The World Horseshoe Pitching Championships return to Utah for the 15th time. The championships take place July 17-29, at the Dixie Convention Center. No other state has hosted this even as many times as the state of Utah.
The National Horseshoe Pitching Association posts pages and pages of playing rules, guidelines and specifications for the sport of horseshoe pitching. There are innings, rotations, court assignments, preparation of the pit and painting of the stakes. I like that the rules talk about the horseshoe in terms like: Value of the Shoe, Pitched Shoes, LiveShoe, DeadShoe, Shoes in Count, Shoe out of Count, Delivery of Shoes, Spare Shoes, Wrong Shoe, Moving the Shoe, Broken Shoes and Cracked Shoes.
The St. George News (July 10, 2017) talks about how lucky we are to host the event in Southern Utah, particularly in St. George. Kevin Lewis, director of the St. George Area Sports Commission is quoted in the article “Hosting the event for the second time in a four-year span shows what a high-quality host St. George has become, and carries on the tradition of Utah being a great location for the world championships. The response from pitchers has been phenomenal. Those who participated in St. George in 2013 are excited to come back and many of them are planning extended vacations this time so they can take advantage of all the great sites and activities in our area.”
The highlight of the event is the return of 21-time world champion, Alan Francis, to the nearly two-week event. He along with 1,041 registered athletes from 47 state and five countries will participate in the event. The ages of the pitchers ranges from 6 to 92 years old.
The economic impact of the Horseshoe Pitching Championship event is estimated to be between $3 million and $4 million. Approximately 3,000 visitors are estimated to be coming to the event in St. George and they are expected to stay an average of seven nights at local hotels.