Here is my report of the World Horseshoe Tournament in Alberta Canada.


Here I am up here in Red Deer, Alberta Canada. This is the location of the 2002 World Horseshoe Pitching tournament. About 830 pitchers signed up for the tournament. There are 7 divisions at the World tournament. Jr. Boy's and Jr. Girl's for players 18 and under. Open Men's division, Open Women's division, Senior Men's division for men 60 & over, Senior Women's division for women 60 a& over and the Elders division for players 70 and over and handicapped players who all play from the shorter 27' foul line. Men and Sr. Men play from a 37' foul line while the juniors and women play from the 27' foul line. Juniors 9 and under can use a foul line at 20'. Most of the players are from the US and Canada while Japan had a few entries and Norway had one, Inge Byrkjeland, who has been coming to the World tournament for many years. Inge did manage to win the class in which he played. Players are normally put into groups of 16 based on their entering average. The top 16 being in the 'A' class with the next 16 being in the 'B' class and so on. The men had 22 classes. The juniors were put into 7 classes of mostly 8 players per class. The top 8 boys advanced to the Jr Boy's championship class while the top 6 girls advanced to the Jr Girl's championship class. The Elders had 11 classes with the top 12 advancing to their championship class. The Senior men had 6 classes with 12 advancing to their championship class. The women had 8 classes with 16 advancing to their championship class and the senior women having 5 small classes to create a championship class of 6. The lower men's classes played the first week as did the junior classes. Drew Becker from Ontario won the juniors class 'A' and the Boys championship while Shalee Sebastian of PA won the Jr Girl's title for the 4th consecutive year to tie that record.

All competition is a round robin which means that a player will play against every other player in the class in a 40 shoe cancellation game. Players pitch 2 shoes at a time. The cancellation system means that if both players throw 2 ringers, then nobody scores. A ringer counts 3 points except when cancelled. A shoe within 6 inches can score 1 point, but only if an opponents ringer is cancelled or the opponent doesn't have a ringer or a shoe closer to the stake. Games tied at the end of the 40 shoes remain as ties. Standings are determined by wins and losses. Ties for 1st place are played off by one 40 shoe game. Ties for other places are broken by ringer percentages. In the championship classes the games are to 40 points and since only one person can score at a time there are no ties. When 2 really good players go at it in a 40 point game, they can last 100 shoes or more which takes about an hour to play.

The Men's class 'A' has played 10 of their 15 games as of this report. I started the 1st day pitching really well shooting 82.5% in my first 2 games. In my 3rd game I started to struggle and shot 70% my next 2 games. Game 5 was against Kurt Von Kleist who was pitching really well at the time. I pitched my worst game of the day against Kurt, but he also pitched his worst game against me and I won. Fortunately for me my other opponents were taking it easy on me and I won all of my games the first day. I ended up averaging 74.5% the first day which is decent, but I was a bit disappointed after my good start.

On the 2nd day of pitching I again started well pitching 82.5 and 85%. I struggled my 3rd game against Rick Howe and lost 21-25 in a close contest as he out pointed me while we both shot 70%. I came back my next game with an 85% and finished with 77.5%. I averaged 80% for the day to boost my overall average up to 77.3%. Brian Simmons of RI and the 2000 world champion is the only player undefeated and has the high average of 83.3%. Jim Walters who finished 3rd last year is in 3rd place right now with 2 losses and 76.5%. Last year's champion, Alan Francis, has lost 2 games with one tie. He has the 2nd high average of 80.3% and sits in 4th place right now. Kurt Von Kleist is sitting pretty good due to the fact that he has played the top 8 seeded players and has 3 losses with 76%. Most of my opponents have pitched poor games against me, but I don't expect that to continue. Here are the results of the Men's class 'A' after 10 games.

   Player				   Wins  Loss  Rgs Shoes  R %
 1.Brian Simmons                 RI    10    0    333  400  83.25  
 2.Walter Ray Williams Jr        FL     9    1    309  400  77.25   
 3.Jim Walters                   OH     8    2    306  400  76.50   
 4.Alan Francis                  OH     7.5  2.5  321  400  80.25   
 5.Kurt Von Kleist               PA     7    3    304  400  76.00   
 6.Paul LaCrosse                 CO     6    4    275  400  68.75   
 7.Ricky L Hall                  VA     6    4    256  400  64.00 
 8.Rich Pintor                   CO     5    5    291  400  72.75 
 9.Tom Westbrook                 SC     5    5    276  400  69.00 
10.Stanley Leis                  ON     4    6    275  400  68.75 
11.Robert G Hayes                NY     4    6    265  400  66.25  
12.Mark Seibold                  IN     4    6    258  400  64.50   
13.Richard Howe                  MA     2.5  7.5  248  400  62.00  
14.Russ Phillips                 WA     1    9    247  400  61.75   
15.Don Kangas                    WI     1    9    216  400  54.00  
16.Gary Opper                    ID     0   10    235  400  58.75
And my results:
			  My Opp		     My  Opp
Game	Opponent		  Score  Rgrs	Shs Ringer %
 1.	Rich Pintor-CO 	 19/  6  33  28	40  82.5 70.0
 2.	Gary Opper-ID  	 37/ 10  33  24	40  82.5 60.0
 3.	Russ Phillips- 	 31/ 16  28  24	40  70.0 60.0
 4.	Don Kangas-WI  	 50/  6  28  15	40  70.0 37.5
 5.	Kurt Von Kleis 	 31/ 27  27  25	40  67.5 62.5
 6.	Ricky L Hall-V 	 51/ 14  33  20	40  82.5 50.0
 7.	Mark Seibold-I 	 35/  5  34  24	40  85.0 60.0
 8.	Richard Howe-M 	 21/ 25  28  28	40  70.0 70.0
 9.	Paul LaCrosse- 	 44/ 12  34  24	40  85.0 60.0
10.	Stanley Leis-O 	 26/ 14  31  27	40  77.5 67.5
 	W-  9   L-  1    	345/135 309 239  400  77.3 59.8
Hopefully I can continue to improve a bit and be a contender at this year's tournament. It has been many years since I have played up to what I consider my potential at the world tournament. But maybe I can do it this year.

In the other divisions, 3 time runner-up Amy Francis is leading the women's 'A' class with almost 86%. 2000 elder's champion Bob Logan is leading that division with 77.3%. The senior women and senior men's division are very close. With 5 games to go the top 16 for the Men's class is a tie with 62%.

Walter Ray