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More About Amateurs

Editor The Horseshoe World:

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Comments in The Horseshoe World under the heading, "Just Among Ourselves," was quite interesting, especially what was said regarding giving amateur pitchers a chance.
Where is the line to be drawn when it comes to designating the amateur and the professional? And how many pitchers would be left, if strict classification were made of the two divisions, and the professionals taken from the ranks?
Are we sure the amateurs (if any really true amateurs could be found) would approve of this, since they would not want to be confined strictly to their own class, but have a chance to meet the higher-ups.
To the rookie in the game, the real thrill comes with the opportunity of meeting the big boys. And again if a tournament was open only to bonafide amateurs, there would not be enough spectators to furnish scorekeepers for the event.
I most certainly agree with the suggestion of The Horseshoe World that something must be done, and it is not along the line of endeavoring to encourage more so-called amateurs to enter the local, state and national contests, as there are always enough of these to swell the entry lists.
The evil lies in the fact that the average spectator knows just what the outcome will be before the tournament starts. He has come to realize that there are just a few men who have ,held a monopoly on the world's championship through all the years, and from all indications, are going to continue to dominate the situation, and for that reason he is not going to take the time and spend his money to see exactly the same thing happen that he has seen so many times before.
If some rule or system could be worked out, that would be no bar to any class of pitchers, and at the same time build up an interest in the game from the spectators' point of view, it would be a forward step in gaining the support the game must have.

In view of these facts, I am going to submit a plan, which I realize is far from perfect, but one I believe is workable, and far better than the present system.
I would first recommend that Mr. D. D. Cottrell, secretary of the national organization, and Mr. R. B. Howard, editor of The Horseshoe World, be named a committee of two on classification and handicapping; their work to be the grouping of all pitchers into four divisions, according to their rank or ability, and the placing of handicaps in the various divisions.
The four groups would consist of Class A, all players who have held the world's championship; Class B, all players that have been runners-up to the world's champions, including those that have finished fifth or better in the national tournaments. Class C, all players who finished in the positions from sixth to twelfth in the national pitches, as well as all state champions; Class D all players not reckoned good enough for the other classes.
The handicapping plan would be along this line: Credit the pitchers of each group in this manner: _
Class A-The best pitchers in the world, no credit points, merely a cipher in the first inning on the scorecard, which means they will have to get the full fifty points in their games to win.
Class B-Pitchers of the second rank, we give a credit of five points which will be placed to their credit on the scorecard and they will be required to get 45 more points in their games to win.
Class C-Third rank pitchers we will give a credit of 10 points and they will need 40 more points per
game.
Class D-Will include all pitchers not good enough for-the upper ranks and will have a credit of 15 points; 35 to be made by the pitcher in order to win his game.
Let us say that the pitchers under these four classifications and handicaps are all lined up, and ready to start in a tournament, each player will have pinned to his back a card giving his regular player. number; also the number of his credit points and when two pitchers are called out for a game, the scorekeeper will note for the exact number of points the these and give each player credit in the first inning on the scorecard cards show are' allotted to each pitcher. In other words the allotted points to each pitcher will stand to his credit in every game he pitches.
The classification would no doubt have to be revised after each tournament, since many pitchers in the lower ranks would be working to the upper divisions, while possibly some in the upper group would have to be ranked downward, with the exception of Class A pitchers who would have to remain in that group.
I believe this system of handicapping the good pitchers, thereby equalizing the
chances of all players in winning in a tournament, will create an absolute uncertainty as to the final result and thus stimulate a decided increased interest in the game.
A pitch conducted along this line would be similar to the Grand American Handicap premier Trapshooting event of the world, which had last year 1000 participants, including all the best shots in the world, and the handicaps work so nicely that practically a new man wins each year.
In order to hold down the entry list to reasonable proportions and also assure high class pitchers in each division, I would increase the entry fee to eight dollars.
This system could be applied to state as well as national tournaments, by ranking the pitchers of the state into their proper groups, with the exception of Class A pitchers which would be barred from competition.
I would like very much to see a national summer tournament held in a northern state this year with some such plan as this given a trial.

I am not advocating that this system be adopted and used just as it is given. I am submitting it only. as an outline, whereby, if favored by the pitchers, and my suggestion that the Messrs. Cottrell and Howard serve as the committee on arrangements, approved, then it will be up to the committee to make the classification place the handicaps, and put the plan into action.

W. K. TORBERT.
West Mansfield, O.