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Senior Games about more than friendly competition

By Carrie Miller

Event Coordinator

Davie Senior Services

Davie County Senior Games held the horseshoes tournament April 26 and April 27 at Cooleemee Recreation Center.

Horseshoes, the sport, has seen a decline in popularity, but the competition is still alive at Davie County Senior Games.

Horseshoes is played on a court, 40-foot long with a 6-foot square on both ends called the pitcher’s box, which has a stake in the middle of the square area. The center of the pitcher’s box – the pit – is an area 31 to 36 inches wide and 43-72 inches long and is filled with a surface to deter bouncing or rolling.

At the Davie County Community Park, that pit is more of a gravel substance while Cooleemee Recreation Center has grass and concrete sides. The concrete area that flanks the side of the pit is called a pitcher’s platform; this is where you stand to pitch horseshoes.

For the Senior Games tournament, age determines what distance from the stake you will stand on the pitcher’s platform. Pitching distances are: men 50-69 is 40 feet from the bottom of the stakes, men 70+ and women 50-74 is 30 feet, and women 75+ is 20 feet.

To begin the match, you are to flip a coin or flip a horseshoe and whomever wins the toss pitches first. During the match, the player who scores begins the next inning.

Horseshoes is a skill and precision sport. The ultimate goal is to have the most ringers. A ringer is when the horseshoe goes completely around the stake in the ground and both ends of the horseshoe have to be completely circling the stake to count as a ringer. If it looks close, you measure this by a straight edge. If the straight edge touches both ends of the horseshoe, then it is a ringer. If both score a ringer, they cancel one another out. If there are no ringers, the opponent with the closest horseshoe will earn a point. If this opponent’s second horseshoe is within 6 inches from the stake, they will also receive a second point.

Each match is the best two out of three games. The games are divided into 10 innings. The innings are determined by the pitching of two shoes by each player. Each game then consists of 20 shoes, or the first player to reach 21 points, whichever comes first.

Winners for this year’s tournament:

Horseshoes Women

• first – Alice Monk (65-69), Peggy Evans (70-74), Judy Phillips (75-79), Alice Barnette (80-84), Sue Allen (85-89);

• second – Pat Gregory (70-74), Barbara Chapman (75-79);

• third – Roni Barney (70-74), Lois Green (75-79).

Horseshoes Men

• first – Robert Jackson (65-69), Lester Key (70-74), Johnnie Stallings (75-79), Mike Barnette (80-84), Bud Stroud (85-89);

• second – Kim Newsom (70-74), Steve Evans (75-79), Billy Shelton (80-84), George Kimberly (85-89).

While listening to the participants reminisce on old times, Bud Stroud remembered days where 30 or more participants came out for the horseshoes tournament.

Davie County has several horseshoe pits, and it would be great to have new participants. If you don’t know how to play, don’t worry. Senior Services plans to have a horseshoes workshop this fall where anyone 50 and older can learn how to play and players can learn some new tips and tricks.

After the two day horseshoes tournament, the Senior Games participants took over the gym at the Davie County Community Park for the basketball shootout on April 29.

The objective of this activity is to score the most points. Participants shoot the following shots to score up to a total of 18 points: lay up from either side, 9-foot shot, free throw, 6 feet shot, 10 foot shot, and top of the circle 19-feet 9-inches. Participants have three chances to throw for each shot.

Basketball Shoot Winners

• first – Alice Monk (65-69), Lois Green (75-79), Alice Barnette (80-84), Sue Allen (85-89), and George Kimberly (85-89);

• second – Barbara Chapman (75-79), Doris Hinsdale (80-84), and Bud Stroud (85-89).

If interested at all in playing basketball for Senior Games, Senior Services would love to have teams. Now, Senior Services is unable to offer the basketball tournament due to the pandemic, but next year Senior Games would love to revive this program. The only two qualifications to join Senior Games is that you must be 50 years of age and live in Davie County. You may only live in another county if your county is not offering the event.

Davie County Senior Games is always held in April May, but Senior Services offers many year-round workshops and activities to keep participants active. Senior Games is full of competition, drive, and fellowship, but most importantly, fun.

If interested in learning how to play any sport or learn new tips and tricks, give Senior Services a call at 336-753-6230 and ask for Carrie Miller.