Do you have horseshoes?
The Comox Valley Horseshoe Society is always welcoming new members, and you actually don’t even need your own horseshoes to join.
“We do have some shoes for newcomers to use, but most people, once they really get into it, they’ll go buy their own,” said long-time member Lyle Trockstad.
The club plays Tuesdays in Lewis Park, considered a ‘fun night,’ and has its regular club night Thursdays in Cumberland.
There are seven teams registered this year. Teams have three players each.
“What we do is we allow a new member three outings, then they make up their mind whether they want to join the club,” said Trockstad. “This year is different because of COVID, but normally, our league starts the first part of April, and we go right through to the end of July, followed by our playoffs. And our fun night goes right through to the fall, as long as people show up, and the weather holds out.”
Club nights feature head-to-head, singles matches consisting of 40 shoes thrown by each player. Each team member plays three games.
“We have approximately 28 full-time members, men and women; the majority of us are basically seniors, but we are open to anyone, any age,” said Trockstad. “In tournaments, I have played against nine-years-olds – which have beat me, by the way – right up to 80-year-olds.”
The club itself is has been around for many years as an independent club, but joined the BC Horseshoe Association three years ago.
“Joining the BC Horseshoe Association opened up access to all of the tournaments in North America, and even the world,” said Trockstad. “You have to be a member of the association to enter any sanctioned tournament.
“Every club in the association probably hosts a tournament every year. There is also a [Canada-US] tournament between Washington state and B.C.”
Trockstad said the local club was with the association previously – many years ago – before withdrawing to become an independent club. Another benefit of being part of the BCHA is that members carry an official handicap, much like golf.
“As you play throughout the year, you get put into sort of a slot according to your ability, so in sanctioned tournaments you are always playing against people of your own ability,” he said.
The handicapping system also evens out regular league play, by ‘spotting’ less experienced players points against the seasoned vets.
“You know, I have played a lot, so I have had to give up as many as 29 points a game,” explained Trockstad. “That leaves very little room for error on my part. But it makes it fun for everyone, and that’s w3hat it‘s all about.
“We have a lot of fun. Everybody is welcome.”
Memberships are $50 a year, and that includes membership into the BCHA.
For more information, call Jess Finster at 250-337-8901, or email firstname.lastname@example.org