Learn How To Play Horseshoe Distance – A Easy Guide

Using only two and four shoes, you can participate in a homely tournament with your family and friends or even take part in an official one. The main purpose of this event is to throw the horseshoes closer to the metal stake.

National Horseshoe Pitcher Association has come up with particular rules and norms on the correct distance of playing such events.


The entire horseshoe court covers almost 50 feet in length. Distance between horseshoe stakes is 14m which are kept at a distance of 40 feet from each other. National Horseshoe Pitchers Association clearly defines that men throw from no closer than 37 feet. In women’s tournament, competitors generally pitch from 27 feet. Those people who are below 18 years of age throws from a distance of 27 feet.

Therefore, this user guide will guide you with the horseshoe distance required for an official tournament.

Rules and Regulations

Follow the under-mentioned rules and regulations.

Game Play

The first player pitches both the shoes and the other player pitches two horseshoes. After you throw four horseshoes it will complete one inning. Thereafter, you have to walk to the stake and score the shoes for the purpose of inning.


The pitching order varies after every inning. You can play horseshoes until you find a certain number of points or finish a predetermined set of pitches.

As per the research study, regulation games are played with 50 points while informal games counts for 21 points.

Scoring Pattern

Your score in horseshoes distance depends on how far apart are horseshoes and also on your opponent. 

  • Just you have to throw a Ringer, where the horseshoe demarcates the stake and you will get three points.
  • But the ringer from the opposition cancels out easily if the opponent scores a ringer. In that case it will end up in a draw since neither of the players will receive a point.
  • If there is no ringer scored by either of the player, then one point is given to the closer horseshoe stake distance.
  • It might happen that you throw only one ringer in the inning and possess a shoe nearer to the stake, three points will be contributed for the ringer and one point for the nearby horseshoe.

Scoring Rules in Horseshoe

Horseshoe is basically a classic game where both the teams or players attempt to run towards a metal strike in order to get close to the stake. You can toss horseshoe in order to obtain a ringer. However, a small competition can earn something extra for the game.


During the initial stage, scoring horseshoe seems very complex. However, you can find out easily and use that in your game.

Single Points

The distance between horseshoe stakes is the major point of concern. This is because the horseshoe which lies nearest to the stake will receive a single point.

Each player is liable to throw two horseshoes in order to have two points per round for single points.The closest horseshoe must lie within inches. Otherwise, the horseshoe’s length from the stake can be considered as a point.

Suppose, Player 1 throws two horseshoes within limit of six inches of the stake. Player 2 throws two horseshoes but in this case only one gets near to the stake.

The one horseshoe from Player 2 would expel out one from Player 1 and due to this, Player 1 wins one point for that round. If Player 1 had both of his horseshoes nearest to the stake, he will win two points.

If opponent horseshoes are placed at equal distance from the stake, they will cancel each other out and no points will be given to both the teams.

Leaning Horseshoes

Those horseshoes that bend or touch against the stake will be considered as one point. If two horseshoes are getting edged, they repel each other out. However, a bending horseshoe is treated as closer than a horseshoe that is just touching.

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A ringer comprises of two or three points depending on your  decision just before the game. Ringers are treated with the surrounding horseshoes. Suppose  if Player 1 gets a ringer, but Player 2 possess a horseshoe clinching a stake, the horseshoe which touches will cancel each other by the ringer and finally, Player 1 gets the two or three points.


Two ringers are worth four or six points. Players can cancel out ringers by topping them. For example, if Player 1 scores a ringer and Player 2 gets a ringer over that, then all the points are cancelled. If Player 1 scores two ringers and Player 2 only gets one, then Player 1 only receives points for the single ringer.

Winning the Game

Players can successfully win in horseshoes by reaching a certain score or playing a certain set of rounds. Typical scores are 15 or 21. You can also play a game of 10 or 20 rounds and award the winner to whoever has the highest score at the end of the rounds.

How to Throw a Horseshoe?

Majority of us don’t have proper access to the main horseshoe bit it’s not at all difficult to find the horseshoe game which is available with an U shaped metal.

This what you require to kick-start the game. Therefore, just obtain a flat region on the backdoor and then play the game.

Obtain a Long Area of Flat Playground

It is required to evaluate a stretch of flat ground of 30 feet length and 40 feet width. This is basically the horseshoe court. 40 feet is regarded as the longest distance in horseshoe throwing.

However, if you are playing a short tournament you can use a lesser distance. If the court is meant for the purpose of kids, then it is necessary to use a court as small as 15 feet long.

Then you have to consider placing the two stakes on the adjacent sides instead of the opposite ends. This is intended to reduce the chance of children hitting each other with such thrown shoes.

Pound Two Stakes into the Ground

With the help of a mallet, you can easily insert two stakes into the ground one at either side of the court.

Just incline them at 12 degrees towards each other, not directly into the ground. For a permanent one, you can use a long iron rods of 36 inches and 1 inch in diameter.


Otherwise, you can use a long stake which stretches about 15 inches above the ground level after placing it properly.

Enhance the Court

If you like to reduce the number of slippings and the bouncing horseshoe, then it’s time to make a pit made of moist sand around each stake.

In order to keep the stakes in proper position, you need to bury a wooden log below the surface and then you can easily drill the angle hole.

Final Implication

This sums up the entire content. We have mentioned all the major points pertaining to the horseshoe stake distance, how far apart are horseshoes and many more.

Moreover, you can refer to the user guide to get a quick glance.

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