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Horseshoe Specs

As in any popular game specifications regarding several aspects of the game of horseshoes have been laid out in order to standardize the game. Most horseshoe pitchers purchase or use horseshoes made to specifications set out by a sanctioning body like the NHPA (National Horseshoe Pitching Association). Their regulations state:

The horseshoe weight shall not be more than two (2) pounds, ten (10) ounces (there is no minimum weight). No horseshoe can exceed 7-1/4 inches in width or 7-5/8 inches in length. For any shoe, new or used, the opening shall not exceed 3-5/8 inches, measured from a parallel line of an inch inward from a straightedge touching the shoe points. No part of any horseshoe shall exceed one (1) inch in height when placed, with calks down, on a level surface.1

The Horseshoe Court

The game of Horseshoes is played on what is called a court. The most important dimension on this court is the distance between stakes. They should be made of 1" diameter pipe of cold-rolled steel. They should be 40 feet apart on level ground. They should extend out of the ground 14 or 15 inches and be leaning approximately 3" toward each other. Horseshoes is played on a grassy surface with a pit made of loose turf surrounding each stake. An area about 18" on both sides and 24" before and behind each stake should be dug up. This is all that is really needed for a backyard court.

Dimension Diagram of Horseshoe Court

For a more elaborate (and official) court, a pitcher's platform can be added that is 18" wide on either side of the pits extending from three feet behind the stake to the foul line, three feet in front of each stake. This can be constructed of 4" deep cement (level with the ground) or alternately, with paving stones. These platforms can be extended an additional 10 feet to accommodate junior pitching. A backstop can also be built 4 feet behind each stake to prevent run-away shoes.

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  1. Ref to: http://www.horseshoepitching.com/notices/Rules-2ndRe-write.htm - NHPA Rules



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