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HORSESHOE COMPENDIUM

Page 51


HOW TO CONDUCT A HORSESHOE TOURNAMENT
     Only one other book, to our knowledge, has ever contained specific information on how to conduct a tournament, and that was written over a decade ago. Much has transpired since then in the way of advancement of ideas both in play and in the con-ducting of same. Naturally, ideas and plans which were popular over ten years ago have become obsolete with the march of time.
     In the early days of horseshoe pitching the entrants to practically all the world tournaments were either the professionals who made it their business to be there, or a number of well-to-do vacationers with a few local players to fill in. The tournaments were usually leisurely affairs taking the better part of two weeks for the completion. The first week was devoted to one round-robin wherein each player met each other player in one game. After that the twelve highest players in the round-robin played each other three to five games each for the next three to five days.
     Later, with increased numbers of entries and a little shorter time, the squad plan of play was instituted. Under this plan the players were segregated into squads of from six to 12 players who played a round-robin schedule in each squad with the three, four or five highest in each squad moving into the finals. This system would have been fine had all players been equal in skill, but sometimes a player who might have been entitled to a place in the finals was eliminated in the squad play due to his being cast in a squad with several strong players, while weaker players reached the finals through being placed in a squad with weaker men.
     After that, there came the so-called "100 shoe pitch" plan. All entrants were forced to pitch 100 shoes for total points with the highest ones picked for the finals. This plan was strictly in favor of the top-notch players who managed to get through the tournament with a minimum of effort, and it was a distinct disappointment to the ones who had come to the meet with only the intention of meeting the good players for the fun of the thing.
     Horseshoe pitching had become a business for the profesinals, and they cashed in on their abilities with as little effort as possible. However, somebody had to pay for these tournaments, and the ones who were putting up the prizes were the poorer players who knew they couldn't win the title, but who would liked to have played a few games against the champions, just for the fun of the thing. Results and facts speak for themselves - only TWO world tournaments have been held in the past TEN YEARS!

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