The shot put is a favourite at all good Highland Games. Competitors throw a large stone of around 20 – 26lbs in weight as far as they can.
The stone is thrown either after a short run-up to the toeboard or from a fixed standing position, depending on the rules of the competition. The contestant who throws the furthest wins.
Weight for Height
The athletes attempt to toss a 56 pound (4 stone) weight with an attached handle over a horizontal bar using only one hand. Each athlete is allowed three attempts at each height. Successful clearance of the height allows the athlete to advance into the next round at a greater height. The competition is determined by the highest successful toss with fewest misses being used to break tie scores.
The Sheaf Toss dates back to the Medieval Ages as a farming competition. The purpose is to see who can toss a sheaf of hay weighting between 16 and 20 lbs the greatest distance in the air using a pitch fork. Today the goal is to throw it over 30 feet in the air.
After competitors use their three chances to get the sheaf over a bar, the bar is raised for their next attempts. The winner is the one left standing after others are eliminated.
Weight for Distance
Weight for distance, also known as the weight throw event. There are actually two separate events, one using a light (28 lb. for men and 14 lb. for women) and the other a heavy (56 lb for men, 42 lb. for masters men, and 28 lb for women) weight. The weights are made of metal and have a handle attached by means of a chain. The implement is thrown with one hand using any technique. Usually a spinning technique is employed. The longest throw wins.
Photo is of Megan Melham at the Hawaii Highland Games
In the caber toss, a full length log, is stood upright and lifted by the competitor using both hands under the bottom of the caber to rest against their body. The competitor then runs forward, building momentum, before tossing the caber into the air so that it turns end over end with the upper end landing before the end originally held by the competitor follows through and hits the ground.
The aim is for the caber to land in line with the original run. If it is straight the toss is said to be in the 12 o’clock position. Competitors are judged on how closely their toss lands to 12 o’clock.
The hammer throwing event features a hammer made from a metal ball weighing around 22 lb for men or 16 lb for women, attached to a wooden pole or handle.
Participants use the handle to whirl the hammer around their head and then throw it as far as they can.