Scottish heavy athletics owe their roots to the Highland warriors who would keep in shape between battles by competing amongst themselves with everyday implements. A stone, a blacksmith’s hammer, a tree trunk (caber) became tools for building strength for battle. The Heavy Athletics event at Greenmead draws top professional athletes from all over the country including National and World champions. There is also an Amateur athletics class. Competition includes:
Stone Put This event resembles the modern day shot-put but with a 16-18 lb. stone picked from a local river. The throw takes place from behind the “trig” or toe board and is thrown for distance. There are several different throwing styles that can be used including the glide or spin. The throw is recorded by measuring the distance from the back of the trig to 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.
56-pound Weight for Height In this back breaking event, the athlete tosses a 56 lb weight over a cross bar. The weight is tossed with one hand only from a standing position and the athlete is allowed three tries at each height. The bar is raised until only one athlete remains. Top professional athletes can toss the 56 lb weight over a bar 18 feet off the ground!
Caber Toss The Caber toss is considered the signature event of the Heavy Events. The Caber is generally log measuring about 20 feet long and weighing approximately 150 lbs. Only the caber is stood on its end, the athlete shoulders the Caber cupping the small end in his two hands. Once the Caber is balanced, the athlete runs and stops suddenly and while the larger top of the Caber is tipping forward, the athlete pulls upward on the small end with all his might, flipping it end over end. A judge runs behind the athlete and calls the score as though looking at an imaginary clock, with a perfect toss being 12:00 with the small end of the Caber facing directly away from the athlete, who is standing at the 6:00 position.
Hammer Throw The Scottish Hammer is a spherical, metal ball weighing 16 or 22 lbs that is fastened to the end of a wooden handle and is thrown for distance. The athlete has his back facing in the direction of the throw. He is not permitted to spin, and anchors his feet to the ground using long blades fixed to the bottom of his boots. This allows him to stay grounded against the tremendous forces from the hammer swinging around his head at high speed. He winds the Hammer around his head as fast as possible and releases it at its maximum speed. Top professional athletes can throw the 22 lb hammer over 115 feet!
28-Pound Weight Throw This event involves throwing a 28# metal block fixed to a chain and handle with one hand for distance. The athlete must throw from behind the trig. The athlete spins twice and releases the weight at its maximum speed. Top professional athletes can throw the 28 lb weight over 85 feet!
Amateur competition is held in the morning, and professional competition is held in the afternoon. Don’t miss the Haggis Toss Challenge that will be held on the Athletic Field at the end of the day. This Haggis Toss Challenge is open to the public. So come test your skill and Hurl the Haggis!
The Amateur and Professional competitions are by invitation only. Due to the tight space and time constraints, athletes without prior Heavy Events experience cannot be permitted to compete.
8:30 am – Amateur Athletics Stone Put
9:15 am – Amateur Athletics 28# Weight Throw
10:00 am – Amateur Athletics Hammer Throw
10:45 am – Amateur Athletics Caber Toss
11:30 am – Amateur Athletics 56# Weight for Height
11:30 am – Professional Athletics Stone Put
12:15 pm – Professional Athletics 28# Weight Throw
1:00 pm – Professional Athletics 22# Hammer Throw
1:45 pm – Professional Athletics Caber Toss
2:30 pm – Professional Athletics Challenge Caber
3:15 pm – Professional Athletics 56# Weight to Height
4:00 pm – Farmers Walk (Open to All)
4:30 pm – Haggis Hurl (Open to All)
Mail this Trophy Contribution form
with your check or money order (U.S. funds only)
Payable to “Annual Highland Games” to:
St. Andrew’s Society of Detroit
Annual Highland Games
Questions about Heavy Athletics
Contact: Kurt Pauli