published January – February 2017


Continued Redesign of Sanctioned League Patches

by Jerry Smith, 3rd Vice President, Sanction League Director


I am sitting here in Idaho with four inches of snow and temperatures in the single digits.  So with not one indoor facility in this state to pitch horseshoes in, you might believe that the Third Vice President is slacking, and I am.  Oh wait, the sanctioned league program never goes dormant, it only slows down a little.  Let’s take a look.


The deadline for Junior Scholarship applications was December 31st.  The last day to receive 2016 leagues for consideration in “Top Ten” rankings is January 15th.  After these deadlines pass, a tremendous amount of work goes into the calculating of winners, the publishing of lists, and the ordering awards and successful delivering of these awards.  But that’s coming up you say, “What’s the slacker doing now”?  Well let me tell you. 


Last year I decided to re-design the major individual league patches since they had been the same for over 30 years, how boring, enough was enough.  The patches came at a little higher price, story to follow.  The new patches were well received in the league pitching communities as many positive comments were received.  So in the last month, I have re-designed or changed all of the remaining sanctioned league patches.  The process is still being finalized, but I am excited and anxiously awaiting the design team’s samples. 


I am particularly interested in my design for the “League Member” and “League Director” patches.  These new updated patches will be awesome and it is my hope that league members and directors will purchase and proudly display them for the world to see.  The cost will be one dollar each, which brings me back to the “little higher” prices story.

After getting the bill for last year’s re-designed patches, particularly the very awesome “League Champion” patch, Mr. Sidles, watcher of all NHPA $’s, grinningly chided me about the extra costs.  That led me to ponder this question, “Why don’t the leagues pay something for the patches and awards they receive?” after all, they are the ones receiving them.  The obvious answer is, “it’s just part of the NHPA due structure”.  While that statement is true, it is also true that the sanctioned league budget is now the largest in the NHPA next to the World Tournament. 


After some thought, I composed and sent out a letter detailing possible ways and guidelines for contributing to the sanctioned league coffers.  The concept is and was presented as voluntary in nature.  The response has been very positive as over $1300.00 was donated in 2016.  I want to thank everyone and express appreciation to those clubs and leagues that chose to contribute and hope that the trend will expand and continue moving forward.  Most contributions seemed to be tied to patch orders, but consider this, the annual patch expense is less than half of the total sanctioned league budget.


I hope everyone had a happy and fulfilling holiday season and were able to gather and enjoy family gatherings, because I know I did.  I look forward to the 2017 calendar of events and hope to see many of you on the courts.  Thanks for all of your support; it’s what we do.