Ringer Digest
July/Aug/Sept/Oct 2019
A Charter of the NHPA
Official Publication of the Minnesota Gopher State Horseshoe Pitchers' Association
Charter Bulletin Board

Best of luck to our world tournament pitchers!!
Everyone can follow the progress of your friends one the World Tournament coverage page on the NHPA website

Here is a complete list of your MN warriors, along with their class designation. Check the WT coverage page to see when they play, and even watch them on live webcam

        Class code   M=Mens W=Womens E=Elders SM=Senior Men J =Junior C=Cadet

BOB KNUDTSON                EC1
THOMAS PROKOP             MB2
PATTI OAKES                      WE
JOHN HUSTINGS               MI2
STEVE BERNING                MH2
JOSH SCHUCK                    MJ2
JOE MUELLER                    MB1
SUE PIERCE                         WK
BRIAN WIPPER                   MC2
TYLER CONDON                  JD
JOSHUA OLSON                  MA1
JUSTICE MARTIN               CA
DALE GRUNZKE                  EH2
BRENNA HAGMAN             JE
KEVIN HAGMAN                 JE
ANN HAGMAN                     WK
RAY PIERCE SR.                   SMD
ERIC DEHKES                      MB1
ROB HAGMAN                      MK2
LORI YORK                            WD
DAN BELDEN                        MG2
MARK SMITH                        MA1
BRUCE SWENSON               MK1
JERRY WERK                        SMB
JEFF LAWRENCE                 MG2
RANDY WERK                       MI2
GARY BOOTS                         SMB
GENE EITREIM                    EC1
DON CLASEMAN                  EG1
BRAD HETH                           EB2


Nomination Deadlines

Hall of Fame - May 1st      (includes Junior Honor Roll )
Junior Scholarship Award - May 1st
Edi Holland Sportsmanship Award - August 1st
Rookie of the Year - August 1st
Achievement Awards - August 1st

Nominations Director: Joe Mueller     [email protected]


State Tournament Singles
Hibbing, MN
$40 Entry- Adults
Ann Hagman
652 Cross St.
Anoka, MN 55303
Entry Form  available here    ----->        State Entry Form


The Montgomery  Horseshoe Club courts received a face-lift this summer. The city crew cleaned out the old large crushed rock, leveled courts and replace with a finer grade rock. Three new back boards were installed by club member Jerry Hagel. The courts are now ready for our annual Kolacky Days tourney on July 27th. 
Denny Keogh 


Here's a good way to draw people into checking out your club, this was in Rockford

Helen Hawkinson
Board Approves New CB&L Director

         Hello, my name is Helen Hawkinson and I am stepping into the role as the new Constitution and Bylaws Director. I will need big shoes to fill Gordy Schmidt's role who filled this position for the last 9 years. It is a bit overwhelming but if I have questions Gordy is only a step or two away (you can run but you can't hide Gordy). Seriously, it is an honor to be C&B Director and my background may have helped as I have been a Legal Administrative Assistant at a Minneapolis Construction based law firm for the past 32 years. If you know me, I am much better at words than numbers. Thank you for having the confidence in me and for nominating me for this position.

Bertha Open 2019 Recap
By Josh Olson
       I would like to thank everyone for coming to Bertha and pitching in the Bertha Open this year, we had a Full Tournament 2- Full Shifts, I personally think it was perfect pitching weather, maybe a little chilly right away in the morning but once it started to warm up a little it was perfect. The temperature didn't hit 70 all day, and the sun didn't come out at all that I can remember, Oh and we pitched inside so there wasn't any wind or rain to interfere. I would like to Congratulate all the Winners starting with the Morning shift, Class D we had Mick Ziemann who took 4th Place, and we had a 3-way tie for 1st place, tie breaker was Head-To-Head then Over Average, Carolyn Brigner finished 3rd, Bruce Swenson finished 2nd, and Bertha Club member Wil Reed finished 1st throwing 4% over his entry Average, class D pitched 40 shoe games and was handicapped, Class C pitched 30 Point games no shoe limit, Class C 4th place was Barry Schilling, 3rd Place was Gary Kirckof, 2nd place went to Joe Raycraft, and with a perfect 7-0 Record our out of state friend Paul Anderson took home Class C Honors. We had a little break in the action between shifts with the 50/50 drawing which was won by Lu Cave. Then the Afternoon shift began. Class A and B would be playing 40 Point games no shoe limit again just like class C. Class B results there was a tie for 4th place between Jerry Werk and Andy Olson, Andy sneaked by on ringer % Jerry finished with 39.62% and Andy had 40.06% a difference of a couple ringers. There was also a tie for 2nd Place between Patti Oakes and Melisa Wimmer, both went 5-2 for the day and even though Melisa did defeat Patti on the last game of the day, Patti finished with 44.51% to Melisa's 43.99%. And I can't forget who took home the class B honors and that Class Champion patch, it was another Win for Bertha with Al Woida going 6-1 and throwing just over his average with 38.29%. Class A had some battles all day long, some long games and some short games to say the least, Highlight of the Day was in Class A when Bill Danielson and Phil Swenson faced off in game #2, Bill had a 95% game, Bill had 19 ringers out of 20 Shoes! Results from Class A, Lori York would take 4th Place, Brad Heth and Nathan Dehkes would tie for 2nd place with Nathan having the higher ringer percentage of the 2 with would put Brad in 3rd Place and Nathan taking 2nd place. Bill Danielson would go on to Win the Tournament Championship Patch and Honors with a 6-1 record, he would get his one loss from Brad Heth.

