Horseshoes is one of the most basic of outdoor games, requiring only a set of four horseshoes and two stakes or throwing targets set in a sandy area. Two players can play against each other individually, or two teams of two people each can complicate the competition.
Theories vary, with some tracing the history of the game back to Roman soldiers who amused themselves by tossing metal rings over stakes nailed into the ground. The practice is also thought by some to be related to quoits, metal disks with holes in the middle that were similarly tossed toward a pin or a hob embedded in soft clay.
Other speculations link the game to the ancient Greek sport of discus, with participants throwing the discus at a stake. Under this theory, people who could not afford discuses resorted to used horseshoes instead.
Regardless, horseshoes was probably brought to America by early English settlers, and there is evidence to suggest it spread widely during the Civil War.
The first world championship game of horsehoes was held in the early 1900s in Kansas, which was also home to the first organization devoted to the activity. Rules have evolved in the decades since, and today the game is thought to be played by more than 10 million people annually.
Horseshoe areas are available at the following Broward County Parks: