by Roy W. Smith published in 1946
Page 25

exerted on his fingers when the shoe is about opposite the leg and starting to level out for the release. In other words, the shoe is inclined to level out of its own accord with a free roll of the arm! If one wishes to experiment, the shoe can be swung vertically while hanging from the middle finger only, and will level itself, to a marked degree, with the arm-roll. When correctly held and delivered,, the shoe and not the player does the work. A number of star pitchers believe that certain deft and delicate movements of the arm and wrist are necessary to secure the turn. Therefore, to use or not to use wrist-snap seems to be a matter of opinion among the experts.

   Mr. Zimmerman now describes the Wrong Way - "The shoe is held and swung by the leg in the flat or broadside position and the turn is forced, mainly by the wrist, at the moment of release. While it is possible to secure the turn in this manner, it works a hardship on the player's wrist."

   "Swinging the shoe past the leg in the flat position makes it more difficult to keep the swing straight and maintain accurate alignment. To avoid fouling it on his leg, the player will often pull his leg aside or swing the shoe farther out from his body. Forcing the turn with the wrist not only tires the arm but makes it hard to secure a consistent opening of shoes. Then too, it may cause a player to acquire a stiff-armed delivery because his arm is deprived of its easy, natural roll."

   Unfortunately, a large number of players start out with this bad habit of forcing the turn on their shoes. This way, the pitcher, and not the shoe, does all the work. It should always be remembered that the secret of good horseshoe pitching is to make it as effortless and natural as possible.


   Quite often the beginner has a tendency to spin or flick the shoe with his arm and wrist, the grip and method of delivery should retard the spin to less than two complete turns in flight. If the turn is too slow, raise the trajectory or flight elevation. If the turn is too fast, lower the elevation. In other words, bringing the shoe up a little farther in the vertical position, before permitting it to level out, speeds the turn. Levelling or flattening it out a little quicker will slow up the turn. Slightly shifting the grip on the shank and changing the pointing of the thumb and shoe will also speed or retard the turn. However, raising and lowering the trajectory, (arch), is the best method because no variation of the grip is necessary.