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
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.