Athletes ‘put’ a steel ball from inside a circle measuring 7 feet in diameter. The ball can be thrown with any technique as long as the shot is thrown with one arm and is rested against the neck until moment of release. The distance of the throw is measured from the toeboard at the front of the circle. The shot put weighs 16lbs and 8.8lbs for men and women respectively.
Weight for Distance
The 28lb weight (14lb for women) consists of a metal ball attached to half-moon shaped handle. The competitors throw the weight with one arm, usually in a rotational motion, inside a circle with a 9ft diameter. The distance is measured from the toeboard at the edge of the circle to the point where the weight initially hits the ground.
A 16lb ball (8.8lbs for women) attached on to a 4ft wooden shaft is swung round the competitor’s head with the feet in a fixed position and is then thrown over the shoulder. The distance is measured from the toeboard behind which the competitors stand.
Weights for Height
The competitors take it in turns to throw a 56lb weight (28lb for women) over a bar. The athletes get 3 opportunities to clear the height before they are eliminated. Once cleared the bar is moved up to a greater height. The winner is the person to clear the greatest height. On the chance of a draw the winner is decided on count back of previous attempts.
The caber is one of the iconic images of any highland games and, thereby, one of the most anticipated events of the day. The tall wooden structure (normally about 18ft in length/150lbs in weight) is picked up by the athlete so that it is rested upright against their shoulder and then thrown by the two hands it is carried by. The objective of the caber is so that it is thrown to turn it over, such that the end held by the competitor is then pointing away from their position after a 180 degrees turn. A perfect throw is when the caber turns and falls straight in front of the thrower. This is measured from a clock face in which a perfect throw is 12 o’clock. If the caber is turned and not in a 12 o’clock position, it is measured by how many minutes away it is from 12. If the caber is not turned it is measured by degrees – from 0-90 degrees.