Ringer Digest
Month 2014
Official Publication of the Minnesota Gopher State Horseshoe Pitchers' Association
State Tournament recap
by Jerry LaBrosse


The 2014 MGSHPA State Tournament is in the books! What a great weekend it was!


The setting up of 16 courts was originally planned for Thursday morning, but the members of the Alexandria Horseshoe Club opted to begin the setup Wednesday evening. Well, it didn't take long before we had 16 courts filled with clay and set into position on the rubber mats.
Thursday was spent putting the finishing touches on the setup and we were ready to pitch.
The tournament began Friday evening with some Elders division action. Saturday was a full day with the highlight being the junior and cadet divisions. Mariah Torgerson took the Junior title and Colton Williams took home the Cadet Championship with an impressive 36.67% performance.


The annual business meeting was held Sunday morning. Cathy Ziemann was officially installed as the first ever woman president of the MGSHPA. Shawn Warnamunde was elected as East Metro VP. And Denny Keogh was elected as the new Southwest VP. The state tournament was awarded to Genola for the next two years, and the state doubles tournament will be held in Bloomington in 2015.


The banquet was held at the Alexandria shooting club. It was a very good banquet, with good food, fellowship, and lots of awards. Outgoing president Rick Wright had a very lively and surprise filled agenda that was enjoyed by everyone. Sig Armitage (pitcher), Dick David (promoter), and Glen Werk (Founder) were all installed into The MGSHPA Hall of Fame.


The tournament wrapped up on Monday with some great action in the Men's, Women's, and Elder's division championships.
Sig Armitage repeated as Elders Champ and posted an 88.89% game, which could be a record.
Janet Larson outlasted a tough group of pitchers to capture her 3rd state title.
Dale Lipovsky narrowly took home his 31st men's championship. There were no playoffs this year in any Divisions.


The tear down crew had the arena cleaned up and the equipment all loaded on the trailer by about 5pm, and the tournament was history.


Thank you to Al and Janet Larson, Gary Boots and the rest of the Alexandria Horseshoe Club for hosting two fantastic state tournaments. Your efforts are very much appreciated and applauded.


The 2015 and 2016 MN State Tournaments will be held in Genola MN.  See you there next year!
MGSHPA President
Cathy Ziemann

Happy Fall Everyone!


First off, I would like to thank everyone who has congratulated me and offered support as I assume the role of President of the MGSHPA!  I am overwhelmed by the good wishes. I know I have big shoes (really BIG shoes) to fill and want to THANK Rick Wright for all he has done for our association during his nine-year reign. He has truly made the MGSHPA an association to be proud of and one who leads the way for other states.  


We have some new regional vice-presidents joining the Board this year and I welcome them and look forward to working with them. I am confident we have a good mix of people on the board. Please feel free to contact any of us with comments, concerns and ideas. Our association will only be as successful as our least engaged member, so I challenge/call upon all members to become involved with your local club and our state association.  


The 2014 State Singles Tournament was a great success. Thank you again to the Alexandria Club for hosting this event. Some highlights during the Championship Classes  were: Sig Armitage pitching an 88.88% game; Janet Larson & Sara Otto playing a 70 Show game where they both pitched over 65%; and Dale Lipovsky winning his 31st Men's Championship. The banquet was pretty emotional also. Jerry Werk presented his father Glen with the Hall Of Fame award in the Founder's Division. Dick David from Montgomery was elected to the Hall of Fame as a promoter and Dale & Lenny Lipovsky were awarded their 50-year membership patches. Great Achievements!


Please remember to sign up for the fall & winter tournaments in Upsala, they always seem to fill up quickly. The 2015 World Tournament will be held close (relatively speaking) in Topeka, KS. I am hoping we have a large MGSHPA contingent, so be sure to get qualified early!  


Hope you have a great upcoming Holiday season.

MGSHPA 2014 fall membership meeting minutes
by Cathy Ziemann, President


The 2014 MGSHPA Fall Membership Meeting was held Sunday August 31, 2014 during the State Singles Tournament at the Runestone Arena in Alexandria. 


At 1:50pm, President Rick Wright welcomed approximately 71 members.

A motion was made by Dick Dvorak, seconded by Robin Constance to accept the 2014 MGSHPA Spring meeting minutes as published in the 2014 June-July edition of the Ringer Digest.  The motion carried.

