We, the horseshoe pitchers in the of State of North Dakota, establish this Constitution for the North Dakota Horseshoe Pitchers Association, in order to promote and foster the game of horseshoe pitching as a sport, to provide the opportunity and facilities for all persons interested in horseshoes in our state, to participate in the game, and to insure its continued existence and growth.




This organization shall be non-profit and shall be known as the "North Dakota Horseshoe Pitchers Association".  Wherever used in these documents, the acronym "NDHPA", when capitalized shall stand for the full name of the organization.




The purpose of the NDHPA shall be to provide an orderly means of horseshoe pitching by all members and prospective members in the State of North Dakota, and throughout our area of influence; to cooperate with the National Horseshoe Pitchers Association (NHPA) and other State Horseshoe Pitchers Associations in the achievement of common goals and to cultivate the welfare and enhance the happiness of it's members.




This Association recommends that all local, county, and district Horseshoe Clubs within the State encourage their members to also become members of the NDHPA.  Membership shall be from January 1 to December 31.




Section 1

Any person in the State of North Dakota shall be eligible for membership in the NDHPA upon payment of dues affixed by the Association.  Membership can be obtained from the Secretary of each local club or directly from the NDHPA Secretary-Treasurer.  The Executive Board for just cause may suspend members; however, any member so suspended may appeal his case at the next State Convention.  The voting membership shall rule and their ruling will be final.


Section 2

All members must be members of the NHPA.  All individuals pitching in the NDHPA State Tournament must be members of the NHPA.



State Convention

Section 1

The NDHPA shall hold an Annual State Convention on the fourth Saturday in April at Jamestown, ND.  When deemed appropriate, the Board of Directors may change the time and place by notifying all members within a reasonable time prior to the date held.


Section 2

The annual State Convention shall be held for the purpose of electing officers, receiving reports, and conducting other business as is deemed necessary in the best interest of the members and the NDHPA.


Section 3

Any adult member of the NDHPA, present and reported in good standing, shall be entitled to vote on any issue presented at such State Convention.   Voting shall be by secret ballot unless the majority of those present agree to vote by a show of hands or voice vote.






Section 1

The officers of this Association shall consist of a President, a Vice President, and a Secretary-Treasurer who shall constitute the Executive Board.  In addition, representatives from prescribed western and eastern areas will sit on the Board.  The Board of Directors will be made up of the Executive Board and area representatives.


Section 2

The areas will be based on the number of members within each area.  Areas may be changed when deemed appropriate by a majority vote of the voting members at the State Convention.


Section 3

Each area will be permitted 4 representatives.  Area memberships will be determined by membership on December 31.


Section 4

The State Secretary will inform members of area representation with the State Convention announcements. Members within areas are encouraged to meet during the State Convention and select their representatives.



Duties of the Officers

Section 1

The duties of the President shall be to preside at all meetings and to administer the business of the NDHPA; to pass on any obligations (with the approval of the other members of the Board) the NDHPA may wish to incur, to handle whatever other duties may come to his/her attention in promoting the best interest of the NDHPA; and to appoint such committees as deemed necessary.


Section 2

The Vice President shall have the same duties as the President, but will assume them only in the absence of the President.


Section 3

The duties of the Secretary-Treasurer shall be to keep accurate minutes of all meetings; act as custodian of all funds of the NDHPA; sign all warrants and checks for necessary expenditures; and keep accurate financial records for the Association.  The Secretary-Treasurer shall meet annually with the Auditing Committee to insure that financial records are in order.  He/she shall maintain a list of names, addresses, and tournament percentages of each member in good standing.   He/she shall, at NDHPA expense, mail directly to or through authorized organization representatives: 1) Notice and agenda of the annual State Convention, 2) minutes of the annual State Convention, and, 3) announcement and invitation to the state tournament to all qualified NDHPA members.  He/she also shall attend to correspondence and other duties as is necessary to promote the best interest of the NDHPA.


Section 4

The Auditing Committee shall be comprised of two members appointed by the President, other than the Secretary-Treasurer. One of these members should be a Board of Director, if living in the area of the Secretary-Treasurer.


Section 5

The Board of Directors will formulate the policy of the Association between the annual meetings.  Meetings of the Board of Directors shall be held at such place and time as deemed necessary.  At least one member of the Executive Board plus 25% of the other members from the Board of Directors must be present to constitute a quorum.






Election of Officers

The officers will be elected by a majority vote of the regular members present and are entitled to vote at the annual meeting of the Association.  Officers shall hold office for two-year terms.  The election of President and Secretary-Treasurer shall be held on even years and Vice President on odd years.




