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Ringers and leaners: Londonderry Horseshoe Pitching Association fun for all

By Laura Hayes

laurahayes@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 8/1/18

It was still sprinkling at 6:30 p.m. Monday, but there were four men at the horseshoe pit in Sunset Park in Londonderry Township anyway.

After awhile, the rain stopped and three more men showed …

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Ringers and leaners: Londonderry Horseshoe Pitching Association fun for all

Posted

It was still sprinkling at 6:30 p.m. Monday, but there were four men at the horseshoe pit in Sunset Park in Londonderry Township anyway.

After awhile, the rain stopped and three more men showed up.

“It’s all in the release,” Kirk Shaffer said before throwing a horseshoe.

Shaffer has been a member of the Londonderry Horseshoe Pitching Association’s league for six years.

Why does he like being part of the league?

“The guys getting together and having fun,” he said.

According to league member Rich Sill, the league started in some people’s backyards and has been going on for around 30 years. They’ve been playing at Sunset Park for the past 20.

Some of the members joined the league after being recruited by others. This is John Smeal’s first summer on the league. Smeal has horseshoe stakes in his backyard, and one day, someone called and said a member quit and they need someone to fill in.

“I just love pitching horseshoes,” he said.

For others, playing a game is part of tradition. Jeremy Carl, Kris Reigle, Kurt Koser and Allen Lindsey throw horseshoes every weekend at Lake Frederick.

All of their parents and grandparents did it, Carl said.

“Everyone has a good time. It’s a fun time,” Sill said.

That doesn’t stop some of the players from becoming competitive. Putting a horse shoe on the “ring,” or the stake, Smeal explained, awards the player three points, and if the shoe is one shoe-length away from the stake, then it counts as one point.

Winning, league member Dan Ice said, is what he enjoyed about playing horseshoes.

“You always try to get ringers,” Ice said.

The horseshoe league runs from May 1 through Labor Day. While the maximum amount of people in the league is 24 people, Sill said they need players for the substitute list. New members, he said, usually start on the substitute list.

Contact Sill at 717-944-2007 if you are interested in joining.