The Scottish Heavy Events have been a part of Highland Games for centuries. The ancient Heavy Events date back early in Scottish history originating during the reign of King Malcolm Canmore in the 12th Century. The Heavyweight Athletes compete
in seven traditional events over two days. At the end of the second day, the points are totaled, the winner being the one with the most points.
The seven basic events are:
1. Ancient Stone Throw
This is the first event of the competition. It resembles the modern day shot-put event but a 22-24 pound stone picked from a local river is used. The throw takes place from behind the “trig” or toeboard. A trig is a piece of lumber about 4’6″ in length, 6″ in height, and 8″ in width. The Throw is recorded by measuring the distance from the back of the trig where the athlete’s feet end, up near the edge of the mark the stone makes when it hits the ground. Each competitor is allowed three attempts with the best throw being recorded for the final score.
2. The 56 lb. Weight Toss
This event involves a block of iron of any shape not exceeding 18″, including the iron ring or handle which is attached to the weight by a short chain. The weight is thrown with one hand for horizontal distance. The athlete must throw from behind the trig. Scoring is identical to that of the Stone Throw.
3. The 22 lb. Ancient Hammer
The Scottish Hammer is a spherical, metal ball fastened to a wooden handle. The athlete has his back facing in the direction of the throw. He is not permitted to spin, his feet must not move until the Hammer has been released from behind the trig. He whirls the Hammer around his head as fast as possible releasing it at its maximum speed. Scoring is similar to that of the Stone Throw.
4. Preliminary Caber Toss
The Caber Toss is considered the most impressive of the Heavy Events. The Caber is generally a spruce log measuring about 20′ and weighing approximately 120 lbs. The athlete shoulders the Caber cupping the small end in his two hands. Once the Caber is balanced, the athlete runs and releases it by heaving it so that it goes end over end. Those who successfully turn the Caber in this fashion continue on to compete in the Challenge Caber on day two. A Caber that fails to flip is not recorded. A judge runs behind the athlete and if the toss is successful, he calls it in line with an imaginary clock. The athlete’s feet are positioned at 6 o’clock and he attempts to toss the caber so that it resembles the hands of a clock at 12 o’clock. This would be a perfect throw.
5. 28 lb. Weight Toss for Distance
This event starts off the second day of competition. A 28 lb. Weight is tossed and scored identical to that of the 56 lb. Weight Toss.
6. 16 lb. Ancient Hammer
This event is executed the same way as the 22 lb. Hammer.
7. 56 lb. Weight for Height
In this back-breaking event, the athlete tosses the 56 lb. Weight described in the Weight Toss over the pole vault bar. The weight is tossed with one hand only and the athlete is allowed three tries at any given height.
And finally… the Final Caber Toss
The Caber used on the second day is usually longer at 20′ and heavier at 150 lbs.