The first record of these games was in the 12th Century A.D. in the Irish Book of Leinster. However, we know they go back much further, and may be the oldest continuing athletic games in the world. Early games were part of ceremonies,fairs, feasts and funerals. The roots of these games were developed to test agility and strength. The items used today have evolved from things available to the earliest Scotsman.
There are 9 events in the Heavy games:
This is the Signature, most identifiable and dramatic event in the games. The Caber is straight log, similar to a telephone pole. It varies in length (16’-22’) and weight (90# to 210#) depending on event and class. The object is to lift, balance, run, and toss or flip it end over end so that it lands and then falls at a perfect “12 O’clock” position in front of the Athlete. Caber is Gaelic for “Tree”!
Heavy and Light Weight for Distance:
A block, weighing 56#/28#, attached to a ring and chain, is thrown 3 times only the longest throw counts! The weights for these events are measured in “Stones”, 1 Stone = 14 pounds!
Braemar stone is 20#-28# and is thrown from a standing ppsition. with the feet remaining planted.
The Clachneart Toss:
Also known as the “Open Stone”, the Clachneart, is a 16# smooth, round river stone. It is thrown with a spin like the modern Shotput.
Hammer Toss, Heavy and Light:
Feet must remain planted while seeing who can throw the Hammer the furthest. A Scottish hammer has a 4’+/- handle with a 16# or 22# lead ball or the end.
Weight Toss for Height:
Same 56# weight as the Heavy Weight for Distance is used for this. The distance thrown is one handed, backward vertically over a bar for height! Bar is raised till no one can make it over without hitting the bar. You’re allowed 3 attempts per height or till eliminated.
Similar to the weight toss for height in the cross bar is raised till no one can make it over without hitting the bar. You are allowed 3 attempts per height or till eliminated. However, in this event a Pitchfork is used to toss a burlap bag filled with a 18#-20# “Sheaf” of hay over the cross bar.