The Balboa Open Horseshoe Championship is an annual event held each year at The Balboa in San Luis Obispo, CA. The date of the Open is historically scheduled for the Saturday closest to April 20th. This is the preferred date, however an alternate date can be scheduled according to the availability of tournament participants.
The first Balboa Open took place in the Spring of 1999 and was organized by the residents of The Balboa; Josh Fisher, Doug Hawkins, Chris Mohler, and Jason Wheeler. Since 1999 the tournament has grown in scope to include live bands, multiple pit locations, and large scale thematic components.
The Balboa Open combines several elements that make it captivating to participants and spectators alike. Combining the sport of horse shoes with excessive beer drinking, costumes, antics, and compliance rules makes for an event that has several different levels including strategy, luck, and performance. These aspects in conjunction with an unbelievable party vibe, good friends, and positive energy make for one of the most anticipated sporting parties of the year.
Winners of The Balboa Open receive the honor of “Achieving Epic Glory”. Epic Glory is the most sacred of all sporting awards as it is the intangible understanding of personal greatness. Once you have Achieved Epic Glory it can not be taken away, diminished, or tainted. Epic Glory is eternal. Other worldly trophies have also been awarded as a token of winning The Balboa Open. These include art glass, paintings, and customized beer glasses.
The Balboa Open Horseshoe Championship consists of two different tournaments. The first tournament is a double elimination tournament that produces four different bracket winners. The second tournament is a single elimination tournament consisting of the bracket winners who compete for the tournament championship and Epic Glory. It is required that both tournaments be played on the same day. Partying is a large component of the Balboa Open and compliance standards have been set up to prevent a team from intentionally staying sober in hopes of bettering their chances of winning the tournament.
The BCM (Beer Consumption Monitor), who is appointed by The Old Bulls, has the responsibility of insuring that everyone is adhering to tournament compliance policies. When competing in an official match, if a competitor asks a fellow competitor to partake in the consumption of an alcoholic beverage or any other illicit substance the fellow competitor must partake in said offer. Under extreme circumstances it is acceptable for the competitor’s partner to accept responsibility and consume the alcohol beverage or illicit substance for the team. If both members of one competing team offer/challenge their opponents to consume alcohol or any other illicit substance it is mandatory for all four competitors take part. If the offer is an illicit substance any competitor may ask the BCM to substitute said illicit substance for an equally proportionate amount of alcohol of the BCM’s choice. Refusal of adherence to the consumption guidelines will result in an immediate tribunal of Old Bulls who can pass judgment up to and including tournament disqualification. A competitor may, at any time, refuse alcohol or other illicit substances when not competing in an official tournament match. This, however, is frowned upon and the Beer Consumption Monitor (BCM) should note the refusal of acceptance of alcohol or illicit substance to the immediate crowd.
The compliance policies add a unique and exciting strategic element to The Balboa Open. This in combination with the vibe and synergy of the party make The Balboa Open an annual institution in San Luis Obispo.
The synergy of the Balboa Open refers to the phenomenon in which two or more discrete influences or agents acting together create an effect greater than that predicted by knowing only the separate effects of the individual agents. The Balboa Open is powered by the synergistic energy flowing freely throughout the party. The party attendees knowingly become conduits of the energy and embrace both each other and the rocking vibe. The energy creates a spontaneous stoke in each and every event attendee several times throughout the day. The stoke and energy are then transferred into the horseshoes causing them to ring down on the stake time and time again. The Balboa Open is pure party bliss…we are all connected to it!
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