Officer reports

Financial Report - Bonnie Holland prepared a report that was available to all present.  Current balance is $4,833, there are still a few minor tournament expenses to pay and raffle ticket sales will be added to balance. Current membership is 676 Adults, 83 Juniors and 3 Lifetime Members. A motion was made by Dick Dvorak, seconded by Erwin Tischer to accept report, the motion carried. For all league secretaries: please submit and delinquent membership information and dues to Bonnie as quickly as possible. 

Constitution & Bylaws - Gordy Schimdt reported that the NHPA has proposed a rule change in the language regarding suspension of members. (See the Constitution & Bylaws article (located directly to the side of this article in the Digest for more information.) 

Regional Vice-Presidents - reported on successful seasons for clubs around the state. Many local clubs held summer tournaments, many of which were held at the West St. Paul courts due to inclement weather. A reminder was made to all Tournament Directors to get results turned into the State Statistician in a timely manner.  

Junior Director - (Josh Olson) and his family hosted the Junior Party at Casey's Amusement Park and all thought it was a great success. Josh is working towards a Junior's only tournament in 2015, and is anticipating holding it in Forest Lake. Look for more information in an upcoming Ringer Digest.

Regional Director - Dustin Dahl reported that Minnesota had 3 Class Champions at the 2014 World Tourney held in Buffalo, NY.  The 2015 World Tourney will be held in Topeka, KS, and 2016 was awarded to Montgomery, AL.

Promotions Director Shawn Warnemunde presented the $100.00 new member incentive award to Marlys Timm, who recruited 11 new MGSHPA members for 2014.

Ringer Digest - Kayla Yaeger has assumed the E-Digest (Ringer Digest) duties. She reported that currently we have 926 active e-mail accounts receiving the Digest. If you haven't done so already, please get your e-mail address to Jerry LaBrosse ([email protected]) so you too can receive our state and national horseshoe publications. 


State tournaments

2014 State Singles Tournament - Janet Larson will submit final report to the Board during the fall/winter Board Meeting. 

2014 State Doubles Tournament - Sylvia Burggraff will submit a final report to the Board during the fall/winter Board Meeting.  

2015 & 2016 State Singles Tournaments were awarded to Morrison County & Ringers of Rice to be held at the Genola Arena. 

The 2015 & 2016 State Doubles Tournaments were awarded to the Bloomington Horseshoe Club.


New business

Jerry LaBrosse reported that October will be the first "Horseshoes in the Valley" event in Prim Valley, NV. These events will be similar to the "Dakota Magic Tournaments".  The venue will rent the MGSHPAs portable courts at a charge of $1,000 per event. The money from the rentals will go to the MGSHPA to pay for electronic scoring equipment. Check your e-mail for more details and entry forms.  

State Electronic Equipment - currently the MGSHPA has purchased 7 lap-top computers that can be refurbished to use for tournament scoring. The Board plans to purchase small numbers of lap-tops each year until we get the desired quantity.  


2014 officer elections

By acclimation the following officers were installed:

President - Cathy Ziemann

North East Vice President - Shawn Warnemunde

South East Vice President - Denny Keogh

East Metro Vice President - Jim Woods

Offices due for election in 2015: 

Secretary - currently held by Bonnie Holland

West Metro Vice President - currently held by Robin Constance


Open forum

A proposal was prepared and presented on behalf of Bonnie Holland. Bonnie made a motion that volunteer positions for the MGSHPA - as listed on the back page of the Digest - be given an annual stipend of $50.00. This motion was seconded by Dick Dvorak and the motion passed. 

Sara Otto reported that the Senior Games are coming to Bloomington, July 3-7, 2015. There are about 200 Horseshoe pitchers expected to participate.  Volunteers will be needed for scorekeeping and court preparation. Please let Sara know if you are interested.  


A motion was made by Dick Dvorak and seconded by Rob Hagman to adjourn the meeting.  The meeting adjourned at 2:50 pm.

Isanti Open recap
by Shawn Warnemunde


First, thank you to all that supported our tournament. I must say we had some beautiful weather to start the day. In the morning classes Phil Rodenberg tore through class E by posting a 5-0 record and pitching a hefty 16.4% which was 8.73% over his entry. Class D was won by Isanti club newcomer Gordy Andersen who went 4-1 and pitched 9.4% over his average to end at 34.40%. In the afternoon my sister, Jody Nelson, beat out Rick Wright on ringers to win class C. Al Zimmerman in class B pitched a perfect 5-0 and had a ringer percentage of 46.8% to outlast cadet Colton Williams' 38% and in the championship class Mike Demars became our latest tournament champ by going 4-1 and edging out heavyweights Sig Armitage and Bob Knudtson. Congratulations to all place winners.


