President's Message
Stu Sipma

Happy New Year to everyone! I hope all of you were able to spend the holidays around friends and family. Holidays are a special time for our family, especially Christmas. Christmas has always been our favorite. I am proud to announce that Sandy and I will be grandparents again. Justin & Sierra announced they will be expecting this coming June.

The NHPA Council Winter Meeting is scheduled for January 12-13, 2018 in Florence, SC, host site of the 2018 World Horseshoe Tournament. I have scheduled this meeting for two full days.  Items on the agenda include rearranging the duties of the council officers and directors, reviewing and setting our 2018 goals, review of our NHPA financials, creating a 2018 budget, review of the 2017 budget, planning the 2018 World Tournament, charter concerns, sponsorship ideas and levels of sponsorship, membership growth ideas, development of a 5-year plan, NHPA directors' concerns, just to name a few.

The NHPA Council would like to welcome Laurie Lampkin, Rob Hagman, and Coyce Allen to the Council. Laurie and Rob will start their duties January 1st, 2018. Coyce was appointed September 15th to replace Bill Marvin. We look forward to having these individuals on the Council.
Laurie Lampkin will be the 2nd VP assigned to publicity and promotions duties and will also take over the World Tournament Coordinator duties.

Rob Hagman will be the 4th VP assigned to the I.T. duties for the NHPA.

Coyce Allen will be the 5th VP in charge of the Regional Directors duties.

There will be other duties assigned to these three positions, however these duties will be finalized after the winter meeting.

The NHPA Council would like to thank Tina Hawkins, Jerry LaBrosse, and Bill Marvin for their years of service on the Council.

Each year the NHPA recognizes members for their contributions to the NHPA, their Charter, and/or local club.  The Council is asking all the Charters to provide a list of individuals who you believe would be a good candidate to receive an NHPA Achievement Award.  These awards will be presented at the 2018 World Tournament in Florence, SC. To obtain a form, visit our website at .

The NHPA is also looking for your assistance in providing candidates who you believe would qualify for the NHPA Hall of Fame Award.  Candidates for this prestigious award must have been an NHPA member for at least 10 years and may qualify based on their distinguished outstanding performances in World Tournament championship play or as a person who has made significant and beneficial contributions to the NHPA.   Nominations for this award should be submitted to our NHPA Hall of Fame Director Vicki Winston. This form is also available on our website. 

I would like to remind everyone that elections are open for the positions of President and 5th VP. According to our By-Laws, candidates for NHPA office must announce their candidacy in writing to be received by the President and the Horseshoe Pitching Newsline Editor no later than April 1st, 2018. Incumbents, however, must announce their candidacy in the same manner, by February 1st, 2018. I encourage competition; therefore, those of you who are interested in one of these positions, please let me know. 

The 2018 World Horseshoe Tournament will be held July 9- 21, 2018 at the GM/SMG Florence Civic Center located in Florence, SC. The NHPA trailer has already arrived from St. George, UT and plans are being finalized for the preparation for this event. People looking at attending, should begin making your plans and getting your reservations made. Information regarding the World Tournament can also be found on our website.

A quick word or two about membership dues. Why do we pay them? The short answer is that our bylaws require us to pay dues. The responsibility to collect dues currently lays with the Charters. It is implied in the bylaws that Charters submit the NHPA portion of the dues they collect on a quarterly basis. This is to ensure that there is always enough money for the NHPA to meet its financial obligations throughout the year, some of which are readily spelled out in the bylaws. 

Most of the NHPA's payment schedules are set up and are dependent on a semi-steady flow of membership dues. Ideally, this would assure that the NHPA's resources don't dip to what we consider a critical level. Getting close to this critical level could delay or put a halt to any improvement projects that we want to pursue. It also insures that all members are contributing equally to our organization .