Section 1. The President shall appoint such committees as deemed necessary. These committees may be dissolved and individual members replaced whenever the President deems it necessary.


Section 2.  Hall of Fame Committee.

The President shall appoint five Hall of Fame members to serve on the Hall of Fame Committee. These members shall be actively involved in horseshoes and, whenever possible shall be selected from each area within the state.  In addition, the Executive Board will serve on the Hall of Fame Committee.




Changes to the constitution may be made upon recommendation of the Board of Directors and approved by two-thirds affirmative vote of all voting members returning a written ballot.  The Secretary will mail one ballot to each eligible voter.








Adoption and Approval

The NDHPA may adopt such by-laws as deemed necessary.  By-laws shall be adopted when approved by a majority vote of the members present at any regular or special meeting.



Pitching and Scoring

The official rules of horseshoe pitching and scoring as set out in the NHPA Constitution, as amended or revised, shall be made a part of the NDHPA Constitution.




Section 1.  All tournaments shall be conducted on a class basis.  Players will be divided into classes or groups on the basis of playing ability determined by a qualifying round or by recognized averages of past performance at the start of each tournament.  Each class or group determines the championship in its particular division, which means that all entrants only compete against opponents with the same approximate skill.


Section 2.  The Tournament Director shall send a complete copy of the results to the State Secretary-Treasurer within 10 days after the tournament is completed.  Any member who pitches in an out-of-state tournament and wishes to have his/her score recorded shall submit a record of his/her score, verified by the Tournament Director, to the State Secretary-Treasurer within 10 days after the tournament.









State Tournament

Section 1.  National Sanction.

The NDHPA State Tournament will be a nationally sanctioned event and will be pitched under the rules of nationally sanctioned tournaments.


Section 2.  Time and Place.

The annual State Horseshoe Tournament will be held on Labor Day weekend at such location as determined at the annual State Convention.  Any local club willing to host the state tournament may bid for it at the annual convention.


Section 3.  Membership.

Only current members in good standing in the NDHPA and the NHPA may participate in the North Dakota State Tournament.


Section 4.  Entry Fees.

The NDHPA Executive Board shall determine entry fees.  The NDHPA Executive Board has the option to reduce fees for the junior division.  Application and entry fee must be postmarked or in the possession of the NDHPA Executive Board at least 21 days prior to the tournament.  The NDHPA Executive Board shall notify each entrant as to the date and class in which each will play.


Section 5.  Tournament Officials.

The host club shall be responsible for providing the necessary officials to conduct the tournament in accordance with NHPA and NDHPA rules and regulations as set forth in the Constitution.


Section 6.  Alcoholic Beverages.

No alcoholic beverages will be permitted within the horseshoe playing area during tournament play.


Section 7.  Qualifications.

All members, except juniors, must have pitched in at least three North Dakota NHPA sanctioned events to be eligible to pitch in the State Tournament.  One of the North Dakota NHPA sanctioned events can be the Allard Open Tournament in Moorhead, Minnesota.  Juniors must have pitched in a minimum of one North Dakota NHPA sanctioned event to be eligible to pitch in the State Tournament.  Qualifying averages for the State Tournament shall be based on NATSTATS averages as of July 31.


Section 8.  All pitchers and the parents or legal guardians of participating Juniors must meet the state voting residency qualification by having resided in North Dakota for a minimum of 30 days prior to the tournament.  The State Secretary-Treasurer shall provide a list of all qualified pitchers, and their qualifying average, to the NDHPA Executive Board prior to the determination of any State Tournament Classes.


Section 9.  Classes.

A.  Men's Division

1.  40-feet

a.      Class "A" shall be a separate class under the “Championship Class”, with the reigning champion seeded as number one in Class “A”.

b.      Class “A” and, to the extent possible, all classes below will be held on Saturday during the State Tournament.

c.The Men’s “Championship Class” will be held on Sunday during the State Tournament.

d.      The Men’s Championship Class will consist of the highest ranked eight (8) men from the previous day’s play as determined by ringer percentage.

e.      Should a player who qualifies for the Championship Class elect not to participate the next highest ranked player will be afforded the opportunity to participate based upon the previous day’s play.

f. Any ties in player rankings will be decided by rules, as determined applicable, by the current National Horseshoe Pitchers Association rules and By-Laws.

g.      All participants in the Championship Class will be seeded according to their ranking from the previous day’s play. 

h.      All players electing to play in the Championship Class will be required to submit an additional State Entry Fee.

i.  The submission of the additional entry fee, including the make-up of the class participants, will be finalized immediately after all class play is completed on the Saturday of the State Tournament.

j.     All classes shall be pitched at 40 feet, except for those who qualify for handicap status.  Classes shall be decided by the NDHPA Executive Board in order to establish classes for more orderly play.

