It seams Their are a few or Maybe Several Horseshoe players in New England that seem that I am not qualified in the work that I have done in New England and in my own State.
So I have to Bore the rest of you with my Horseshoe life.



I have been told: That I have never ran a tournament or event and would not have the knowledge or answers to running an event, BTW, I was told this more then once.

I have been told: That if I did not like the way the event was being run to do it yourself.

I have been told: How could you possibly know anything about horseshoes, or run an Event. you can't even pitch above 10%

Boy what's that say for XXX XXXXXX the Best tourney director in New England, he only pitchers around 10%?

What are they Really saying? Does it mean that you have to pitch over 60% To be an expert on every aspect of horseshoe operations and Running events? Pitching over 60% is only 1.73% (17 players) of our New England Players. Come on let me know if this is true.

OR do it my way because I am an excellent Horseshoe Pitcher!
Just some History on Jim Hanson Sr.s Horseshoe Life. I hope it won't bore you to Death and if you think it will don't read it.

Then tell me if I am or not Qualified.

I started playing Horseshoes at 16 years old (that is 51 years ago folks 1958). It was at the East Side AA in Malden MA. I was not very good, about 20%. Played their till 1975 when they decided my 20 to 25% avg. was not high enough to be picked by a good player to be Their partner.
{short description of image}HORSESHOE HAVEN I decided to build my own courts in early 1975 and named it Horseshoe Haven.

« See Photo on the Left

It was Beautiful with look alike Fenway Park Grass, Level, and even had foul lights. Horseshoe players from Malden & surrounding city's came and played. Had to add a second pit put in 1978, and a 3rd pit in 1985 in the garage.

Added Clay to the pits in 1990 .In case of rain we had traps 8' high that covered the pit areas. For 25 years we never had a rain out but did get 2 snow outs. Every Tuesday night From April threw October. We had an avg. 30 players a night. That's about 775 nights.

Also Once a month I ran a Money tournaments (heaven forbid) on Thursday nights, Again for 25 years. That's about 175 more nights
For 4 Winter years on Tuesday Night about 20 of our players moved to Peabody MA indoor courts (Hamilton league Courts) under Almay's, in witch I ran, until we lost the courts. That's 100 more nights.

Now let's add up the count. The number of events (mostly Non Sanctioned add up to almost 1100.

Also I have pitched in over 200 Sanctioned Events and had to stop with body problems. Have been at close to 350 Sanctioned events between Barbara and me.

Also played in the Winter Monday night league with the Hamilton League for 2 years.

Also played 5 winter years in New Hampshire Styles League.
In 1989 XXXXX XxXXXXXX, (at that time he was the New England Regional Director) Came to the Horseshoe Haven pits and recruited a dozen of pitchers to join the NHPA. In the next 10 years we recruited all most 50 or so members in the NHPA.
But as most good things come to an end we had to end play in the year 2000 at Horseshoe Haven. (for reason's I won't give on-line.) Ask me why when you see me.

In the year 2002 we moved From Horseshoe Haven and Malden to Ashburnham MA

For almost 10 years I did the computer work for most of Hamilton Massachusetts tourneys and for several of those years set up the Line-up including 2 State Tourneys. The TD sent out the Postcards.

{short description of image} Early in 1992 I took over as New England Statistician/Vice President from Bart Sargent

I set up a New England Database and individual Records for over 1300 Players on the Computer. with the Paradox Database and Excel Spreadsheet. Prior to 1992 all records were hand written and a hand calculator were used.

For 18 Years I have kept Stats for all of New England States. Also provided all 6 States TDs up to date Hi 3s for their events 6 years before their was a NATSTATS.

In 1997, I put all of New England States on the Web. 1 Year before the NHPA Site.

Posted the entire New England Championship Results Events from 1929 to Present on the Web.

If you are reading this you can see the work involved in keeping the site current and also keeping the History of all 6 New England States. If I told you how much time I put into Horseshoes you would not believe it. But is does slow down about 20% in the winter.

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Elder's Class
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Also in 1997, I wrote the Paradox Database for Massachusetts and our Secretary Barbara Hanson. Before then it was a typewriter and index cards.

