Originally Highland Gatherings or Games were all about athletics. Dancing, piping and drumming, food, etc. were all just entertainment but athletics were the main reason Scotsmen gathered. Heavy Events are the remaining truly athletic activity at any modern Highland Gathering.
2019 Alberta Scottish Athletic Association Registration Form
If you would like to participate in the Heavy Events, please send your registration form in to the Alberta Scottish Athletic Association by mail or email (email@example.com). The deadline for registration is June 7, 2019.
The caber toss exemplifies Highland Games. It requires a lot of skill as well as strength as the object of the toss is not to get distance but to have the heavy poll—really a log or tree trunk—flip over and land exactly 180˚ from the direction it is tossed. Marks are assessed based on how close to that angle is achieved.
What could be more primitive than putting or throwing a stone? One of the classics, and actually the precurser to Olympic Shot Put. The stone weighs (for men) either the light stone at 17-19lbs or the heavy stone weighing in at 24-27lbs. It takes a lot of skill and strength to putt a heavy stone.
Weight Over a Bar
Here a heavy 56lb weight ( 28lb for women) is thrown with one arm over a bar that is progressively raised until all competitors cannot get it over the bar. It require considerable technique and strength to swing the weight then drive it upwards over the head to clear the bar above.
Similar to the Olympic hammer throw, except the competitors feet stay still - no spinning. Competitors dig in their feet and rotate the hammer (a 16 or 22lb weight on the end of a 4' rattan or PVC pipe for some bend) around their your body, then releasing it for distance.
This event is difficult to make it look smooth. It requires holding 28 or 56lb weight at arms length, spinning 1-2 times before releasing it. While rotating, competitors must keep one foot inside the trig ( a 9'x 4 1/2' square) while being dragged around by the weight.