PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE: REFLECTIONS OF FLORENCE
This issue of my President's message is one that is going to be hard to write with everything that has been going on these past few months.
I want to start by announcing the loss of one of the nicest men you could ever meet. Bob Dunn (our NHPA Historian) passed away on September 26, 2018 after he was involved in a car accident August 24th.
Bob had a great passion for the sport of horseshoes especially his interest and knowledge in the different types of horseshoes which he proudly displayed at our world tournaments for many years. Bob also was a writer and has written two books about our great sport. Bob was inducted into the NHPA Hall of Fame in 2016 and also served on our NHPA Hall of Fame Committee. Bob took pride in his work and it showed if you had a chance to go down to our Hall of Fame Museum in Wentzville, MO. Bob was also involved in making sure the Museum was proudly displayed with different memorabilia which he would collect, or people would send to him. He would then travel down to the Museum and change out displays from time to time. Bob will be deeply missed by the NHPA. The World Tournament will not be the same without him there or having his large display of the different types of horseshoes which he collected over the years. On behalf of the NHPA Council, our deepest sympathy goes out to his family and all his friends.
On July 25th, 2018, David Sidles submitted (to me) his resignation as our NHPA Secretary/Treasurer with his last day being December 31st, 2018. The NHPA Council would like to thank Dave for his many years serving first as our 3rd Vice President in charge of Sanction Leagues and also as our Secretary/Treasurer. I can honestly say Dave has been a pleasure to work with and really enjoyed everything he has done in these two positions for the NHPA. Speaking for the whole Council, we will really miss him serving on the Council.
Moving forward, I am pleased to announce the Council has approved my appointment of Jim Kinney Jr. from Missouri to take over this role. Jim is currently retired and brings to the table a large amount of accounting, management, and leadership experience. He has worked with the Internal Revenue Service as the head of Accounts Receivable with management experience and exceptional people skills. He is versed in accounting, writing, and organizational skills. Jim and Dave have been working together to allow Jim to be ready to take over starting January 1st.
As the 2018 pitching season comes to an end for many Charters, I hope everyone had a great season of horseshoe pitching. I know many Charters hosted their State Tournament Labor Day weekend. Congratulations to all State Champions and those participants who competed.
Each year the NHPA votes to award an individual to receive the Arch Stokes award. This is the NHPA's most prestigious award and is awarded to an NHPA member who has done the most during the preceding three to five years to promote, foster and build the sport. 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. 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 it on our NHPA website. The deadline for the Stokes Award is March 31, 2019 and the NHPA Achievement Award deadline is, March 1, 2019. 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 contact me or Vicki Winston at email@example.com for a nomination form. Nomination forms must be received by Vicki Winston by January 31, 2019.
The 2019 World Horseshoe Tournament will be held July 22nd - August 3rd, 2019 at the Ray Clymer Exhibit Hall and the Kay Yeager Coliseum (NPEC) in Wichita Falls, TX. The NHPA trailer has already arrived from Florence, SC and plans are being finalized for the preparation for this event.
The NHPA Council would like to thank Jerry Smith and all the others who assisted with Jerry on hosting the Sanction League Tournament at our HOF Building October 6th & 7th. It sounds like everyone had a great time and the tournament was another great success. --- Thank You ---
I had the privilege this year to attend two sports marketing conferences with Laurie Lampkin. We both attended the SPORTS conference in NC and the TEAMS conference in KY. I can honestly say that I really do miss this work! This job is now turned over to Laurie and after watching her work at the two conferences, I can assure you this part of the job is in good hands. The Council would like to thank Laurie for all her efforts in regaining interest from cities to bid on this event.
In conclusion, don't forget to start preparing to attend the 2019 W.T. Information will be posted on our website soon. The Council will be finalizing the entry form after our winter meeting scheduled for February 8th & 9th in Wichita Falls, TX. Many of you have asked me if we were planning on having the same format and schedule. It is our intentions not to 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. Remember to sign up one new member to grow our sport.
Toll of Time : Robert Charles
Robert Charles Dunn, 76, of Brooklyn Park passed away on September 26, 2018.
