SHINTY - Scotland's Oldest Team Sport

Monty Python�s John Cleese called it �Scottish Kamikaze Hockey.� He was referring to Shinty, of course, an ancient Scottish sport that has been played in the Highlands for 2000 years.

Shinty (also called camanachd or iomain in Scots Gaelic) is a stick and ball game, a cousin of Field Hockey and Hurling, and an ancestor of Golf and Ice Hockey. Shinty is older than kilts by far, and this most Gaelic of sports featured in tales of the mythological heroes Cuchullin and Fionn MacCumhaill. Warriors played shinty as part of their training, but the sport also had a social aspect as part of New Year�s celebrations throughout the Highlands.

The modern game is played on a large field (170 yards long by 80 yards wide!) by two teams of twelve players each. Camans (hooked/curved sticks with a triangular cross section) are used to strike the ball, either in the air or on the ground, with the intention of scoring goals. Players may not kick the ball or use their hands, only the goal-keeper may use an open handed slap or stop. Shinty is also played in a six-a-side format, which is what will be on display this weekend.

The Northern Californians will be joined by players from Oregon/Willamette and Central California Camanachd clubs, competing for the Michael Kosman Memorial Cup, named after a local shinty player who passed away in July 2012.

Northern California Camanachd (NCC), founded in 2001, is the first modern era Shinty club in the US. Through ties with the Blair Oliphant family and the Pleasanton-Blairgowrie-Fergus Sister City Organization, the NCC participated in the first US-Scotland Shinty matches during a visit to the Blairgowrie Highland Games in September 2005. In fact the club has traveled to Scotland in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2011 playing in Blairgowrie, Musselburgh, Kiltarlity, and on the islands of Skye and Lewis. In 2013-2015 the Californians led a team back to Scotland, playing in international matches and participating in the St. Andrews Sixes Tournament

This year the Northern Californians will once again be welcoming players from Oregon/Willamette and Central California Camanachd clubs, competing for the Michael Kosman Memorial Cup, named after a local shinty player who passed away in July 2012.

NCC holds regular coed practices in the Bay Area and welcomes new players to learn this great sport. For further information and schedule details please visit our information table and/or visit our website Click Here.

RUGBY - A Brief History

It is said, In 1823, during a game of soccer at Rugby School in England, 16 year old William Webb Ellis picked up the ball and ran with it towards his opponents' goal line. The reaction of his fellow players or any officials is not recorded; but the advantages of playing the game in this natural fashion were obvious to Ellis's schoolmates who followed his example. And so the game of rugby was born.

Today, rugby is one of the most popular sports in the world. It is also one of the fastest growing sports in the USA. There are two versions of Rugby Union, 15 players per side and the much faster 7's which have 7 players a side. The 7 a side game originated in 1883 in Melrose, Scotland, where the Melrose Sevens tournament is still played annually. The game is popular at all levels, and is now recognized as an Olympic sport in 2016!

Rugby is truly an international sport, second only to soccer, with more than 100 countries worldwide competing at all levels. Most of all, Rugby is team work and camaraderie. Camaraderie not just among teammates, but with the competition as well, singing songs and sharing a meal at the after match functions. There is no other sport in the world quite like rugby, and that is why it is so popular. Come join us!