EXERCISEºRECREATIONºSPORT



HORSESHOE PITCHING ---- HOW TO PLAY THE GAME      39

defended his title of World's Champion each time. The writer has not been able to find any records of these tournaments held before the one in Heathwood Park, Kansas City, Kansas, Oct. 23 and 24, 1915, the record of which is published elsewhere in this book.
     Because there was no uniformity in the rules of the game as played in different localities, the best and oldest horseshoe pitchers from different parts of Missouri and Kansas got together in 1913 and agreed to adopt a uniform set of rules. After many games were played and each particular difference in each rule had been tested and tried out a committee formally adopted what they believed to be the best. Then the question was asked by what authority these rules were adopted and were to govern the game.
     The first ruling body of the horseshoe pitching game of which we find any record was organized in the court room of the First District Court, Kansas City, Kansas, May 16, 1914. A constitution, by-laws and rules were adopted and officers elected. The name chosen was The Grand League of the American Horseshoe Pitchers Association. The Association granted charters to local leagues in many states and their rules were accepted as standard in governing all regular horseshoe pitching tournaments. They established the rule that like values always cancel like. They raised the peg to 8 inches which met with approval of most pitchers. They established the weight of shoes so that in the 1915 Annual Tournament no shoe was used that weighed less than 2 pounds or more than 2 pounds 3 ounces. They kept the rule that leaners counted 3 points, ringers 5 points and no shoe more than 6 inches from the peg would count. Pitchers' box was 3 feet each side of the peg and 6 feet back. Pitcher could stand anywhere in the box. Stakes were 38 1/2 feet apart. They published a book called the "Horseshoe Guide" containing playing rules, report of annual convention and officers and annual tournament and other contests.
     In 1907 the winter visitors to St. Petersburg, Florida began to amuse themselves by pitching horseshoes in the sand on a lot next to the Poinsettia Hotel on Central avenue. There were two courts for horseshoe pitching and two courts for quoits. The pegs used on the horseshoe courts were 35 feet apart and 3 inches high above the level ground. Game was 21 points, ringers counting 3 points. First part of the winter season of 1909 and 1910 the courts were moved to the corner of Third street and Second avenue North where the Park Cafeteria now stands and the latter part of the season to the vacant lot next to the Allison Hotel. No pitcher had up to that time heard of so controlling the delivery of a shoe so it would fall open toward the peg.
     In the winter of 1909 on the lot side of the Allison Hotel, Dr. F. M. Robinson, Poughkeepsie, N. Y., and O. T. Battles, Chardon, Ohio, as partners were playing a game with Frank Elliott, Rochester, N. Y., and another man as partners pitching on courts where sometimes all four shoes would bury themselves so deep in the sand that they would all be covered out of sight. While the game was in progress Battles, who stood side of Elliott, while digging out of the sand the shoes Dr. Robinson had pitched spoke up with the ardor of a man that has just made a new discovery and said: "Doc, your shoes all come fork to." This had not been previously noticed even by the doctor himself. The other pitchers then began to question the doctor to find out how he did it, but he didn't know, only that it came natural to him to release his shoe so that it fell open toward the peg with a one and three-quarter turn. The doctor held his shoe with his first finger around the heel calk as all other players did at that time.
     From that time the other players began to practice holding their shoes on the side with the opening toward them and from them and by most every conceivable way in order to try to control the shoe so it would fall open toward the peg for they said if the doctor's shoe naturally fell open toward the peg they could acquire the skill necessary to control the delivery of a shoe so it would fall open.
     As far as the writer has been able to learn this is the be-