The Highland Games is a traditional Scottish sporting event which predates any recorded history. Going to one of these events as a spectator will probably include some Scotch whiskey drinking, kilt wearing, haggis eating and Scottish dancing.
Highland Games Events
Events in the Games include throwing a wheat sheaf over a 17-meter bar, tug-o-war, tossing the caber and shifting the stones. In addition to the physical events, there is also dancing and music. Below is a more detailed description of some of the more standard events that you may see at a Highland Games.
- Caber toss — This event is what many people associate with the Highland Games. A long tapered wooden pole is balanced vertically on one end. He then runs forward and attempts to toss the pole end over end and land facing directly away. Cabers vary greatly in length, weight, taper and balance, all of which affect the degree of difficulty in making a successful toss.
- Sheaf Toss — A bundle of straw (the sheaf) weighing 20 pounds (9 kg) for the men or 10 pounds (4.5 kg) for the women and wrapped in a burlap bag is tossed vertically with a pitchfork over a raised bar (like that used in pole vaulting).
- Stone Put — Similar to the modern-day shot put, however, instead of a steel shot, a large stone of variable weight is often used.
- Scottish hammer throw — This event is similar to the hammer throw as seen in modern-day track and field competitions. In the Scottish event, a round metal ball (weighing 16 or 22 lb for the men or 12 or 16 lb for women) is attached to the end of a wooden or other solid material shaft, about 4 feet in length.
- Weight throw — This event is also known as the weight for distance event. The weights are made of metal and have a handle either directly attached to the weight or attached to the weight by a chain. The weight is thrown using any technique but with only one hand.
- Weight over the bar — This event is also known as weight for height. The athletes attempt to toss a 56 pound (4 stone) weight with an attached handle over a horizontal bar using only one hand.
- Hammer throw — an Olympic track and field event in which a heavy weight at the end of a wire is thrown for distance.
- Caber Toss — a traditional Scottish sport in which the competition revolves around tossing forward a large tapered pole called "Caber"
- Haggis Hurling — throwing a haggis as far as possible for distance and accuracy.
- Stone Lift or Carry — involves moving stones as a test of strength
- Strongman — a sport that tests competitors' strength in a variety of different ways.
- Shot put — the track and field event where the participants throw a heavy metal ball for maximum distance.
- About Sport in Scotland
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