Nathan Dehkes,Bill Danielson, Brad Heth, Lori York

Andy Olson, Al Woida, Patti Oakes, Malissa Wimmer

Gary Kirckof, Paul Anderson, Joe Raycraft, Barry Schilling

Carolyn Brigner, Will Reed, Bruce Swenson, Mick Ziemann

I want to Thank My family for everything that they do to help me behind the scenes and with everything during the Tournament, without them the Tournament wouldn't be successful.

Thank you everyone for making the trip to Bertha, I hope to see everyone back next year!
April Lynch
Junior Promotion
By April Lynch

                               * WANTED *

Who: Kids who love to meet other kids/adults while playing a fun, friendly, competitive & inexpensive sport!

Where: Stop in and visit any of the 29 clubs that are listed on the website.

When: Now is the time to join in on the fun

Fun, Lifelong friendships, Great exercise, Inexpensive, Family involvement, Mind-Muscle Coordination, Social interaction and much more!!

Dear Members,
I hope you are having a great summer and enjoying league and some fun tournaments too. I'm reaching out to see if you would like to help our Junior Horseshoe program grow by introducing this sport to your own child, a grandchild or a great grandchild. If you already have that's awesome! Another idea would be to help a current junior member introduce the sport to another family member, friend or classmate. Many of my lifelong friendships were made through my involvement in horseshoes as a junior then even more friendships gained playing as an adult. The memories I have traveling to tournaments with my grandpa are some of the best times that I will always cherish! Not to mention all the tournaments I have attended with my parents and sister's during my childhood. This sport feels like one huge family to me and I know many other members feel the same so let's work together and share the sport with our younger generation!

A good luck shout out to the following Junior/Cadet members that will be competing at the world tournament in Texas this July...
Marshal Swenson, Tyler Condon, Brenna & Kevin Hagman, Justice Martin, Brielle Schneider, and Isacc & Lucas Rasmussen.

Contact: April Lynch, Mn Junior Director @ 651-226-7970
Rick Wright
From The Prez

Hey Everyone
     By now clubs have started their League play. This is real good practice for those of you going to the World Tournament July 22nd -Aug 4th in Wichita Falls, TX. I wish everyone good luck. For those of you that will not be attending, you can still watch your fellow pitchers online.
     The deadline of Aug. 1st is fast approaching for our Minnesota State Tournament held in Hibbing MN . There are other events in this town during this time so I highly recommend you book a room or campsite if you have not already. Find the list in this digest for your convenience. I would like to see great support from our association.
     I would like to remind everyone that we will be holding elections for a new President. If you are the type of person that is ambitious, a go-getter and would like to head-up the best state in the horseshoe world, I would love to hear from you by Aug 1st.
Good Luck to everyone and have a great rest of the summer!
See you on the courts

Bylaw Change Passes

At the spring membership meeting held on June 1st in Forest Lake at the Bud Nelson Open, the membership passed the following Bylaw change:

MGSHPA Proposed Bylaw Change For 2019
Proposed by Gordy Schmidt - Constitution and Bylaws

2. QUALIFICATIONS (continued)
The first part of c. currently reads as follows:
c. To qualify for the State Tournament, adult pitchers (except Special Needs pitchers) must have competed in at least 1 (one) sanctioned tournament held within Minnesota in the 12 (twelve) months proceeding August 1st. In addition, adult pitchers (except Special Needs pitchers) must either have competed in at least 2 (two) or more NHPA sanctioned tournaments in the 12 (twelve) months preceding August 1st, or pitch a minimum of 200 (two hundred) shoes in a sanctioned league in the current year through July 25th.....

