Horsing Around At University Village

July 28, 2016

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Have you seen UV’s new horseshoe pit? It’s located in the center courtyard, right outside the Breezeway Lounge. Not only is it a cool place to pitch, it also has a place in history!
Horseshoe pitching can be traced back to Roman soldiers. During their idle hours, the soldiers occupied themselves with games that consisted of tossing metal rings over stakes pounded into the ground. Whether these first metal rings were actually horseshoes is a matter of some debate. In the 14th Century, English rulers felt the games distracted men from military training, particularly archery. It was actually outlawed in 1388. By the 16th century, English peasants were playing horseshoes and would later export the game to North America. Like the Roman soldiers, North American soldiers found horseshoes to be good wartime recreation. During the Revolutionary war, US troops evidently played horseshoes causing the Duke of Wellington to write, “the war was won by the pitchers of horse hardware.” Union soldiers pitched mule shoes in Civil War camps. From the military camp to the backyard, soldiers took the game home with them after the wars and horseshoe courts sprang up in communities across the US and Canada. The game became a family sport that was enjoyed by men, women, boys and girls. Today, horseshoes is an outdoor game played between two people (or two teams of two people) using four horseshoes and two throwing targets (stakes) set in a sandbox area. The players alternate turns tossing horseshoes at stakes in the ground, which are traditionally placed 40 feet (12 m) apart. There are two ways to score: by throwing “ringers” or by throwing the horseshoe nearest to the stake. A ringer is a thrown horseshoe that completely encircles the stake.
Now that you know all about the game of horseshoes … Let’s PLAY!

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