Cheer on your favorite athlete as he or she competes in the centuries old strongman competitions known as Highland Games. A highlight of Niagara Celtic, our diverse games include Pro, Am, Open and Youth for both men and women. We host one of the largest multiple division games in the world! Over 80 athletes from across the U.S. and Canada compete in 13 different divisions over two days.
Competitions: Braemar Stone Throw for distance | Caber Pole Toss | Sheaf Toss | Stone Throw: 56 lb. weight for height & 28 lb. weight for distance | 56 lb. for distance
Men's Masters 40+
Men's Masters 50+
Pro Masters 40+
Pro Masters 50+
Women's Masters 50+
Men's Amateur Group 1
Men's Amateur Group 2
Men's Masters 60+
Men's Pro Masters 60+
Long ago Scottish clans (frequently and with fiery, violent passion) defended their territories from one another. As Highland chiefs prepared for battle, they chose the best and strongest warriors based on their performance in a series of physically demanding contests during clan gatherings. Legend suggests these contests are the basis of the Highland Games today. These ancient contests have evolved over the centuries into a modern event, which consists of the Stone Throw, the Weight Throws (28 and 56 pound stones), the Hammer Throw, the Caber Toss, the 56-pound Weight Toss, and the Sheaf Toss.
Origins of Highland Games and Competitions
The history of the Highland Games has been linked to Malcolm Canmore, an 11th century King of Scotland. History tells us that about the time the Norman Conquerors were forming modern England, Malcolm was in Scotland searching for fast runners to carry messages. One way to discover the best runners was to organize a footrace. The race Malcolm organized proceeded to the summit of a mountain near Braemar, Scotland.
Over the years, piping, dancing, tests of strength and other skills were added as a way to find the best men to be part of a king's or chief's retinue. These competitions tested men for strength, stamina, accuracy and agility. The implements of the contests were found in any village or on any farm: the blacksmith's hammer was used for throwing, a rounded stone from the river for "putting the stone", ordinary block weights for throwing and a fallen tree trunk for the caber toss.
In 1746, after the bloody Battle of Culloden, the Highland Games ceased to exist for several decades. The English government outlawed the wearing of the kilt, playing the pipes and public gatherings in Scotland.
In 1782, these bans were lifted and Highland Games were once again held throughout Scotland. They have flourished ever since in Scotland, Canada and the United States.
Caber Pole Tossing
The origin of this most traditional of Scottish athletic events is somewhat obscure, even though records of its existence date back to the 16th century. This event may well have begun as a military discipline developed to breach fortifications and barriers, or possibly it was an impromptu way to span swift mountain streams. However, the modern Caber toss has a more peaceful purpose. It measures strength, accuracy and balance.
In the amateur events, the caber is 17 feet long and weighs 90 pounds. In professional events, the caber is 23 feet long and weighs 135 lbs.
The object of the contest is to toss the pole end-over-end so that it lands with the small end pointing directly away from the contestant. The athlete with the straightest toss wins. Distance has no bearing on the outcome of the event. Three tosses are allowed and all are scored to judge the winner.