ISSUE #2015-05
Horseshoe Pitching Newsline
Special Supplement to Newsline
In the interest of bringing you all the World Tournament details you've been provided in Newsline when it was a printed publication, we're pleased to present a separate, special supplement to this issue of Newsline. Click here to link to the PDF file ... both viewable and printable!
President's Message
Recapping the World Tournament
by Stu Sipma, NHPA President

The 2015 World Horseshoe Tournament was held indoors at the Expocentre in Topeka, Kansas from July 13-26. A total of 1,404 pitchers competed for cash and prizes worth over $160,000.

Congratulations to all the World Champions! And the NHPA Council recognizes and congratulates Alan Francis for winning his 20th Men's Title.

For those of you who could not attend, you missed a great tournament. I hope some of you were able to watch the tournament on the drop cam cameras. This year we were able to provide coverage of all the courts.

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Delegates Send 2017 World Tournament Back to Utah
by Stu Sipma, NHPA President

At the 2015 Delegate meeting, held on Sunday, July 19, the delegates had two cities to choose from to host the 2017 World Horseshoe Tournament - Monroe/West Monroe, Louisiana, and St. George, Utah. Both of these cities have previously hosted successful World Tournaments. The NHPA Council would like thank these two cities for coming to Topeka, setting up a booth and presenting their cities to us.
The results of the vote were very close and by a majority vote, the winner was St. George. Congratulations to Kevin Lewis and his team! The NHPA is looking forward to working with you again!

I would also like to thank Alana Cooper, Scott Bruscato and Charles Thomas for their work during the bidding contest and hope they will consider bidding again.
Hall of Fame Banquet Sees Three Inducted to the Hall
by Stu Sipma, NHPA President

At the Hall of Fame Banquet on Sunday, July 19, Lorraine Sternberg, Jim Walters and Harold Anthony (deceased) were inducted into the National Horseshoe Pitchers Hall of Fame. Lorraine and Jim were able to be present to accept their plaque and Harold's family was also there to accept Harold's plaque on his behalf. See the Special Supplement for Hall of Fame banquet photos.
by Tina Hawkins, 2nd Vice President and Publicity/Promotion Director

The ESPN live broadcast of SportsCenter from the 2015 World Horseshoe Tournament in Topeka was a big success! Calls were received that same day from people asking how to join the association!

The three-hour show was interjected with many prepared segments about horseshoe pitching, Topeka, and the history of both. One highlight was the Sport Science study with Illinois pitcher Austin Bailey. This was an excellent segment on the mechanics of our sport. Austin was an exemplary representative for the NHPA!

This video will also be available for viewing at the NHPA Hall of Fame Museum in the Earl and Vicki Winston Theater. 
Officers Re-elected
by Stu Sipma, NHPA President

This year, the NHPA had two positions up for election: President and 5th Vice President. By rule of acclamation, per Robert's Rules of Order, Stuart Sipma and Bill Marvin will retain their respective positions for another three-year term.
World Tournament Comments and Suggestions Being Reviewed
by Tina Hawkins, 2nd Vice President and Publicity/Promotion Director

Your opinion matters to the NHPA World Tournament staff. Therefore, the box is set out onsite, ready for your ideas. Once again, the box was stuffed with good ones!

All comments and suggestions have been categorized and the NHPA Executive Council will review each and every one of them during the annual winter meeting and will address those that have merit. In past years, many changes have been implemented because of your input through the box.

There were over 50 comments submitted at the 2015 World Tournament - some pertaining to the tournament and others to the NHPA in general. A wide range of topics was covered including trophies and awards, scheduling, equipment issues and concession prices. All comments are considered important, however, some cannot truly be addressed due to their vagueness. When submitting a suggestion, it is vital that you specifically state what the issue is for it to receive the attention that it deserves. Look for a follow up after the winter meeting to see results of some of your ideas!
Reporting Delegate Voting Results on Proposed Rules Changes
by Dan Sanders, 1st Vice President and Bylaws/Rules/Grievance Director

The voting results for the 12 Proposed Rules Changes (PRCs) that were brought before our convention delegates this year are presented below. As there were 113 possible delegate votes, and a two-thirds vote is required for passage, a total of 76 'yes' votes was required for the approval of each proposed change.

Voting results are below. A more complete and detailed wording of the PRCs can be found on the NHPA website. The PRCs that were passed will be included in the next revision of the RGS Book to be published after January 1.

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A Few Numbers on this Year's World Tournament Pitching
by Mel Yockstick, NHPA Statistician
The states winning the most first, second and third place trophies this year:

This year the World Tournament Championships produced eight 90-percent games. See below for more information on those games:

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Video of World Tournament Available Now on YouTube

Many of you took advantage of the live video feed from the World Tournament in Topeka and were able to watch your friends and loved ones in action!

Thanks to Rob Hagman, much of that video is now available for viewing on YouTube for viewing and sharing!