Register Now for 2018 World Tournament
Join Us in Florence, South Caroline July 9 - July 21, 2018

Register online here or submit a written entry form by May 14, 2018.  Entries after May 14th shall be put on a waiting list and entered into the tournament only as space is available.  All adults must have pitched in a minimum of four (4) US/Canadian sanctioned events in the twelve (12) months  prior to May 14, 2018 , in the same division you are entering. Only one (1) event is required for Juniors.  

Rules Proposals
Gary B. Roberts, 1st VP By-laws, Rules, Grievance Director

One of my major duties is to assist in getting Proposed Rule Changes (PRC's) ready to present to the Executive Council to be reviewed at the Winter Meeting in January. PRC's are accepted every three years as delineated by the NHPA bylaws. 

This year I received thirty-one (31) of them! Fortunately, I have an experienced and engaged Rules Committee. The Committee members are Dan Sanders, Jerry Labrosse, Debby Michaud, Gail Sluys, Rich Altis, and Clarence Lassiter. We have been working on these every day and we will continue working throughout the holidays. I have a new appreciation for all of the work Dan Sanders has done in past years.

The process of bringing PRC's to the Convention floor starts by making sure all members have the opportunity to submit changes. The submission deadline of November 30, 2017 was published in Newsline and an e-blast was sent announcing the deadline. Once the proposals are received, I develop a listing and send all PRC's to all members of the Rules Committee. We then discuss each one of them and then vote independently on whether to approve the proposal for consideration by the NHPA Executive Committee. The Executive Committee reviews them and finalizes those that will be voted on by the Convention delegates. Upon being involved in this process for the first time, I'm not sure this is the most efficient method to accomplish this task. I will bring up this issue at the Winter Meeting.

This year we received thirty-one (31) proposals. Many of them are fairly complex and some propose major changes. As we end 2017 with another loss in membership, we know that changes are necessary. There is no "magic bullet" that will immediately solve our problems. However, we have received some innovative ideas that we must consider carefully. I have heard much criticism of the Executive Council of which I am now a member. I guarantee you that neither I nor any of our Executive Council members have all of the answers. I can further guarantee you that the Executive Council members work many hours to maintain and improve the NHPA. I can also assure you that the Council members are open to make changes to address the membership crisis. Your support and ideas will be welcome. Let us hope that 2018 will be positive year for the NHPA.

Hall of Fame Nominations Due January 31

Would you like to nominate an NHPA member for the Hall of Fame? Nominations are being accepted for the 2018 Hall of Fame class to be awarded at the World Tournament in Florence, South Carolina.  All nominations must be submitted to Vicki Winston by January 31, 2018.

2018 Tournament Patches
Coyce Allen, 5th VP, R.D. Director, Court Sanctioning

Since this will be my first article for the Newsline, let me start out by saying that I am honored to have been selected by the NHPA Council to serve as your 5th Vice President. I can only hope that my efforts will in some way benefit the members of the NHPA.

As the NHPA 5th Vice President, one of the primary duties is to ensure that the Regional Director for each charter receives the tournament patches for the upcoming pitching season. The process is well under way with close to 10,000 patches mailed; but as of this writing there remain 9 charters that I haven't heard from. If you haven't returned the patch request form, haven't received your patches or just need additional patches throughout the year just let me know and I'll get them to you.

In conclusion, I would like to encourage each member to  recruit  one new member in an effort to help grow the organization and to make plans now to attend the World Tournament in Florence, SC.

NHPF: Programs & Happenings
Casey Sluys

Our grant program is working well and has assisted many clubs with upgrading their courts, whether with lighting, pitching pads or completely new courts.  Check out the program here:

Half Moon Bay Club in Northern CA has completed their pads, Stevens Point HSC in WI is up and running on new courts, Gay Mills, WI will have some new courts.  There are numerous others that have benefited from this program and as it stipulates in the contract we simply ask that you host some fundraising tournaments in an attempt to keep the dollars available and flowing to the next club that need some money.

This photo of Admiral Chester Nimitz is just one of many gems of this nature you can view at your Hall of Fame in Wentzville, MO. On your travels please stop by and view this remarkable facility, bring your shoes and pitch a few games on the most beautiful indoor courts in North America.

