Ringer Digest
September - October 2015
Official Publication of the Minnesota Gopher State Horseshoe Pitchers' Association
First Annual "RJ" Challenge in Forest Lake is a success
by Helen Hawkinson

The tournament was held on September 26, 2015 on a beautiful, sunny 80 degree day which is unheard of in Forest Lake, Minnesota at that time of year.

Rick Wright started out by stating that this was an "experimental" tournament.  Thirty foot players played against both 30 foot and 40 foot players, men, women, and elders all together in one class. Your name is put in a hat and you draw for your opponent. All averages were handicapped, single elimination with a three game minimum. When players got to the championship and consolation rounds all wins and losses are gone and you start over with a clean slate.  

There were 36 pitchers signed up, but we had three no shows so there were 33 pitchers in the tournament. Some pitchers came from as far away as Canby, Balaton and Alexandria (2-3 hours away). The range of percentages of players ranged from 5.8% to 79.4%. The RJ Challenge was a great success, fun and will be held again next year.

Winners are pictured below with Rick Wright.

1st Place - Helen Hawkinson-Mike
2nd Place - Joe Mueller
3rd Place - Melisa Wimmer
4th - Michele Flaming

Championship Class Winners
Helen Hawkinson-Mike
Joe Mueller
Melissa Wimmer
Michele Flaming
Ray Volkers
Janet Larson

1st Consolation - Dick Dvorak
2nd Consolation - Sig Armitage

Consolation Class Winners
Dick Dvorak
Sig Armitage
Rockford Ringers season wrap-up
by Marlys Timm

Rockford Ringers had 29 members pitching league this year. An awards and pot luck was held in September with 25 attending. Rookie of the year for Tuesday was Gary Falde and Wednesday was Randy Lohse. Sportsmanship awards were voted on with Gary Falde being voted on for Tuesday and Randy Lohse for Wednesday. Numerous other awards were presented and door prizes were drawn. We look forward to seeing everyone back in the spring.

Tuesday Night League Top 4
1st Place - Glen Berglund
2nd Place - Mary Denzin
3rd Place - Len Anderson
4th Place - Lowell Johnson
Wednesday Night League Top 4
1st Place - Debi Pool
2nd Place - Jeff Thieman
3rd Place - Aaron Mead
4th Place - Randy Lohse
Alexandria horseshoe league season wrap-up
by Janet Larson

Alan & Janet Larson, Jerry Zastrow, Phil Swenson, Gene Eitreim
This year our league consisted of 10 two person teams and three regular subs. Our season began with a round robin format, one team going against another each week, pitching three games of 50 shoes, for nine weeks. Evansville Hardware (Alan and Janet Larson), finished first. Fat Daddy's (Jerry Zastrow and Jerry Werk), came in 2nd, with Coffee Pot Café, (Phil Swenson and Gene Eitreim), rounding out the top three teams.

We used two of our weekly gatherings for our singles tournament, taking a two week break in the middle as half our league participated in the World Tournament in Topeka. Our Singles Tournament was divided into four Classes. Class D was won by Wanda Swenson. Class C winners were Jerald Hagen (1st) and Jerry Zastrow (2nd). Class B was won by Gary Boots with Mike Edwards in 2nd. Class A found Phil Swenson in 1st place and Alan Larson in 2nd.
Phil Senson, Alan Larson, Gary Boots, Mike Edwards, Jerald Hagen, Jerry Zastrow, Wanda Senson

To finish off the season, we did a double elimination tournament. Coffee Pot Café sent every team they played into the Loser's Bracket. Evansville Hardware survived the to come back and take on Coffee Pot Café one more time, giving them their first loss and forcing one more game between the two very competitive teams. Many ringers were thrown and in the end Coffee Pot Café, prevailed over Evansville Hardware (Alan and Janet Larson). 

