EXERCISEºRECREATIONºSPORT



HORSESHOE PITCHING ---- HOW TO PLAY THE GAME      79

PLAN FOR INTERESTING ALL PLAYERS BELONGING
TO A HORSESHOE CLUB

     Although the writer personally has always tried to pitch with the best player he could get to play with him so as to learn what he could from him, even though he might get only a few points, in the game, he knows that most players do not care to pitch with any one unless they think there is some chance of winning a game once in a while at least.
When a tournament is played between contestants everyone of whom believes that he can at least win from a number of those entered, then it will always be a success and awaken interest in the game, although the ringer percentage may not be very high.      A good plan is to divide the club into different classes, according to proficiency of the players. To do this at the start let each man by himself pitch 50 shoes at the peg, giving him credit for all ringers and points he makes.
     Supposing you have 32 men in a club and wanted to divide them into four groups of eight players each. Take the eight that make the most points and call them Class A. The eight below them Class B; the next eight, Class C and the lowest eight, Class D. If there are any ties let the players tied each pitch another 50 shoes for position.
     Then hold a tournament for the eight men in each class, keeping careful record of the points, ringers, double ringers and shoes pitched for each game on the regular score sheets, such as those published by The Horseshoe World. Announce before the tournaments begin that the classification of the players will be changed as a result of the tournaments, putting the eight having the highest percentage of ringers in Class A, and the eight having the next highest percentage of ringers in Class B, etc. Change the classification of each player according to proficiency shown after each series of four tournaments are played during the season. The percentage of ringers to shoes pitched is taken as the standard of proficiency for each player because the ringer is the highest possible score and every person tries or should try to pitch ringers. It follows then that the number of ringers made to the shoes pitched shows what percentage of perfection the player has reached.
     These plans keep up the interest of the players throughout the season for the poorest ones will do their best to get into the higher classes and those in the higher classes will do their best not to be put into a lower class. I have suggested eight men in a class because this calls for only 28 games for each player to pitch every other one; 28 games can be easily played in an afternoon on four courts. I think 50-point games should be played, but shorter games are all right if preferred by the players.
     General plans like these can be varied as the number of players and other circumstances seem to suggest to a wide-awake club tournament manager.
     At the beginning of the season start a book in which all the records are kept of each game, of each tournament. This book will be final authority in settling many a good natured dispute from time to time as to what actually did happen when the memories of some of the players may have become somewhat faulty as to some of the tournament details. Above all else, get all the publicity you can for your club and its tournaments in your local papers.
     They will be glad to publish the details of the tournaments you plan from time to time, and also the names of the players if you furnish them the information. Then as your tournament progresses if you have a daily, give it the detailed story at the end of each day's play with the final results when any series of games is completed. If you have only weekly papers, get them to print the story of all the horseshoe pitching happening during the week. By getting this publicity your club will grow in numbers and interest.