Court Construction

Horseshoe court lighting should be uniform over the playing surface and for a few feet outside the side lines and backstops. Outdoor lighting offers no reflective background so all light must be direct from the fixtures.

For club/tournament play, 25 to 35 footcandles is recommended, and for non-tournament play 15 to 25 footcandles is sufficient. All the surface area should be evenly lighted.

Lighting fixtures should be placed outside of all courts so that beams are generally aimed across the courts. No light sources should be located directly behind the courts or at the back corners of courts if possible. Quartz, metal halide, fluorescent, and high pressure sodium lamps are all applicable to horseshoe court lighting.

Poles should be 30 to 35 ft long, have cross arms at the top to which fixtures are attached, and be capable of withstanding at least 100-mph winds. Fluorescent fixtures should be mounted 14 to 16 ft above the court surface, outside the lines and tilted inward.

Pole mounted fluorescent fixtures may be located 22 ft above the court surface. Poles should be primed and painted a dark color. All wiring should be installed underground and outside the court area.

Basic design techniques are the same for almost any type of field.

Horseshoe pitching tournaments normally have "class" sizes of 6, 8, 10, 12 and 16 pitchers. Each "class" pitches a "round-robin" schedule where each contestant pitches one game against other in the same "class". Thus, a 6-man class would need 3 courts; an 8-man class would need 4 courts; etc. Accordingly, court installations should be constructed with enough courts to handle the largest anticipated tournament. For example, if 40 entries were expected they could be divided into five 8-man classes requiring 20 courts. Alternately, two 8-man morning classes and three 8-man afternoon classes would require no more than 12 courts. (Suggested: minimum of 18 to 24)

See the NHPA Official Rules for details on court dimensions and specifications.

court layout
court Layout

Printable court/stake layout

stake diagram
Possible stake assembly details