Gene Eitreim and Phil Swnson (sponsor - Cofee Pot Cafe of Alex)
Gene Eitreim, Phil Senson, Alan Larson, Janet Larson

We concluded our season with a potluck awards supper on September 20th at our new courts. The food was amazing and many participants brought items to give as door prizes. Along with the above awards, we also gave a most improved award to Chuck Betterman who was able to move a little closer this year and managed to drop his handicap from 51 to 34. The High Ringer Award went to Alan Larson at 46.89%. Patches went to Alan Larson for High Game (117 points), High Game over Average went to Kevin Richmond who had a game 25.93 points over his average, the Sportsmanship patch went to Chuck Betterman and Rookie of the Year was Jerald Hagen. 
We enjoyed our six new courts this year and look forward to having nine courts to work with next year. We will be looking at trying a new league format next year and would love to hear from you as to what format your leagues are using and what works for you. We look forward to seeing many of you at some of the winter tournaments, and we will assume the rest of you are heading south to keep your pitching arms in shape. Enjoy your fall and see you on the courts again soon!

(Click the link above to see all upcoming tournaments.)

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

Looking for past versions of the
Ringer Digest?

Click on the links below to access versions of this year's digest.


MGSHPA President
Cathy Ziemann

OK, really? Fall is already here. The weather is finally becoming a little cooler. But does anyone remember Labor Day weekend? It seemed like Mother Nature sure decided to turn up the heat. It did present a bit of a challenge at the State Tourney, and luckily we all survived. Thanks again to: the Morrison County Horseshoe Club, Ringers of Rice and the Santiago Horseshoe Club for all their hard work in hosting this year's tourney.  Also many thanks to all the Board members and volunteers/scorekeepers for making sure all the shifts ran smoothly.  

Congratulations to all the Class Champions.    The 2015 Elders Champion went to Bill Danielson, Men's Champion went to Josh Olson and Women's Champion went to Janet Larson.  

Minutes from the Fall Membership meeting will also be in this edition of the Digest. The entertainment at the banquet was a little different from past years. We held a "Genola Game Night" fashioned somewhat after the Newlywed Game and Minute to Win It. I want to thank everyone who allowed me to talk you into participating and hope you weren't too embarrassed. I hope those who attended had fun!

Don't forget the upcoming fall & winter tournaments.  In order to qualify for the 2016 World Tournament in Montgomery, Alabama you need four sanctioned events before May 1, 2016 and our upcoming fall & winter tournaments are great ways to get your events in. If you plan on playing in any winter tournaments in early 2016, don't forget to get sanctioned before you play. Send sanction fees to Bonnie Holland.

Hope to see you at a tournament soon,

The year has come to an end already. Where did the time go? I, myself, did not pitch at all this season. But hopefully I will get back into it in 2016. I can start selling new cards as of Oct. 1st and an updated membership form is now on the website. There has been an important change and that is that all memberships are $30.00. It used to be $25.00 for the second in the household. We no longer have printed Digests, but still have some exspense for the website version.

Tournaments will be starting soon so get your cards directly from me before you enter. That way it will save the tournament director from having more work to do.

I would like to thank the Clank & Thud club for donating $100.00 to the Junior fund. That was very thoughtful.

Congratulations goes to the Greenfield Club for winning the Traveling Club trophy at
the State Tournament.  Bertha Club came in at a close second.

Door Prize Winners were:

World Tournament entry - Michelle LaBrosse
Bonnie Holland

State Tournament entry - Denny Foss
Cody Olson

$50.00 cash - 
Stan Barney
Jim Beyer

$25.00 cash - 
Paul Olson
Ben LaCoursiere

Horseshoe Box - 
Janet Larson

Winners of the Not so New Newlywed Game - 

Round One -                       Marlys & Marv Timm

Round Two -                         Janet & Al Larson

Minute-to-Win-It winners -
Colton Williams
Nathan Dehkes
Shelly Flaming
 TOURNAMENT Results from 

Click HERE to access results and rankings from past World Tournaments.

Click HERE and scroll to the bottom of the page and click "Download File" to download a history of pitchers and their Class Wins (requires Microsoft Excel or Numbers.)
Ringers of Rice conclude season
by Kathy Stueve

The Ringers of Rice Horseshoe Club had an enjoyable and competitive 2015 season. We organized in mid-May but due to cold temperatures, were not able to begin pitching until the last week of the month. Twenty-five pitchers participated in eight teams that were organized into two shifts. Our home courts are located at O'Brien's Pub in Rice, Minnesota.