I would personally like to invite everyone to our pits next year. We aren't too far from either the cities or St. Cloud and don't be too shy to pitch in some dirt/clay mixture. We can moisten it to your liking. Hope to see you next year. 

Northwest Tournament recap
by Dick Dvorak


On an overcast Saturday morning in St Paul the 63rd  Annual Northwest Horseshoe tournament got underway. This opening round found 32 pitchers eager to get the day started. By 12:30pm all games (40 shoes)  had been played and many found their way to the concession stand for refreshments.
Class wnners from this morning shift were Dave Mc Govern, a first-time tournament pitcher  from the Tamarack club in class D, Gloria Smith, a veteran pitcher form Milltown, Wisconsin in class E, Dick Hall from Minneapolis in class F and two-time consecutive winner from the St Paul Club, Rich Bialek, in class G.

At the half-way mark of the day a  50/50 drawing was held with the winner taking home a healthy jackpot to Bertha. A big THANK YOU! to all who participated in that drawing.

The afternoon shift began shortly after 1pm  with 24 more eager pitchers.  When it was all over winners decided in close races were Mary Matuke of Brooklyn Park from class C, and from Fridley it was Frank Johnson the winner in class B and the Tournament Champion was the new NHPA Newsline Editor, Sara Otto.

Once again the tournament was proud to have a large contingent of pitchers from Wisconsin--always glad to have them here!!

And a special THANK YOU! to all the volunteer scorekeepers, many of which were here to keep score for both shifts. Also a big THANK YOU to the concession staff who made the  day a bit more tolerable with their delicious refreshments. Special THANKS to Joe Mueller for preparing the round-robin cards and to Patti Oakes for taking care of the computer recording needs and Joyces Ahles and Mike Gibbons for watching over the leader boards and passing out the awards in the absence of the director. 

Hope to see ya'll back next year! 

(Click the link above to see all upcoming tournaments this fall and winter.)

Click here for a printable list of upcoming tournaments.

Tournament Results
Click on any of the tournament names below to see how players placed. 
(Listed in order of date played.)

New member incentive for 2014
by Shawn Warnemunde

Well, the state tourney has come and gone and so has our new member incentive for 2014. This year we set out to give away $100 to the existing member who recruited the most new members. In addition to the money there also was the incentive of having your state dues paid for 2015 by bringing in 5 new members. 

Well, the results are in but before I report who received rewards for their efforts I would like to give kudos for all that participated. 

We had 17 veteran members bring in 38 new people. 

Bringing in one new person were: Sara Otto, Pat Backhaus, Colleen Szabo, Jeff Thompson, Deb Harris, Dan Larson, Kayla Yaeger, Ole Hanson, Craig Sinclair, Todd Skeide, and Lori Dobbeleire. Gene Sharp and myself recruited two newcomers while Janet Rudd brought in three and Bonnie Holland four. Receiving paid state dues for 2015 by bringing in 5 new members was Brian Wipper and our $100 winner and star recruiter for 2014 is Marlys Timm who won by bringing in eleven new horseshoe pitchers! She too will get her state dues paid for 2015. 

I would like to thank everyone who participated and don't forget that even though summer has ended it is never too late to talk up our awesome sport and recruit new people for next year. 
Proposed changes to MGSHPA Bylaws
by Gordy Schmidt

I am submitting two changes to our Bylaws and how they should read, to be voted on at the Fall/Winter board meeting. 


The proposed changes are as follows:


I have been looking at the changes to the Ladies and Elder Men's division State Tournament rules that we voted to change at the spring meeting this year. If you look at sec.3 (state tournament requirements)

Number 3, divisions. I have copied it below.




Class "A" shall be the "Championship" class in all divisions. The defending champion shall be seeded #1 (number one). It's recommended that all divisions consist of 8 (eight) person classes, except the two lowest classes in each division may consist of fewer players in order to establish a class for all eligible players. The make-up of all Divisions is at the discretion of the State Tournament Director.


It states that it is recommended that all divisions consist of 8 person classes. In addition, it states, the make-up of all Divisions is at the discretion of the State Tournament Director.


I think the Ladies and Elder Men's division rules #5 and #6 (found on page 8 & 9 of the Bylaws) were added when they went to 6 person classes.


