Saturday, April 23, 2011

Special Report: Horseshoes

You might be surprised to find that this week's post isn't about running. Last week I had all four wisdom teeth pulled, and I've been recovering ever since. Because I've looked like "Chippy" the Chipmunk, I have shyed away from running or any other physical activity. I knew I'd be immobile, and thought now would be a perfect time for a special report on horseshoes!

A few weeks ago I was invited to stop by the Victoria Horseshoe Club Open House. What can I say, other than I had the greatest time?!

It's a game you've probably heard of many times. Heck, you might even have played it at the occasional family reunion. But, here are a few facts you may not have known about the game:
  • Horseshoes as a game dates back to the second century in Western Asia and Europe
  • There are competitive leagues in the United States and Canada: The National Horseshoe Pitchers Association of America (NHPAA) and Horseshoe Canada Association
  • Victoria, BC has the second largest club in Canada (a club in Ontario is the biggest)
  • You don't "throw" the horseshoe, you "pitch" it
  • When the shoe encircles the stake, it's called a ringer (worth 3 points)
  • Shoes that land within 6 inches of the stake, but do not encircle it, are worth 1 point
  • A shoe that lands against the stake, but does not encircle it, is called a "leaner"
My friends and I had so much fun learning how to pitch the shoes properly. My friend Liz and I practiced standing at the women's line, while our friend Timal stood at the men's line. I try not to brag, but I did get multiple ringers. ;) Although, as the afternoon went on I think I lost my accuracy a bit. We had amazing coaches in the Club members though. They reminded us to stay loose, focus on the direction of our arm, the height at which we released the shoe, and having fun all around.

Special thanks to Tom for reaching out through the comments section of Injured Player and inviting me to the Victoria Horseshoe Club Open House. And thanks to - Gordon, Pat, and Sharon for being excellent teachers! And to all the members of the club; my friends and I felt so welcome and had a great time.

Are you the next great horseshoe player?
The Club is always looking for new members. Men, women, and youth! Visit their website for more information:


  1. Definitely a sport worth looking into! I did not realize there are clubs. Thanks for all the tips on scoring. :)

  2. the people at the horseshoe club are extremely friendly - i highly recommend a visit!

  3. Thanks for the comment Shelly! Love your blog - you are a busy lady. :)

  4. Glad you had a great time with us. Thanks for the very nice writeup. All the best in your quest for new sports