Funeral services will be held at 11am on October 6th at Osseo United Methodist Church 16 Second Ave SE, Osseo. Visitation will be held at the church 1 hour prior to the service.
Bob grew up in Lakeville with his parents Charles and Inga Dunn. He married Sandra in 1968 and moved to Brooklyn Park where they lived and raised their three daughters. He was an avid backyard bird watcher, dahlia flower gardener, and antique collector.
Bob was involved with organized horseshoe pitching since about 1980. He is a Hall of Fame member of the Minnesota Gopher State Horseshoe Pitcher's Association and also the National Horseshoe Pitchers Association. He was most proud of his extensive antique horseshoe collection and his numerous published books he wrote on horseshoe history. Bob had countless friends all over the horseshoe world. More on Bob's incredible horseshoe career in the next Ringer Digest, Nov 1st.
Bob is preceded in death by his parents and his wife of 43 years, Sandy. Bob is survived by children Lisa (Paul) Hardy, Heather Dunn, Jessica (Tuan) Le, grandchildren Erin, Emma, Charlie, and Sam.
Cards can be sent to the Dunn family % of Jessica Le 10835 Jersey Circle N Brooklyn Park, MN 55445
Seeking Solutions, Lighting the Way to the Future
by Gary B. Roberts, 1st Vice President
I am entering my 61st consecutive year as a NHPA member. I have witnessed many changes in our sport during that time. The change that affects us most is the continuing decline in membership. The NHPA now has fewer than 10,000 members. We can blame this decline on many things. Some blame the NHPA Officers for not providing proper leadership and not making wise decisions. Others blame the thirty-foot controversy. As we enter the 2019 season, let us not worry about who to blame for our situation. Instead, let's concentrate on what each of us can do to improve and enhance our sport. A famous quote states "better to light one candle than to curse the darkness". Let's keep this in mind going forward.
I saw many positives during this past year. The participation in our Ohio State Championships increased over the previous year. The 2018 World Tournament was one of the most exciting in many years and there were over 1,000 entries. Plans are underway in London, Ohio to construct new courts. The Ross County Horseshoe Club has mounted a serious effort to construct a high-quality indoor facility near their existing courts in Chillicothe, Ohio. In the coming year, we must create innovative ways to continue the enthusiasm that currently exists.
This past weekend, I and the other members of the Reno Family Horseshoe Pitchers, participated in the 48th consecutive Bob Evans Farm Festival in Rio Grande, Ohio. We completed three demonstrations each day for three consecutive days. I threw more than 1,000 shoes during these demonstrations! Our hope is to complete 50 consecutive years.
Many people have asked about who represents their Charter as delegates to the NHPA Convention each year. I would encourage each Charter to publish a list of delegates. Some who have served tell me that they are not interested in serving again. The Convention is a long and arduous venture. The first requirement to become a delegate is to be present at the World Tournament if possible. I attempt to appoint delegates in Ohio that are heavily involved in the promotion of our sport. Some say that delegates are not representative of the membership. If you feel this is true in your charter, you should make your feelings known to your State Officers.
Lastly, NHPA members can now present proposals for rules and bylaw changes on an annual basis. This year you have until November 30, 2018 to present them. In subsequent years, the deadline will be September 30 to allow time for proper review. The proposed changes should be submitted in a format that quotes the current rule and then lists the proposed wording. Then the reason for the proposed change should be provided. All proposals should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to 638 Salem Cave Road, Beaver, Ohio, 45613. All proposals will be given serious consideration by the Rules Committee.
It continues to be an honor to serve as 1st Vice President of the NHPA. I hope I will be able to contribute in some small way to the success of our sport.
Wichita Falls: 2019 World Tournament
Wichita Falls is excited to welcome the NHPA to town! You can find all the information you need to start planning your trip to the 2019 World Tournament now at www.worldhorseshoes.com. The site includes hotel information, general information, available activities, restaurants and history of Wichita Falls.
