Portuguese Horseshoes

Portuguese Horseshoes is essentially a sport that is an integral part of Hawaiian and Portuguese culture. Read our guide below for more facts and information on this interesting sport…

Traditionally, Portugal has many appreciated sporting activities. Games like football, tennis, swimming, athletics, basketball, rugby, volleyball, rink hockey, team handball etc are some of the popular games here. Portuguese horseshoes is also one of the popular games here and is played between two players.

Overview of the Portuguese Horseshoes Game

There are two players in each team and the objective is to toss the washers as close as possible to the hole and earn maximum points. The first player to score 21 points is declared the winner.

Rules of the Game

Two square wooden boxes are used in this game. They are covered by a rug that has a hole cut out in the centre. 8 (two or four inch) washers are used for throwing through the hole. The boxes are kept at a distance of 20-25 feet from each other. If you don’t have a string for measuring the distance, you may take about ten to twelve paces from the first box to another to determine the spacing. Generally the dimensions of a box are 16x4x16.

Two teams are formed with two players and each member of the team is handed 4 washers each. Each player has to try to get his washer through the hole. Each player has to stand behind the second box to take aim and throw the washer underhand. The scoring is such that the second team can negate the scores won by the first team by their successive throw and get it added to their total score. The points awarded to the player depend on where the washer falls and goes on till either team scores the winning score of 21 points.

Points System of the Portuguese Horseshoes Game

• If the washer falls on top of the box 1 point is won by the player.
• If the washer falls across the boundary of the hole then the player wins 2 points. Even if the washer lands above the backboard or leans on it, the player is awarded 2 points.
• If the washer is able to go through the hole then the player gets 3 points.
• All the washers that do not land in the box are not awarded any scores.
• Say, team A lands their washer through the hole and the consequent throw by team B also lands their washer through the hole then team A’s 3 points are nullified.
• The team that scores the last point gets the opportunity to throw the first washer in the next round.
• The team who wins 21 points first is declared the winner.
• Any event dispute is settled with a pound-off wherein they either select any player from their team to face the challenger or concede defeat. In case of a tie-breaker too, a pound-off helps decide the winner.

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