Rob reports that due to an ownership change of the DropCam company, not all the features were usable. In the future, features should allow viewers to zoom in and see scoreboards.
Thanks from the WT Director
by Dave Sidles, Secretary-Treasurer

I'm speaking briefly, with a different hat on than I'm used to, that being as Tournament Director of the 2015 World Horseshoe Pitching Championships ... this was my first rodeo, at least at this scale, and I relied heavily on two people in particular: former NHPA Secretary/ Treasurer Dick Hansen and NATSTATS Director Rob Hagman. I cannot begin to thank them enough for all the help and support each of them gave me.

And, of course, there were countless others who poured their hearts and souls into making this event what it was. To the people out in 100-degree heat shoveling clay, to those who were on their knees for hours stretching tape across the floor, to the Kansas steering committee members, and all the ExpoCentre staff, and to the Capital Plaza Hotel staff, I thank you also.

All the different things that came up and all the unique situations that arose were way beyond anything I expected. I give all the credit to my wife, Carla, for getting me through it all. For me ... and for you also, I hope ... it was an event of a lifetime. While I look forward to a couple more, this first one is special to me.

By the end, my legs were shot, my voice was gone and all I could think about was how long my grass was at home, and whether my dog would remember who I was.

To all the 1,400+ competitors, I hope it was everything you expected. We all tried our best.
Thanks from the World Tourney Stats Room
by Rob Hagman, NATSTATS Director

It took some wonderful helpers to run the largest world tournament using electronic scoring. Al and Barb Carson, Josh and Cody Olson, Dalton Rakestraw, and my wife Ann Hagman all worked well with the NHPA Council and shift directors. With our combined efforts, we kept things running and hope you had a great experience.

The horseshoe people from Kansas were great in helping whatever was needed, and the Expocentre helped us at every turn.
Horseshoes and Pitchers in the News

Sodbusters roll out the ringers
Burlington Free Press
Profile of this Vermont horseshoe club

Diamond ringer: Former Ranger wins world horseshoe title
White Bear Press
Minnesota pitcher Helen Hawkinson-Mike makes transition from softball to horseshoe

Darin' Erin: Horseshoes
Local Sports Director learns and challenges 2015 Women's World Champion Deb Brown

Alan Francis captures 20th World Horseshoe Championship
Topeka station interviews 20-time Men's World Champion Alan Francis 
Milestone Awards Presented at 2015 NHPA Hall of Fame Banquet
Mark Seibold, Merlin Potts, Ottie Reno, and Vicki Winston (accepting in memory of Earl Winston)
by Mel Yockstick, NHPA Statistician

This year for the first time World Participation patches were awarded to those pitchers who have pitched in 10, 20, 30, 40, or 50 World Tournaments.
At this year's Hall of Fame banquet, we honored pitchers reaching the milestone of 40 and 50 or more World Tournaments, so patches were awarded to: Vicki Winston, 40 Worlds; Merlin Potts, 42; Ottie Reno, 55; Earl Winston, (deceased) 54; and Mark Seibold, 52.

2015 World results will be added within a few months. In the meantime, you can review all World Tournament records on the NHPA website

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Officers, Regional Directors and Leagues Meeting Addresses Dues and Insurance Concerns
by Jerry Smith, 3rd Vice President and Sanction League Director, Junior Scholarships

During the World Tournament, I helped chair the annual meeting of charter officers, regional directors and sanctioned leagues. One topic of conversation was the need to have charter secretaries get dues and membership information to NHPA Secretary/Treasurer David Sidles at least quarterly.

This is required by bylaws and helps the NHPA both financially and in the area of information. David has a need to know about our membership, and clearly the NHPA needs operational funding throughout the entire year.

It was also suggested that maybe our insurance coverage is not in effect for members until their dues are received. I had David check on our coverage and our agent stated ...

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Judging Clinics See Good Participation
by Dan Sanders, 1st Vice President and Bylaws/Rules/Grievance Director

World Tournament Judging Clinics were once again very popular and well attended in Topeka, with over 40 participants from eight different charters. Many thanks to Rich Altis (Missouri) who helped with these presentations and also provided valuable assistance to our judges who were on duty during this tournament.

Our ultimate goal is to provide you with World Tournament judges who are all NHPA Certified. And to help in reaching this goal, clinic participants from several charters expressed an interest in making these clinics available to members of their charters. Please ask your charter officers about the possibility of attending one of these clinics, and if anyone else has an interest in learning more about this valuable learning experience, please contact me by email, so that I can forward the information and materials to you. All members should become familiar with this important playing rules information whether or not you ever intend to become a judge.
Observations from the NHPF Booth
by Casey Sluys, President, National Horseshoe Pitchers Foundation

At the 2015 World Tournament, the National Horseshoe Pitchers Foundation (NHPF) once again had a premier spot to inform the pitchers about us. Thank you, Kansas Horseshoe Pitchers Association, and Roger Vogel!

Sitting in this nice location, what I noticed most was that people walked in and came out, asking questions about who's winning, how do they score, where do people stand, and sharing thoughts that they thought the games were to 21 points. It seems we could use something as a guide to assist with these types of questions from the general public.

The NHPF will devise a "Spectator Hints" sheet we will begin handing out to everyone that is not already an NHPA member. This should enhance spectators' interest in the game and perhaps cause them to do a little more research into our organization. Something like this is available, once created by Billie Sue Pennington, and we hope to use most of what she developed.

