill Arnold and Dalton Rakestraw

Jerry Smith busy behind the scenes
Connecting to Showcase Horseshoe Pitching and the World Tournament
by Stu Sipma, NHPA President

As part of my duties as World Tournament Coordinator, I attended the Connect Sports Marketing Convention August 26-29 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This conference is an opportunity for the NHPA to showcase our event to a wide variety of cities throughout the country. Over 150 planners attended this conference, along with another 100 sponsors.

During the three-day conference, I had over 47 appointments with various tourism and convention and visitors bureau groups. There were also educational seminars each day to train organizers in the field of planning and executing their events. Once again, the interest in horseshoes and the prospect to bid for the World Tournament remains high. It was interesting to hear stories from the tourism and convention and visitors bureau groups about how  ...

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It's Time to Start Fall/Winter Recruitment Activities
Dalton Rakestraw pitches in a parade to promote horseshoe pitching.
by Tina Hawkins, 2nd Vice President and Publicity/Promotion Director

Now is the time to start planning and creating a horseshoe-pitching entry for your local Christmas parade! Most such events occur within a week of Thanksgiving, so get those creative juices flowing!

No need for an elaborate, over-the-top, Rose Bowl-quality creation ... you can bring the sport into the public eye with something as simple as portable horseshoe pits on wheels, with a rope between to keep them at the right distance. Pulling them through the parade and stopping from time to time to allow a couple of shoes to be pitched ...

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Sanctioned League Program Sees New Pitchers
by Jerry Smith, 3rd Vice President and Sanction League Director, Junior Scholarships

The NHPA Sanctioned League Program is a key component of our efforts to expand or keep up our membership numbers. During the processing of league stats, I am amazed at the large numbers of pitchers that are not currently in NASTATS. Some are pitchers that are returning after absences, but many are brand new pitchers. The league program is a time-consuming, labor-intensive program for both the national director and the NASTATS director, but the new pitchers being exposed to our game makes it all worthwhile.
Checkin' Shoes and Reporting on Them
by Bill Marvin, 5th Vice President and Regional Director and Court Sanctioning Director

During the first-day check-in process for each class at the 2015 World Tournament, we attempted to capture the shoe brand and pitching style of each pitcher. As 5th Vice President, one of my assignments is shoe check at the World Tournament. With the help of several regional directors, as well as other volunteers, this process went very smooth.

Anyone who has been at check-in on the first day of competition knows about the organized chaos - first-time entrants are beyond excited; there are first-day logistical glitches, and the all-too-early 6 a.m. check-in times. With that chaos, there were most likely a few errors made collecting this data. Surprisingly, there were some pitchers who didn't know which of the 119 brands sanctioned by the NHPA they were pitching, or if they threw a flip or turn.

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Constructing NHPA and Home Courts
A peek at the stencil for painting foul lines on the NHPA Courts.
by Jerry LaBrosse, 4th Vice President and Charter Communications Director

In the last issue, my article, " What's in the Truck?" was about the NHPA equipment inventory. The article spurred several positive responses, along with some questions. Here I'll address some of those questions, providing information for those who wish to build some portable courts for their own use.

The first and most common question is "Where can I buy some of these courts?" The simple answer to that is nobody makes these courts for resale, to my knowledge.

If you can't buy them, the next most common question is how to construct them and where do I get the materials needed. Having assisted many folks in building these courts for their own private use, I tell them all that NHPA courts are built for easy assembly and teardown without any special tools. So, if someone is building portable courts for home use, the design can be greatly simplified.

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Recognizing Special World Tournament Helpers
by Bill Marvin, 5th Vice President and Regional Director and Court Sanctioning Director
(Editor's Note: My sincerest apologies to Bill for missing this submission in the last Newsline. The delay in getting the message out is my fault, not his!)
The Kansas Horseshoe Pitchers had everything ready for the World Tournament this year. Topeka welcomed horseshoe pitchers with open arms and made the event a huge success. Kudos to Dave Sidles on his first tour as World Tournament Director. In spite of running behind schedule a couple of times, there were very few glitches from start to finish. The Expocenter was a terrific venue with room for 60 courts.
I must compliment the Kansas folks for their extremely hard work and dedication in each and every task it takes to put on a successful World event. Larry Collette, Roger Vogel, and Terry Cuthbertson did ...

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How Many World Tournaments Do You Have?
by Mel Yockstick, NHPA Statistician

World Tournament participation patches will be sent out to the state secretaries by month-end for those 2015 pitchers eligible, meaning they pitched in 10 or more World Tournaments.

Want to see your own World Tournament results from 1909 to 2015, visit the World Tournament Participation page on the NHPA website. Once on the page, go to the bottom of the page and click on "Download File."

How many World Tournaments do you have? Here's the list of pitchers who have recorded at least 30 from 1909-2015.

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NHPF: The Creation
by Casey Sluys, President, National Horseshoe Pitchers Foundation

The NHPA and the National Horseshoe Pitching Foundation (NHPF) exist because of horseshoe pitching. The NHPA is the governing body of organized horseshoe pitching. As years went by, it became apparent that the NHPA was collecting quite a bit of memorabilia - pictures of pitchers, world records, old horseshoes, great-game score sheets, world tournament program books and so on. All of this was stored in someone's basement.

Once a year, some memorabilia would be hauled out and displayed at the county fair, in the care of Earl Winston. Determining that these artifacts were of some value, regarding our history, it was requested in 1970, that a certain sum of money be set aside for an eventual Hall of Fame (HOF). In 15 years' time, this amount had grown to $75,000. Put into an interest-bearing account, by 1997, it had grown to $160,000. Approval was granted by the NHPA delegates to establish a tax-exempt foundation with a long-term goal of building the NHPA Hall of Fame.

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Horseshoe Pitching Facts & Folklore
Hall of Fame Members
by Bob Dunn, NHPA Historian

Each year, members are being inducted to the NHPA Hall of Fame at the World Tournament Hall of Fame Banquet. Often there are articles about the most well-known players in the Hall of Fame, but seldom is there mention about other members of the Hall of Fame, especially those inducted decades ago. The next series of articles will feature some of the past members who we should remember and get to know a bit.

Elmer Beller was born in Nebraska in 1890 and moved to California in 1925. He operated a garage business in Mojave, California, and began pitching horseshoe in 1948. He served both as NHPA Vice President and NHPA Secretary-Treasurer, ...

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