I would like to recommend we eliminate #4, #5 and #6 and have the "class move up format" all listed under #3. This will lead to a more concise list of Bylaws, otherwise all three divisions would have to be changed to read the exact same and it would seem too repetitious.


I would like to recommend to the board of directors and the membership that the following is how rule 3. Divisions should read.




Class "A" shall be the "Championship" class in all divisions. The defending champion shall be seeded #1 (number one). It's recommended that all divisions consist of 8 (eight) person classes, except the two lowest classes in each division may consist of fewer players in order to establish a class for all eligible players. The make-up of all Divisions is at the discretion of the State Tournament Director.


a.    Championship divisions: The 4 (four) players with the top NATSTAT averages, including the defending champion shall be placed into the championship class. The 4 (four) remaining positions shall be filled with the highest average players in class play, and seeded in that order.


b.    The elders division may include any age man with a verified physical handicap that prevents them from pitching the full distance, provided an NHPA Medical Exemption form has been completed and approved by the Executive Board.


c.    Elder Men become eligible to pitch in the Elders Division upon purchase of an NHPA card dated for the calendar year that they become 70 (seventy)

years old.


d.    Once a member declares himself a short distance pitcher, he must remain in that Division until the next year's membership card is purchased. At that time he may switch back to the Open Men's Division, but must remain in that Division until the next year's membership card is purchased.


e.    Entry fees will be the same as the men's divisions.


Also to be changed. Under Article IV (Membership) Sec. 3.


It reads as follows:


Sec. 3.  No member shall be suspended until given a fair review before the members of the Executive Board. For the above violations in Section 2, a member may be suspended from all official playing activities for one (1) year.


The NHPA passed a change to the suspension rule in the last sentence to change the term to read "up to one (1) year".


Because we follow the NHPA rules and Bylaws I am recommending to the board of directors and the membership that we change the last sentence to read as follows.


For the above violations in Section 2, a member may be suspended from all official playing activities for up to one (1) year.


Thanks for your attention to these rule changes.

Scroll to the bottom of the newsletter or 
click here for a link to order this new book by Robert Dunn

Wishing you a Happy Fall!
Leprechaun Tournament recap
by Kathy Stueye


The Ringers of Rice hosted their annual Leprechaun Tournament on August 9th and 10th.  The event was again held at the club's home courts located at O'Brien's Pub in Rice.  Saturday's weather provided comfortable conditions for pitching.  Sunday morning was a bit questionable but held out.  Sunday afternoon brought several downpours of rain that at times flooded the courts and despite the efforts of club members to get the courts back in shape, pitching had to be suspended.


Forty-eight pitchers were entered in the eight classes.  There were twenty-six cities from Minnesota, North Dakota, and Florida represented.  The classes pitched 50 shoe games.  Classes A and H were handicapped. Cash prizes of $100 for first place, $75 for second place, and $30 for third place were awarded.  All of the other pitchers in each class received consolation prizes.


Class finishes

Class A - Pitchers were only able to complete two games due to the weather on Sunday afternoon.  They made several attempts to continue during and between the heavy rain but the rain turned out to be the champion of that class.  Sig Armitage, Ray Volkers, Hank Greenwaldt, Al Larson, Leroy Henkemeyer, and Robert Knudson showed true sportsmanship in their efforts!

Class B - Class B was able to finish three games.  Pitchers, scorekeepers, and score sheets ended all equally wet!  Boni Poplinski took first place and managed to throw thirty-two ringers in her last game and ending with an overall average of 54 percent.  Dick Dvorak had as many wins as Boni and earned second place with 46.7 percent.  Third place winner was Phil Swenson.  He pitched a bit over his entry average.

Class C - Tom Lashinski won four and one half  games to win Class C.  He pitched four percent over his entry average.  Jerry Werk won four games, pitching over twenty ringers each time and took second place.  Gwen Mehrwerth earned third place.  Her high game was twenty-four ringers.

Class D - D's champion was Mike DeMars.  He pitched almost 10 percent over his entry average throwing between twenty-one and twenty-six ringers each game to end with 48.4 percent.  George Peterson took second place with three wins and Kathy Welle, Tim Bayerl, and Stan Barney tied for wins and losses but Kathy's final ringer percent of 35.6 percent earned her third place.

Class E - Four pitchers had three wins and two losses in Class E. Kevin Stein averaged 42 percent to take first place.  Donald Waldoch was second with 36.8 percent and right behind him, in third place, was Joe Martin with 36%.

