HEAVY ATHLETICS

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One of the strangest and most ancient games of Bonny Scotland is throwing the caber, than which there is probably no more severe test of muscle and skill. The game has been played by the hardy Scots since the earliest times and is still one of the most featured events on the programs of all athletic contests. The caber is a long section of tree trunk, tapered so that it is noticeably smaller at one end than at the other. The man who essays to test his strength by tossing it raises the pole to a vertical position in his hands, smaller end down, and then throws it into the air and away from him. He must make the large end of the pole hit the ground and the pole fall in such a way that the small end will describe a half circle.
     The prize goes to the man whose caber, having been thrown in the manner described, lands on the ground with its small end farthest away from the throwing point. Considerable skill is required to make the throw, as well as considerable strength. The caber is likely to fall over sideways instead of straight forward when the large end hits the ground, or it is likely to fall at an angle or even fall back the way it has come. Therefore, everything else being equal, the longest throw is always that which causes the caber to fall straight away
     The "Putting of the Stone" is the same as the Olympic Shot Put except that a smooth rounded stone weighing just over 17 lbs for the men and 11.6 lbs for the women. Then stone is delivered from behind a 6" high x 4'-6" long trig (toeboard) and must be put from in front of the shoulder using one hand only. The throwing area allows a 7'-6" run-up and each competitor is allowed three attempts-the best one to count. Measurement is made from the point on the trig where the throw is made to the nearest break in the ground where the stone lands. touching the top of the trig, or the ground beyond the trig, is a foul.
     The "Weight for Distance" is an event where the weights are of metal with a chain and ring handle attached. The total weight of the implement includes the handle is 18" in overall length. The range of weights covers light and heavy weights for women, men and masters classes. The weight is thrown one-handed from behind the same trig as in Putting the Stone, but with a 9 foot run-up allowed. Any style may be used, but the most efficient is to spin like a discus thrower. Touching the top of the trig or any other part of the ground beyond the trig is a foul, whether the weight has been thrown or not. then competitor must still be standing after throwing the weight! Number of throws and measurements is the same for the Stone Putts.
     The Weight for Height is a block or ball weight to which a ring handle is attached. It has a total weight of 28, 42 or 56 lbs. depending on the class of the thrower. The objective is to throw the weight up and over a bar similar to that used in pole vaulting. The competitor is only allowed to use one hand. The starting height of the bar is the lowest requested by the athletes. Competitors may pass until the bar reaches the height where they wish to enter the competition. Once they start to throw, they must compete each time the bar is raised. Each competitor is allowed three attempts to clear the bar at each height. If the weight touches the bar on its way over, but does not dislodge the bar, it is considered a successful throw. If two or more competitors fail at the same height, then the one with fewer misses at the revious height is considered the winner.
     The Scottish Hammer is round and made of metal. The handle or shaft is made of cane. Then overall length is 50" and the weight is either 12, 16, or 22 lbs. The hammer is thrown standing style with the thrower's facing away from the throwing area. Thrower's usually take the hammer three times around their heads, before releasing it. First, they make sure their feet are firmly planted on the round, sometimes using blades dug in the ground. Under Scottish rules, their feet must not move until after the hammer is released. The number of throws, measurements and foul rules are the same as the Weights for Distance.



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History of Heavy Athletics

Bill Anderson
1976
John Ross
1975
Brian Oldfield
1975
Al Jongewaard
1962