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Calgary Highland Games

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HEAVY EVENTS

the Calgary Highland Games has been awarded the 2019 CSAF Canadian Heavy Events Championship!

Heavy Events, also referred to as Scottish heavy athletics, have been part of Highland Games for centuries. King Malcolm III of Scotland used the contest to select the strongest men to serve as his personal bodyguards. There are eight traditional events and all show a feat of athleticism, skill and strength. Some of the events you will see at our Games, are as follows:

The 106th Calgary Highland games will host the Canadian Scottish Athletic Federation Canadian Heavy Events Championship, welcoming the top 10 heavy events athletes of the country. As a result, sheaf will not be a contested event as it is not part of the championship. 

In addition to the CSAF Canadian Championships, the Calgary Highland Games is pleased to host 3 of Canada's Top Female Heavy Events Athletes. Records are sure to fall!

This is the most technically and physically difficult of the three weights. The implement is a round hunk of lead, attached to a handle, with a total length of no more than 18 inches. Standing in a 7’6″ by 4’6″ lined trig, the athlete must release the implement and maintain control in this confined space. The athletes typically use a two-spin technique to generate speed and throw the weight as far as possible.

This is the most well-known and popular of the Scottish heavy events. The competitor must “pick” (pick up) the caber, run, and toss it so it lands straight out from him/her at a 12 o’clock position. The caber is tossed for accuracy, not distance. The judge must “call it” just as the caber hits the ground. A side judge will sometimes be used to determine if the caber rotated through 90 degrees – if it’s a “Fifer” and not counted.

The heavier of the two hammer events, the Heavy Hammer consists of a round head made of lead, and a 50 inch long handle of PVC, which is strong and can flex on impact. The competitor vigorously rotates the hammer overhead to gain momentum, and releases it into the air. The throw is measured for distance to where the hammer hits the ground.

One of the two stone events, the Braemar stone is a standing throw with no approach permitted. The Braemar stone is named after the famous games in Braemar, Scotland where the event was popularized.

The little brother of the Heavy Weight for Distance, the difference being that there is less weight to the chain and handle. The speed of rotation and distances thrown are faster and farther than in the Heavy Weight for Distance.

The precursor to the Olympic hammer, the Light Hammer is exactly like the Heavy hammer except that it is lighter.

The name says it all! The implement used is the same as that used for Heavy Weight for Distance except that the length of chain between the ball and handle is removed. Athletes must heave the weight over a bar using a technique that does not permit foot movement. Favoured by the more powerful athlete, this event is a real crowd pleaser as spectators can literally watch the action up close and personal!

This event is similar to the more familiar shot put, except a fieldstone is used. It is “put” from beind a “trig” – which is a marker log on the ground – and the athlete may no cross the trig at any time or his/her throw is not counted. The stone may be “put” by various manners, such as the shuffle, glide or rotation.

This like many of the events, derives from the farming traditions of Scotland, and grew out of a competition to see who could toss a sheaf of wheat the highest. Today the sheaf is a bag of twine and burlap tightly wrapped to form the implement to be thrown. A pitchfork is used to toss the sheaf over a horizontal bar. Competitors receive three attempts at each height. Achieving the task of getting the sheaf over the bar once, lets the athlete move on to the  next height.

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