WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - Wichita Falls is playing host to a very unique tournament the next two weeks.
The World Tournament of the National Horseshoe Pitchers Association is in town, bringing pitchers from all over the world to Texoma.
But this tournament is also bridging the gap between the youth and the elders of the game.
Lawrence Hively, 85, Mason Chambers, 11, and Brielle Schneider, 10, are just three of the hundreds of pitchers competing in one of the six divisions of the World Tournament these next two weeks.
Lawrence is entering his 15th year of pitching while the other two are still relatively new to it but their journey’s into the sport were quite different.
“Boredom,” Hively said. “I was bored and I was at a park in Arizona and the guys asked if I wanted to pitch shoes, so I went and pitched with them.”
“Our grandpa has been playing for a long, long time," Schneider said.
“He’s been coming for 16 years and I was the first to go with him and we’ve been going for three years now,” Chambers said. "A lot of people in our family play because of our grandpa.”
Although the reasons they started pitching were different, the love of travel and competition keep them coming back.
“Just playing against other people, it’s really fun to meet new people and see where people are from. Just being able to come and travel and have fun with our grandpa and cousins," cousins Chambers and Schneider said.
“The camaraderie with the people for one but it gives me the opportunity to travel and I see some of the world that I would never see the other way and that’s why I go,” 85-year-old Hively said.
“The competition and I like winning once in awhile. I won that (Arizona tournament) out there and it gives me the opportunity to brag a little.”
Lawrence says he has taken home several different wins over his many years pitching, but the most fulfilling part of the big tournaments is seeing the growth of the sport.
“I enjoy seeing young people come. I have started (getting) maybe 7 or 8 people, I have started getting them going so that’s rewarding also."
The National Horseshoe Pitchers Association world tournament will run till August second with different divisions taking the courts at different times.
The event is open to the public with different matches going on in the Kay Yeager Coliseum and the Ray Clymer Exhibit Hall.