Bob Dunn has written three books and, as the printing costs are covered, all remaining proceeds come to the NHPF.  We'd like to encourage you to purchase one of Bob's books.  Bob's email is .

AmazonSmile's latest figure is $230.72 as of November 2017. So you can see it is working and building as more and more people begin to understand that this is an entirely painless way to contribute to the foundation. When you log on to Amazon simply go here to AmazonSmile: . One half of one percent of your purchase will come to the NHPF this way and there are absolutely no strings.

We just had 18 more bricks in the patio engraved in December, there are plenty more available if you haven't bought one yet.  It's a great way to honor someone that has been, or is, a big part of your life.  Got a business? Include your phone number on a brick, it's been done before.

This year there will be a myriad of rule change proposals at our convention in Florence, SC.  Hopefully you will consider these with an open mind?  Personally, I am an advocate for change something to retain and gain membership no matter how radical the idea might seem.  Say for instance a two-tiered system like major league baseball has with their farm clubs. Who knows where this could take us?  Think of all the "bar" league non-sanctioned pitchers that you know.  This system would include most of them in one form or another. Details need to be worked out, but just imagine?   "Although there is no progress without change, not all change is progress"

We wish all of you a successful pitching season in 2018 and look forward to meeting many of you at the WT in Florence, SC this year.

Special Thanks to Our Donors
We express our sincere thanks to the following who have donated:

Donating $10-$99
Charles M. Bunner, WV

Donating $200-$499
Dave & Cathie Loucks, CA
Millstadt Horseshoe Club, IL
Joe & Mary Summers, CA

Donating $500-$750
Casey & Gail Sluys, CA (scorekeeping)

Bricks Purchased
Zane & Joyce Goggin, GA

Other Income:
NHPA  $250.00  (rent)
City of Bronson, KS $279.00 (grant repayment)
Bob Dunn Book Sales $ 39.00

Introduction:Rob Hagman

Happy New Year! My name is Rob Hagman and I am your new 4th vice president. I will be in charge of the IT needs of the NHPA, and the webmaster of .

In the New Year, we will begin rewriting HSMaster. If there are any changes or additions to the program you feel are important you can email them to me at .

I look forward to my new job and wish you all many ringers in the new year.

Stat Results Update
Mel Yockstick, World Statistician

All NHPA State Championship Tournaments have now been completed for 2017. The 2017 State Championship page has been updated, I listing all champions by each division followed by all past division champions from previous years. (See chart below for new 2017 State Champions pitchers that have been added to the NHPA website for the first time.)
2017 World Tournament results have been updated here.
Two newly installed files on NHPA website:
1- New file that lists 1909-2017 NHPA World Tournament Preliminary and World Championship winners with 3 or more titles ( World Turn-WT Statistics-WT_Plus3+wins).

2- New file has been added labeled -  Mens 40 Point Era Other Stats. This file list many other stats pertaining to the Men's World Championship results. Plans are underway to list all other divisions as they are complete.

Harless "JR." Peters
West Virginia
Lachelle Cook
Alena Lepak
Karen Graham
New York
Daniel Dunn
Harold Holbrook
Mike Walsh
North Dakota
Larry Myers
Bert Logsdon
John Irvin
Tom Westbrook
South Carolina
Noah Gabel
North Dakota
Jace Pickering
Luke Ray
Ashley Demoranville
Logan Ross
Erin Barclay

Horseshoe Trivia

Many pitchers have been successful with unorthodox deliveries and turns. There is no turn more unorthodox than the reverse one and three quarters. Many pitchers have mastered the reverse three quarter and the reverse one and one quarter turns. Only two pitchers have become high average pitchers with the one and three quarters reverse. These pitchers were Gary Farnsworth of Illinois and Dave Hughes of Minnesota. Gary played in the 1966 World Tournament in Utah and won his preliminary group averaging 78.1%. He finished 11th in the Championship finals with an average of 79.1%. Gary averaged over 80% in many tournaments including the Greenville Ringer Classic. Interestingly, Gary was inducted into the Vermillion County Basketball Hall of Fame.

