Youth need to be taught to be good “judges” of the game. Judging entails the enforcement of the rules, particularly scoring. At large tournaments an individual designated as a Judge may be called upon to settle any close calls or to end a dispute. It most cases, with the guidance of good coaching, the youth will be able to judge most situations that arise for themselves.
There are various ways to judge close points. A traditional method for judging close points entails setting the shank (side) of a non-scoring horseshoe against the stake, parallel to the ground, and if the shoe in question is visible inside the judging horseshoe, it is a scoring shoe. For shoes that are questionable, a judging tool should be used. Judging tools should be able to exactly measure 6 inches and have a straight edge. Some also have calipers that can be used to compare two scoring points, in cancelation play, to determines which is closer. Some have files that can be used to smooth off any burrs on the horseshoes. A popular judging tool for youth is in the shape of a small hook. This hooked tool will measure 6 inches from the tip to the inside of the hook opening, which is placed against the stake, and the side provides a straight edge.
An all cases each contestant must agree with a call before the horseshoes are moved from the pit. If contestants are unable to settle a score they should call “Judge” to get your attention, or that of a designated judge for the day. The Judge’s decision is final.