Horseshoe Court and Pit Dimensions (Size and Stake Distance)

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Last updated: August 24, 2021

As simplistic as a game of horseshoe pitching may look, creating a horseshoes court is actually rather complicated.

A horseshoe court consists of several elements, with specific regulation size and dimensions for both the court and the pit.

In this article, I am going to outline what an official horseshoes court looks like, including a diagram with the correct court and pit dimensions, and the distance between the stakes.

 

Quick guide:

  • Horseshoe court dimensions are 48 by 6 feet.
  • Horseshoe pitchers box dimensions are 72 by 72 inches.
  • Horseshoe pit dimensions are maximum 36 inches wide and 72 inches deep, and minimum 31 inches wide and 43 inches deep.
  • Distance between stakes is 40 feet.

Horseshoe Court Size and Dimensions

Before we continue, let me point out that if you’re planning to simply play horseshoes casually in the backyard, there is no need to stick to the regulation size and dimensions for a horseshoes court and pit.

The best thing you can do is grab yourself a recreational horseshoe game set from Amazon, such as the below Baden set, place the stakes approximately 40 feet apart, and start playing in your backyard.

Baden Champions Horseshoe Set
  • Tested and approved by the National Horseshoe Pitchers Association (NHPA)
  • Forged steel construction for maximum toughness and enhanced durability. Forged...
  • Each horseshoe is medium weight 2. 25 lbs. , steel stakes are 24” long and...

However, if you’re keen to find out how to properly set up a horseshoes court and pit, keep reading!

Elements of a Horseshoes Court

Here are the different elements that make up a regulation size horseshoe court:

  1. Pitchers box:
    The pitchers box is the home base of the pitcher and consists of three components.
    1. Pit:
      The pit is where the horseshoe needs to be thrown into.
    2. Pitching platform:
      The two pitching platforms are located on both sides of the pit and is where the pitcher throws their horseshoe from.
    3. Stake:
      The stake is located in the middle of the pit and is the horseshoe target.
  2. Foul line:
    The foul line is the line the pitcher cannot cross when throwing their horseshoe.
  3. Backboard:
    The backboard is located behind the pitchers box and is there to stop flying horseshoes.
  4. Extended pitching platform:
    The two pitching platforms can be extended to accommodate novice or young players.

Note that one horseshoe court then contains two sets of the above elements, one on each end of the court, mirrored.

Horseshoe Court Diagram

Here is a diagram of one half of a horseshoe court:

Diagram of a horseshoe court and pit

Let’s go through the exact regulation dimensions in a bit more detail.

Horseshoe Court Dimensions

The maximum size of a horseshoe court is 48 feet long and 6 feet wide, or otherwise 576 inches long and 72 inches wide.

The length of the horseshoe court is built up as follows:

  1. Backboard to pitchers box (side A) = 1 foot
  2. Pitchers box (side A) = 6 feet
  3. Extended pitching platform (side A) = 10 feet
  4. Space in the middle = 14 feet
  5. Extended pitching platform (side B) = 10 feet
  6. Pitchers box (side B) = 6 feet
  7. Backboard to pitchers box (side B) = 1 foot

Total = (1 + 6 + 10 + 14 + 10 + 6 + 1) = 48 feet distance.

As a result, the distance between the two stakes is 40 feet.

Let’s calculate that:

The stake is located in the centre of the pitchers box, which means 3 feet (36 inches) into the pitchers box. The space between the backboard and the pitchers box is 1 foot. This means that the stake is 4 feet into the court, at both sides, which results in (48 – 8) = 40 feet.

Also note that when both ends of the horseshoe court have extended pitching platforms, this essentially results in a continuous walkway on both sides of the court.

Horseshoe Pit Dimensions

Now, let’s have a closer look at the dimensions of the pitchers box which includes the pit.

  • The pitchers box = 72 x 72 inches (6 x 6 feet)
  • The pit is 36 x 72 inches (but can be smaller to a minimum of 31 x 43 inches)
  • The two pitching platforms are 18 x 72 inches
  • The stake extends up to 15 inches above the surface with a maximum tilt forward of 3 inches.

If you’re planning to DYI create your own horseshoe pit, then it’s important to know the correct dimensions.

Creating your very own horseshoe pit isn’t too difficult, especially if you’re a handyman type person, but does require the right tools and equipment.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully the above guide has given you all the answers you were looking for in regards to the correct dimensions for both a horseshoe court as well as for a horseshoe pit.

I have tried making a set of horseshoe pits myself, but in all honesty, I haven’t yet been able to complete that project due to time constraints.

If you’re keen to brush up on your horseshoe skills, check out my guide to the rules of horseshoes, and also my guide to the best horseshoe throwing technique for some insider tips.

If you would like to learn more about horseshoes or even join a club in the US somewhere, check out the National Horseshoe Pitchers Association website.

 

Horseshoe court and pit dimensions guide

 
Thomas Dunnett

The backyard is the perfect place to bond with family and friends, to have a good time, or to simply relax with some fresh air and a bit of sunshine. With this website I am hoping to share my passion for the backyard with you.

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