First shift was won by Melbanc Cabinets. Members  of that team were Tom Lashinski, Mel Larsen, and Kathy Welle. Second shift honors went to K/S Construction. Roger Lodermeier, Bev Grose, and Kathy Stueve formed that team. A playoff was held on August 24th to determine the overall league champions. A difference of only one game gave the title to Melbanc Cabinets.
Myron VanderWeyst organized a league tournament that was held August 17th. Twelve members of the club participated. Winners of the classes were Bev Grose, Kathy Stueve, and Imogene Worm. Dee Foss was the wild card addition. These four ladies played off on August 19th. The playoff games were very competitive. Imogene earned the championship with some exceptional pitching!

A potluck meal and awards night was held on August 24th. Melbanc Cabinets had the top number of wins for the season. Bonnie Poplinski had the highest average of the league with 52.9 percent followed closely by LeRoy Henkemeyer with 51.4 percent. Bonnie also had the high game of the season with 76 percent and LeRoy was close with 71 percent. Bonnie threw 29 ringers in a single game to have the highest ringer game and LeRoy was one behind with twenty-eight.  

Norm Greenwaldt earned the most improved award by increasing his average by 7.2 percent. Roger Lodermeier improved by 5.4 percent. The Sportsmanship Award was given to Lu Cave. Bob Brenny was named Rookie-of-the-Year. Thanks were given to Doris Lodermeier for her work on keeping the stats. Lu Cave was elected to serve as league president in the upcoming season.

Also this year, Ginger O'Brien organized a weekly night of pitching for youth and adults who wanted to get started in the sport of horseshoe. They met on Tuesday evenings throughout the summer. Thirty-five people were involved.  They formed twelve teams and played a doubles format. It was a great way to introduce them to the game. Seventy-five percent of the people had never thrown a horseshoe before! Several members of this group are now becoming sanctioned players and will compete in leagues and tournaments. The team of Annette Grebinoski and Ginger O'Brien were the champions of the group and will be the first to have their names added to a traveling trophy.

It was a great season! Ringers of Rice Horseshoe Club members look forward to continuing their support and promotion of the game of horseshoe. 
North Mankato concludes season
by Kim Briard

The North Mankato Horseshoe Club finished off the season with their annual banquet, which was held on Monday, September 21st at the Eagles Club.

Division 1 team winner was Drummer's Garden Center
Division 2 team winner was Hromadko Construction

Achievement Award for Division 1 went to Clem Gilbertson with a record of 43-16 and Division 2 went to Dale Flowers with a record of 35-9. Overall Player of the Year for Division 1 was Ken Neidecker and Overall Player of the Year for Division 2 was Richard Fitzpatrick. Rookie of the Year was Spencer Finch.

Our end of the year tournament was held at Wheeler Park on August 22nd. Our league individual champion was Harold Schrader.

Congrats to everyone and once again we had a very successful year! Looking forward to next year!
Montgomery horseshoe club ends season
by Denny Keogh

The Montgomery Horseshoe Club held its annual doubles tournament Sept. 26th with ten teams pitching. Games to 25 points in the first round were played. The top five teams then played games to 35 points in class A and the bottom five played in class B games to 30 points.
First place in Class A was Chuck Haan and Jim Cox. Second place was Jim David and Gary Dietel. Class B first place was Wayne Davis and Lonnie Frank. Second place was Jerry Hagel and Mike Brockway.
The club also held its league banquet. They enjoyed potluck dinner and awards were passed out. This year we gave the pitchers the option of receiving a trophy or cash. The players seemed to like the choice.
MGSHPA 2015 Fall Membership Meeting Minutes
Submitted by Bonnie Holland and Cathy Ziemann

The 2015 MGSHPA Fall Membership Meeting was held Sunday September 6, 2015 during the State Singles Tournament at the Genola Arena. At 2:15 pm, President Cathy Ziemann welcomed approximately 50 members.  
A motion was made by Rick Wright, seconded by Robin Constance to accept the 2015 MGSHPA Spring meeting minutes as published in the 2015 June-July edition of the Ringer Digest. The motion carried.

Financial Report - Bonnie Holland prepared a report that was available to all present. Current balance is $7,681. There are still a few minor tournament expenses to pay and 50/50 raffle ticket sales will be added to balance.  Current membership is 650 Adults, 62 juniors and 3 Lifetime Members.   A motion was made by Gene Gross, seconded by Rob Hagman to accept report, the motion carried.  