2018 New Membership Program
by Laurie Lampkin, 2nd Vice President
We still have several charters not reporting their new members for 2018. We hope that you send those names to us soon so that they will be able to get their items. This program will continue for 2019 as well. Once you have your shirts, take a group photo and send it to me. Mix up your group with some front photos and back photos of your shirts.
An E-mail was sent out to all charter secretaries explaining the process, so if you charter has any newly elected people, please update their contact information with Dave Sidles and Jim Kinney. It's very possible that the emails have not been forwarded onto the new Secretaries.
The membership committee has put together and decided on a process for all the charter secretaries to use for the "NEW" members that have joined your local clubs since January of 2018. In order to receive a new membership bag for your new 2018 members, you as the charter secretary are asked to follow the protocol listed below so that we can track these bags and justify the costs.
The colors of the shirts are:
(Sizes run from Small, Med., LG, XL, 2X, 3X, No Youth sizes)
If you need another size that is not listed, please let me know and we will try to work it out. If a larger size larger than 3X is needed, this will be a special order and I will need adequate time to order and get that printed in advance.
* Dark Purple
* Safety Yellow
Here is the process to follow:
* State Secretaries will notify me (Laurie Lampkin) directly with a spreadsheet or list of new members. State Secretaries will cc Dalton Rakestraw (Membership Chairperson) in the initial email so that he can keep a spreadsheet of the bags for tracking purposes in order to justify the costs, the council will receive the report periodically. I will mail out membership bags back to each state secretary which include a "Thank You" note to the individual for joining. In order to help personalize the note for your new member, I will need the full name of your new member.
* I will require the new members NHPA Card number for 2018. The New member must have competed in a minimum of 2 NHPA sanctioned events by the end of 2018 (of course we encourage members to participate in more tournaments) before receiving a new membership bag. We will check the NatStats for the tournaments that have been completed and turned into NatStats.
* The box or package will ship directly to you the secretary; the secretary is to disburse to your members when you can. The cost to ship to each individual would be extremely costly.
NHPA Banner Program
During the 2018 World Tournament in Florence, Casey Sluys and staff began to take orders for this new banner. The orders were continuing to come in, but Casey has a snafu with his computer and all of the orders up to this point were lost. For any club and charter that would like to purchase this banner, the cost is $16 each if we get a minimum of 250 ordered. If we have less than 250 then the price is $25 each. The information on the banner will be laid out as shown with your club or charter name on top, and your website just above the NHPA website. Casey has a process in place for ordering these banners, so please email Casey at
2018 Sports Conference Updates
The annual Sports Conferences for 2018 were under way beginning in August with CONNECT, S.P.O.R.T.S. in September and TEAMS in October. Between all three conferences a total of 208 appointments took place with Convention Visitors Bureaus from all across the US and Canada. The prospects were very good from all three of these conferences, and we feel positive that we will have a nice selection to choose from for the 2021 World Tournament.
Just a few that have shown very strong interest are Winnemucca, NV, Lakeland, FL, Springfield, IL, these venues have been visited by NHPA members and Pro Tour personnel, so we know these places will be a good fit for a future World Tournament.
The 2019 Sports Conferences will be held in various places across the US next year.
I wanted to share this with everyone. At TEAMS 2018 Sports Conference, the NHPA was nominated for our World Tournament event in 2017 in St. George, UT. We were recognized for the "Best Single Amateur Sporting Event" at the 2018 TEAMS sports conference in Louisville, KY in October. Unfortunately, we did not win, but it is still an honor to be recognized. As you can see from the other nominees, we had serious competition. Congrats to all of the nominees in this category.
2018 National Sanctioned League Tournament
by Jerry Smith, 3rd Vice President
The 2018 National Sanctioned League was held on October 6th and 7th at the beautiful NHPA Hall of Fame facility in Wentzville, Missouri. Twenty, three-person teams competed for more than $5,000 in prize funds and teams came from seven different states.