In the year 2000 I was awared the New England Don Harrison Award

In 2003 established the Long Distance most Improved award making it 2 awards, short and long distance awards. Again despite opposition from the powerful Few.

In 2004 I was inducted into the New England Hall of Fame as an Organizer.

Of course their has to be a Sour Note in my career. In 2004 I was denied an Up or down vote by one of the seven Committee members in my own State when I was nominated for The Hall of Fame even though I was well Qualified.

In 2005 I was appointed my States Hall of Fame Chairman . Being Chairman of my State also makes me a Chair person for the New England Hall of Fame.

In 2002 Established the New England Championship Elder Classes despite opposition from again, the powerful Few. In 2009 we had 4 Classes of Elders (31 entries). In 2001 we only had 6 elders playing with mixed class's.

In 1993 I wrote a excel program for running a tourney in witch many Tourney Directors in NE are using today. It is easy to use. KISS Keep it Simple Stupid.

Board Yet? If you are stop reading. If not let's go on.

My main goal as Statistician and Vice President of New England is to keep players wanting to come back the following year and years to come.

To keep or entries over 300 with a goal of 400 (for Now).

If you are the 1.73% (17 Players) of the New England players who pitch 60% and over or you are the 14.97% (147 Players) of New England players who pitch 10% or under you are the same to us.

To make sure we never Never take away or eliminate Trophies or Plagues from the New England Championship, Ever!

To never lower the shoe count to less then 50 shoes (no 40 shoe games like we had at Nashua or at the world).

To never EVER Eliminate Play Off Game From the NEC.

To Where possible keep classes at 8 players and never under 7.

To make sure everybody has a pinwheel tag and score board tag that you can see so everybody knows what's going on.

To make sure everybody has a copy of their record for at least the last 2 years of play to confirm their High 3.

To Fix things, Fix complaints, Fix things that are wrong, Fix things that don't work anymore or was wrong despite opposition from again, a few.
We will try not to make a bad decisions based upon 1%-2% of the wants of certain players that will affect the wants or the play of the other 98%.

We do need help at running the NEC. We need to look forward in the future at keeping the standard and provide working leaders to replace us that won't be here in the future.

What we don't need are Leaders that will Criticize and bark out orders but not take on the work load that has to be done. We need working leaders. Not just Leaders.

Those who criticize the workers of the NEC should maybe take on some jobs of the overworked workers of the NEC. Instead of saying we are doing wrong, take on some of the work.

And of course let's not change things that are going well.

Let all of us know that the NEC is not put together in a week. That's like saying the World Event is put together in 3 weeks.
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Now this next Part is about the Take-always's that are very Prevalent in horseshoes today compared to several years ago.
Let me start by stating that This is Not an opinion of mine. Everything I say here is fact and invite any feedback proving it wrong.
Also they are my facts and not that of the New England Horseshoe Pitching Association, but they should be aware of what is happening and where we could be headed with the wrong Leadership in the future.

First I want to talk about Winter Horseshoes.
As you know Tourneys held in the Winter months are not outside events. The persons and Staff who run these events do so at a great expense, (rent/heat/etc.) and do so with limited pits and space. It is a pleasure that we can go to these winter events during the long winter months and keep up our horseshoe experience pitching . They have to make changers in class size and awards/prizes to meet the over head. Also they have to give up a great deal of their time.

Now for the time of the year when Black Flies, Mosquitoes and where you lift the pit cover to see a mouse nest or snakes.

When my family started playing Sanctioned events were events that the prize were trophies 9 out of 10 events. A money event was usually an NON Sanctioned event where the top prizes were for 1st, 2nd, & 3rd of out of all the players that showed up. Most of the time only a very good players would wind up on top.

About several years ago events were split in half with half being trophies and half Money (Short Money).

Now comes 2008-2009. 4 of our New England states events are strictly Short Money events. In 1 State 2 out of 3 pit locations are strictly short money events. Only 1 State still has trophies in 13 trophy events and 1 Money event. (By the way that State had a 196 event player increase from 2008 to 2009).

