EXERCISEºRECREATIONºSPORT


HORSESHOE PITCHING GUIDE

by Art Headlough, © 1920
Page 3


natoinal festivals. They consisted of the chariot race, archery, boxing, putting the weight, and quoit or discus throwing. Each of the great games were held near some shrine or consecrated spot and is connected by myth or legend with some hero, demigod, or local deity.
    Of the ancient games as they were called, such as the Olympian, the Pythian, Nemean, Isthmian, and Ludi-Publici, kings and tyrants eagerly contested in these games. Among them we find the names of Cylon, the would-be tyrant of Athens, Pausanias, the Spartan king, Archelaus, Macedon, Celon and Hiero of Syracuse, and, Theron of Agrigentum.
    It is said that the game of pitching quoits was the pastime of the Grecian kings. Socrates and Euripides pitched quoits at noon hour, and records show that the game was pitched in that ancient period with what was called a thong, which was passed through a hole in the center to assist the player in throwing it. The quoit or discus was a circular plate of stone or metal, 10 or 12 inches in diameter. But the modern quoit is a much lighter missile, and consists of a circular iron or ring to be thrown or pitched in play at a fixed distance. There are two iron stakes or pins called hobs, driven into the ground at a centain distance apart, generally 19 yards. There were several players on a side and each threw two quoits. The game became popular in England, in many country towns and villages, in the mining districts of the Midlands, and Lancashire. In 1869 the following rules wore drawn up in England to govern the game:
    That the distance from pin to pin be 19 yards. That a player stand level with the pin and deliver his quoit with the first step. That no quoit be allowed which measured more than 8 inches, outside diameter. But the weight was unlimited. That the ground be of clay, and the pins one inch above the clay. That all measurements be taken from the nearest visible part of the pin to the nearest visible part of the quoit, the clay or quoit not to be disturbed. No quoit counted unless fairly delivered in the clay free from the outer rim. No quoit on its back unless it holds clay or is knocked out by another quoit. That no quoit rolling on the clay count unless it first strikes another quoit or pin. That each player deliver his quoits in succession, his opponent following. That an umpire be appointed, and in all cases of disputes his decision shall be final.
    From time to time no rules were ever drawn to meet the requirements of the game, each locality making their own rules. After the rules of 1869 were adopted, they spread to many parts of the country, even to the United States, where quoit pitching was getting a hold, but the. game was only popular a short time; no records were kept or any tournaments ever held, so the game went nearly out of existence, horseshoe pitching being more popular and easier to play for the reason that an old pair of horseshoes could be procured, from any blacksmith shop. So the ancient game of quoits was substi-