I've heard the comment made that the 'heavy' athletic events at a Scottish Highland Games are as unique to the Scottish as are bagpipes and tartans. (The Irish may take offense to this statement, but I think you get my meaning.) The competition most well known is probably the tossing of the caber.
|Sizing the Caber|
Skill—balance, strength, timing—is required to excel in this event. The competitor balances the caber against his shoulder with the small end cradled in his hands and the large end in the air, keeping the caber vertical. When ready, he runs and allows the caber to fall forward. Determining the right moment, he stops and flips the small end up. If done correctly—speed, toss and timing—the momentum carries the small end over the large and the caber falls away from the competitor.
The toss is judged according to an imaginary clock face. If the athlete stands at , the perfect toss points to . Tosses landing between and are considered good. Judges record the best of three tosses. Ties are broken by determining the closest throw to .
Do you enjoy attending the heavy athletic events at a Scottish gathering?
I'll discuss more events in future posts so stop back.