All the States still give trophies at their State Championships as far as I know.
{short description of image} TheTake Aways

{short description of image}Take away # 1 - Trophies and Plaques
Hi, my name is Puss Nine-Lives and would Like to here some Real Honest and Sensible answers on why some of you guys think nobody wants Trophies or Plaques anymore?
In case you new players have no idea what they look like (See below).
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This Photo taken in 1983, 27 years ago. Most of them proud to be showing off their trophy
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Listen up, Throw me a Bone and I will play in your HS Event. I can't even hold Money. {short description of image}

Reasons given to me so far for omitting Trophies & Plaques

1. They told me: I Got to many of them.

1. Got to many Trophies, you must either be an excellent player or you have been playing for a long time. My guess you don't play for the enjoyment or competition anymore.

Why would you want New player's not to have the same enjoyment of showing off your trophies to your family and friends you had when you started playing Sanctioned Events. Why?

BTW do you have an answer for bringing in new players? Short Money won't do it. How many new players have you brought into the NHPA in the last 5 years?

2. They told me: I talked to all the players and they all what money.

2. They all want money ? That is some awesome information. Was that information polled by the Boston Globe?

What questions were asked by the the poller? Were you told the trophies would get broken, get dirty, get scratched, get to many of them, after awhile end up in the attic or barrel?

Or were told that trophies we`re something to be proud of, to be shown to your family and friends, something to remember how good you are or used to be, something to treasure for a life time.

Also that it will draw New players to the Sport.

Did they pitch ONE reason to you only? Or BOTH?
Look at Pole # 20 on the NE web site. It shows that 86% will still play in trophy events. 13% said they would not. Their is no way we can tell who the 13% are but I really think they are the ones with trophies in the barrel but would still be present at a trophy event.

Are we just trying to satisfy our current players with short money? What about New players. A Fact is that 80% of our current players today will not be pitching Horseshoes 10 years from now. How are you going to get new players to replace lost ones?

In 1989 one of Horseshoe Haven players wanted us to join him to play a tourney at XXXXXXXXX XX. Nobody would join him, so he went himself. Now on Tuesday he came to play at Horseshoe Haven not holding the $25.00 1st place prize in that we had at that time 1998. He came holding a very large trophy. At the next XXXXXXXXX tourney in attendance were 8 Horseshoe Haven Players. What do you think Changed their mind folks? Of course the trophy haters will not believe me.

3. They told me: Too many Trophies fill your house with junk.

3. Junk? I eliminated that by taking away the junk that was sitting next to the trophies.

4. They told me: They get dusty and Fade and get all scratched up.

4. So doesn't my living room table.
Take a look at photo above and see if you see Fading, Scratched or Dusty Trophies or Plaques

5. They told me : After awhile You get to many trophies and store them in the Attic, Cellar, or Trash barrel.

5. Yea we have some in the Attic, None in the Cellar, But not one have ever ended up in the Barrel. When you have been playing in Events for over 20 years that will happen.

Does this give us the right or opportunity to deny New players to experience the same thing that we all experienced during our first years in Sanctioned Events?

Please Note this Side Fact (this is not Fiction) Your chance of playing 10 years from now is only 20%.

6. They told me : Cats will knock the Trophies off the shelves and dogs will chew up the plaques.

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6. Are you Serious?
Be Real, Look at us! Do you think we are the dangerous type of Dog and Cat that would chew up and knock off the shelves my Masters Trophies and Plaques?

Their is NO mistake Folks. We need New players, $40.00 will not draw new players, they will only satisfy the trophy haters who will not be her 10 years from now.

John (Hun) Williams first Sanctioned Event.
Hi Hun, did you just get back from the Horseshoe tournament?
Yes, and I had fun and loved the competition. Also I took First place in my Class.
Cool Hun, did you win anything for first place?
Yes I did, I got a class Patch and what's hanging on the wall in the living room.
But Hun, all I see on the wall is 2 $20 bills. That's all you won?
Hey! last place got nothing.
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{short description of image} Hun, how much did it cost you to enter that event?
$20, why?

I just want to remove it from the wall to show you what you really won.
Did it cost you any more money while you were their?

