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Regulation Horseshoe Pit Size

Horseshoe Pit Size

The horseshoe pit size is an important factor to consider when building a horseshoe pit, especially if you want one in your yard. If you are one of the players who plays horseshoe pitching at a semi-professional level, you must know horseshoe pit dimensions. As simple as the game of horseshoe pitching appears, building a horseshoe court is a little complicated.

A horseshoe court is made up of several components, each with its own set of regulations governing the court size and horseshoe pit dimensions. In this article, we will describe what an official horseshoe court looks like including the proper court and pit dimensions as well as the distance between the two stakes.

Horseshoe Pit Size And Court Dimensions

Horseshoe pitching has become a sport over time. There are now standard dimensions for a horseshoe court and pit.

Horseshoe Pit Size And Dimensions

Horseshoe pits should be no smaller than 31 x 43 inches and no larger than 36 x 72 inches, according to the National Horseshoe Pitchers Association (NHPA) and National Horseshoe Pitchers Foundation (NHPF). Let’s take a closer look at the pit box dimensions.

  • 72 x 72 inches is the size of the pitcher’s box (6 x 6 feet).
  • The pit measures 36 x 72 inches (but can be smaller with minimal dimensions being 31 x 43 inches).
  • The dimensions of the two pitching platforms are 18 x 72 inches.
  • The stake can be up to 15 inches above the surface and needs to have a maximum forward tilt of 3 inches.

If you intend to build your own pitching area, you need to decide on the right dimensions.

Horseshoe Court Size And Dimensions

Horseshoe Court Size And Dimensions

A horseshoe court’s maximum length is 48 feet and 6 feet wide. The court’s length specifications should be as follows:

  1. The distance between the backboard and the pitcher’s box should be 1 foot.
  2. The pitcher’s box should be 6 x 6 ft.
  3. Extended pitching platforms should be 10 feet long.
  4. The space in the middle should be 14 feet long.
  5. The distance between the backboard and the pitcher’s box should be 1 foot.

Regulation Pit Standards And Location Recommendations

Regulation Pit Standards And Location Recommendations

When creating your own pit, it’s critical to consider the location. If it’s in your yard, the main requirements are that the ground is level and that you have enough space for two stakes, which should be about 40 feet apart and across from one another.

Typically, before putting in the stakes, you will measure out the area and excavate it, then fill it with sand and ensure the sand is level with the ground.

  • If you choose to have the pit surface elevated rather than level with the ground, you will need to measure the height of the frame to allow for the necessary depth of the pit.
  • Your pit should have a frame, whether elevated or not, to keep the sand within the designated area.
  • The pit’s depth should be about 4 – 5 inches, whether level with the ground or elevated.

Elements Of A Horseshoe Court

Elements Of A Horseshoe Court

A standard-size horseshoe court is made up of two sets of the following components:

Pitcher’s Box

The square 6 ft by 6 ft section at each end of the court is known as the pitcher’s box. It consists of three components: the pit, pitching platform and stake.


The pit is a rectangular area that contains the material that the shoes are thrown onto.

Pitching Platform

The pitching platforms are parallel to each other and flank the pit on its left and right sides. They must be level with one another and reach the pit’s top.


Horseshoe Stake

The target toward which the shoe is thrown is the stake. Each stake is placed in the middle of the platforms with a minimum distance of 21 inches between the stakes and the front and back of the pit. They should stick out about 15 inches from the ground and each one should lean slightly toward the spike next to it.

Tossed horseshoes that miss the metal stakes can travel astonishing distances. So keep people, pets, delicate plants and furniture away from the stakes.

Foul Line

The lines that the pitcher cannot cross when throwing their horseshoes are known as the foul lines. Foul lines should be 37 feet apart.

Click here to read about the horseshoe throw.


Horseshoe Backboard

You should put the backboard behind the pitcher’s box. The backboard’s purpose is to stop flying horseshoes.

Extended Pitching Platform

Extended pitching platforms are extensions usually used for novices and young players.

DIY Horseshoe Court – How To Build A Horseshoe Pit

DIY Horseshoe Court

Now that you know the horseshoe pit dimensions, all you need to build your own DIY horseshoe pit are the right tools, materials and detailed instructions. 

Click here to find the best horseshoe set.

Tools And Materials

Tools And Materials For DIY Horseshoe Pit

The key to successful construction of a horseshoe pit is gathering all the necessary tools and materials before you begin. You’ll need the following tools and materials:

  1. Pressure treated lumber
  2. Pits fasteners
  3. Circular saw
  4. Play sand
  5. Concrete
  6. Planters
  7. Soft steel stakes
  8. Shovel
  9. String
  10. Landscaping fabric
  11. Four horseshoes

Step 1: Measure Your Space And Mark The Location For The Pit

Measure Your Space And Mark The Location For The Pit
  • Stakes in a pit should be exactly 40 feet apart.
  • Stakes in a box need to be at least 31 to 36 inches wide and 43 to 72 inches long.
  • Measure 18 inches behind each of the three pegs and mark with additional pegs. This is where you’ll construct your backboard.
  • Measure and mark 4 feet in front of each of the backboard pegs.