The NHPA Hall of Fame Banquet was one of the best attended in recent years. Thank you, everyone, for your ...

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What's in the Truck?
An inside look at the history and current status of your NHPA Equipment
NHPA Trailer: outside and the carefully packed inside (below)

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

Back in 2007, the NHPA officers decided to build new courts for our World Tournament. I was entrusted to direct the project by then-president Paul Stewart. We brainstormed several ideas and came up with what we believe is the ultimate design for a portable horseshoe court, specifically designed to be assembled and disassembled quickly and easily.

The original design was from Hall of Famer Curt Bestal from the great state of Wisconsin. We made a few modifications to suit our needs, but the basic design was from Curt. However, we didn't stop there, as there were other issues to consider. Paul suggested that we explore finding some sort of rubber floor covering to use on our pitching platforms. After a lot of research and development, we arrived at what you see at the World Tournament today.

The NHPA inventory includes 60 complete portable courts and the rubber walkways under each of the 120 boxes, as well as fencing to create seven complete "banks" of eight courts, and four playoff courts. It also includes plenty of various rugs and other floor coverings to protect the floors of the venues we visit. Additionally, there are a lot of miscellaneous tools such as shovels, pails, shoe-check tools, judging tools, and more ...

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HSMaster Update Available for Download
by Rob Hagman, NATSTATS Director

Version 1.1.196 of HSMaster has been released and is now available for download. Every user needs to download the new version. To check your version, just click "About" at the top. Installing the new version will not change anything you have in your HSMaster database. The changes we made are only to how things import to HSMaster.

When you import from NATSTATS to HSMaster, here is what it looks like: 

First, you need to "select all," then load selected players, then update names, then load averages. "Update Names" will make sure the names and categories in your profile match that of NATSTATS.
Also, if you are using Windows 10 and are importing from NATSTATS, Google Chrome will not work; you'll need to use Firefox or InternetExplorer.

If you have questions about this you can contact me via email or 612-600-3777.
Jukskei USA at the World Tournament

Team Minnesota

Jerry LaBrosse, April Lynch, Joe Mueller, and Josh Olson

by Casey Sluys , President, National Horseshoe Pitchers Foundation

At the 2015 World Tournament, the Jukskei USA group held their annual championships. We only had enough room for one end of a jukskei court, or span, as they say in South Africa. We were able to field four solid teams of four players each, pictured at right and below. 

Team Buckeye won with 17 points; second place was a tie between Motley Crew and Minnesota each with 15 points.

Over the course of the next few Newsline issues, look for much more information on the 2016 tour planned for South Africa. It will be a two-week venture - one week in Capetown and Kruger National Park and the next week will be spent playing jukskei in the championships in Kroonstad.

For more details, please contact Gary Roberts. Timeframe will be late March into April. It will be here before you know it. It is a trip of a lifetime and you will not regret it.
Motley Crew
13-year-old Andrew Marlin, California; Patti Oakes, Minnesota; Kevin Lewis, Utah; and Ken Burkhard, Ohio
Team Ohio Two
Carl Slevin, Meredith Kahrig, Bob Molnar, and John Green
Team Buckeye
Gary Roberts, Brian Fisher, Delbert Fourman and Dave Rose
Comparing Worlds: HOF Chairperson Looks at the 2015 World Tournament
by Vicki Winston, Hall of Fame Committee Chairperson

Another World Tournament has come and gone, and the tournament hosts and the NHPA staff did an excellent job. Of course, I can only speak from the viewpoint of a non-pitcher. It did bring back memories of the way things used to be when I first started out in my World Tournament pitching career back in the 1950s in Murray, Utah, and how different things are now.

Back then, we could watch the competition on 18 clay courts from bleachers just a few feet from the perimeter fence. Of course, we were subject to all the elements Mother Nature could throw at us. Since there were only a couple of men's classes at that time, pitchers drove long distances just to pitch 200 qualifying shoes. If they didn't make one of those two classes, they went back home. It was a struggle to find enough female pitchers to make up a women's class.

Games were 50-point cancellation games. No one ever used shoe-limit games. A scorekeeper was seated in the middle of the court recording the score on a paper scoresheet. The office was a tent set up near the courts, where Katie Gregson and her volunteers were checking scoresheets manually and recording the stats on handmade charts made out of poster board.

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TOLL OF TIME: Don Thornton
Remembering Our Horseshoe Friends
Don Thornton was born in Lemoyne, Ohio, on February 13, 1934. He married Maxine F. Willer on January 27, 1955 in Green Springs, Ohio. He was a member of the Toledo Area Horseshoe Club and the Bowling Green Club, as well as the Ohio Pitchers Association and pitched in the last six World Tournaments. He loved wood crafting and working in his shop at home, making scoring tables for both of his horseshoe clubs.  Many of his horseshoe awards were shown at his wake and all of his family wore horseshoe pins at his funeral. He is survived by his wife, three sons and two daughters, 13 grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. His presence on the courts will be missed by all his horseshoe pitching friends.
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