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Scottish Highland Games

The Highland Games is a traditional Scottish sporting event which redates any recorded history. Going to one of these events as a spectator will probably include some Scotch whisky drinking, kilt wearing, haggis eating and scottish dancing.

Events in the Games include throwing a wheat sheaf over a 17-metre bar, tug-o-war, tossing the caber and shifting the stones. In addition to the physical events, there will also be dancing and music. Below is a 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 verticlaly 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 matterial 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 wioth 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.

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