EXERCISEºRECREATIONºSPORT


SCIENCE AT THE STAKE

by Roy W. Smith published in 1946
Page 12


   .Nearly all the civilized nations throughout the world include horseshoe pitching in their sporting categories so that today the game possesses a genuine international flavor. While the sport enjoys its greatest popularity here in this country, Canada, England, Australia, New Zealand, Soviet Russia, the Hawaiian Islands and even fashionable Bermuda have adopted it. The majority of our great Universities, colleges and public schools include the game in their physical culture departments. Almost every city, town and hamlet have their outdoor, indoor, public and private playing courts.

PLAYING REQUISITES

   Horseshoe Pitching, as played today is a far cry from the old "barnyard" version and calls for as much or more science and correct playing form as golf, tennis and baseball. Theodore Allen, the world's champion states: "for every fundamental and hazard contained in golf, I can name a corresponding one in horseshoes." People who are unfamiliar with the game may doubt the veracity of this statement until they see a good horseshoe pitcher in action; then their doubts will be quickly and permanently dispelled.

   Skill is a predominating feature in playing the game. There is nothing haphazard about pitching ringers and, while luck plays an important part in any game, very little of it is involved here. A common horseshoe, when gilded and placed on the mantle-piece or nailed over a door may represent a symbol of luck to some people; but tossing well-designed pitching shoes at a stake 40 feet away, and making ringer upon ringer calls for plenty of skill. When a good player delivers a shoe he usually knows what it will do the moment it leaves his hand.

   In order to acquire such a high degree of skill one must possess fairly good health, eyesight, a considerable amount of natural talent, patience and self-control. Mrs. James, the comely queen of the women pitchers, states; "to master the game it is first necessary for a person to master his emotions. Bad temperament and lack of self-control have ruined many a good player. Patience is a necessary virtue because no one can master the game with only a few hour's practice. Months, even years, of patient study and correct training of the muscles and mental faculties are required to develop a good pitcher."

START WITH PROPER EQUIPMENT

   The first step in learning to play the game is the use of proper playing equipment. One cannot become proficient and do justice to the game by trying to use cheap, makeshift equipment. By all

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