There are few things as intense as Scottish Heavy Athletics, and the Las Vegas Highland Games is happy to announce what promises to be our biggest competition yet! 


Contact us at: athletics@lasvegascelticsociety.org

Notes on contest:

Las Vegas Highland Games Heavy Athletics: April 13-14, 2019 at 9:00am


Saturday (April 13, 2019) -  Men’s IHGF A Qualifier, Mens C, Men’s < 200, Women’s Masters, Womens < 150, Men’s Masters

Sunday (April 14, 2019) - Women’s A IHGF Qualifier, Women’s Open, Women’s Novice, Men’s B, Men’s Novice, Juniors 14-17


Registration fee to compete: $35 (includes games t-shirt, two (2) tickets to the Las Vegas Highland Games).

Any athletes registering the day of competition must register by 8:45am and pay to enter the Highland Games venue. If space is available, the athlete must then pay $30 to compete and will receive an additional ticket.

After March 31, athlete registrations will be accepted based on space available as determined by the Heavy Athletics Committee. Any athlete who would like to register after March 31 must email Athletic Director Jacob Darling at athletics@lasvegascelticsociety.org.

Only completed applications received on or before March 25, 2019 will be guaranteed a games shirt.


Classes will be limited to thirteen (13) athletes.

A class must have a minimum of four (4) athletes. If there are fewer than four (4)                                                                                  athletes in a class by March 31st, 2019, the class will be eliminated or combined with another class at the discretion of the Heavy Athletics Committee.

Scoring & Awards:

If there is a minimum of five (5) athletes, awards will be presented to places 1st through 3rd.

If there are less than five (5) athletes in a class, only 1st place will be awarded.

Competition will be conducted in accordance to SHA rules.

Decathlon scoring will NOT be used.

Athletes must participate in all events to qualify for an award. All athletes will be scored on the following events: Open Stone, Braemar Stone, Heavy Hammer, Light Hammers, Heavy Weight for Distance, Light Weight for Distance, Caber, Weight Over Bar, and Sheaf. Novice classes will not compete in sheaf.

Spinning will be allowed for height events if the Head Judge and specific class Judge deem it safe.

Events may be eliminated because of time constraints at the Athletic Director’s discretion.

Competition Day Information:

Athlete Will Call opens at 7 a.m. and closes at 9 a.m.. Athletes must obtain their ticket to enter through Will Call at the EAST GATE ONLY. All athletes will receive two tickets for the weekend at Will Call. YOU MUST HAVE A TICKET TO GAIN ACCESS IN THE GATE.

To gain access after 9 a.m., the athlete must purchase an event ticket at the gate but may be reimbursed by the Athletic Director. Go to the Heavy Athletics tent for reimbursement.

Athletes must check in anytime from 7:30 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. on the day of competition at the Heavy Athletics tent located east of the bleachers and south of the field.

Men < 200 and Women < 150 must weigh in between 7:30 a.m. and 8:45 a.m. on Saturday morning in the Heavy Athletics tent.

There will be a judges’ meeting at 8:30 a.m..

Athletes’ meeting will be held at 9:00 a.m.. Competition starts promptly after this meeting.

All athletes must wear a kilt (with undergarments) during competition.

Competing in the Las Vegas Highland Games shirt provided at check-in is strongly encouraged.

For questions about Heavy Athletics, please contact our Athletics Chair at athletics@lasvegascelticsociety.org

In their original form many centuries ago, Highland games revolved around athletic and sports competitions. Though other activities were always a part of the festivities, many today still consider Highland athletics to be what the games are all about—in short, that the athletics are the Games, and all the other activities are just entertainment. Regardless, it remains true today that the athletic competitions are at least an integral part of the events and one—the caber toss—has come to almost symbolize the Highland games.

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

  • Caber toss: A long log is stood upright and hoisted by the competitor who balances it vertically holding the smaller end in his hands (see photo). Then the competitor runs forward attempting to toss it in such a way that it turns end over end with the upper (larger) end striking the ground first. The smaller end that was originally held by the athlete then hits the ground in the 12 o'clock position measured relative to the direction of the run. If successful, the athlete is said to have turned the caber. Cabers vary greatly in length, weight, taper, and balance, all of which affect the degree of difficulty in making a successful toss. Competitors are judged on how closely their throws approximate the ideal 12 o'clock toss on an imaginary clock.

  • Stone put: This event is similar to the modern-day shot put as seen in the Olympic Games. Instead of a steel shot, a large stone of variable weight is often used. There are also some differences from the Olympic shot put in allowable techniques. There are two versions of the stone toss events, differing in allowable technique. The "Braemar Stone" uses a 20–26 lb stone for men (13–18 lb for women) and does not allow any run up to the toeboard or "trig" to deliver the stone, i.e., it is a standing put. In the "Open Stone" using a 16–22 lb stone for men (or 8–12 lb for women), the thrower is allowed to use any throwing style so long as the stone is put with one hand with the stone resting cradled in the neck until the moment of release. Most athletes in the open stone event use either the "glide" or the "spin" 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 lb for men or 12 or 16 lb for women) is attached to the end of a shaft about 4 feet in length and made out of wood, bamboo, rattan, or plastic. With the feet in a fixed position, the hammer is whirled about one's head and thrown for distance over the shoulder. Hammer throwers sometimes employ specially designed footwear with flat blades to dig into the turf to maintain their balance and resist the centrifugal forces of the implement as it is whirled about the head. This substantially increases the distance attainable in the throw.

  • Weight throw, also known as the weight for distance event. There are actually two separate events, one using a light (28 lb for men and 14 lb for women) and the other a heavy (56 lb for men, 42 lb for masters men, and 28 lb for women) weight. The weights are made of metal and have a handle attached either directly or by means of a chain. The implement is thrown using one hand only, but otherwise using any technique. Usually a spinning technique is employed. The longest throw wins.

  • Weight over the bar, also known as weight for height. The athletes attempt to toss a 56-pound (4-stone) weight with an attached handle over a horizontal bar using only one hand. Each athlete is allowed three attempts at each height. Successful clearance of the height allows the athlete to advance into the next round at a greater height. The competition is determined by the highest successful toss with fewest misses being used to break tie scores.

  • Sheaf toss: A bundle of straw (the sheaf) weighing 20 pounds (9 kg) for the men and 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. The progression and scoring of this event is similar to the Weight Over The Bar. There is significant debate among athletes as to whether the sheaf toss is in fact an authentic Highland event. Some argue it is actually a country fair event, but all agree that it is a great crowd pleaser.