The tournament is ran similar with the rules of the average league play which is "count-all" and "handicapped." Over 90% of the over 300 leagues played each year follow that criteria, it's what makes league play so popular. The tournament is divided into two, ten team divisions, the Scarlet and the Grey and bonus points are awarded to the team that wins two or three games in a round. Teams are seeded by the total sum of the three-team member's NATSTATS averages. The divisions are cross seeded from top to bottom and then play a full round robin of nine games. Each division consists of three classes, the number one pitcher from each team goes into the top class and on down the line. After the preliminary play, the two winning teams play for the Championship. Here were the standings after preliminary play:
1. Heart of America, MO 28 points 1. Cedar Rapids, IA 27 points
2. Jim's Four Courts, AR 26 points 2. Springfield Trio, IL 25 points
3. Shep's Crew, CO 23.5 Points 3.
Bayou Cajuns, LA 24.5 points
4. West Des Moines, IA 18.5 Points 4.
The Good Guys, MO 23.5 points
West Des Moines #2, IA 17.5 Points 5.
Crossville Club, TN 16.5 points
6. Topeka Triplets, KS 17 points 6. Marengo, IA 16 points
7. Bourbon City Ringers, KY 16 points 7. Rice Park Ringers, KS 15 points
8. Mel's Team, MO 13.5 points 8. Bonner Springs, KS 11.5 points
9. Dead Ringers, MO 11 points 9. JBN, MO 11 points
10. Showme, Mo 9 points 10. The Lambs, Mo 9 points
A pitcher from each division receives $100.00 for pitching the highest game over their average. In the Grey division, Kristy Klejch, (not to be confused with a normal name), pitched great all weekend including a 60% game which was 19.94% over her average. In the Scarlet, Ernie Brakensiek pitched a 54% game which topped his average by some 21.02%. Congratulations to both sandbaggers, I mean pitchers.
The action was fast and furious, the smack talkers were everywhere, and in the end, winners were crowned in each division. In the Grey, the Heart of America team won in the last round in a very competitive group. That team was seeded seventh and came to pitch. The team members were; Jim Kinney Sr., Jim Kinney Jr., and "the mouth", Michael Gillespie. Second place went the defending champs, Jim's Four Court Team composed of; Wendy Hayes, Jim Brandenburg ("the mouth #2"), and Hiram Chaffin.
Also decided in the last round, the Scarlet was won by the Cedar Rapids team composed of; Bert Logsdon, Joseph Smith, and Larry Purcell. Bert and Larry were on the 2016 Championship team. Second place went to the Springfield Trio team comprised of; Austin Bailey, Ken Reid, and Larry Best. These two teams were the top two seeds.
Of note, the tournament is handicapped at 92.5%. The hope is that all teams can compete and have a chance to win. This year the higher seeded pitcher still won 167 games while the lower seeded pitchers won 100. That balance favors the better pitchers about six out of ten games and varies from year to year. The concept of handicapping is a whole other discussion and one that has staunch followers on both side of the fence. Sanctioned leagues are intended be fun and competitive and most are handicapped which encourages newer pitchers and still gives better pitchers an edge. All that said, the League Team Championships had six ties, 53 games won by six to ten points and an incredible 61 games decided by five or less. What a good tournament and as always, great friends and old acquaints having fun and good competition. Join a league and come play in this wonderful event.
As usual, I have lots of help. The tournament is co-sponsored by the NHPA and NHPF. The Quail Ridge Club helps in so many ways it's hard to articulate. A special thanks to Dalton Rakestraw and Austin Bailey for helping in the stat room and beyond.
NHPA Site Update: Action Needed
by Rob Hagman, 4th Vice President
Hello everyone. In an effort to keep the NHPA web page up to date I would like each Charter to take a look at the map of the United States and make sure that your Charter comes up when the state is clicked.
This is very important for people who are looking to join horseshoes to be able to find your Charter's web site.
If your Charter does not have an active web page, we can use your Facebook account as I've seen many Charters use that as a main form of communication. Or just a pitching schedule for your state can be put there in the meantime. If you have any updates to the map, please email them to me at email@example.com.
There's a link to Wichita Falls website on our site that will give you information about Wichita Falls for the upcoming World tournament in July. Dates for the World Tournament are July 22nd to August 3rd in Wichita Falls Texas. We will post a coverage page for the World Tournament when we are ready to take sign ups.
