Scottish Athletic Events
For many, the Scottish athletic events are the heart of a Highland Games. Indeed, many games in North America have gotten their start as small competitions held between athletes and then gradually expanded as pipers, dancers and clans adopted these games.
The Caber Toss
The Caber Toss is the most famous of the Scottish field events. The caber might be best described as a "baby" telephone pole, which can be 12 to 19 feet long and may weight from 30 to 120 pounds. The contestant “walks” the caber until it is perpendicular and then hoists it into a carrying position, resting on the shoulder. From the carrying position, the contestant takes a few steps forward, then abruptly stops and swings his arm upward, hoping to flip the caber completely so that the small end, which was down, falls straight ahead, or “at 12 o'clock”. 12 o'clock is perfect, but all good scores come within the 9 o'clock to 3 o'clock area. Timing and momentum are keys in this event, not mere strength. All contestants in the caber events start with the lighter and shorter cabers and work their way up until they are eliminated.
Weight For Height
This event uses a metal weight with a handle, the whole thing weighing 56 pounds for men and 28 pounds for women. The object is to toss the weight as high as possible over a cross-bar using only one hand.
Weight For Distance
The object of this event is to throw a 28-pound weight with a handle as far as possible using only one hand and one and a half turns before the release.
The Stone Put
The Stone Put is similar to the conventional shot put event in track and field meets but with two exceptions. Instead of using a metal shot, the men use a stone weighing 17 pounds and the women use an 11 pound stone. Also, the style of throwing is different. The contestants don't get to make an approach like the conventional style, but must throw the stone as far as possible keeping one foot stationary against the trig. This is called the Braemar style.