Constitution & Bylaws - Gordy Schmidt reported that the NHPA voted on many rule changes at the annual delegate convention held in July at the World Tournament. Some highlights include: Short Distance Pitching Platforms. This rule change requires a minimum of three courts to be short distance platforms (30') and will take effect in 2019. Handicapped Classes & Alternate Pitch - original proposed rule change was amended to read; "at the Tournament Director's discretion, an alternate pitch format may be used". This proposal passed. 
A few proposed rule changes that failed: changing the Elder Men eligibility age from 70 to 65; changing the maximum age for cadets from 12 to 10; eliminating the Senior Men's Division. 

Officer Reports - Regional Vice-Presidents reported on successful seasons for clubs around the state.  In the Southeast the Savage Club reestablished themselves as a sanctioned league. The big news in the Northwest region is the new courts in Alexandria. The Northeast region had three clubs hosting this year's State Tourney and Shawn Warnemunde thanked them publicly for their work. West Metro Clubs are doing well and one highlight was Bloomington hosting the 2015 State Doubles Tourney. In the Southeast, Sig Armitage informed the Board earlier in the summer that he was stepping down from his position. In the interim, Southwest VP Denny Keogh will represent both the regions. 

Junior Director - Josh Olson and his family hosted the Junior Party on the arena grounds. The juniors played Bean Bags & Washers and enjoyed a Subway picnic.  

Regional Director - Dustin Dahl reported that Minnesota was well represented at the recent 2015 World Tourney in Topeka, KS.  A total of 75 MGSHAP members pitched and 27 finished fifth place or above. Minnesota had six Class Champions: Phil Rodenberg, Tim Bayerl, Gary Boots, Sara Otto, Cheri Newcombe and Helen Hawkinson.  The 2016 World Tourney will be held in Montgomery, AL, and in 2017 returns to St George, Utah. Minnesota was given an award for the most adult members. Dahl also thanked all VPs for a their work in getting all courts sanctioned. 

Media Director - Gene Gross, reported that the Horseshoe event for the National Senior Games was held at the Bloomington Courts and had a nice article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Both Sig Armitage and Harold Schrader were recognized.  

State Statistician - Tera Schusted reminded all League Secretaries to send league statistics to Jerry Smith.

Nominations Director - Joe Mueller would like to see more nominations for the Hall of Fame, Edi Holland Sportsman and Rookie of the Year. 

E-Digest (Ringer Digest) Editor - Kayla Yaeger is working on getting the digest to inboxes easier. She is asking for any member to submit photos and stories. Yaeger will also be presenting a change in website platforms for the MGSHPA to the Board at the annual winter meeting. More information will be forthcoming.  

State Tournaments -
2015 State Singles Tournament - Sylvia Burggraff will submit final report to the Board during the fall/winter Board Meeting. 
2015 State Doubles Tournament - Robin Constance will submit a final report to the Board during the fall/winter Board Meeting.  
2016 State Singles Tournament will again be held at the Genola Arena. The 2016 State Doubles Tournament will again be held in Bloomington. For the 2017 State Tournaments host club bids must be submitted to the President by July 1, 2016.

2016 State Singles Tournament will again be held at the Genola Arena. The 2016 State Doubles Tournament will again be held in Bloomington. For the 2017 State Tournaments host club bids must be submitted to the President by July 1, 2016.

Old Business - Hall of Fame Trailer is in need of a face-lift. Joe Mueller has volunteered to paint the outside of the trailer.  

2015 Officer Elections -
By acclimation the following officers were installed:
West Metro Vice President - Robin Constance
Secretary/Treasurer/Membership Director - Bonnie Holland

Offices due for election in 2016 -
North West Vice President - currently held by Jerry Werk
South West Vice President - currently vacant 

Open Forum - Bonnie Holland conducted a casual poll of members playing at the 2015 State Tourney regarding the number of shoes to pitch at the tournament. Of the 110 members polled: 47 said they preferred 50 shoes, 47 preferred 40 and 12 said either.  The Board will discuss this further at the winter meeting and based on discussion a proposed rule change may appear in an upcoming Digest for the membership to review and vote on. 
A motion was made by Rick Wright and seconded by Jerry Hokkala to adjourn the meeting. The meeting adjourned at 3:00 pm.

Minutes respectfully submitted -  Bonnie Holland & Cathy Ziemann
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

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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