Minnesota Gopher State

Pitchers' Association

Minnesota Horseshoe Pitchers, click on one to enlarge.


One of the draws to the game of horseshoes is the opportunity for all players to be competitive - including beginners. Most summer leagues and some tournaments use handicap as a means of evening the playing field. This mathematical equation allows players who generally average less ringers (or shoes around the stake) than there opponent to begin the game with more points. It also creates more challenging matches for those players who have a knack for winning.


Though often considered a back-yard or picnic game by today's standards, the roots of horseshoe pitching extend back to the second century. During the Grecian Olympian games, athletes would participate in discus throwing events.


Grecian armies who sought to mimic the game but had no money for equipment removed the shoes from their horses, set up a stake and began to throw the shoes at it.


Today, horseshoes is primarily a game of accuracy. It is relatively simple to learn, has few associated costs and can be enjoyed by players of any age with a juniors, men's, women's and elders division.


The MGSHPA has over 30 advertised open tournaments held throughout the year. Some are held indoors during the winter, but most are held outdoors from April through September. Our clubs also conduct “club only” tournaments as qualifying events for our state tournament and for world tournaments. The tournament schedule is advertised in the Ringer Digest, an online magazine about Minnesota horseshoe activities published six times per year.


View our governing document here