Well, Hun, Yes I did get something to eat. A couple Berger's, hot dog and a couple beers and water, it was hot. I think it cost me around $7.
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{short description of image} Let me take that $7 off the wall Hun. looks like all you really made was $13.
Now is their anything else you spent at that event?

Well I did spend $5 on 50//50 tickets. and they gave me a arms lengths. The winner got $74 and I only missed the winning ticket by 2 numbers.

Now let me take that $5 off the wall too. This getting to look bad Hun, looks like all you really made was $8. Now is their anything else?

No, No more. Except!
Except What??

Except, well I did have to put gas in the car. It was a 200 mile round trip and it cost me $22.50 in gas money.
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{short description of image} $22.50 ! You don't have $22.50 left on the wall Hun. As you see their is only $8.

I took the $8 and put what you really made on the wall, Minus 14.50. I am glade you had fun thou.

Also please don't put money on the wall next to my Bowling Plaques. Now let me see the Patch.
Maybe I don't know much about Horseshoes Hun, but I don't think you have to be a Rocket Scientist to realize their is No Money in Horseshoes, but if you love the competition stick with it and enjoy yourself.

But Hun, if you want to make Money take up Baseball or Golf. Also! Please don't give up your day job.
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{short description of image} TheTake Aways

Take away # 2 - Games Played
Take away # 3 - Shoes pitched
Take away # 4 - Play off Games
You mean their is more. What have they taken away now?
Why do some events have all seven man classes? Tell me why!Exception would be winter play.

Why when we have 52 entries do we make, six 8 man classes and one 4 man class? Why not 3-8 man class's and 4- 7 man classes's, tell me why not!

Why is that 4 man class the Horseshoe players the ones with the lowest percentage? Are they lousy players and deserve it? Please explain it to me like I am a 6 Year old, OK? Maybe we should tell them to stay Home. Is their $20 entry fee worth less then the upper Classes. How about this, how about telling everybody that pitches below 30% to stay home? Really Folks what percentage do we have to pitch to be treated Equally? Please explain it to me OK?

Why is it some times you see the BOTTOM class in the morning session with a shoe limit of 50 or even 40 shoes when all other classes in that morniong session has no shoe limit at all????? Is their an honest answer for this? Are they the real Bad Pct. Players? Is giving them a 40 shoe limit going to make them better players? Are they taking up to much time? Why not make the whole session have a shoe limit? Why not have the whole session have no shoe limit? If we feel that they are taking long to play whay should we allow the championship class have unlimited time to play (some times 5 to 6 hours). Why not since we are punishimg the bad player for their bad Pct. we only charge them half the entry fee, say $10 insted of $20. I know why this happends Do you? You let me know why this happends OK?

Why do we go to events to pitch 150 shoes or less? Do we have to pay rent on the pits by the hour? or maybe we are trying to make it a 2 hour event. I think Horseshoe Players come to a event to pitch the fair amount of shoes, Don't you? ?

Why are they taking away play off games? Is their no time for the playoff games? Why is their no time? Why?

Why are we being Charged for water when their is no free water available? I myself have never paid for a bottle of water, and I am not the only one. Their are some players out their who would suffer heat problems rather then pay for 12 ounces of water. Lets see, we could buy a Gallon of milk or even Gas cheaper. Now please, if you want to sell water fine, but have free water available. Fill that 10 gallon container with tap water and ice and give them the choice for free water or the pure water you got from the store. It's pure Right. (sure)
Do you know why some places have 7 man Classes? I do but I want you people to tell me why. OK

Several players wanted to know why they had to travel many miles to an Event to pitch 120 shoes. One person said he did a 155 mile round trip. 35 miles more then shoes pitched.

The NHPA says you must pitch 100 shoes in a Sanctioned Tourney to count as a Sanctioned Tourney. Wow we are Really getting close.

Eliminate Playoff Games? Is somebody got to go to a wedding or something? Let's remember players come to play Horseshoes, not as a starting point for the wedding.

I myself once traveled almost a 400 mile round trip to play in a 4 man class (only played 3 games.) 40 gallons of gas in the RV.
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I know why Do you? Please let me know

Now if you think I am out of line, out of touch, or wrong on this information, say that I have never run an event and don't know how, OR my pitching Percentage is to low for you, Please send me your response by E-Mail and I will publish it right here under my Statement.
When writing your statement Do Not refer to anybody's Name, State, Club, Position or Location. But you must post your name as the writer. Also you must be an NHPA Card Holder. Anonymous responders will be deleted or put in the shedder.

