the Gathering & Games

Athletics

We invite athletes 18 years of age or older who would like to participate in the athletic competitions to click on the following link for information and the registration application:

https://app.gopassage.com/events/2021-fresno-scottish-games?fbclid=

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Open/Braemar Stones: The Open/Braemar Stones are the ancient ancestors of the modern-day shot put. In the heavy events, the Open Stone weighs between 8 and 12 pounds for women, and between 16 and 22 pounds for men. It is thrown with an approach much resembling modern shot put techniques. The box for the Open Stone is 7.5 feet long and 4 feet wide. The Braemar Stone is a heavier stone generally weighing between 13 and 18 pounds for women and between 20 and 26 pounds for men. It is the most ancient form of this event; the athlete must put the stone from a stationary position (no approach) behind a trig or a toe-board that cannot be crossed over or stepped on.

Crystal Pistol

Annual Highland gathering & games

Fresno, CA

Tom Sroka

Blind Dog Highlander

lorraine, oh

Scottish Hammers: Two hammers are traditionally thrown in the heavy events. Women throw the 12-pound and the 16-pound hammer (same as the modern Olympic hammer in weight), and men throw the 16-pound and 22-pound hammer. These events are the ancient ancestors of the modern Olympic hammer throw. Unlike the modern form of the Olympic hammer, the Scottish Hammers have a rattan handle (closer to the original blacksmith’s hammer that was thrown) or PVC handle (for increased durability), and are thrown from a stationary position behind a trig or toe-board that cannot be stepped on or over. Athletes generally attach a 3-inch to 6-inch spike on the sole of a pair of boots for this event so that they can dig their feet into the ground to provide greater stability and exert more force on the hammer.

Nikita Marzano

Southern Maryland Celtic Festival

St. Leonard, MD

Justin blatnik

Virginia Scottish games & festival

The Plains, VA

Caber Toss: The Caber Toss is the signature event of the Highland Games. A Caber (Gaelic for “Tree”) is exactly that, the trunk of a tree which is generally 18 feet to 21 feet in length and anywhere from 90 pounds to 150 pounds. The objective of this event is for the athlete to flip it at a 12 o’clock angle, meaning that the athlete will “pick” the caber (the act of leaning down and popping the caber up into their hands), run with the caber, and then attempt to flip it so that it lands perfectly straight in front of them or pointing to 12 o’clock on an imaginary clock face on the ground. Points are awarded from 9 o’clock to 3 o’clock, and even if the athlete does not flip the caber they are awarded points for how far it goes over before it falls back in degrees.

Emily Adams

CelticFest Mississippi

Jackson, MS

Joe Miller

Queen Mary Scots Festival

Long Beach, CA

Weight for Height: The Weight for Height, or Weight Over Bar, is contested with either a 56-pound, 42-pound, or 28-pound weight depending on the age and gender of the competitor. In this event, the objective is to get the weight over a bar for height. Like the Sheaf, each competitor is given three chances at each height until he or she misses three consecutive times and then they are eliminated.

Nikita Marzano

Scotfest [Women's World Championship]

Broken Arrow, ok

Joe Miller

Queen Mary Scots Festival

Long Beach, CA

Weight for Distance: Two weights are generally thrown: the 14-pound and 28-pound weights for women; the 28-pound and 56-pound weights for men; and the 28-pound, 42-pound, and/or 56-pound weights for the masters depending on gender. The overall length of these weights cannot exceed 18 inches and the athlete throws them from within a box that is 9 feet long and 4 feet. wide. The weights are also thrown from behind a trig or toe-board that the athlete cannot step on or over.

Nikita Marzano

Central Virginia Celtic Festival

& Highland Games

Richmond, VA

Garrett Blatnik

Central Virginia Celtic Festival

& Highland Games

Richmond, VA

Sheaf Toss: The Sheaf Toss is an event similar in practice and scoring to the Weight for Height in that the competitor is given three chances at each height until he or she misses three consecutive times. A sheaf is a burlap bag usually filled with straw, mulch, or rope, and weighs 12 pounds for women, 20 pounds for men, and 16 pounds or 20 pounds for masters athletes. The actual toss can be made in any manner so long as the competitor uses a pitchfork with at least two tines.

Crystal Pistol

Monterey Scottish Games & Celtic Festival

Monterey, CA

Justin Blatnik

Green Hill Highland Games & Festival

Salem, VA

*All photographs on this page were generously provided by the athletes featured.

Photo Credit: Janine Kuestner, 05/19/2019, Victoria, BC, Canada