Proposed change would read as follows:

c. To qualify for the State Tournament, adult pitchers (except Special Needs pitchers) must have pitched a minimum of 600 (six hundred) shoes in a sanctioned league in the current year through July 25th, Or have competed in one tournament from the state schedule plus a minimum of 200 (two hundred) shoes pitched in a league through July 25th, OR have competed in at least 2 (two) NHPA sanctioned tournaments in the 12 (twelve) months proceeding August 1st, one of which must be from the state schedule.

Reason for change.
In the interest of growing our State Tournament there are some people currently having a hard time qualifying for our state tournament. Those are the people that have jobs with no weekends off. My son being one, for example. He is now a Physical Trainer by profession, and his most busy time of the week is the weekend. He never has one off. I also know of others that work weekends. My son loved pitching horseshoes, and our State Tournament, but has not been able to do so the last couple of years.
Also, I would like to make it easier for any pitchers after completing their first year of league "if they would like" to be able to compete in the State Tournament. A lot of first year league pitchers never think of pitching in a tournament outside of league during that first year. But maybe, at the end of the year they might want to give it a try, so why don't we let them, and grow our State tournament in the process.
Bud Nelson Open Recap
By Helen Hawkinson

On June 1, 2019, the annual "Bud Nelson" Tournament was held in Forest Lake, MN. The day started out with rain and flooded courts, which were cleaned up before the start of the first shift. The sun came out and the day was a picture perfect 73 degrees. The first place winners of Class A, B and C were women! Congratulations to Helen Hawkinson for 1st in A, Donna Berquam for 2nd, and Jeff Washburn for 3rd; Patti Oakes for 1st in B, Andy Olson for 2nd and Bob Knudtson for 3rd; Colleen Szabo for first in C, David Haugen for 2nd, and Cyndi Stepka for 3rd. Congratulations also to the winners in D - Justice Martin for 1st, Joe Raycraft for 2nd, and John Hustings for 3rd; and E - Henry Brown for 1st, Glenn Skeie for 2nd and Bud Schaefer for 3rd. Everyone played hard and had fun. The Spring Meeting was held in between shifts. Helen Hawkinson was voted in as Director of Constitution and Bylaws; the upcoming World Tournament was discussed - MN has 44 entries which is the 6th highest amount of entries; and a new proposal was discussed to make it a bit easier to qualify for the MN State Tournament. Singles State Tournament will be held in Hibbing on Labor Day weekend and Minnesota Doubles will be held in Forest Lake on September 21. Come out this summer and sign up for a tournament - it doesn't matter what class you are in - join in on the fun!

Donna Berquam, Helen Hawkinson, Jeff Washburn

Andy Olson, Patti Oakes, Bob Knudtson

Rockford Ringers logo
Rockford Club News 
by Marlys Timm
       Rockford Ringers season got underway May 28-29 at Riverside Park with their Tuesday morning and Wednesday evening leagues.  We welcomed three new members, Michael McGhee, Tim Hughes, and Bob Menk. We play a ten week season pitching cancellation and four games of forty shoes each week. Our first week of league play Glen Berglund fell and broke his hip and is convalescing at Lake Ridge in Buffalo.
    Our 21st  annual "Rockford River Days" sanctioned horseshoe tourney will be held on Saturday August 10th in conjunction with all the River Days activities happening right in the park.  Following our day of pitching we always look forward to the Rockford Lions pork chop dinner along with taking home a piece of pie from the Our Fathers Lutheran church stand. Throughout the weekend the park is alive with bands, music, rides, bingo, and various games of chance.
    We are no longer allowed to have lunch concessions as there are many places to grab a bite in the park.  We will have water & coffee available along with a few cookies in the morning and a 50/50 raffle in between shifts. Cash payouts in 6 person classes will be $100.00 first place & $50.00 second place.
    Joe Mueller is our tournament director so contact him ( via phone or text ) at 612-718-0921 or mail a check payable to Joe along with your $30.00 entry fee to : Joe Mueller 2057  152nd Ln NE Ham Lake MN 55304. 