2. 30-feet (Elders)

a.   Class "A" shall be the “Championship Class”, with the reigning champion seeded as number one.

b.      This division is open to all pitchers at least 70 years old prior to the day the tournament starts.  The Elders division may include any age person with a verified physical handicap that prevents pitching from 40 feet.

c.   Classes

                                    (1) All qualified entrants will be given the opportunity to pitch.

                                    (2) The NDHPA Executive Board shall decide Classes.  Any class below the Championship Class may be combined with the corresponding Women’s Class to allow for more orderly play.  The qualifying ringer percentage spread between contestants within a class will be no greater than 20% beginning with the highest ringer percentage.  If there are less than 6 qualified pitchers in the class, and upon request by the next lower pitcher(s), they may be placed in the higher class.  When a class is completed either with pitchers, or with the 20% rule, the next 20% spread will begin with the highest ringer percent of the next class.  If there is less than a full class, the pitchers within the class will pitch each other for a minimum of five 50-shoe games.                 

(3) If there is only one pitcher within a class, he will be the class champion.  All pitchers must pitch a minimum of five 50-shoe games and record a ringer percentage.  A lone pitcher may pitch with pitchers in another Elder class as pacers or he may, after notifying the Tournament Director, choose a 40-foot pitcher with a comparable ringer percentage as a pacer.


B. Women's Division

1. Class "A" shall be the “Championship Class” with the reigning champion seeded as number one.

2. Classes shall be decided by the NDHPA Executive Board in order to establish classes best suited for the range in abilities of the eligible players.

3. Any class below the Championship Class may be combined with the corresponding 30’ Men’s Elders Class to allow for more orderly play.


C. Junior Division:  Boys and Girls

1. A player will be considered a Junior through the year of the 18th birthday.

2. A Junior may enter either the Junior Division or the respective Men's or Women's Division, but may not enter more than one division.  A Junior cannot pitch in an adults division unless their average is at least 20% higher than the next junior.  If that condition isn't met, then he/she has made his/her choice and can no longer pitch as a Junior.

3. Classes shall be decided by the NDHPA Executive Board in order to group eligible players by their ability.

4. The qualifying ringer percentage spread between contestants within a class will be no greater than 20% beginning with the highest ringer percentage.  If there are less than 6 qualified pitchers in the class, and upon request by the next lower pitcher(s), they may be placed in the higher class.  If there is only one pitcher within a class, that pitcher shall be the class champion.  A lone pitcher will pitch a minimum of five 50-shoe games using a pacer of choice (The pacer can pitch at 40').


Section 10.  Game Rules.

A. All games shall be 50 shoes long except the championship classes in each division. Those points are as follows:  Men - 40 points, Women - 40 points, and Juniors - 40 points.  Elders will pitch 50 shoes.

B. If the score is tied after 50 shoes, each player will throw two more innings (4 shoes) until the tie is broken.


Section 11.  Ties.

A. Championships for all Divisions

1. In the event of ties (wins and losses), play-offs shall consist of 40-point games for the Men's Division; 40-point games for the Women's Division; and 40-point games for Juniors.  With a 2-way tie, the winner shall be the winner of one play off game.  Elders tied will pitch a 50 shoe game play off.

2. With a 3-way tie, the over-all ringer percentage of each will be figured and the lower percentages will play one game.  The loser automatically takes 3rd place. The winner plays the high ringer percentage player, one game for first and second places.

3. With a 4-way tie, the over-all ringer percentage of each will be figured.  First and third high ringer percentage players will play one game and the second and fourth high ringer percentage players will play one game.  Winners will play one game for first and second, while losers will play one game for third and fourth.

4. With a 5-way tie, each player will throw 50 shoes and be ranked based on total points scored.  If a tie still exists, players will be ranked based on total ringers thrown.  If a tie still exists, players will be ranked based on total double ringers thrown.          

5. Second, and third place in the Championship class and first, second, and third place in all other classes:  In the event of ties (wins and losses) in all other classes, players shall be ranked according to highest ringer percentage.  If a tie still exists, players will be ranked on the basis of total ringers thrown, and if a tie still exists, players will be ranked on the basis of total double ringers thrown.


Section 12.  Ringer Percentage.

Average ringer percentages will be determined by the total number of ringers made in tournament play divided by the total number of shoes pitched.  Shoes pitched in overtime are counted.


Section 13.  Tardiness.