If you have any upcoming events that you would like posted on the NHPA website, email them to me and I will put them up there.
If you are using HS Master to run tournaments in your Charter you can look at www.hsmaster.info for help.
If you cannot find what you need there and have further questions you can contact me either by phone or email and I will help you.
Transitioning R.D. Director
Since I have not officially taken over as 5th Vice President, I cannot say that I am happily writing my first article while in office. I am happy though that I have been given the opportunity to catch you upon what I have been doing in transition.
First, I want to say how thankful and appreciative I am for Coyce Allen. He is a compassionate horseshoe pitcher, a fantastic predecessor and an all-around great guy. He has sent me patches, forms, email and has been making the transition as smooth as possible.
My first take is getting the 2019 patches ordered. I have done so and over 12,000 patches are now in my spare bedroom. (Looks like no company for a while.) I have already received some patch order requests and I will be sending those out starting November 5, 2018.
I have revised and updated the Horseshoe Court Sanction form, it has an all-around new look and updated the names on the sanction number tournament forms. I am planning on having a new update on those come 2020. Our winter officer meeting is in February, let me know any RD or court layout changes/requests you would like to see completed.
During my time since school is back in session, I have travelled to the Hall of Fame in Wentzville, Missouri, to participate and help run the National Sanctioned League Championships. The Bourbon City Ringers needed something extra for the wins. However, we had a great time and look forward to next year.
The very next weekend, just 4 days later, I travelled to Morgan City, Louisiana to participate in the Cajun Coast Classic Horseshoe Tour event. I had a great time pitching on the "swamp sand"! The people were very welcoming, and the food was delicious (Thanks Hilton!). If you have never stayed at Dodson Hilton, you are missing out. Thanks for putting me on the spot Saturday, Tim. It was great! I took 2nd place after a tough fought head-to-head with Gary Opper, Idaho. Congrats to Gary on the win. Take time to check out the horseshoe tour schedule for 2019.
I look forward to taking this position in January and serving you all. As always, I am available by call, text, email or Facetime. If I do not answer, leave a message. Lastly, I wish everyone the best during the upcoming holiday season.
by Mel Yockstick, The Statman
The Votes are in and verified that Alan Francis-OH, Maxine Griffith-TN, David Holmes-WV, Gary Robert-OH, Barbara Taylor-SC, Derek Raynolds-AR, Cameran Edwards-PA, Riley Malino-CT won their precincts at the 2018 World Tournament in Florence, South Carolina. You can bet that Candidates will be back in 2019 WT in Wichita Falls, Texas to defend their titles.
The 2018 World Tournament Files are now updated and available on the NHPA website.
Three new files have been added 1-Elders 40 Point Era 2-Sr. Men 40 Point Era 3-Sr. Women 40 Point Era.
Search for "Lots of good stats". I'm still working on the Juniors 40 Point Era files.
When you look at these records and you see data missing or incorrect please notify me.
2018 State Championship file will be updated late this December.
Good pitching to you this winter!
Bob Dunn's passing left a huge hole, not only in our hearts, but also in the Hall of Fame that Bob worked at so diligently. Bob is responsible for the majority of the displays that you see when visiting the Hall of Fame. He would spend hours upon hours researching, cataloging, counting and categorizing all horseshoe related items. When he needed a break, he would go onto the brick patio and continue his research on who bought which brick. We only hope that someone else close of his caliber comes along to assist us.
Working with Laura Lampkin on gathering names for these banners the NHPA is offering you, I noticed something that struck me as odd. The NHPA is the association that we are part of, the charters are the states, in those states there are some clubs that call themselves an association. Aren't they simply a club in the charter that belong to the parent association which is the NHPA? It doesn't matter what you're called as long as you're pitching horseshoes, right?
I've offered financial assistance for worthy and beneficial recruitment projects. Although we would need an itemized return on investment (ROI) made for us to study before allowing an expenditure like that. It is within our purpose statement (items 3 and 4) to allow such expenditures. Or at a minimum the educational aspect of it. Would that be published material, paying for airtime on radio, advertising at the major tournaments, who knows for certain where that financial assistance might be the most beneficial?