Positive Responses also welcome.

Jim Hanson Sr.

Hi Jim, Just read your article on facts. I thought it was great and to the point.

I know I for one really appreciated what you did for me and the rest of the New England pitchers. I can remember the last night of the first year I played in Peobody you asked if I was going to play at your courts and my answer was after pitching 3.640351% for 2280 shoes (your figures) I said I’m not good enough and your answer was anybody can play on my courts.

So from that day on I pitched for the next 20 plus years and enjoyed every bit of it and that’s a fact. It was your knowledge of computers and setting up leagues and tournament that helped me do the same and I really appreciated that.

There will always be people that complain but if they had any idea what had to be done before and after each league and tournament I don’t think they would complain as much.

As for your web site it the greatest thing that ever happened for the New England pitchers and they should appreciate it.

P.S. Say Hi to Barbara, I appreciate her hard work to.

Roy Robertson, 11 Apr 2010

Jim, I am very disappointed at what I read. You do more for the sport than anybody I know. Without your stats, the tournaments would not be fair.

I would like to know who says this. They are wrong.

So you pitch 10%. What difference does that make-NONE! I would personally like to thank you for doing all the work that you do. Very few others could do what you do! Keep up the good work!

AL Fondacaro , 23 Apr 2010


I have read your editorial and am shocked that there are NE players who are dissatisfied with your work. These complainers don’t have a clue. Keep up the good work and ignore the ignorant naysayers. I appreciate your criticisms of some of my efforts. Hopefully, someday, with your help, I will get it right. Your friend in horseshoes,

Bill Choser/
Secretary CTHPA 28 April 2010

Hi Jim, I understand your problem I have had then same situation and went through the same kind of stuff, (The only thing that may be different is I resigned )

I give you a lot of credit for hanging in there. Those people who keep giving you the business just don't get it and will not be around horseshoes long. If they are they should try the job for sometime and then they will appreciated what you do for them. That is what happened with me the person who took over the job did it for only two years said after he resigned he understood what a great job I had done for the time I was in the position (Secretary Treasure & President Yes I held all three jobs at the same time )

You hit the NAIL ON THE HEAD with all of your comments in your article Hang in there they say if you hang on long enough you done feel the rope burn. Your web site is one of the best around you have lots of information and it is up to date all of the time.

You should be very proud of the work you do for your membership. Best of Luck to you.

Ron Weiss Western Pa, 5 May 2010

Who has done more for the sport of Horseshoes. The computer programs alone outrank anything other than winning a WORLD division Championship.

If it was not for you we would not even be able to check our stats. YOUR THE BEST What would we have done without YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

4ASS or FORREST TUCKER From Connecticut. 10 May 2010

Jim, Altough Im not in the NHPA presently,due to health reasons,I still try to keep informed on whats going on.Due to the 5 back surgurys I have had I no longer can pitch 8 or more games.

I really enjoyed the HS thing for many years and not long ago played 3 different leagues and alot of weekend tourneys.As a member I won 4 NE. titles and a state.

In my opinion you have done a terrific job

Roger Tibbets, 6 June 2010in a tough position.Critism is a known fact with a job most would not attempt.Keep up the good work. Roger Tibbetts

Hi Jim! I must say your resume of your horseshoe history is astounding. I for one, never knew all the qualities you posses. All of the achievements you have and the hurdles you have overcome You were a pioneer in the horseshoe arena. My hat comes off to you. Thanks for all you have done to make the game of horseshoes what it is today. I knew you were not just another pretty face, but had no idea of your involvement and years of service and the countless hours of time you spend. Thank God for people like you, because without people like you the game of shoes would still be a barn yard sport.