North Mankato Horseshoe Club News
By Brian Duenow

     Mankato held their spring meeting on April 1st at the Eagles Club in Mankato , 42 players attended the meeting.
We have a total of 96 pitchers (8 juniors & 1 cadet) on 13 teams in 2 divisions.
Work night was scheduled for April 30th and was cancelled due to bad weather and rescheduled for May 2nd were we had 23 attending.
Officers were elected as follows:
President - Ken Neidecker
Vice President - Ron Evan
Secretary - Linda Duenow
Treasurer - Brian Duenow
Publicity directors - Mike Hromadko
Membership - Becky Bailey
Statistician/NHPA contact - Brian Duenow
Tournament directors - Erwin and Rosie Tischer
     We are excited to host the annual North Mankato Celebrity Tournament again this year on July 12th and the North Mankato Fun Days Tournament on July 13 & 14 at Wheeler Park .
The end of the year Club Tournament is scheduled for August 17th and our awards banquet will be held at the Eagle Club on September 16th.
Hope everyone has a great year of pitching.
Brian & Linda Duenow

Team World Recap
By Josh Olson

Minnesota crossed into Wisconsin with 3 Teams this year to compete in the 2019 Team World Tournament, we all played 21 games over the course of 3 days, the format is Team style for the coin flip that takes place before each new round of pitching, the winning Team gets to pick the head to head games, and the losing team gets to pick the courts the games will be played on. The tournament runs Friday-Sunday with the finals coming to an end Sunday afternoon. 22 Teams from Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Massachusetts came to compete. Weather was not the norm, usually we experience cold damp weather during the tournament, this year it did rain, but it was warmer than previous years. Highlights from the Tournament the top 5 Teams that made the Playoff Round were Missouri #1, Wisconsin #1, Massachusetts, Michigan #1 and Illinois #1, The Finals came down to the defending champions Wisconsin #1 and the #1 seed going into the Playoffs Michigan #1, Wisconsin prevailed once again and Won the Tournament making it the 2nd year in a row. Penny Steinke from Wisconsin made some noise and pitched some very big games during the Tournament day 1, a 97.5% which is only 39 out of 40 ringers. 

MN #1        Mark Smith, Jim Aleckson, Ray Volkers, Josh Olson

MN #2     Andy Olson, Dale Lipovsky, Helen Hawkinson, Eric Dehkes, Brad Heth

MN #3     Gordy Schmidt, Tom Prokop, Jeff Washburn, Joe Mueller, Patti Oakes

Josh Olson
Regional Director, Stats-Man and Webmaster

Regional Director

Hello Everyone
I hope everyone is having a fantastic summer, I know I am. My favorite tournament is just around the corner, I will see many of you down in Wichita Falls, TX for the 2019 World Tournament. I had originally planned to be there the entire 2 weeks to help with Shoe Check and wherever else I could be of use. Well as they say, change of plans. I started a new position with a Hospital much closer to home so that is exciting news for me, which also means you'll be seeing more of me at Tournaments...Haha. Enough about me. I would like to wish everyone the best of luck in pitching this year, Minnesota has a good representation going down, lets bring home some hardware!

I will be sending out Court Sanctioning Certifications for renewals before I leave for the World tournament, so League/Tournament directors if you get that certificate and it doesn't belong to you, please pass it along to whom it does, it will just be for the courts that you pitch league/tournaments on.
We have 2 Rule Proposals, one was to lower the Cadet division and the other was to create an Elder Women's division, We did discuss both Proposals at the last Meeting that was held in Forest Lake in June, there was a lot of uncertainty regarding the Elders Women's division, we will keep everyone up to date with the results from the Delegate Convention.

DON'T FORGET to sign up for the State Tournament before you travel to World, I am looking forward to pitching up in Hibbing this year, my dad and I plan on pitching in the Hibbing Open (which will have already happened by the time you all have read this) and I hope to see everyone sign up and pitching at the State Tournament the next two years.