A very young Dave Hughes qualified for the Championship Division at the 1979 World Horseshoe Tournament in Statesville, North Carolina. He impressed everyone with his beautiful reverse one and three quarters turn. He finished 9th with an average of 78.0%. In one game, he defeated Jeff Williams 52-49 in 126 shoes. Dave had 85.7% and Jeff had 84.9% in this impressive game. Dave returned to the World Tournament in 1980 and finished 10th with a 74.1% average. Dave averaged 80.1% in the 1979 Minnesota State Tournament.

Horseshoe Pitching Facts & Folklore
Bob Dunn, NHPA Historian

This issue's Horseshoe History and Folklore article will cover an interesting story from the state of New York taken from my most recent book "Horseshoe Pitching Tournaments to be remembered."

This chapter tells about a local horseshoe club that developed a very unique and successful arrangement for the location of their courts. It may be helpful to know that Falconer is located near the south border of the state very close to the most western point of New York. An article that appeared in the December 1959 issue of the Horseshoe Pitcher's News Digest, tells this interesting story:

By Larry Proudman

 "Local horseshoe clubs which experience difficulty in forming an effective organization with proper playing facilities might find a solution to their problems in the story of the Chautauqua County players in New York State.

Organized in 1950 with ten members the club conducted its activities on a single court located at a fire station. The city tournament was a ten-man round robin that year with one round (five games) played each night for nine consecutive nights until the schedule was completed.
Attempting to remedy this inadequate situation the club moved the following year to an industrial site where six courts were available. This too proved unsatisfactory for the employees played on the courts during the noon hour until the very last minute and then left the courts uncovered at the mercy of the weather. When the club members arrived in the evening for their activities, the courts were baked dry by the sun or flooded by rain.

This is a familiar pattern found also in public parks where the general public ruins the courts during the daytime eight by neglect or lack of proper tools and equipment to keep the clay and courts in shape. Most park departments fail to make provisions for the maintenance of horseshoe courts on the scale that they do for tennis courts and other recreational facilities. Seemingly they expect the horseshoe pitchers to do the work that is properly park department responsibility. It is not logical to expect club members to maintain public property for the use of the general public at their own expense.

Consequently, the Chautauqua County boys looked around for a plot of ground at the edge of town where they could install privately owned and operated courts but the expense of running water and electrical lies and providing other facilities was too great for a dozen or so to bear.
Finally, I was delegated to approach the Falconer Rod and Gun Club, a conservation club with 36 beautiful wooded acres at the edge of town. I outlined the needs and desires of our club at a regular meeting of the Rod and Gun Club which voted to allow us to become a regular division of the organization and to build four courts on the lower end of the club's picnic grounds. (This would have been about 1957). We also agreed to furnish the club with at least 20 additional members at the $2.00 membership fee.

We built the courts ourselves, mixing the concrete, digging the clay, building the forms etc. for a total of $60. Since the four courts were exclusively for our own use it was easy to obtain work crews to perform the work. We charged each member 50 cents per week during the season and from this assessment we paid for the construction of the courts, each player's membership in the Rod and Gun Club and turned in a balance of $20 into the treasury of the Rod and Gun Club.
We continued the 50 cents assessment the next year and had organized competition two nights a week. We added a fifth court and after deducting the cost of the court, paying our individual Rod and Gun Club memberships and paying for trophies and prizes given out during the year we had a balance of $80.00 which was turned over to the Rod and Gun Club.

This past year (1958) we built three more courts and installed lights and staged the New York State Tournament. We raised money by staging dances and social events in the club house of the Rod and Gun Club and from the concessions sold during the State Tournament. The Rod and Gun Club assisted us in building the additional courts and the installing of a lighting system.
Our horseshoe club now has eight beautiful lighted courts under the trees in the picnic area next to the plush club house of the Rod and Gun Club. We have use of the clubhouse and its facilities for our own social events and we participate in the affairs of the Rod and Gun Club as regular members and enjoy the privileges that go with it. The clubhouse itself is very plush, having a dining room that will seat more than 100 for dinner, a kitchen and rest rooms.