Class F - Ron Mehrwerth pitched six percent over his entry average to claim first place in Class F.  Jerry Zastrow equaled Ron in wins and losses and also finished above his entry average to earn second place.  Sherman Anderson was the third place winner matching Colton Williams in wins and losses but pitching four tenths of a percent better overall.

Class G - Class G was won by Al Blumer.  He pitched a consistent number of ringers throughout his games and ended with an average almost four percent over his entry average.  Rich Hanson's final ringer percent was only eight tenths away from Al's to earn him second place.  Third place went to Donald Claseman who only lost two of his games.

Class H - Bob Brenny had an awesome showing winning all of his games to be the champion of Class H.  His ending ringer percent was almost eleven percent over his entry ringer percent.  Mariah Torgenson, pitching eight percent over her entry average and losing only one game, was the second place finisher. Dick Hall's three wins earned him third place. Kelsi Gerwing didn't get in the money, but ended with her average being over thirteen percent higher than she entered at. 


Raffles and drawings

Raffles were again held during the two day tournament with the drawings held on Sunday afternoon.  Ron and Gwen Mehrwerth of Mehrwerth Construction donated a handcrafted horseshoe carrying box.  It was won by Wayne Peterson.  The Grand Casino Package which included an overnight stay and buffet for two was won by Kathy Welle.  Mark Ludwig won the Minnesota Timberwolves Package which included three shirts, a Crunch bobblehead, and an autographed team ball.  


Tournament director, Ginger O'Brien, and all of the members of the Ringers of Rice Horseshoe Club, thank all of the pitchers for their participation.  Also, thanks go to our local businesses and club members who made contributions and gave of their time to plan and carry out the tournament.


See you in 2015!!

Ringers of Rice conclude season
by Kathy Stueye
Ringers of Rice horseshoe club members
The Ringers of Rice Horseshoe Club concluded their 2014 season on Monday, August 25thThis year, twenty-nine pitchers took part in the two shifts each Monday evening at O'Brien's Pub in Rice, Minnesota.  Rain caused several games to be rescheduled but all were made up. 


First shift teams included Melbanc Cabinets, Morningstar Grooming, Index 53, and Auto Body 2000.  Melbanc Cabinets took first place in this shift with 67.5 wins. This was also the most overall wins of both shifts. Members of the team were Tom Lashinski, Mel Larson, and Kathy Welle. The second shift teams were Mehrwerth Construction, Wall to Wall Carpet Care, Cornerstone Insurance, Nathe Insurance, and K/S Construction. Mehrwerth Construction ended with 57 wins to take first place. Members of the team were Denny and Dee Foss and Ron and Gwen Mehrwerth. The Wall to Wall Carpet Care team was just one game behind them!  The two first place teams pitched off and the traveling trophy was awarded to Mehrwerth Construction.


Myron VanderWeyst organized a fun in-league tournament for interested pitchers that was held on August 18th. Classes were formed and the competition began! Class winners were Ginger O'Brien, Bev Grose, and Denny Foss. Bob Brenny was the wild card addition. They played off on August 19th and Denny Foss earned the overall championship.


Club members gathered the last evening to enjoy a pizza buffet provided by the club that was followed by awards, announcements, and a group photo. The High Game Award went to Boni Poplinski with 84 points. LeRoy Henkemeyer had a game of 74 points for Honorable Mention. Boni also earned the High Average Award with 53.3%. LeRoy was a close second with 50.5%. Roger Lodermeier received the High Over Average Award with 30.3% and Honorable Mention went to Bev Grose with 25.9%. Most Ringers in a Game Award went to LeRoy Henkemeyer. He had 27 ringers for the highest game with Boni Poplinski having her high of 26. The Most Improved Award went to Gwen Mehrwerth who increased her average by 22.7%. Bob Brenny brought his average up by 9.3%. Rookie-of-the-Year Award was given to Mark Ludwig and the Sportsmanship Award went to Kathy Stueve. Club members also recognized Doris Lodermeier for her time and effort in keeping our records and stats.


Special thanks go to all of our sponsors for supporting the game of horseshoe.  The Ringers of Rice also thank O'Brien's Pub for the great facilities and service. A great season was enjoyed by pitchers and supporters!

About Us
MGSHPA's Ringer Digest is the official newsletter of the Minnesota Gopher State Horseshoe Pitchers' Association. It is free to members of the MGSHPA and other interested partieis. Changes of email address can be sent directly to [email protected].

All submissions subject to editing, available space, and must be received by the 10th of the month preceding the date of issue.
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