2008 World Tournament report

Alan Francis and Sue Snyder as World Champions

The 83rd Annual World Horseshoe Pitching Tournament was held in York, Pennsylvania from July 7 through 19, 2008. There were 1323 entries with 46 States and 4 Countries represented, including Norway and Japan. There were 64 from Canada: 2 from B.C., 3 from Alberta, 48 from Ontario, 10 from Quebec and 1 from N.S.

World Champions were crowned in 8 divisions. Here they are:
Men: Alan FRANCIS, Defiance, OH 19-0 89.35
Women: Sue SNYDER, Madisonville, KY 19-1 86.30
Elder: Herschel E. WALTERS, Bourbon, IN 10-1 77.37
Senior Men: Ron DECKARD, Tampa, FL 10-1 65.95
Senior Women: Rivers PREWETTE, Eden, NC 5-0 80.97
Junior Boys: Michael BOWMAN, Archie, MO 10-1 72.60
Junior Girls: Abby GREEN, Adamsville, OH 5-0 59.89
PeeWees: Brian KNUPP, Blairsville, PA 6-1 39.92

With new equipment developed (courts, walkways), and soft clay, the playing conditions were excellent. Several records fell: in the Men’s division, Alan Francis broke a few, extending his winning streak at 86 (previous record was 69 by Fernando Isais), pitched 2 perfect games (24 and 20 shoes) and set a new record for a complete tournament average with 89.3%. Previous record was 88.2% set by Elmer Hohl in 35 games and 2964 shoes pitched. Alan broke it in 826 shoes, easily recording his 14th Men’s title. Among other records set by Alan is the high average for one day: 93.5%. We had 3 Canadians in the top group, 3 Ontarians (more than any other state or province): Drew Becker, the youngest at 19-years old, was impressive as he took 4th place with 70.1%. Tom Gallina got 8th with 68.3% while Stan Leis forfeited after two days due to a sore arm. Missing the top group were Andre Leclerc (23rd), Duncan McKenzie (26th) and Louis Prudhomme (28th).

In the Women’s division, Sylvianne Moisan recorded the high average (87.3%) helped by 7 games over 90% but lost a playoff to Sue Snyder for first place 33-40 in a great 124 shoe-game. They had 35 fourdeads and percentages were 86.3% vs 88.7% for Snyder. Eleven world records fell in the game between Sylvianne and Joan Elmore which lasted 140 shoes. They include 43 fourdeads and a losing percentage of 87.9% while Sylvianne shot 90%. We had 3 other Canadians in the top group: Sandy Janssens placing 6th with 74.3%, Lyne Pineault taking 14th with 69.8% and Lucy Thibault ending in 20th position. Joan Elmore recorded the longest string of doubles as she started her game against Lyne Pineault with 18 consecutive doubles. Sylvianne had two strings of 17 straight doubles (in her games vs Maxine Griffith and Judy Curtiss).

We also had a Canadian who made the Senior Ladies Championship as Lucille Leis finished 6th with 60.8%. Rivers Prewette set a new record by taking 1st place with 80.97%.

Three Canadians won their group. They are: Tom Gallina (Men’s A-2), Lucille Leis (Women’s B) and Gaston Dallaire (Senior Men’s G). The youngest competitor was Matthew Trader, ND (7 yrs old) and the oldest was Eino Wiitala, MD (91 yrs old). The inductees into the NHPA Hall of Fame for 2008 are Len Lipovsky and Curly Seibold.


NHPA convention:
Held on Sunday July 13, Andre Leclerc and Wally Arnold were present for Canada. Here are the items of interest for us: The next World Tournaments will be held in:
# 2009 – Springfield, Illinois (July 27th to August 8th)
# 2010 – Cedar Rapids, Iowa (July 26th to August 7th)
# 2011 – 11 locations interested

In Springfield, there will be 50 courts in the same area and padded seating for the spectators at the Convention Center, site of the tournament, connected to the Holiday Inn by a (pedestrian) tunnel. The Amtrak station is located 6 blocks away from the Convention Center. No onsite camping. It will be an excellent occasion to visit the NHPA Hall of Fame located about 80 miles from Springfield at Wentzville, Missouri. The 1.5M$ asset includes 16 indoor and 16 outdoor courts. Springfield’s Bill Marvin will participate at the “Deal or no deal” show.

Five (5) by-law changes were adopted. Among them, the NHPA membership dues went from $12 to $17. The minimum bid to host the World Tournament went from $15000 to $21000. The bylaws will be amended if necessary every third convention (instead of every two years). Among election results, the only change is Tina Hawkins (Oklahoma) replacing Casey Sluys (after 14 years) as 2nd V.P. Bob Dunn was appointed Historian (replacing the late Gary Kline). Courts sanctioning: some clubs were granted extensions. Extended platforms (for 30’ pitchers) are not a basic requirement but should be a priority. On the format for the 2009 World Tournament there was a suggestion to enlarge the Senior Ladies championship division. We obtained copies of the RGS book for each province, containing the NHPA rules, guidelines and specifications.

See 2008 World Tournament complete results here.


2008 World Tournament top 3 women: Sylvianne, Sue, Judy.

2008 World Tournament top 3 women: Sylvianne, Sue, Judy.

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