What really needs to happen this winter is for all of you to take a good hard look at your charter and see where it needs the most help. You all should have a plan by Feb/March of 2019 to increase your membership by at least 10%. In fact, shoot for 20%; then if you fall short it'll still be a nice increase.
Now, of course, you ask how can we accomplish this? Take a look at Promoting Horseshoes Facebook page, look at this website: http://www.horseshoeamerica.com/ The coaches corner shows you exactly how to teach anyone, not only Juniors and Cadets. All the information developed here has been available for years and really needs to be utilized by you during your various demonstrations or classes. There is always the old reliable "Pitch and Win Program" developed by the consummate promoter Don Titcomb. It is available in its entirety in the files section of the Promoting Horseshoes Facebook page. Email me and I'll send you a copy: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be sure to give Horseshoemania a try, for details you can contact Dan Molineaux in Rhode Island, he created it. 401-255-2291 Dan.Molineaux@yahoo.com Let's all work together for the good of horseshoes, we all know the myriad of reasons for the decline and can discuss those forever, but it will not accomplish what we need; GROW and RETAIN membership.
Please don't forget as you do your Holiday shopping to use AmazonSmile. https://smile.amazon.com/ref=nb_sb_noss_null Together you have brought in $345.62 as of May 2018. This figure should be updating soon. Thank you all and be sure to visit our website at: https://www.nhpf.info to use the donate button in the center of the opening page. While you are there check out the brick order forms, there are plenty of spaces to choose from, buy one as a Christmas gift for a loved one.
There are a couple of changes to the Board of Directors. Jim Scully has asked for some time off due to personal reasons. Dave Sidles has been added to the board. Dave will be a welcome addition to the NHPF board and we hope you wish him well with his new endeavor.
The NHPF board wishes you and your family the warmest Holiday greetings.
Hall of Fame Board Update
Some unforeseeable events have happened that affect the Hall of Fame Committee since I wrote my most recent article. First, I was notified by Bonnie Seibold that she felt it was time for her to step down from serving on the committee due to health reasons and the fact that she is no longer able to stay in touch with all that is going on in the horseshoe pitching world. I didn't look up how long Bonnie has served on this committee, but it has been a very long time. She was also a NHPA Vice President for about 28 years and involved in some other NHPA activities. I wish to thank Bonnie for her many years of service to the NHPA. It takes people who aren't afraid to give of their time and talents to keep the NHPA going.
I am pleased to announce that the NHPA President, Stu Sipma, has appointed Mel Yockstick to fill that vacancy on the HOF Committee. We all know that Mel has accumulated a vast wealth of information related to our sport and he should be very helpful to the committee as we continue our work. With the work load that he already has, it was good of him to take on another job.
The horseshoe world was saddened to learn of the car accident that Bob Dunn was involved in the latter part of August and his subsequent death which occurred a few weeks later. He was a fighter, but this was just too great a battle for him to win. It was hard to imagine that someone we saw at his table every day during the World Tournament in Florence, SC was suddenly gone from our midst. This has created another vacancy on the Hall of Fame Committee, plus has taken away a person who did so much work at the NHPA Hall of Fame and Museum. He made many trips from Minnesota to Wentzville, MO to continue his work. It also has taken away a person who had such love for the history of our sport and who researched and wrote several books and articles on various subjects pertaining to horseshoe pitching. He had donated a large portion of his horseshoe collection to the Hall of Fame. Bob is going to be missed by the people who knew and worked with him. He did much for our sport during the years he had the time to be involved.
As of this writing, a replacement to fill the most recent vacancy on the HOF Committee has not yet been appointed, but I think someone will be named in the not too distant future.
With the changes that have occurred, the work of the Hall of Fame Committee still goes on and I would like to encourage NHPA members and/or clubs to continue submitting nominations of people to be considered for induction into the NHPA Hall of Fame. The deadline for nominations to be considered in the 2019 voting is January 31, 2019. A printable Nomination Form can be found on the Hall of Fame link of the NHPA website. I would ask that you please send all nominations in hard copy via the US Postal Service. My address is on the Nomination Form.
