Horseshoe Pit Construction and Installation

Do you yearn to resurrect your fond childhood memory of playing horseshoes, or do you have an interest in a brand-new sport? The game of horseshoes is not well-known, but those who play often say that they become addicted to it.

The point of the game is to “pitch” the horseshoe so when it lands, it is around the metal stake or within six inches of it. Each player has two chances to succeed at this endeavor.

If you are considering building yourself a backyard horseshoe pit as a recreational activity, let the professionals at Sport Surfaces guide and assist you. It is an economical investment, and will provide you and your friends with endless hours of fun and entertainment. We have many years of experience building Horseshoe Pit Game Sets, and will be able to facilitate the entire construction process for you.

Factors to Consider for your Backyard Horseshoe Pit

Amount of Land: 

It is extremely important that you are willing and able to utilize a large amount of relatively flat land for the creation of your horseshoe pit. A standard backyard court measures 48 feet long and 6 feet wide.

The distance between the two stakes is the most crucial measurement, and must be a precise distance of 40 feet.  The general rule is that the more level the area of land is, the easier the construction process will be. An even horseshoe court ensures a far smoother playing experience for your horseshoe game.


Safety should be a priority as well, so the location of your new horseshoe pit is contingent on a clear, open, tree-free locale. Trees tend to create a mess of twigs, leaves, and sometimes large branches which can clutter the playing area.

Your court should also be far away from your home so that no damage will occur to it, or any outside structures. The standard guideline is to aim for a 10 foot clearance on both sides of the stake for maximum safety.

Lighting fixtures:  

Lighting fixtures are another factor to consider when installing a new horseshoe pit. Because outdoor lighting does not cast a reflection, the lights should be smooth over the playing surface, as well as extending a bit past the sidelines and backstops. A lighting fixture is most effective when it’s placed outside of all courts so the direction of the illumination goes across the courts.  Some of the lighting options available are fluorescent, quarts, high pressure sodium lamps, and metal halides.


Some cities may require you to apply for a permit in order to construct your new horseshoe pit. It is imperative that you check the rules and regulations pertaining to your district, so the construction process will flow both smoothly and legally.  It is crucial to verify that the area to be dug up does not possess any buried utilities that could be damaged or destroyed during construction.

Constructing a Backyard Horseshoe Pit

We begin the step by step process of building your backyard horseshoe pit by locating a flat or mostly flat area of land.  Each horseshoe court is comprised of two pit areas, however, if there is a more confined area of space, we can construct a single pit.

Horseshoe Pit Regulations and Distance Specifications:

We then install two 3 foot long metal stakes (iron or soft steel) into the ground at a distance of exactly 40 feet apart. The stakes are left with approximately 14 inches remaining above the ground, and they are both leaning about 12 degrees towards the opposite stake.

The stakes may need extra support contingent upon the quality and condition of your soil. We have found that it’s helpful to weld a steel plate across the underground part of the stake to act as an anchor. Another option is to bury a 4×4 block of wood into the ground from which to anchor the stakes.

The stake is located in the center of an area known as the pit. The standard measurements are approximately 43-72 inches long, and 31-36 inches wide. Clay, sand, play sand, and sometimes even loose dirt is used to fill the pit and soften the area.

We also suggest placing a weed mat down inside the pit to prevent anything from growing, and ensuring a smoother court surface.

What are the dimensions of a horseshoe pit?

The foul lines are then placed at 27 feet and 37 feet respectively.  Children, adult females, and elderly men will pitch from the 27 foot line, and adult males will do so from the 37 foot line.

After, the borders of the horseshoe court are created. The distance measures 30 inches from side to side. We then take two 2.5 foot long 4×6 pieces of wood and place them in the front of the court.

Next, we use two 40 inch 4×6 pieces of wood to create the side borders. The wood is then secured together utilizing 3.5 inch outdoor wood screws, and the court’s borders are complete.

Furthermore, if there is enough space and desired, pitchers’ platforms are constructed on both sides of the pit from which the player will pitch their horseshoes. These measurements are an estimation of about 6 feet long and 18 inches wide.

If the dirt is eroding away and the surface becomes uneven, we can create these pitching platforms from concrete so the player is standing upon a smooth surface at all times.

We then install two 36 inch long  2×8 pieces of wood to create a back board, which can be supported by two sturdy metal support posts. The backboard keeps the loose dirt or clay inside the horseshoe pit, and prevents the pitched horseshoes from flying off the pit into the surrounding area.

Build your horseshoe pit even today!

If you’re ready to challenge your friends to a fun game of horseshoes, please contact Sport Surfaces today. Our team is always available and ready to assist you in constructing the backyard horseshoe pit of your dreams so you can start playing today.

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