Belhaven Athletic Events
The Scotland County Highland Games will include competition in these in
1. Open Stone is a stone weighing 16-22 lb. for the men and 8-12 for women. In
the “Open Stone” the thrower is allowed to use any throwing style so long as the
stone is put from the shoulder with one hand only. At the time the competitor
takes a stance to commence a put, the stone shall touch or be in close proximity
to the neck or chin, and the hand and elbow shall not be dropped below this
position during the act of putting. The stone must not at any time be brought
behind the line of the shoulders. Most athletes use either the “glide” or “spin” technique.
2. Heavy Weight Throw is an implement weighing 56 pounds (42 for masters and 28 for women) thrown with one hand for distance. The throwing implement shall not measure more than 18 inches in overall length from the bottom
of the weight to the top of the handle. Any style may be used to throw the weight as long
as the athletes feet stay in bounds. Usually a spinning technique is used. The longest
3. Light Weight Throw is thrown the same as the heavy weight throw except for the
weight is lighter. The weight is 28 for men and 14 for women.
4. Scottish Hammer Throw The hammer is spherical shaped made of metal, and the shaft
shall be of wood, rattan or plastic (PVC pipe is sometimes used for increased durability),
with total length not to exceed 50”. The professional and amateur athletes will throw the
heavy hammer which is 22 lbs., master 16lbs and women 12lbs. With the feet in a fixed
position, the hammer is whirled around the athletes head and thrown for distance over
the shoulder using both hands. Some hammer throwers use footwear with metal blades as a method to dig into the turf to maintain their balance and resist the centrifugal force generated when whirling the hammer. This technique is used to gain hammer speed to increase overall distance.
5. Turning of the Caber This is a tree that has been selected based on the level
of competition. They can range in size from 17 to 21 feet and usually 70 to
160 lbs. It’s more difficult to turn a 21 ft., 70 lb. caber than a 17 ft., 160 lb. one.
The caber is stood up and when it is in control of the thrower the helpers
move away. With the caber standing vertically, the thrower picks up the caber
by the smaller end in their hands. The athlete then commences to attempt a
throw usually running forward and tossing it in a manner that it turns end
over end with the upper (larger) end striking the ground and then the smaller
end (originally held by athlete) following through and in turn striking the
ground in the 12 o’clock position measured relative to the direction of the
throw. If successful, the athlete is said to have turned the caber, thus “turning
of the caber”. Competitors are judged on how closely their throws can land in
a perfect 12 o’clock position (on an imaginary clock). This event takes (2)
judges; one behind the athlete and the other a distance away from the side.
The back judge is responsible for judging if the caber is turned and will give a clock reading (i.e. anywhere from 9:00 to 3:00). If the caber cannot be turned then the side judge will make the call in degrees on how far the caber rotates upward.
6. Sheaf Toss A bundle of twine (sheaf) weighing 16 lbs for men and 12 lbs for women is wrapped in a
burlap bag and wrapped in a burlap bag is tossed vertically with a pitchfork (2 or 3 tines) over a raised bar.
Each athlete is allowed (3) attempts at each height. Successful clearance of the height allows the athlete to
advance into the next round at a greater height. Outcome of competition is determined by the highest
successful height tossed with fewest misses possibly used to break tie scores.
7. Weight Over Bar Also known as weight for height. The athletes attempt to toss a 56 lb weight with an
attached handle over a horizontal bar using one hand. For master’s the weight is 42 lbs and women 28 lbs.
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. Outcome of competition is determined by the highest
successful toss with fewest misses possibly being used to break tie scores.
The Scotland County Highland Games would like to thank our sponsor BELHAVEN for generously
supporting the athletic events at the games.