A. A player shall be considered tardy if he/she is not ready to play by the time all the pitchers, who are leading in the tardy player's class, have scored half the points or pitched half the shoes required to win the first game.  The tardy player shall be given a loss and his/her opponent declared the winner of said game.  The remainder of the tournament shall be completed as scheduled.

B. A player shall be considered absent if he/she is not ready to pitch by the time the last pitcher's score sheet, in the absent player's class, has been submitted to the official scorekeeper at the end of the first round.  The absent player shall forfeit the tournament and be replaced with a bye.


Section 14.  Withdrawal from Play.

If a player withdraws after playing one game or more, the opponent's scores, ringer percentage and wins or losses will not be counted.  All pitchers having played or scheduled to play this pitcher will be credited with a win.  There will be no partial exceptions to this rule.  Any player who drops out, unless the player left for sickness or other causes beyond his/her control, is automatically barred from future tournaments for one year.  An appeal can be made within 7 days to the Board of Directors.


Section 15.  Pacer.

When there is a bye in a class and a pacer has been designated by the tournament director, a pitcher will pitch games scheduled against the pacer.  The pacer's averages will not be counted but the opponent will be given a win and ringers and percentage will be recorded.


Section 16.  Substitutions.

Substitutions may only be made by the Tournament Director only after determining that the substitute qualifies for the class.  A member may compete only once in the State Tournament.


Section 17.  Tournament Awards.

The NDHPA Executive Board will purchase, for a prudent and reasonable sum, all awards for all divisions.  Total places to receive awards will be:  ALL CLASSES 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.  Where classes have three or less participants, all participants in that class will receive an award.  In addition, participation awards may be given by the NDHPA Executive Board to pitchers in the Junior Division.


Section 18.  Records and Statistics.

It shall be the duty of the Tournament Officials to report the results of the State Tournament to the NDHPA Secretary no later than 10 days after the conclusion of such tournament.  Such report shall include the following information for each class:  Name, address, wins and losses, shoes pitched, ringers pitched, and individual ringer percentage.


Section 19.  Shoe Checking.

Shoes will be checked prior to the start of the State Tournament, and shoes may be spot checked for conformance with NHPA rules throughout the State Tournament.



State Banquet-Hall of Fame


Section 1.  Time and Place.

The annual state banquet shall be held in conjunction with the Annual State Tournament.  The Host Club for the tournament will make the local arrangements.  Information and reservation notices for the banquet will accompany the State Tournament announcement.  The NDHPA may reimburse the club hosting the banquet for centerpieces, corsages, and other expenses associated with the banquet for an amount up to $100.00.


Section 2.  Purpose.

The banquet will provide members and guests an opportunity for relaxation and fellowship.  The primary purpose is to induct deserving members into the State Hall of Fame and recognize those already inducted into the Hall of Fame.  In addition, any business appropriate to the NDHPA, may be conducted with approval of the Board of Directors, at this meeting.


Section 3.  Nomination of Members to Hall of Fame.

Any current member may nominate any current or past NDHPA member and that members NDHPA spouse for induction into the Hall of Fame.  Nomination shall be made at the State Convention by presenting a typewritten resume.  The resume should contain the following information that applies to the nominee:

      1. Indicate how he/she has promoted the game of horseshoes; locally, statewide, or nationally.

      2. Cite official position(s) and/or office(s) held in league, for tournaments, or for statewide horseshoe organizations.

      3. Cite examples of how he/she has helped others and promoted the sport of horseshoe pitching.

      4. Consider the sportsmanship displayed as a pitcher.

      5. Indicate participation in tournaments and general support of North Dakota horseshoe pitching.

  6. Provide the number of years the nominee has been actively participating in horseshoes during his/her lifetime and as a North Dakota pitcher.

      7. Consider work done by nominee at tournaments and league play.

      8. Cite instances of volunteered expertise (such as drafting, construction, electrical, accounting, etc. skills) for building courts, forming organizations, and working with other community organizations, etc.

      9. Provide any other pertinent information, such as pitching skill, tournament participation and success, honors or awards received, etc.


Section 4.  Selection of Nominees.

The Hall of Fame Committee shall review the resumes, and as a group select up to two inductees in any year.  Nominations of NDHPA members that include the NDHPA members spouse count as only one inductee for purposes of the selection of nominees.  The NDHPA will provide individual plaques to new inductees.  The Committee will vote as a majority rule with the Secretary-Treasurer casting a vote only in the case of a tie.


Section 5.  If after 3 years, a nominee fails to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, his/her name shall be dropped and his/her resume destroyed.  Said member can be re-nominated at a later date by presentation of a new resume.