In all throws, SHGA Rules apply. All throws, except in the Weight Over the Bar and the Caber competitions, should be carried out from within a suitable safety net. Boundary lines on the ground, define the area where all the other throwing implements should land, to be valid. In all disciplines, each competitor has up to three attempts. The winner may have one further throw to attempt a new Ground Record and if successful, a further throw to attempt a new National Record.
Putting the light 16lb ball or stone and the heavy 22lb ball or stone - All putts are thrown from behind a 6" high, 'winged' 4' 6" wooden trig board and must land within the marked boundary lines. Touching any part of the trig board, except the face nearest the competitor, when he takes his stance, will be deemed a foul throw. Throws must be delivered from the front of the shoulder, using one hand. Competitors may throw from a standing start, or may glide or rotate, from a marked 7' 6" winged box area. Distances of 60' in the light ball and 50' in the heavy ball, can be achieved.
Throwing the light 16lb scots hammer and the heavy 22lb scots hammer - Heavyweight athletes use long metal spikes at the front of their footwear, to 'dig' into the ground, for stability. While standing, they have their back to the 4' 6" wooden trig board, as they swing the wood or cane handled hammer, 3 or 4 times, before releasing it. Touching any part of the trig board, except the face nearest the competitor, when he takes his stance, will be deemed a foul throw. To count, the hammer has to land within boundary lines marked on the ground. To help them keep a good grip on the shaft of the hammer, the athletes can apply a sticky resin on their hands. Distances of 140' in the light hammer and 120' in the heavy hammer, can be achieved.
Throwing the 28lb and the 56lb Weight for Distance - Athletes throw the weights, which can have chains and rings attached, to a length of 18" overall, from behind the 4' 6" wooden trig board. The weight must be thrown with one hand, using any style, from within a marked 9' winged box area. Touching any part of the trig board, except the face nearest the competitor, when he takes his stance, will be deemed a foul throw. To count, the weight has to land within boundary lines marked on the ground. Distances of 90' for the 28lb weight and over 40' for the 56lb weight, can be achieved.
Throwing the 56lb & 42lb Weights Over the Bar - Athletes throw a 56lb weight (Seniors) or a 42lb weight (Juniors), with a ring attached, over a bar, which is suspended between two upright poles. Only one hand can be used in making the upward throw. Athletes stand still, just in front of the bar. They then swing the weight between their legs, to generate speed, before dynamically throwing the weight upwards and arcing it over the bar. Athletes may start their throw at any height they choose, but once they start in the competition, they must continue throwing, each time the bar is raised. In the event of a tie, the athlete with the fewer number of previous failures, is declared the winner. Heights of over 16' can be achieved.
Tossing the Caber - There is no standard size or weight of caber (wooden log), but the caber should be a length and weight beyond the powers of all but the best athletes to toss/turn. Lengths can vary from 15' to 21' and their weights can vary from 100lbs to 200lbs. To prevent them from drying out and to maintain their weight, cabers can be immersed in water, prior to their use in a competition.
The caber is stood vertically, with the thicker and straight edged end uppermost. The lower and thinner end of the caber is rounded off, to make it easier for athletes to grasp it with their hands cupped.
After lifting the caber and balancing it, the athlete makes a fast short run, before stopping abruptly. The forward momentum will cause the top of the caber to swing forward. As it does so and with good timing, the athlete then explosively pulls the base of the caber upwards. The straight edged thicker end, should dig into the ground and the caber should flip over, with the thinnest end ending up furthest away from the athlete, in a perfect line in front of him.
A judge follows directly behind the thrower and scores the caber relative to its landing position, not the position it may roll to. A valid turn occurs when the thinner end of the caber passes through the vertical position and falls away from the athlete, to land within a 180 degree radius, between a 9 o' clock and a 3 o' clock position. The "clock face method" of judging is used. A perfect throw is one that is judged to have landed in the 12 o' clock position. Other cabers can be scored as minutes before or passed the hour, or by being at 11 o' clock or 1 o'clock.
Should a caber not pass the 90 degree vertical postion, then side judges determine the angle at which the caber reached. A score of between 0 and 90 degrees will then be given.
Each athlete is allowed three attempts, all of which are scored and used to determine the winner. Any 12 o' clock throw cannot be beaten and athletes throwing such, shall share the prizes on offer.
If a caber is not successfully turned over, then if both the relevant Games Committee and the event judge are agreeable, the top of the caber may be cut, until the caber has been turned.
The throwing of light cabers for distance, is not tossing the caber in the spirit of traditional Highland Games and should be discouraged.