The league was started in Shelton in 1974 by a bunch of men from the valley. At that time you could not join the league unless you were from the valley, including, Shelton, Derby, Ansonia & Seymour. In 2014, we were recognized by the National Horseshoe Pitcher’s Association (NHPA) as being the largest single league in the USA. To this day we still believe we are with as many as 145/150 players, men, women and 16+ year olds. We have 15 courts, 12 of which are used all the time.
We play our league nights on Mondays & Wednesdays starting at 6:30. Each team plays 15 games against an opponent, 20 shoes per game which are handicapped. We have 16 teams with a minimum of 8 players per team and a max of 14 players. Our dues are only $100.00 per player which includes the NHPA fee and includes a free outing at the end of the season, at which time team prizes and individual top 3 players in each division are given out. The results from each week are posted on the website for anyone to see.
A typical league night could have as many as 100 people, whether playing, keeping score or just watching. The American Legion Post 16, where we play, opens the food shack and cooks food for those who are just getting out of work and need a brew and something to eat. Each team has a sponsor that is responsible for paying a small sponsor fee. At the end of the season they, along with a guest, are invited to attend the outing for free, which lasts all day. It includes Bloody Mary’s, breakfast sandwiches, liver, bacon & onions, clam chowder, clams on the half shell, corn on the cob, burgers, dogs, chicken and salads… and of course everybody’s favorites, the beverages. The morning activities start out with the King of the Hill tournament followed by more buy-in tournaments that last all day and into the evening. Non-members are also invited for a small fee.
Our league is open to players 16 and up but must be accompanied by an adult and we have players in they’re mid 80’s still enjoying the game. We have players that drive as much as 1 hour or more just to play a few games and have fun. We have 2 sanctioned tournaments a year, 1 is the Bill Choser Memorial which is open to all and then we have our own in house tourney (closed to the public), with the 1st and 2nd place players going to the King of the Hill tournament the day of the outing.