The Highland Games: The Manliest Scottish Export (Part 2)

More Highland Games events aka Badassery Part 2

Weight Over the Bar

Another variation of a hammer throw. Us Scots sure love throwing hammers huh. Rather than measuring horizontal distance thrown however, this one measures how high you can throw it over a bar. Sort of like a high jump, except it’s a fucking metal weight! No doubt Scottish warriors used it to lob heavy rocks over enemy fortifications to crush the heads of the oppressors. Also, I made that up entirely.

In the Highland games there are two separate categories for this event, the light weight and heavy weight. For males, the light weight weighs 2 stone (28lbs) for males and 1 stone (14lbs) for females. The heavy weight stones are double that of the light weight.

Oh, and you think you can use two hands for this? Think again, bitch! You can only use one hand for this throw motherfucker! Better take your whey protein, fool! The guy below may be throwing a weight, or summoning the Gods of Thunder.


Sheaf Toss

Some say this isn’t a real Highland Games event. Well, some people love to eat feces too. The sheaf is a bundle of straw (the sheaf) weighing 9kg (20 pounds)  for the men and 4.5kg (10 pounds) for the women. The sheaf is wrapped in a burlap bag is tossed vertically with a pitchfork over a raised bar much like that used in pole vaulting. The progression and scoring of this event is similar to the Weight Over The Bar.

Again, some say this is a ‘country fair’ event, rather than a true Highland Games event, but I say HOW MANY ATHLETIC EVENTS ALLOW YOU TO USE A FUCKING PITCHFORK? HUH?! HOW MANY? THAT’S RIGHT.



Maide Leisg

Remember when you and your sibling were sitting at the couch watching TV and you decided to put the soles of your feet together and push? Well guess what? We made it into a real event bitch! That’s right, in Maide Leisg, which means ‘Lazy Stick’ in Scots Gaelic. In addition to pressing the soles of your feet of each other, both contestants grab a stick positioned over the middle and pull until one of them (the loser), gets his arse lifted off the ground.

Dirty tactics for this event consists of glancing underneath your opponent’s kilt and saying “You’re not wearing any underwear, bro!” And when he’s distracted, just yank his arse off the ground!

Well, that sums up the ‘standard’ Highland Games events. Basically a collection of fun and cool feats of strength and power. Interestingly, many school track and field athletes use the Highland Games as a way to continue their athletic career, maybe on a recreational basis, after they have graduated from school or college.


Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream.

Of course, I would be remiss to mention all the throwing of heavy shit around without mentioning the….

Music and Bagpipes!

Love them or hate them, when there’s Scots, there’s bagpipes. Normally done at the beginning and closing ceremonies of the games, as many as 20 or more pipe bands will march and play together, either playing Scotland the Brave or Amazing Grace.

In addition to the massed bands,  nearly all Highland games gatherings feature a wide range of piping and drumming competition, including solo piping and drumming, small group ensembles and, of course, the pipe bands themselves.


The British imperialists used to fear this sound….

In the next post, we will take a look at another athletic sport of badassery: Gaelic Wrestling! Stay tuned, folks!

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