Personal "etiquette" by contestants, judges, scorekeepers and spectators is not always established by "Rules". A few "unwritten" practices have helped standardize nearly all well conducted horseshoe tournaments....
Here are a few of the generally accepted "unwritten" rules of etiquette in horseshoe pitching (Some may include or refer to NHPA Official Rules):
Without loss in competitive spirit, all participants shall maintain a friendly, civil attitude with one another, officials, scorekeepers and spectators, all of whom are expected to reciprocate in like manner. Boasting, fault finding, whining and complaining only serve to lessen respect for individuals and for the sport.
Opponents should shake hands prior to and following play of every game,to wish one another good luck and to thank one another for the opportunity to compete.
Play should start on time for each game and continue in timely fashion with no delays, excepting for conditions beyond control of participants. Individuals who practice tactical disruptions which slow the pace may be subject to strict discipline by tournament officials. Pitchers are asked to stay on or near their assigned courts throughout tournament play to be available for play. They should report any necessary temporary absence to the judge covering their courts.
Contestants should never visit with anyone when an opponent is in position to pitch. Equal respect should also be shown throughout the game because any sound or motion by contestants during the course of a game may be disruptive to an opponent's concentration.
Competitors may speak with one another between innings as they choose but such conversations or actions shall not be distractive to pitchers on other courts.
Scorekeepers are part of the court conditions and must officially record all scoring calls. They are to stay focused on play, without visiting with contestants or spectators. They may question contestants on scoring problems provided they do not interrupt a pitcher preparing to pitch. They may announce the current score when asked by the contestants. They should avoid shifting and moving their body or scoreboards when contestants are pitching to avoid unnecessary distraction. They must certainly remain in their chair instead of walking with contestants or moving around on the court during a game.
Judges have a need to move or "walk the fence" to observe play on courts assigned to them. Judges must respond to requests for judgement calls and in so doing, they must not cause disruption by their own actions. Crossing courts inside the fence on which contestants are in the act of pitching is both distracting and unsafe.
Spectators have responsibilities too. For the most part, horseshoe games are played with very little spectator or contestant "chatter". Both jeering and humerous comments as well as conversations between spectators and contestants on the court has no place in a well conducted tournament. Contestants should be allowed to play each pitch free of distraction. Polite applause is a well received acknowledgement of good play if made between innings and is encouraged by most tournament directors. Overly enthusiastic crowd noises should be held in check.