The contestant must finish all seven of the events in the Highland Athletic competition. The Hammer Throw, the Weight over Bar, and the Sheaf Toss are a few examples of these. This puts pressure on competitors to perform at their highest level every time. The Central Highland Games sponsors professional athletes, Master contests for men and women with prior expertise in this particular sport, as well as “A” and “B” amateur competitions. We are also thrilled to welcome female competitors and present an exclusive Elite Women’s Competition. Continue scrolling to learn more details about these events!
The competitor in this taxing exercise throws a 56-pound weight over a crossbar. The athlete is given three attempts at each height and must toss the weight with just one hand while standing. The bar is raised until there is just one competitor left. The 56-pound weight can be thrown over a bar that is 18 feet off the ground by top athletes!
A historic agricultural sport competition that was once held at county fairs is the sheaf toss. A burlap bag filled with straw is thrown over a horizontal bar above the competitor’s head with a pitchfork. The bag typically weighs 16 pounds (about 7 kg). Each participant is allowed three chances to cleanly cross the bar without touching it. The bar is raised after each contender has given it their best shot, and those who succeed advance to the new height. Until one athlete remains, this process is repeated.
The Scottish Hammer, which is attached to the end of a wooden handle and is thrown for distance, is a round, heavy metal ball that weighs 16 or 22 lbs. The athlete is facing away from the throw with his back to it. He can’t spin, so he uses the large blades on the bottom of his boots to attach his feet to the ground. This enables him to resist the powerful forces of the hammer as it rapidly swings around his head. He wraps the Hammer around his head as quickly as he can and then unleashes it. The 22 pound hammer can be thrown over 115 ft by top athletes!
In this competition, competitors must use one hand to toss a 21-pound metal block that is attached to a chain and handle. The competitor must launch from behind the triangular. The weight is released by the athlete after two full rotations. The 21-pound weight can be thrown over 85 ft by elite professional athletes!
In this competition, competitors must use one hand to toss a 28-pound metal block that is attached to a chain and handle. The competitor must launch from behind the triangular. The weight is released by the athlete after two full rotations. The 28-pound weight can be thrown over 75 ft by elite professional athletes!
Similar to the modern shot-put; using a 16–18 lb. stone taken from a nearby river. The throw is made for distance and is launched from behind the “trig,” or toe board. The glide or spin are two of the many various throwing techniques that can be used. By calculating the distance from the back of the trig to the mark the stone leaves when it strikes the ground, the throw is measured and recorded. Each contestant is given three chances, and the best throw counts for the overall score.
One of the most well-known competitions is the Caber Toss, which is said to have started as a means of getting logs over chasms. The athletes’ objective is to flip the log so that it lands in the “12 o’clock position,” and the competition is evaluated on flair rather than distance. The length traveled is minimally counted.
Scottish music, as heard at the Central Carolina Highland Games, has long been a major influence on the world of music, from the ancient pipe tunes of the Piobaireachd that influenced master classical composers to the fiddle tunes that fill the theaters and dance halls that influence American rock and country music.
Our tradition is one of great players going on national tours and then returning home to perform where it all started. Our music has been passed down through the ages and continues to form the foundation of a thriving community on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond.
Traditional music spans generations and conveys tales of coming together, exploration, and forging one’s own path in the world.
One of the bands supporting the Central Carolina Highland Games are the Jamestown Pipes & Drums band. The organization has spent over two decades playing music to educate the Triad community about Scottish heritage and the cultural impact of the Great Highland Bagpipe.
Another pipes and drums band featured in the Central Carolina Highland Games is An Gorta Mor, a pipes and drums band who will help highlight the depth of Scottish culture and heritage.