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An outdoor game played between two people/teams using four horseshoes and two stakes.

Horseshoes is an outdoor game played between two people (or two teams of two people) using four horseshoes and two stakes. The game is played by the players alternating turns tossing horseshoes at stakes in the ground, which are traditionally placed 40 feet (12.19 meters) away. Modern games use a more stylized U-shaped bar, about twice the size of an actual horseshoe.

Game Play

The game begins with a flip of a coin or flip of a horseshoe to determine who goes first. The winner of the toss throws both horseshoes, one at a time, at the opposite stake, and then the second player throws both of their horseshoes at the same stake. In team play, one member of each team stands at opposite ends and throws only from their end. After scoring, the next round is done in reverse order, or by throwing back at the original stake. Play continues until one player has at least 21 points at the end of a round. NHPA sanctioned games are generally played to 40 points, or a shoe limit of 40 or 50 shoes. Horseshoepitching


In horseshoes, there are two ways to score: by throwing "ringers," or by throwing the horseshoe nearest to the opposite stake. This scoring system gives rise to the popular expression "Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades." A ringer is a thrown horseshoe such that the horseshoe completely encircles the stake. Disputes are settled by using a straightedge to to touch the two points at the ends of the horseshoe, called "heel calks." If the straight edge doesn't touch the stake, then the horseshoe is a ringer.

The nearest horseshoe to the stake within 6 inches counts one point. If both of one player's horseshoes are closer than the opponent's, that player scores two points. A ringer scores three points. In the case of one ringer and a closer horseshoe, both horseshoes are scored for a total of four points. If a player throws two ringers, that player scores six points. If each player throws a ringer, the ringers cancel and no points are scored.

Source: Wikipedia

Flags: Very Short (0-60 mins), Short (1-3 hours), With a Friend, With a Group, Teens, Adults, Seniors, Outdoors, Morning, Day, Sunny
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