In closing I would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving, a Merry Christmas and a Healthy and Happy New Year full of many ringers for those of you who are active pitchers.
As the Junior Promotions Committee expands, I wanted to give everyone an update of some ideas we are discussing and things we are trying to improve. This committee is new, and we hope to continue to help our sport grow with positive promotions.
* We will be helping/answering questions on recent Jr./Cadet rule changes.
* Updating the Jr. Brochure.
* Looking at ways entice Jr. pitchers to attend the World Tournament.
* Working on specific guidelines for host sites about what to provide for Juniors and Cadets.
* Looking at setting up a coaching clinic/ guideline to help teach horseshoes to the younger generation.
* Setting up a Junior/Cadet invitational tournament
* Tournament ideas for tournament directors to bring in more Juniors and Cadets.
* Looking for Juniors or Cadets to feature in the NHPA Newsline.
If you have any ideas you would like to contribute or know of a young pitcher to feature in the Newsline, please contact me via email and I will be happy to contact them. Thank you for your continued support.
Welcome to the Family
Juniors Director, Aleena Lepak, has welcomed a second healthy baby boy to the horseshoe family. Now mother to two boys, Logan and Oliver. Oliver was born September 16, 2018. Welcome to the horseshoe family, Oliver!
Toll of Time: Robert William Diekamp, 83
Robert William "Bob" Diekamp, age 83, of O'Fallon, passed away Friday, October 26, 2018. He was born November 8, 1934 in St. Charles, MO the son of Alfred and Esther Diekamp.
After graduating from Francis Howell in 1952, Bob went to work for Sinclair Oil Company for 17 years, then with Monsanto in 1969 and retired in 1991, then remaining with the company as a contract consultant until 2007. He played baseball for the East Missouri Baseball League as a short stop and relief pitcher for 20 years, then played fast pitch softball for over 40 years pitching his last game at 56 years old. He participated in many state tournaments, many no-hitters and two perfect games. Twice he struck out 17 of 21 batters, earning him MVP and Top Pitcher Awards. In 1986 he was inducted into the St Charles County Amateurs Sports Hall of Fame in Achievements in Softball. Bob also excelled in table tennis. In 1972-73 Bob earned the St Charles County Championship Title. In 1973 he and his daughter Michelle won the Doubles Championship. Bob spent over 25 years in the sport of bowling. He was in leagues carrying averages of 205 to 210, and earned 4, 300 perfect games. At the age of 18 Bob played dart ball carrying a 550 batting average, voted MVP in 4 all-star games. In his spare time Bob played golf, scoring a hole in one on a golf course in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Bob's dad introduced him to the sport of horseshoes when he was a young boy. It wasn't until he was 43 years old that he began pitching with the St Charles Warren County League and the Crossroads Team. He pitched his first tournament in 1977 at the NMHC. Bob has been an accomplished horseshoe pitcher for the last 30 years and has been a member of the MOHPA since 1974 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007. Bob had a lifetime of athletic activities, achieving high honors in all sports. As Bob's love for sports, he shared that love by coaching his daughter's softball team, grandson's baseball team and also umpiring.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents and his sisters: Margaret, Mildred and Marion. He is survived by his wife of 24 years Rose Diekamp, his daughters: Michelle Senn (Nick), Mary Miller, and Robyn Pitts (Tyler), step-daughter, Kimberly Jones (Terry), a step-son, Duane Thompson (Becky), 12 grandchildren: Jon, Joshua, Joslyn, Carter, Jackson, Jordan, Sydney, Jessica, Luke, Kayla, Haley and Paul, one great grandson, Sammy and many other family members and friends.
Visitation will be Thursday, November 1, 2018 from 4:00 ~ 6:00 PM at Newcomer Cremation, Funerals and Receptions 837 Mid Rivers Mall Dr St Peters, MO. Memorial service will start at 6:30 PM. Memorial donation may be made to St Jude Children's Hospital 262 Danny Thomas Pl, Memphis, TN 38105 or to the Special Olympics 2945 S Brentwood Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63144.
