EXERCISEºRECREATIONºSPORT


SCIENCE AT THE STAKE

by Roy W. Smith published in 1946
Page 36


grounds are uneven, overgrown with weeds and littered with rubbish. Old car axles or water pipes are used for stakes; these are bent and out of line with deep holes dug out around them. Old discarded horseshoes of various sizes and weights are used. These bounce and roll for yards when they land on the hard-packed ground surrounding the pegs. Instead of pitching at the stakes, the players toss the shoes into the holes around them and trust to luck that the shoes will slide or tumble on for ringers. Would-be pitchers of this type will never graduate from the "dub" or "back alley" class. Such playgrounds are never popular and self-respecting pitchers, who take pride in their game, will not attempt to play under such conditions. Others, who might become interested in the sport, get the impression that it is only a "barnyard" game after all and not worth their time. If a game is not worth playing in accordance with its rules and regulations, why bother with trying to play it at all? Good courts can be installed without going to extremes either way.

   The player should select a good make of shoe that is best suited to his individual style of playing. The beginner may prefer the hard or medium tempered shoes because they are not easily nicked and battered up from use. The soft and dead-soft tempered shoes are best for tournament play.

   Unlike tennis rackets and golf clubs, horseshoes require very little care. When not in use, they should be laid or hung up in a dry place to prevent rust; if rusted, they can be sandpapered and painted. When they become nicked and battered from contact with the stake and other shoes, a file or light hammer can be used to smooth out the rough spots. However, filing a shoe too much can deprive it of perfect balance, weight and uniform size. When shoes become warped and bent, with the opening between the heel- calks less than the regulation 3 1/2 inches, they should be discarded and a new pair used.

RULES AND REGULATIONS GOVERNING
THE USE AND CARE OF THE COURTS

   (1) Each player should feel it his responsiblity to assist in keeping the courts in excellent condition.
   (2) Players are requested to avoid stepping on the clay within 18 inches of the stake so that the clay, in the immediate area of the stake, can be kept in good condition.
   (3) The clay should be kept in a soft putty-like condition, 18 inches around the stake, and level with the pitcher's box.

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