Heavy Events

  Junior Heavy Events 1000 hrs    (approx times)

  Local  Heavy Events  1030 hrs

  Open Heavy Events  1230 hrs


Traditionally the first event of the Heavyweight programme, this was originally a smooth stone from the riverbed, sometimes shaped by a local mason. The stones used to vary greatly in shape and weight, particularly those used for tests of strength, where stones up to 265 lbs in weight were used! Now the stone is either I61bs or 22lbs. The weight is putt (delivered) with one hand only from in front of the shoulders. A run not exceeding T6* from the trig is allowed.


This event represents an old contest where young locals would compete to see who could throw the blacksmith's heavy sledgehammer the furthest. The sphere of the hammer, now weighs either I61bs or 22lbs and, unlike the Olympic hammer, the Scots hammer has a wooden shaft measuring 4'6" long overall. No turning is allowed. The thrower stands with his back to the trig and takes a good grip with the aid of 6" spikes which protrude from the front of his boots. The hammer is swung round the head to gather momentum and then released. The hammer should fly off straight behind the thrower! It requires strength and good timing.


This is the most graceful of the heavy events, combining rhythm with power. The weight is an iron sphere of 28lbs on a chain with a handle on the end, which measures 18" overall. It is delivered from behind the trig, with a run up not exceeding 9 feet. The thrower swings the weight to the side, then round behind him, letting the weight drag as far as he can. He then waltzes round once, twice and on the third turn, he heaves the weight round and throws it as far as he can. The main problem here is for the thrower, having gathered up so much speed in turning, to stop at the trig!


The most spectacular of the heavy events involves a tree trunk weighing perhaps 15Olbs, about 18 feet long and tapering from about 9" thick at one end to about 5" at the other. The competitor lifts the caber by placing his interlocked hands under the narrower end, resting its length against his shoulder, he then runs as fast as he can, stops dead and tosses the end he holds up in the air so that the heavy end lands on the ground and the light end passes over it and lands pointing away from him. There is an erroneous belief that the winner is the competitor who tosses the caber furthest, whereas it is in fact the one who tosses it straightest. The Competition is judged with the aid on an imaginary clock face. The competitor delivers his throw at 6 o'clock. He tosses the caber so that it lands in the centre of the dial. A perfect throw is one which goes straight over, with the light end landing at 12 o'clock precisely.


The weight is 561bs with a ring attached. Like the high jump, each competitor has three attempts at each height. Great strength is required although this is belied by the nonchalant attitude adopted by most competitors. Thrown correctly, the weight narrowly misses the competitor on the way down. If it is thrown wrongly, the competitor may have to look lively in order to avoid being hit! The weight is equivalent to half a bag of coal, yet as you will see our Ground Record stands at 15ft 9" — like throwing a seven year old over a double decker bus!

Prize money will be doubled for any record broken.


Pitlochry Highland Games Secretary: Alice McCormick | Tel: 07724 337938 | Email: secretary@pitlochryhighlandgames.co.uk | Privacy Policy

Registered as a Scottish Charity under Scottish Charity Number SC041070

Thanks to Bill Robertson, Colin Liddell and David Brown for the photographs.