HORSESHOES
EQUIPMENT AND COURT LAYOUT

The Courts

  • Stakes are placed 40 feet apart.
  • Stakes should extend 14 to 15 inches above the pit surface.
  • Stakes may be inclined toward each other, but not more than a 3 inch lean.
  • Stakes are solid or hollow steel 1 inch in diameter.
  • Stakes should be a minimum of 21 inches from the front and back of the pit.
  • Pits are constructed 31 to 36 inches wide and 43 to 72 inches deep. If the pit is less than the maximum dimensions, the extra space shall be filled with the same material of which the platforms are made and shall be level with the pit and platforms. the stake at the center.
  • Pits are best filled with clay, which must be watered periodically to maintain its texture. Sand, sawdust, and loose soil are more commonly used. The purpose of the filler is to keep the shoes from bouncing excessively, so any material that accomplishes this can be used. Minimum depth of the substance is 4 inches but 8
    inches is recommended.
  • A foul line is marked 3 feet in front of each stake. Thus, the resulting throwing
    distance (foul line to opposite stake) is 37 feet. For Female, Junior, and Elderly
    contestants the foul line is 27 feet from the opposite stake.
The Rules
  • Each player pitches both shoes followed by the opponent’s two shoes.
  • In pitching a shoe, the player may not cross the foul line.
  • When playing teams, half the team throws from one stake and half throws from the other.
  • Games can be played to 40 points in a point limit game or 40 shoes in a shoe limit game. In the shoe limit game the player with the highest points wins. If a tie exists then each player can take a half win or a two inning tie breaker can be thrown.
Circle Game Rules (2 players or more)
  • The game is played with only two or more players.
  • Each player has their own paddle.
  • The game uses one ball.

Players stand in a circle. The object is for players to maintain a volley themselves a number of times before passing the ball to the other player using paddles. The game begins with one player maintaining a volley of two bounces before he or she passes the ball to the other player. The next player with the ball maintains the same number of bounces plus one in his or her volley before passing it on. If a player lets the ball hit the sand or water, that player loses a point. The game is restarted with the player that lost a point maintaining a volley of only two bounces
per volley. Once a player has lost five points, that player is eliminated permanently from the game.

A team is eliminated when there is only one player remaining. When there is only one team remaining, that team scores one point. At the end of the round all players rejoin the game. When one team gets to a score of five points, that team is the winner of the game.

Scoring
  • Any shoe must be within one horseshoe-width (measured across the outside of the open end of the shoe) of the stake to be considered for points. The closest shoe to the stake gets 1 point.
  • If you have two shoes closer than any of your opponent’s, you get 2 points.
  • Ringers are worth 3 points each and must completely encircle the stake so the ends can be touched with a straight-edge without touching the stake.
  • If you have the closest shoe and a ringer, it’s 4 points.
  • If your opponent throws a ringer on top of yours, they cancel and no points are scored.
  • Leaners are worth 1 point and are considered closer than any adjacent shoe except ringers.