I am at the point in your editorial were you ask "Are you board" The answer is "NO"

I must tell you a little story of my own. As you know I travel to many tournaments around the country. Several years ago I went to York Pa. (Prior to the worlds being held there) I entered an NHPA tournament and I placed. I might have even won.(Not important) My prize was a nice plaque that would hold 10 or 15 brass inscribed plates. I also received a inscribed plate for my achievements for that day. If I placed in another tournament in Pa. I would only receive the plate the next time.Along with that I received an envelope with money. What a great idea that was. ( I thought at the time,better of both worlds. Money and a trophy of sorts.) Well at the next state meeting I proposed we do that in Ct. It passed and that is still in affect today. However after reading your editorial I am going to try to change it back to only trophies. I like most that have played this game for many years have lost sight of how I felt the first time I won a trophy. Thanks Jim, for bringing me down memory lane.

Are you board yet?????????/

Next on why? These are my feelings about the lower percent players. Yes, They take the brunt of the bad starting times, the short shoe games and all the rest of the points that you mentioned. We were all low percentage shooters at one time. When I first started in competitive shoes or league play I was in the lowest class. We played every week on the back courts. Close to a brook and lots of mosquitoes. (Mosquito Haven) The better players were on the front courts with better lights and not as many mosquitoes. If you got better you would move up to the front and play the better players. I can remember after several seasons and many hours of practice moved up to the front row (WOW) Now I was playing the best players. Now there was another challenge. I wanted to beat the best players. After many hours of practice and many tournaments I was on a par with the best players. I wasn't just given a chance to play them or move up to the front row. I had to earn that right. Practice practice and more practice.

If you don't want to play in the morning or throw 40 shoe games instead of no shoe limit. Improve your game. Put the time in and you will earn the results you want.I think this is the American way.If you want something bad enough you try and try until you achieve your goal. Please don't make everyone equal without effort. If you do this it will be like Little League were everyone wins . There are no losers. Every thing is equal. I think that stinks. I guess that is enough for now. Jim keep up the great work. It doesn't go unnoticed.

Dave Lick V.P. New Haven Horseshoe Club 6 July 2010

Response: Unfortunately their are many Horseshoe players that will never improve no matter how much they practice. Only 5.3% of New England players pitch 50% or better, But 43.5% Pitch below 20%. I have not heard any of those players say they wanted to be a 50% pitcher. If we were all 50% players the game would die. Or we would have to make the distance 50' so we could have some under 50% players. They don't put in any effort??? I guess they will have to live with the short shoe games, Playing the same player twice, having a forty shoe limit, No play-off games allowed. That is what is wrong. They are not looking for 40 point Games, More Money, or the pride of being at the top 5%. They want no shoe limit, No playing the same player Twice, not being placed in a 4 man class because their the bad players. I wonder how many Horseshoe Events their would be if we only allowed 50% players in. Without the the other 94.7% of Players their would be no Event at all.

Jim Hanson Sr. Former Little Player 1951-1954

6 July 2010

I would like to coment on the fact's that you put on the net. you are right all the way. i'm on your side. the name of game is to meet people and have fun. as you know i have pitched in alot of states and i have lots of friends all over the country. i can't believe some people would down someone for doing a job, and doing it well. thanks.

John Alley, the Great State Of MAINE. 9 July 2010

Hi Jim, I just finished reading your article on the New England website. I was amazed at how much you have done for our sport.

Those that have made the negative comments have no idea what it takes to run tournaments, etc. I myself have never run a tournament however, I have helped out at several at our club in New Haven, Ct. My advice to you is to ignore those and keep doing what you do. Many of us support you and appreciate what you do for our sport !!! As for the lower class pitchers, I have had this conversation with my dear friend and V.P. of the New Haven club. I told him no matter how much some people practice, they will only advance so far. Some people posses a natural sporting ability and some do not. Those that have this natural ability are usually in the minority, as is evident according to your stats. I also think that some people are happy with where they are pitching and have little desire to improve. I think that there are those that are not willing to put forth the effort to improve as well. So, what do we do with the lower class players? I myself would not attempt to rectify this on my own. I do not feel confident enough to even make a suggestion on this matter. There are other people, including yourself, that have much more experience that would have to debate this and hopefully come to some conclusion.

Keep up the good work, Jim!!

Dean Loucks Secretary/treasurer New Haven Horseshoe Club 9 July 2010