Monday, January 14, 2013

Scottish Highland Games—The Hammer Throw

By Dawn Marie Hamilton

The goal of the hammer throw is distance. A great throw requires a deliberate combination of speed and timing.

The Scottish hammer, derived from a blacksmith's hammer, is a rounded metal hammer weighing 16 to 22 pounds attached to a cane handle.

An athlete stands with his back to the 'trig' and the throwing area. During the throw, his feet are not permitted to move. He may lift his heels while turning, but his toes must remain solidly in place until he completes the throw. Many competitors use spikes on the end of their shoes to anchor them to the ground. When ready, the athlete places the head of the hammer on the ground stretched to the right. He swings the hammer in front of him, and up over his head in a circular motion several times. When he has gained the right amount of speed, he releases the hammer behind him, using the last turn to propel it on its way. Touching the 'trig' or the ground in front of it renders a throw foul.

Each competitor takes three throws, and the throw with the greatest distance wins.

Other events:
The Caber Toss
The 28-lb. Weight Throw
The 56-lb Weight Throw
The Sheaf Toss
Next time, I'll discuss the clachneart, the stone of strength, or the stone throw.


Pat McDermott said...

Sounds like there's some serious muscle involved here, Dawn. Very informative and entertaining post!

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

I enjoy the games, Pat. :)

sarah sariffuddin said...

Hello there, my name is sarah n im a student from Malaysia. Im very interested in the Scotland Highland Games. Currently im doing an essay on that. So if you dont mind, can i know more about the Scotland Highland Games especially from your own experience being there ?