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Thread: Highland Games

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    Highland Games

    Have you ever watched Highland Games? Or are you a contestants in one of the games?

    Colourful, exciting, competitive, memorable, world famous - just a few of the words that sum up the fun of Scottish Highland Games. From the skill and agility of the heavies, the colourful and proud massed pipebands, and the traditional flair of the highland dancers, this is a historic spectacle not to be missed. The traditional events held at most Games are Heavyweight events, Highland Dancing, Solo Piping, Pipe Bands, Tug of War, Wrestling and Light Field events.

    Although quite a range of events can be a part of the Highland athletics competition, a few have become standard.

    caber toss: a long tapered wooden pole or log is stood upright and hoisted by the competitor who balances it vertically holding the smaller end in his hands. Then the competitor attempts to toss it, turning it end over end in such a way that, first, the upper (larger) end will strike the ground (see photo) and then, following that, the smaller end, originally held by the athlete, will follow through and in turn strike the ground in the 12 o'clock position measured relative to the point (considered at the 6 o'clock position) at which the caber was released. If successful, the athlete is said to have turned the caber. Cabers vary in length and weight, both factors increasing the difficulty of a successful toss. Competitors are judged on the accuracy of their throws.

    Stone toss: sometimes called the Clachneart or "Stone of Strength", is similar to the modern-day shot put as seen in the Olympic Games. However, instead of a steel ball, a large stone, of variable weight (somewhere between 16 and 28 pounds), is used. There are also some differences from the Olympic shot put in allowable techniques.

    Scottish hammer throw: this event is similar to the hammer throw as seen in modern-day track and field competitions, though with some differences. In the Scottish event, a round metal ball weighing 16 or 22 pounds is attached to the end of a cane shaft about 4 feet in length. It is whirled about one's head and thrown for distance.
    Weight throw, also known as the weight for distance event. Actually, there are two separate events, one using a light (28 pound) and the other a heavy (56 pound) weight. The weights, made of metal, have an attached chain or handle and are thrown one handed. The longest toss wins.

    Weight over the bar, also know as weight for height. The athletes attempt to toss a 56 pound weight with an attached handle over a horizontal bar using only one hand.

    Sheaf toss: A bundle of straw (the sheaf) weighing 20 pounds (9 kg) for the the men or 10 pounds (4.5 kg) for the women and wrapped in a burlap bag is tossed vertically with a pitchfork over a raised bar much like that used in pole vaulting.

    Highland Games Links
    Die Intellektuellen von heute versuchen, den Nationalismus als eine Sünde gegen die Menschlichkeit zu brandmarken. Sie versuchen, uns glauben zu machen, daß dem Wort Nationalismus eine Infamie anhängt. Aber sie verkennen, daß der Geist des Nationalismus aus der schöpferischen Tiefe der menschlichen Seele stammt. Daß er aufsteigt von dort als das gewaltige Verlangen der Menschen, frei zu sein, frei von fremder Herrschaft, und sich nach eigener Art selber zu regieren! Herbert Hoover

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    I recently attended the local Highland games to hear some pipes, see some beautiful dancers, and watch the games themselves. A great day outdoors and wonderful fun for those of us with Scottish blood.

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    Hello Ryan! First of all welcome on tNP!-smil

    I have no Scottish blood but I´m very interested in Celtic culture and sports.


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    Die Intellektuellen von heute versuchen, den Nationalismus als eine Sünde gegen die Menschlichkeit zu brandmarken. Sie versuchen, uns glauben zu machen, daß dem Wort Nationalismus eine Infamie anhängt. Aber sie verkennen, daß der Geist des Nationalismus aus der schöpferischen Tiefe der menschlichen Seele stammt. Daß er aufsteigt von dort als das gewaltige Verlangen der Menschen, frei zu sein, frei von fremder Herrschaft, und sich nach eigener Art selber zu regieren! Herbert Hoover

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan
    I recently attended the local Highland games to hear some pipes, see some beautiful dancers, and watch the games themselves.

    That must be amazing.

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    I do consider myself very fortunate to live where I do, the Eastern Coast is a wonderful place.

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    Stig NHF
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    Bagpipes is just such a powerful ethnic instrument IMO.

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    "On 25 September 1915 near Loos and Hill 70, France, prior to an assault on enemy trenches and during the worst of the bombardment, Piper Laidlaw, seeing that his company was shaken with the effects of gas, with complete disregard for danger, mounted the parapet and, marching up and down, played his company out of the trench. The effect of his splendid example was immediate and the company dashed to the assault. Piper Laidlaw continued playing his pipes even after he was wounded and until the position was won."



    They most certainly are.

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    Ah, such a great story. Never heard about that before, but I don't doubt it for a second. Its a very powerful instrument as I said.

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    The Highland Games are very interesting to watch. I wouldn't mind trying my hand at some of the events, either. We had a small local competition a couple of weeks ago. There is a small local club that is going to have an annual event. They also had some of the strong man events such as Conan's wheel and setting a stone on a pedestal. There were even a couple of girls competing. :
    Don't let Europe Rule Britannia!

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    Volkert Volkertsen
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    I've been to the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games in North Carolina several times.

    I was in my school's Highlander Corps, and one summer they awarded three of us a scholarship to spend two weeks at the North American Academy of Piping. The games at Grandfather Mountain, very near the academy, were on the intervening weekend, so we attended.

    I liked it so much that I keep going back.


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