Traditional Scottish Highland Games Heavy Events
(Men's and Women's Heavy Events)

Tossing the Caber


Caber toss. A long tapered Pine / Fir pole or log is stood upright and "Picked" up by the competitor who balances it vertically holding the smaller end in his hands. Then the competitor runs forward attempting to toss it in such a way that it turns end over end with the upper (larger) end striking the ground first. The smaller end that was originally held by the athlete then hits the ground in the 9 to 3 o'clock position measured relative to the direction of the run. If successful, the athlete is said to have turned the caber. Cabers vary greatly in length, weight, taper, and balance, all of which affect the degree of difficulty in making a successful toss. Competitors are judged on how closely their throws approximate the ideal 12 o'clock toss on an imaginary clock.

Stone Putt Events

Clach-Neart or Open Stone. This event is similar to the modern-day shot put as seen in the Olympic Games. Instead of a steel shot, a large stone of variable weight is often used. There are also some differences from the Olympic shot put in allowable techniques. The Competitor may use any "Spin" , "Glide" or "Run-Up", provided that the Competitor does not fall out of the "Box" behind the "Trig" (Toe Board) and does not step over the "Trig" after putting the stone. The Competitor is allowed to use any throwing style so long as the stone is put with one hand with the stone resting cradled in the neck until the moment of release.

Braemar Stone. This event uses a 20–26 lb stone for men (13–18 lb for women) and does not allow any run up to the "Trig" (Toe Board) to deliver the stone, i.e., it is a "Standing Put". The Competitor is allowed to use any throwing style so long as the stone is put with one hand with the stone resting cradled in the neck until the moment of release.

Scottish Hammer Throws

16lb Hammer Throw. This event is similar to the hammer throw as seen in modern-day track and field competitions, though with some differences. 16lb Steel Ball is attached to the end of a shaft a litle more than 4 feet in length and made out of wood, bamboo, rattan, or plastic. With the feet in a fixed position, the hammer is whirled about one's head and thrown for distance over the shoulder.

22lb Hammer Throw. This event is similar to the hammer throw as seen in modern-day track and field competitions, though with some differences. 16lb Steel Ball is attached to the end of a shaft about 4 feet in length and made out of wood, bamboo, rattan, or plastic. With the feet in a fixed position, the hammer is whirled about one's head and thrown for distance over the shoulder.

Hammer throwers sometimes employ specially modified Boots with large flat blades to dig into the turf to maintain their balance and resist the centrifugal forces of the implement as it is whirled about the head. This substantially increases the distance attainable in the throw.

Weight Toss Events

28lb Weight Toss for Distance. This event uses a light (28 lb for men and 14 lb for women) weight. The weights are made of metal and have a handle attached either directly or by means of a chain. The implement is thrown using one hand only, but otherwise using any technique. Usually a spinning technique is employed. The longest throw wins.

The Widowmaker, (If you ever happen to watch a competitor who tosses this implement improperly you will understand the nickname.....) also known as the 56lb Weight for Distance event using a heavy (56 lb for men, 42 lb for masters men, and 28 lb for women) weight. The weights are made of metal and have a handle attached either directly or by means of a chain. The implement is thrown using one hand only, but otherwise using any technique. Usually a spinning technique is employed. The longest throw wins.

56lb Weight For Height. The Competitor attempts to toss a 56 pound (4 stone) weight with an attached handle over a horizontal bar using only one hand. Each athlete is allowed three attempts at each height. Successful clearance of the height allows the athlete to advance into the next round at a greater height. The competition is determined by the highest successful toss with fewest misses being used to break tie scores.

Sheaf Toss. A bundle of straw (the sheaf) typically weighing around 20 pounds (9 kg) for the men and around 10 pounds (4.5 kg) for the women and wrapped in a burlap bag is tossed vertically with a pitchfork over a raised bar much like that used in pole vaulting. The progression and scoring of this event is similar to the 56lb Weight for Height event. There is significant debate among athletes as to whether the sheaf toss is in fact an authentic Highland event. Some argue it is actually a country fair event, but all agree that it is a great crowd pleaser.

Increasingly in the USA, the Scottish Heavy Events are attracting Women and Masters Division Competitors which has led to a proliferation of additional classes in Heavy Events competitions. Lighter implements are used in these classes.

Other Standard Highland Games Events

Tug of War

Kilted Mile Run

Men's Haggis Toss

Highland Wrestling or Scottish Back-Hold Wrestling

Maide Leisg( Scots Gaelic meaning 'Lazy Stick'): Trial of strength performed by two men sitting on the ground with the soles of their feet pressing against each other. Thus seated, they held a stick between their toes which they pulled against each other till one of them was raised from the ground. The oldest 'Maide Leisg' competition in the world takes place at the Carloway show and Highland Games on the Isle of Lewis.

 

Housewife Games

Haggis Toss

Rolling Pin Throw

Frying Pan Toss


Webmaster: Chuck Jamison · oakpiper@gmail.com