Entering Tournaments

It is never a question of "am I good enough".
There is a place for all pitchers at tournaments and once
you have decided that you wish to play, the process is painless.

Contact someone that you know who plays in tournaments or simply call the Regional Director of your state for tournament locations and information.

Participating in a tournament can be an addictive experience. You will meet a lot of new friends, ( horseshoe pitchers are like your next door neighbors) they will always make you feel welcome.

Now that you have left your back yard or your local league and decided to take on a new venture, have fun. After arriving at the tournament site you will need to purchase your nhpa card from the statistician or tournament director at the site.

Now the hardest part of the whole day. They will ask you to warm up for a few minutes and then qualify, (no it isn't just to get into the tournament) they want you to pitch 100 shoes a see how many ringers you pitch. This will then let them place you in amongst pitchers of similar skills.

Your skill level, or ringer average as it is known, is based upon using your ringer average from previous tournament results using the 3 highest tournament averages pitched within the last 12 months or the last 10 tournaments, whichever comes first. But since you didn't have a ringer average yet you were asked to qualify...just relax and do your best.

The most commonly used type of tournament play is based upon a round robin schedule for each skill level, usually in a 6, 7 or 8 person group. You are seeded within a group based upon your ringer average and then will play one game against each of the other pitchers within your group or class. The round robin card will show you which courts to play on and which seed you play.

Games are usually played to a given number of points or a pre-determined number of shoes. In most cases this is a cancellation game, meaning that like ringers cancel each other out and only the closest shoe to the stake (within 6 inches) would receive a point.... There is a recognized score calling language with which you will become familiar. The other pitchers will be very helpful in explaining this language..

The entire experience is sometimes a little unnerving at first. The key is to play your own game, not worry about winning or losing, but enjoy the competition.