Heavy Events

Tossing the Caber.The BC Provincial Heavy Events Championship runs each year in conjunction with the BC Highland Games & Scottish Festival.  Registration is open to competitors who are 19 years of age or older. Competitors who are 16-19 years may register with parental consent.

The Heavy Events competition is organized and run by Karyn Dallimore. Please contact Karyn with any questions re: the event or registration.

• The online registrations for the athlete roster will close on June 4, 2016.
All competitors are responsible for printing their own ticket/registration. This must be presented at the South Gate “Competitors Entry Table” for entry to the field on Saturday. If you forget to bring the printed ticket, you will need to purchase a full-price adult admission to enter the field.

Event Descriptions

The Heavy Events are among the oldest contested sports in the world encompassing a series of 9 feats of strength events. Many of the events are derived from the Scottish military weapons of war, while others came directly from every day life.  The weights used in the Heavy Events are usually based on two things, the Scottish stone weight (14 lbs.) and the Scottish standard for cannon shot (16 & 22 lbs.). The Women’s light hammer is 12 lbs, probably derived from the 12 lbs. sledge hammer.

The events can be divided into three categories: Distance, Height & Caber.

In the Distance events (Stone Putt, Weights for Distance Throws, & Hammer) and in the Height events (Weight for Height/Weight over Bar, & Sheaf Toss) the athlete has three attempts, only the best throw being counted. The CaberToss is an event scored for accuracy as though the thrower is standing at the 6:00 position on a clock face, with 12:00 considered a perfect toss.

Stone Putt

The Stone Putt can be contested in two different ways, Braemar style or Open style. In both styles the thrower must “putt” (derived from the Gaelic word “thrust”) the stone from the shoulder area not letting the elbow lead the wrist.

Stone puttThe Braemar Stone Putt is a standing Putt that does not allow any approach on the Trig (Toe Board). The weight of the stone generally ranges from 22 to 26 lbs. for men and 13 to 18 lbs. for women.

The Open Stone Putt was modified from the Braemar style to allow an approach upon the trig in hopes of achieving greater distances. The Athlete must keep one foot inside of a 4’6″x 7’6″ box during the approach and may not go past or step on the trig. The stone is also lighter making it more comparable to the Olympic Shot Putt; the weight of the stone should range from 16 to 21 lbs. for men and 8 to 12 lbs. for women.

Weight for Distance Throws

Wade Quayle - Weight for Distance Throw - Heavy Events photo by Carmine MarinelliThe weight for distance throws consist of a “light” weight and a “heavy” weight event. The weights have a handle attached with a chain. The weight must be thrown with one hand and the athlete must keep one foot inside of a throwing area of 4’6″x9′ at all times. The most common method of throwing the weight is to use a double spin similar to what is used by most discus throwers.

The men’s light weight is 28 lbs. while the women’s is 14 lbs. There are three different heavy weights, the men’s 56 lbs., men’s masters (40 years old +) is 42 lbs. and the women’s is 28 lbs.

Scottish Hammer Toss

This event is the ancestor of the modern day Olympic hammer. The “hammer” is a weight on the end of a 50″ piece of rattan or PVC. The athlete must throw the hammer without moving his feet; he cannot touch the top or cross the Trig (Toe Board). The original version of this was likely a wagon wheel spoke with the wheel hub attached. The name “hammer” and the weights were added when clansmen used a blacksmith’s hammer (sledge hammer), to see who could throw it the farthest.

There is a Heavy Hammer and a Light Hammer. Men throw 22 lbs. heavy hammer and a 16 lbs light hammer. Women throw a 12 lbs. light hammer and a 16 lbs. heavy hammer.

Weight for Height/Weight Over Bar

Weight for heightThis is one of two height events.

The men throw a 56lbs. “scale weight” (masters 42lbs.and Women use 28 lbs.) with one arm over a bar. The weight must go over the bar in order to be counted.

Sheaf Toss

Sheaf tossThis second height event has its origins in the farm country during harvest time.

The object is to take a simulated sheaf (bale) of wheat or hay and toss it over a bar with a pitchfork. The sheaves weigh between 10 and 20 pounds (Men use either a 16 or 20 lbs. sheaf, the Women use a 10 lbs. sheaf)

The Caber Toss

Caber tossThis is probably the best known event, having been described as “men in skirts throwing power poles”. A caber is from 15 to 23 feet long and between 70 and 130 pounds. The caber is stood up for the thrower with the large end up, the thrower then hoists the caber up and cups the small end in his hands. After a small run, he will attempt to “turn” the caber end-over-end by throwing the caber so the large end hits the ground and the small end falls away from the thrower.

The caber is scored for accuracy as though the thrower is standing on the 6:00 mark on a clock face with a caber pointing at 12:00 considered a perfect toss. However if the caber fails to turn over and land between the 9:00 and 3:00 position then the caber will be judged based on the degrees it traveled to the vertical plane.


Heavy Events — 2 Comments

  1. I want to compete, I have never done the heavy event but really want , to is there a novice category or a place to learn.I have experience in hammer, discus and shot.

    • Hi Pat: Contact heavy event coordinator Karyn Dallimore for all your questions re: heavy events. She can be reached at:

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