All of the horseshoe pitching clubs throughout the region may be closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, but that doesn’t mean residents can’t still toss a few ringers.
Victoria resident, and former B.C. men’s horseshoe pitching champion, Tom Moffat was keeping his skills polished from from home even before spread of COVID-19 started, by participating in online pitching matches.
“Right now basically everything is cancelled, league, tournaments, everything. So this gives people an opportunity to keep playing,” said Moffat. “We play quick, 12-shoe games using Facebook live, count up the points, share our video, and compete against someone, somewhere. It’s really an interesting concept, sort of like chess mail.”
Moffat started playing online 15 months ago, after he found a Facebook group, Horseshoe Pitching Online, with more than 1,500 members who regularly compete by sharing videos, and create on-going mini leagues and tournaments.
“I just finished up a little league of three-person teams,” Moffat noted. “My team won.”
Anyone can join in as long as they have a space to play, and can upload videos to Facebook. People who wish to participate also need to have horseshoes, use of a pit in their neighbourhood or have a pin to put in the ground, and throw the shoes from 30 feet away if you’re a woman, or 40 feet for men.
Some tournaments or leagues cost $10 to $15 to enter, but anyone can play at any time by challenging someone to a match and then posting a video of their game.
Though Moffat is a relatively experienced player, having played since 2002, he explained that there are various levels and people can always compete with someone at their own calibre.
“It’s special because you can play anyone, anywhere, and you don’t have to be part of club,” said Moffat, adding that the playing the sport is an inexpensive way to have a lot of fun.
“Horseshoe pitching is great because you can be six years old or you could be 95 and you can still play, it’s a sport for absolutely anyone.”