The NHPA is made up of many officers and other members doing necessary and important work for horseshoe pitching. They come up with many hints and suggestions on how to improve our organizations, especially to keep and draw new members.
But, the NHPA is made up of more than this hard working crew. There are about 52 Regional Directors alone who make up the biggest share of active pitchers sanctioning courts and enforcing guidelines to make all courts in the USA ďstandardĒ according to the new RGS Book. (The Official Playing Rules, Guidelines, and Specifications.)
Thereís also an NHPA Game Related Sales National Buyer with a half-dozen Sales Distributors working through him. A Hall of Fame Chairman and committee, Natstats person, Historian, Junior Promotions Director, Sanctioned League Director, Newsline Editor and Officers or Regional Directors doing double duty such as the NHPA Web Master, etc., and many, many others. The NHPA is really quite a complex organization. There's a group of representatives from every state that meet during the World Tournament and vote on new rules and rule changes, determining the location of the next WT and other voting duties. For every 100 members each state has a voting representative.
Down the line, there are those of us who are Tournament and League Directors for NHPA sanctioned tournaments and leagues. Each of these pitchers has a crew of helpers to make the tournament a success. Donít forget those cities that are lucky enough to have indoor clubs. Iím sure someone with an NHPA card runs the show. Oh, I almost forgot, thereís all the state and individual club organizations that keep our sport alive and well.
The NHPA has many members but we always have room for those who have been members in the past and those many potential members waiting for someone to invite them into their club.
So you see, the NHPA is made up of all of us who carry a card with our name and NHPA number stating we paid our recent state and national dues. This entitles us to pitch in any NHPA approved sanctioned tournament or event, (State and World Tournaments if you have pitched the qualifying number of games.) If you havenít pitched in a state or world tournamentÖ then put it on your bucket list. You will have the time of your life!
Anytime is the time to get going with a local promotions program, sending out reminder cards to those who havenít renewed their membership, jumping on the NHPF band wagon and supporting the new hall of fame structure, giving talks, putting of clinics, encouraging all members to get our magazine, and trying the new Horseshoe For Life (NFL) program in our schools. Iím sure this list could have over 100 items that we as card carrying NHPA members could perform to keep and draw new members. Tina Hawkins, 2nd VP-/Publicity/Promotion Director is the go-to person for NHPA promotional guidelines.
To get things done, all you have to do is be active. Being a NHPA member is the first step, and then you must let your voice and key board become active. Become a tournament directorís helper, write a notice for the newspaper, become a club officer, give a service club presentation, or just plain be an ACTIVE club member. Love the sport of horseshoe pitching as if your life depended on it. So letís do it!
I put horseshoe pitchers in three categories. One, the backyard pitchers who have a group of friends over just for fun, (some have well organized backyard leagues.) Two, the bars leaguers who want a break in their work routine and not have to maintain any courts. The bar businesses uses horseshoe pitching to enhance patronage and they have no problem finding pitchers. And three, the NHPA group who are serious about pitching, are an older class of folks who want to follow the rules, support the sport, and still have fun. Itís this group that I am concerned about. The NHPA promotes Horseshoe pitching as a family sport. The NHPA boasts of being one of the few sports that has a national champion for men, women, boys and girls and can still be played in one's backyard. It is promoted as a sport that can be played by the young as well as the old.
Yes, there are lots of pitchers everywhere and we can grow our own by starting non-sanctioned doubles leagues on our home courts. Believe it or not, there will be a trickle UP effect for the NHPA because some of these newer pitchers will join he NHPA and really get hooked on our game. Contrary to what some people think the NHPA is not in coma.
If you canít do anything physically or have computer skills, let your pocketbook take action. The NHPF. The Hall of Fame is a wonderful facility that showcases and promotes our sport.
Contributions should be mailed to:
National Horseshoe Pitchers Foundation
P.O. Box 1628
Penn Valley, CA 95946