On the nights of our formal competition we take care of the 400 pheasants the club raises. This takes two men about 15 minutes to feed and water them. We furnish our share of the manpower needed by the club to maintain the grounds and clubhouse and we maintain our own horseshoe courts.

The beauty of this set up is that we not only are solvent financially and have first class courts and facilities but most important we never have any trouble in obtaining the necessary work details to maintain and improve the courts. Unlike the work done on courts in a public park or industrial setup and the results are rewarding and permanent;  I am sure that there are many horseshoe clubs in the United States who could effectively make similar arrangements."

The article made reference to hosting the 1959 New York State Tournament. In addition to that, the Falconer Horseshoe Club hosted the prestigious Eastern National in 1960 and 1961.

The author of the article, Larry Proudman was inducted to the New York Association Hall of Fame in 1975. Proudman had served as State Association President and in his Hall of Fame bio, it mentions that the Rod and Gun Club courts were even expanded to 16 courts.

Not many early day tournament results could be uncovered from the News Digests, but this one is from 1963:

 "The Falconer Rod and Gun Club Invitational Tournament was held in August at the club courts in Falconer, New York. There were five classes with 31 participants.

Wally Lindstrom, a former City-County Champion pitched his way to victory defeating all contestants in his class. Also, he pitched the highest single game percentage of 67.9%. Don Ludwick of Lander, PA, second place winner, pitched the best over-all average of 60.1% for the complete tournament.

A playoff was needed in Class B to determine the winner. Pete Scheria of Jamestown NY met Roy Gravink of Mayville, NY, winning 50 to 28 and becoming class champion.

A playoff between Ken Hopkins of Falconer, NY and Henry Borgstrom of Dunkirk, NY determined the winner of Class C with Borgstrom winning out 51 to 43.

A playoff between Dave Marsh of Russell, PA and Norm Shongo of Stockton, NY determined the winner in Class D with Marsh winning out 51 to 41. Tony Cusimano was high percentage with 65.6% for one game.

Class E was won by Willie Burch of Warren, PA winning five straight games.

1963 Falconer Invitation Final Standing
Class A W L Pct. Class B W L Pct.
Lindstrom,  Jamestown
5 0 57.1% Scheria, Jamestown 4 1 47.2%
Ludwick, Lander PA 4 1 60.1% Gravink, Mayville 4 1 48.8%
Hale, Jamestown 3 2 50.7% Spicer, Akley PA 3 2 42.9%
Mount, Cherry Creek 1 4 46.6% Johns, Jamestown
1 4 37.8%
Saden, Dunkirk 0 5 45.9% Carr, Dunkirk 1 4 36.2%

For some reason more of the Falconer events were reported once the 1980s rolled around. Since the previous tournament reported, the courts have been expanded to 16 and renamed the Larry Proudman Memorial Courts. Because no mention is made of the Rod and Gun Club, the courts probably have been relocated to the Falconer Park. This next event was held in 1982 and there are some national stars entered:

 "A record number 104 men and women from New York and Pennsylvania participated in the Falconer Horseshoe Club Open Tournament held on the 16 Larry Proudman Memorial Courts in Falconer Park which will be the site of the New York State Tournament.

Steve Kuchcinski from Erie, PA captured the championship Class A title with a 6-1 record and averaged 66.0%. Kuchcinski shot 77.5% (31 of 40) in a playoff game with Dick Mudgett to win his first ever Class A title. Mudgett, from Cattaraugus, NY and the local club's top pitcher, had defeated Kuchcinski earlier in the round robin but lost to third place finisher Gene Small from Bath, NY to force the playoff game.

