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Horseshoe pitching science has developed among other things, an official court, which, when properly built and maintained according to the rules, helps in no small way to increase the efficiency of the modem pitcher. If you attempt to pitch or learn to pitch on a poor court you will be working under a handicap right from the very beginning.
     In the official rules you will find the proper measurements for an official horseshoe court in case you wish to construct one yourself, while in nearly every city and town in this country you will find horseshoe courts constructed either by the recreation department or by a private horseshoe club which you can easily join for a small cost.
     Assuming that you need no further help in solving the problem of your horseshoe court we will pass on to the next item.

     The second item necessary for a horseshoe pitcher is a pair of pitching shoes. The official rules tell you the weight and various measurements of a pitching shoe, but you will not be required to measure or weigh a pair of shoes before you buy them if you buy a nationally known make of shoe that has been officially sanctioned by the National Horseshoe Pitchers' Association.
     The question concerning shoes is to decide which make of shoe one should pitch. There is an old saying which says that one man's meat is another man's poison. In other words, one shoe may be the best for one certain player, but another player may not be able to get as good results with that same shoe. Which make the beginner should use is, of course, an open question. One can get a better idea and quite a bit of amusement in hearing manufacturers or their salesmen discourse upon the advantages of their shoe. The only dependable way to decide is to try out all the shoes for yourself and pick out the ones you can pitch the best.
     The beginner, however, must pick out one before he can do any pitching, and to him our advice is-use a pair of shoes of a make which seems to be the most popular. Be sure that they have the largest possible hooks, and they should have a notch or two in the inner circle of the toe. We are not describing any certain shoe here, for several of the leading makes have one or both of these features. There is no doubt that these hooks and notches tend to hold your ringers on the stake, and a good pitcher should use the best that horseshoe science has developed in the way of shoes.
     Use a new pair of shoes when you start out. You cannot expect results from a pair of second-hand shoes which have been warped and battered out of proper balance. When you purchase shoes which are made in different tempers of hardness,