For boys and girls of all ages, a sport called horseshoe pitching is creeping into the spotlight all over the Mountain State.
You can pitch outside at home, at camps and some people have horseshoe pits in their garage or basements. The sport is available at various clubs all over the country.
However, pitching horseshoes is not just a sport. It’s good healthy fun.
For instance, pitching shoes eases the mind and relaxes you just like golf, fishing, and bowling does for many people. Horseshoe pitching, like other sports, can be an individual or a team sport. It also can be played year around.
Mylan Park in Morgantown is an indoor facility with 24 sets of lighted horseshoe courts. The facility accommodates both genders, from age nine and under, to over 90 years of age, who compete at various distances. Some competitors are handicapped.
Also, Mylan Park schedules non-sanctioned mixed walking doubles tournaments on Tuesday evenings, and also may conduct organized horseshoe pitching activities indoors beginning this October.
The club conducts both non-sanctioned and National Horseshoe Pitchers Association (NHPA) tournaments and may seek to host the 2011 World Horseshoe Pitching Tournament.
Other locations, like East Marion Recreational Park in Fairmont and Parkersburg City Park have similar opportunities. Worthington Park in Lewis County and parks near Elkins and Ronceverte conduct sanctioned and non-sanctioned events on clay-filled courts. In other areas, such as Moundsville, Harrisville, and Pineville, offer non operational sites for horseshoe pitching.
In Wetzel County, many horseshoe pitchers meet in Littleton at the Howard Laugh homestead on Tuesdays and Thursdays and on Fridays in Turkey Run at Moose Leasure’s place. In New Martinsville, players gather at the Moose Lodge in the summer on Wednesday evenings.
There are many West Virginia state horseshoe pitching champions in Wetzel County, like cousins Keri and Bryan Huggins, who placed first and second, respectively, at the annual West Virginia Horseshoe Pitchers Association State Singles Championship at Parkersburg Aug. 30.
Keri won first in the junior girls’ class and Bryan took second in the junior boys’ class. Others who placed include: Lee Ann Huggins, second; Pat Huggins, third; Roger Postlewait, third; Joe Haught, first; Paul Hinkle, second; Steve Helmick, third; and Monnie Goodrich, third.
The Wetzel County group welcomes men, women, boys, and girls of all ages, shapes, and sizes. For more information on a Wetzel County event, contact Mark Huggins at 889-2132.
Prospective entrants in the 2009 World Horseshoe Pitching Tournament in Springfield, Ill. July 27-Aug. 8 are required to have a minimum of four NHPA sanctioned events on record in the prior 12 months of the entry deadline, to be announced.
For more information on current pitching activities, visit the NHPA Web site www.horseshoepitching.com or subscribe to the Horseshoe Pitching Newsline, the official publication of the NHPA.
The annual subscription fee is $12, payable to the NHPA and mailed to NHPA, 308 706th St., Frankville, WI 53126-9661.
For local information, contact Charles Bunner at 304-366-7986 or email, MrHshu@aol.com.