Six women from Pennsylvania comprised the Ladies Class with Russell's Joyce Spicer coming out on top. Spicer averaged 39.2% and finished with an unblemished 5-0 record. Lu Collins finished one game back and averaged a fine 43.2%.

Men's Class A - S. Kuchcinski, Erie, PA  6-1  66.0%; D. Mudgett, Cattaraugus  6-1  65.8%; G. Smalt, Bath  4-3  57.3%; R. Collins, Sugargrove, PA  4-3  55.9%; F. White, Erie, PA  3-4  55.6%; J. Kuchcinski, Erie, PA  3-4  53.4%; J. Mathys, Bradford  2-2  47.3%; E. Kuchcinski, Erie  0-7  37.8%
Women's Class A - J. Spicer, Russell, PA  5-0  39.0%; L. Collins, Sugargrove, PA  4-1  43.2%; D. Butcher, Erie, PA  3-2  34.9%; L. Marshall, Warren, PA  1-4  25.0%; S. Porter, Russell, PA  1-4  23.9%; D. Mickelson, Warren, PA 1-4  19.8%

The 1984 Falconer Open had even more name players. It appears that the Men's Class was a 12 player class but only the top four finishers were reported. The Class A winner, Mike DiMartino is truly a star pitcher. Mike, a member of the New York Association Hall of Fame won many tournaments including major events as the Dogwood Festival in 1985, the Eastern National in 1984 and 1987 and he was nine times New York state champion; 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1989, 1990, 1996, 2006 and 2007. The Class B winner, Kurt VonKleist is also a well-known name playing today in Pennsylvania. The Women's Class A had two National Hall of Fame pitchers entered:


Men's Class A - Mike DiMartino, Churchville, NY  11-0  84.7%; Steve Kuchcinski, Erie, PA  9-2  73.0%; Don Kuchcinski, Erie, PA  8-3  75.7%; Steve Hohl, Wellesley, Ont., CN  8-3  72.8%

Women's Class A - Ruth Hagen, Getzville, NY  6-0  70.2%; Lorraine Thomas, Lockport, NY 4-2  64.7%; Joyce Spicer, Russell, PA  2-4  37.0%; Rhonda Haw, Ontario, CN  0-6  32.2%

This final entry from July 20-21, 1990, has Kurt VonKleist winning the Falconer Open:

Men's Class A - Kurt VonKleist, PA  6-1  67.0%; Ron Kuchcinski, PA  6-1  74.0%; John Mathys, PA  5-2  65.8%; Robert Jones, NY  4-3  62.5%; Bob Hays, NY  3-4  57.4%; Glenn Brown, NY  2-5  59.%; Al Conklin, NY  1-6  5.6%; Bob Brown, PA  1-6  50.6%.

Below is a listing of the champions for the few tournaments reported:

Falconer New York Open Champions

1963    Wally Lindstrom          PA       5-0   57.1%
1982    Steve Kuchcinski          PA       6-1   66.0%      
Women - Joyce Spicer, PA           5-0   39.0%
1984    Mike DiMartino           NY      11-0   84.7%     
Women - Ruth Hangen, NY         6-0   70.2%
1989    Ron Kuchcinski            PA       6-1   71.9%
1990    Ron Kuchcinski            PA       7-0   73.6%      
Women - Marian Gee, NY          5-0 53.7%                                                                        
Junior - Mike Drayer, PA             4-1   27.8%
1991    Men - Kurt VonKleist, PA        6-1   67.0%     
Women - Lorraine Thomas, NY    6-1   62.6%
                Junior - Steve Wilkinson, NY       4-1   28.0%

History Jottings

If you are interesting in purchasing a copy of "Horseshoe Pitching Tournaments to be Remembered" or any of my books, contact me at Remember that all the sales proceeds from the Lee Rose Story and the AAU National Amateur Horseshoe Pitching Championships go directly to the NHPF. So far $381 has been provided to the NHPF. If you have not purchased both of these books, consider it knowing the funds will be presented to the NHPF.