Horseshoe toss

Bill Lawrence pitches horseshoes during the 2011 Franklin County Silver Games.

Horseshoe tournaments are coming back to Union, though a request for a reduction of the fee to play in the events was rejected for now.

Kathy Narup is planning the first tournament for April 10 at the horseshoe pits at the county fair grounds. Another is planned for May.

“A lot of people have not thrown horseshoes since last March, so we have had no money coming in,” she said. “We were either wanting to waive the dues for the first couple tournaments and see how it goes or lower it somehow some way.”

The Union KC Hall is making food and beverages for the event, Narup said.

Narup expects to have around 50 competitors per tournament, plus scorekeepers and families. Some players will be coming from out of the area because they are required to have thrown at three tournaments before the world or state championships.

“Some of them have not been able to do that, so they will all be coming,” Narup said.

Parks Director Chad Pohlmann said the tournament likely can’t have its fees waived totally but suggested it be lowered to $25 from the normal $100. The rental also includes the nearby pavilion for food service.

“They may not use the Jaycee Pavilion, but it’s occupying parking space,” Pohlmann said. “So whenever they have this event, it will limit the use of Jaycee Pavilion.”

City Attorney Matt Schroeder warned the aldermen about the precedent they could set by allowing the horseshoe tournament at a free or reduced rate, and Mayor Rod Tappe agreed. “I’m sympathetic with the request, but it’s in the policy at $100,” Schroeder said.

Pohlmann pointed out that the Missouri Horseshoe Pitchers Association, which is putting on the event, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, and the city had waived or lowered fees for similar organizations before.

Narup was asked if the event could use sponsors to pay the rental fee but said the national group does not allow that. She was then asked if the KC Hall could help with the fee, since it will be using the pavilion.

“It’s not that we don’t want to help you, but maybe see if KC will split the cost with you and see how they do,” Alderman Paul Arand said.

Narup said they should be able to cover the cost.

The tournaments are separate from a horseshoe league that Narup also has been working on setting up with the city.