Tossing the Caber
Arguably, the most spectacular Highland event is Tossing the Caber. In an extreme test of strength, balance and timing the competitor must raise a tree trunk (weighing up to 130lbs and measuring up to 20’) to a vertical position, and balancing it, run to build up momentum. At a precise moment, he throws the trunk in such a way that the larger end hits the ground with the smaller end making a semi-circle in the air. Three attempts are allowed, and these are scored by points deducted from the angle the trunk lands away from the perfect mark of “12 o’clock”.
Putting the Stone
This event is the same as the Olympic Shot Put, except that a smooth rounded stone is used instead of a steel ball. Regular style uses a stone weighing just over 12 lbs. With a 7’6”run-up, the stone is thrown from behind a toeboard or “trig”. Using one hand only, the stone must be thrown from in front of the shoulder and the best of three attempts is measured from where the throw[G1] is made to the nearest break in the ground where the stone lands. With Braemar or Standing style, the stone weighs 26lbs, and no run-up is allowed. A competitor fouls if he touches the top of the trig or the ground beyond it.
Weight for Distance 26LB and 50LB
Like the men who throw them, the weights, (18” in length overall,) are made of metal! A ring handle is attached by a chain, and these are thrown with one hand only from behind the trig, with a run up of 9’. Any style may be used to throw the weights, though the most efficient is to spin like a discus thrower. The rules stipulate that the competitor must be standing after throwing the weight. Again, three attempts are allowed, with measuring and fouls the same as for Putting the Stone.
Weight for Height
This weight is a block (or ball) with a total weight of 56lbs. Again a ring handle is used to project the weight, but this time, over a bar. One of the competitors requests the starting height, which may be passed by other contenders until it is of a height deemed suitable for them to enter, after which they must compete with each raise of the bar. One hand is used, and three attempts are allowed to clear the bar. Measurements are taken from the ground to the top of the bar midway between the supports. If all the entrants dislodge the bar at the same height, the man with the least misses in the previous round is declared the winner.
The hammer consists of a cane shaft attached to a round metal head. There are two weights of hammer – 16lbs and 22lbs, though both measure 50”. Facing away from the throwing area, and with feet firmly planted on the ground, the entrant swings the hammer three times around the head and then releases it. The best of three attempts is measured as with Putting the Stone, with the same rules on fouling also applying.