Here is another great outdoors weekend game. Horseshoes can be played by most people and in most locations. The only real limitations are that the horseshoes are 2.5 lbs and not everyone will be able to throw that weight with any consistency. That being said it is a great way to spend an afternoon with friends and family and is an excellent spectator sport for those not participating.

The Set:
A horseshoes set consists of 4 horseshoes weighing 2.5lbs each and 2 stakes 24” long.

Object of the Game:
Throw your horseshoes closer to the stake then your opponent to score points.

General Rules:
The game of horseshoes is broken down into innings, each consisting of 4 pitched horseshoes, 2 by each opponent.

The first player will pitch both shoes and then wait while the other contestant does the same. Each player must take care not to cross the foul line which is 3′ past the stake or risk having the thrown shoe deemed a foul disqualified from scoring.

Once points have been determined, players pick up their shoes and then begin the next inning, now throwing in the opposite direction.

In each inning, after all four shoes have been thrown, scoring is determined in the following manner. In order to be considered for points, a shoe must lie within 6″ (approximately the distance between the open ends of the shoe) from the stake – all shoes outside of this area score no points.

Of the shoes within this 6″ area around the stake, the closest shoe gets one point. If one player has two shoes closer than any of the opponents’, it’s worth 2 points.

Leaners are shoes which lean against the stake and worth 1 point are considered closer than any shoe which is not touching the stake but not closer than Ringers.

Ringers are shoes which completely encircle the stake so that the ends can be touched with a straight edge without touching the stake.

Ringers are worth 3 points each. If a player has both a ringer and the closest other shoe it would be worth 4 points.

Cancellation Scoring Anytime the shoes of opposing players are equal distance from the stake or of equal value they cancel each other out and score no points. For example: If both players have ringers they would cancel out and the next closest shoe within 6″ from the stake would score 1 point. Or if Player One has 2 ringers and Player Two has 1 ringer – two of the opposing ringers would cancel out and Player One would score 1 ringer for 3 points.

Winner of the Game is the first player or team to reach the predetermined point total.

Doubles Play:
Four players can play horseshoes in teams of two players each. Players of each team pitch from opposite ends of the court against an opposing team. The points of the players of each team are added together and players do not change sides after each inning. Otherwise, doubles play is no different than conventional singles play.

Winning the Game:
In backyard play, it is not uncommon to play to 15 points. The winner of the Game is the first player or team to reach the predetermined point total.

The Court:
Horseshoes Court

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