Horseshoes is a popular outdoor game that has been played for years. The game is played by two people or two teams of two people. Each side pitches two horseshoes at a stake at the opposite end of the playing field.
The size of the horseshoe pit
The horseshoe pit is the area where the stake is placed and the general area the horseshoes are pitched at. The size should be 36 by 72 inches. There are rules that also allow for a smaller pit that measures 31 by 43 inches.
Other measurements in the game of horseshoes
The horseshoe court is 48 feet long by six feet wide. Inside the pitchers box, there are the stake, the pit and the pitching platform, and the box measures six feet by six feet. The pitching platform is three feet long and 18 to 20.5 inches wide. It runs along both sides of the pit.
How to begin
Each player should have two metal or plastic horseshoes. Both players pitch one horseshoe to determine who goes first. The player that scores the most points goes first. The other player follows.
How to play
Both players throw from the same side of the horseshoe court. The game can be played by each player throwing both horseshoes at a time, or the players can alternate by throwing one horseshoe at a time. The points are then scored.
When the next round begins, the second player throws first. Players continue to alternate who throws first with each continuing round. Home games end when one player has a minimum of 21 points at the end of a round. The winner must win by two points. Professional games are played until a player reaches 40 points.
How to score
There are two ways to earn points when playing horseshoes. One is by pitching a ringer and the other is by pitching a horseshoe that lands within a horseshoe distance from the stake. The way to make sure a horseshoe is a ringer is to place a straight edge across the two ends of the horseshoe. If it doesn't touch the stake, it is considered a ringer.
All horseshoes that land within a horseshoe distance from the stake receive one point. Ringers count for three points. If both players get ringers, they cancel each other out, and no one receives points. If one player gets two ringers, and the other player gets one, then only the one ringer counts and the other two cancel each other out. In some areas, the ringers don't cancel each other out, but instead the player who has the ringer on top earns six points and the other ringers earn three.
The game point must be won by the person throwing the horseshoe. If the opponent tosses a horseshoe and it hits the other player's horseshoe, moving it into a place where it wins a point, it does not count for the game point. The play counts for the corresponding points at any other time during the game.