Toll of Time: John K. Decker, 82
John K. Decker, age 82, of Holt, MI, passed away October 20, 2018, in Holt, surrounded by his family. He was born December 26, 1935, in Jasper Twp., Michigan, to the late Jesse and Gertrude (Raushenberger) Decker.
John was a proud veteran of the U.S. Army, and later worked in heavy construction. In his free time, he enjoyed hunting, fishing, pitching horseshoes and mushroom hunting.
John is survived by Janice, his wife of 53 years; five children, Tracy (Eric) Bobier, Eric Decker, Barry (Sarah) Decker, Tammy (Mark) Bursley and Judy (Andrew) Ragatz; grandchildren: John (Bryttany) Gilreath, Chance (Erin) Bobier, Lyndsey (Jason) LaLonde, Erica (Josh Johnson) Decker, Bonny Decker, Nicole Bursley, Jessica Bursley, and Bre (Alex Meirndorf) Vining; great-grandchildren: Alexis Gilreath, Willow Bobier, Silas Bobier, Logan LaLonde, Lyncoln LaLonde, Dylan LaLonde, Olivia Johnson, Aubrey Romankewitz, Nathan Bursley, Jae Linares, Harper Greathouse, Jordyn Bath and Alexis Meirndorf. John is also survived by two sisters, Dolores and Geraldine, as well as many nieces, nephews and extended family members.
John was preceded in death by his parents; a grandson, Nicholas Decker; one sister, Florine; and three brothers, LZ, Zahel, and Leo.
The funeral for John was Wednesday, October 24, 2018, at the Estes-Leadley Holt/Delhi Chapel, with interment in Deepdale Memorial Gardens.
Memorial contributions in John's name, may go toward planting a tree in his honor at Ironwood Links Golf Course. Checks can be made out to Ironwood Links, 742 North Eifert Road, Mason, MI 48854.
submitted by Gary B. Roberts
Elmer Hohl of Ontario, Canada was undoubtedly one of the best horseshoe pitchers ever to walk onto a horseshoe court. From 1960 through 1977 Elmer averaged over 80% every year in the World Horseshoe Tournament. He averaged over 85% in five of these tournaments and won six Men's World Championships. He also broke the record for qualification with a score of 572 out of 600 possible points.
Elmer was obviously a very great pitcher through the early 1960's but in 1968, he rose to a higher level. Elmer traveled to Erie, Pennsylvania that year to compete in the Eastern National Tournament to play against the best pitchers in the world. Elmer won the Tournament with a record of 14-1 and a ringer % of 89.1! At the time this was the highest average ever in a major tournament. In one game Elmer threw 42 consecutive ringers and had 14 consecutive four-deads in his game with Carl Steinfeldt. His high game was 96.6%.
A month later Elmer traveled to Greenville, Ohio to pitch in the Greenville Ringer Classic where he won the Men's Championship with a 13-0 record and an average of 88.4% against stiff competition.
Obviously, these performances got the attention of the great players who would be competing against Elmer in the 1968 World Horseshoe Tournament in Keene, New Hampshire.
Elmer continued his unbelievable pitching in Keene and won the World Championship with a 35-0 record and a record-breaking average of 88.16%. Most felt this performance would ever be equaled, but Alan Francis amazed everyone in recent years by averaging over 90% on two occasions. During the 1968 World Tournament, Elmer had thirteen games over 90% and had a perfect game against Wes Kuchinski.
To finish this phenomenal year, Elmer won the North American Championship in Canada with a 7-0 record. Ringer % was not reported for this Tournament.
Elmer's phenomenal pitching in 1968 should never be forgotten.
Greetings, I have a brand-new song just released on my album "If ya don't like this, you're dead" titled "Throwin' Shoes". I think you'll get a real kick out of hearing the song about the sport of horseshoes. Myself, my family and friends have put on a few friendly tournaments at my home that we all enjoy. You can find the song at my website stevepope.hearnow.com and scroll through for "Throwin' Shoes".