Sec/Treas/Mem Director
Ann Hagman
MGSHPA Spring Meeting
Saturday, June 1st 2019
VFW Bud Nelson Tournament
After Morning Shift
About 60 in attendance
  1. Call to order: 12:51 pm
  2. Minutes of last meeting; motioned seconded, approved.
  3. Financial Report
    1. $8385.44
    2. 17 new members via the new promotion
    3. 339 current renewals, but they are still coming in.
  4. Officer Reports
    1. Jerry LaBrosse reviewed the proposed rules changes. Membership supports cadet age staying the same. With discussion on Sr women, seemed to generally support the idea.
      1. Trailer is up at Hibbing, recommend folks get their reservations now for State
    2. Josh Olson reported we have 44 MN pitchers entered to the WT; 27 the 1st week, 17 the 2nd week.
    3. Eric Dehkes announced MN doubles will be held at ForestLake this year. Camping will be available on site. Should be 1 day of pitching unless entries exceed expectations and another day is needed.
    4. Joe Mueller notes that nominations for HOF deadline is passed, other nominations are still open. He welcomes entries.
    5. Helen Hawkinson newly approved as the Constitution and Bylaws Director (see new business), reviewed the proposed rule change for State tournament qualifications.
    6. Rick Wright proposed rule change (read by Helen) put to the vote, seconded, and approved; effective immediately.
      1. Reminder, we need people to show interest in becoming our next president.
  5. 2019 State Tournament
    1. Hibbing has been preparing. This looks to be a great event. Banquet info and entry form will be coming soon.
  6. 2019 MN State Doubles; see above officer comments, Eric
  7. Unfinished Business; Bloomington (24) courts are being reviewed by the city board. Land is being proposed as a build site. Josh will post a link on our website for folks to share comments/concerns about this plan.
  8. New Business
    1. Vote on State Tournament Requirements; seconded, majority voted in favor, changed passes.
    2. Elections of Officers - President; coming up, need to see who is interested.
    3. Approval Helen as C & BL director; proposed, seconded, approved.
  9. Open Forum; nothing new to add
10.Adjournment; 1:21 
South Vice President
Jerry LaBrosse

I'd like to encourage all of you to enter the Minnesota State Tournament this year. It is being held in my hometown of Hibbing, and it is going to be a great event. The Hibbing Memorial arena is the perfect place to play and great stadium seating for the spectators. The Hibbing Horseshoe Club hosted the 2001 NHPA World Championships in this great arena.
The qualifications to enter this tournament have been changed to make it easier for everyone. Here is the newly adopted wording:

 To qualify for the State Tournament, adult pitchers (except Special Needs pitchers) must have pitched a minimum of 600 (six hundred) shoes in a sanctioned league in the current year through July 25th, Or have competed in one tournament from the state schedule plus a minimum of 200 (two hundred) shoes pitched in a league through July 25th, OR have competed in at least 2 (two) NHPA sanctioned tournaments in the 12 (twelve) months proceeding August 1st, one of which must be from the state schedule.

We will be soon sending out a special email blast with more information regarding hotels, restaurants, and other local attractions.

So make your plans and send your entry in to Ann Hagman right away !!!


Memory Lane

Tournament Info


Publishing Schedule for the MGSHPA Ringer Digest
State Tournament Issue

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MGSHPA Executive Board                      MGSHPA Directors

Rick Wright
50586 Shorewood Circle
Rush City ,Mn 55069

PO Box 353
Bertha, MN 56437

North Vice President
Eric Dehkes
18923 North Lake Ln
Pine City, MN  55063
(320) 420-4821
South Vice President
Jerry LaBrosse
8170 Fern Lane
Greenfield, MN 55357

Ringer Digest Editor
Jerry LaBrosse
8170 Fern Lane
Greenfield,MN 55357

Josh Olson
PO Box 353
Bertha, MN 56437

PO Box 353
Bertha, MN 56437

Nominations Director 
Joe Mueller
2057 152nd Lane
Ham Lake, MN 55304

Constitution and Bylaws
Helen Hawkinson
943  5th St SE
Forest Lake, MN 55025
(651) 276-2151

Promotion/News Media Director
Marlys Timm
4210 Woodhill Drive
Loretto ,MN 55357

Junior Promotions Director
April Lynch
25679 Friesland Ct
Wyoming, MN 55902

Communications Director
Jerry LaBrosse
8170 Fern Lane
Greenfield, MN 55357
[email protected]

About Us
MGSHPA's Ringer Digest is the official newsletter of the Minnesota Gopher State Horseshoe Pitchers' Association. It is free to members of the MGSHPA and other interested parties. Changes of email address can be sent directly to the editor     [email protected]

All submissions to the Ringer Digest Editor is subject to editing, available space, and must be received by the 10th of the month preceding the date of issue.
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