Step 2: Dig Out The Soil

Dig Out The Soil

Once you’ve marked the border, use a shovel to dig a pit 5 inches deep.

Be careful. If you stand on the pit while digging, you will compress the soil, making digging harder.

Step 3: Build The Pitching Platform Frame

Build The Pitching Platform Frame

On a hard, flat surface, arrange the borders of each pit. Check that all of the boards’ narrow ends are facing up. The longer boards’ ends should be behind the shorter boards. Drill the boards together and secure them with 3.5-inch outdoor screws.

Step 4: Build The Backboard

To increase the safety of horseshoe pits, consider building a backboard behind each pit. Purchase 2 x 6 ft lumber and secure it to the ground with stakes. Backboards should be placed approximately four feet behind each stake.

Step 5: Make The Stakes

Make The Stakes

You can make the stakes using plastic planters and concrete. Fill the planters halfway with concrete, then add water and mix it. Place a stake in the center for support.

Step 6: Set The Structures In The Ground

You can simply lay your boxes on the ground, but digging trenches allows each box to sit flush with the soil. You can place landscaping fabric at the bottom of each horseshoe pit. This liner prevents weed growth and sand from sinking into the soil.

Step 7: Add Gravel

Add Gravel

When constructing your own horseshoe pit, it is critical to select a location with adequate drainage. This ensures that the sand doesn’t get too wet and muddy. That’s why you should consider putting down a layer of gravel before adding the sand, as this will help to keep the pit in good condition for longer.

Step 8: Add Sand

For each horseshoe court, you’ll need several bags of play sand. The exact amount is determined by the pit’s depth, length and width.

When not in use, cover your horseshoe pits with tarps. It will help keep the sand in the pits, keep it dry and keep objects and animals out of the sand.

Step 9: Place The Stakes

Place The Stakes
  • Set your stakes at least 21 inches in front of your box.
  • Make sure the stakes are about 14 or 15 inches above the ground.
  • Drive the stakes in so that they lean toward the other pit at a 3-inch angle.

Step 10: Add The String

Cut a string 40 feet long. One person should hold one end of the string where you want to put one stake and the other person should walk the other end to where you want the additional stake. Hold the string taut and use a peg to mark both ends.

While playing horseshoes, this will also help you stay within the confines of the pit.

Step 11: Place The Horseshoes

Place The Horseshoes

Don’t play horseshoes with actual horseshoes. Instead, purchase a horseshoe pitching set from any sporting goods store. Place them on the opposite side of the pit from where you are.

Step 12: Play!

It’s time to have some fun now that your horseshoe pit is finished. Invite your friends over for a horseshoe game to see who can get the closest to the stake.

Read more about the rules of the game and learn how far apart horseshoe stakes are to win your next game.

Frequently Asked Questions

To make a homemade horseshoe pit, you need to measure the area first. After that, build the pit frames, set your stakes and cover your playing area with sand. You will need to know the exact horseshoe pit dimensions and the dimensions of all the elements in order to make it right.

A horseshoe pit needs to be 43 to 72 inches (109 – 182 cm) deep and 31 to 36 inches (78 – 91 cm) wide. If the pit’s dimensions are less than the maximum, you can fill the extra space with the same material of which the platforms are made and ensure that it is level with the pit and platforms.

A horseshoe pit should be 43 to 72 inches (109 – 182 cm) long and 31 to 36 inches (78 – 91 cm) wide. A simple pit consists of two stakes 40 feet (12.1 m) apart in the ground, with foul marks 37 feet (11.2 m) from each stake. The horseshoe stakes should be about an inch (2.5 cm) in diameter and 36 inches (91 cm) long.

To build a horseshoe pit, you need these materials: pressure-treated boards for the frame and backboard, play sand for the pit, concrete and planters for the stakes and landscaping fabric for the top of the horseshoe court. Besides these materials, you’ll also need some tools to put it all together.

The best kind of sand for a horseshoe pit is playground sand. If you want to find sand that has a relatively even consistency throughout and will not clump or harden, this type of sand is the best choice. Playground sand is intended for use in children’s sandboxes and is softer than coarse sand.


You’ve made the first steps toward building your own DIY horseshoe court at home now that you’ve learned the horseshoe pit size and how to build one for yourself. Get the right materials and tools and you’re ready to begin. The only thing you need to do after that is to get out and enjoy this classic backyard game with your family and friends.

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