Inveraray Highland Games

Entries on the day

Heavy Events

World Caber Championships

We are delighted that this year Inveraray is again hosting the World Caber Championships, kindly sponsored by the George Hotel, Inveraray. This is a highly prestigious event in the Games calendar and attracts the highest calibre of athletes from all over the world – as far afield as Australia, USA, Canada, etc – not forgetting our own home grown talent.

The winner is presented with the Royal Scottish Highland Games Association Medal. It is a true test of skill and physical prowess as the caber at the World Championships is one of the biggest, if not the biggest on the circuit, measuring over 20 feet and weighing in at over 140lbs.

The caber is scored for accuracy as though the thrower is facing the 12:00 position on a clock face. A judge behind the thrower calls how close to the 12:00 position the small end of the caber lands, 12:00 being a perfect toss.

Putting the Shot or Stone

By tradition a smooth, round stone from the riverbed is used, weighing approx. 16lbs.

The stone, and now also a cast ball or shot, is putted from behind a straight stick 4’6’’ long and 6’ high called a trig. The throw is measured from the centre of the trig to the first mark made by the stone. The stone being used today is from the River Aray.

Weight for Distance

The weight is a ball and chain with a handle on the end weighing 28lbs or 56lbs. Nine feet is allowed for stepping back. The thrower stands facing the trig, swings the weight to the side and then round behind him. On the third pivot the thrower heaves the weight round and throws it as far as he can.

Hammer Throwing

The Scots Hammer had a wooden shaft and developed from throwing the blacksmith’s hammer or farm mallet. Today’s hammer with its round head and whippy shaft was developed because the standard hammer broke so easily. Today the shaft of the hammer is made from Molakin cane. The thrower stands with his back to the trig and digs in with the aid of two 6’’ spikes which protrude from the front of his boots. The shaft is grasped firmly with hands made sticky with resin. He then swings the hammer round his head 3-4 times and lets go.

Weight over the Bar

This weighs 56lbs and is thrown over a bar. Three attempts are allowed at each height and failure to clear leads to elimination. The competitor stands underneath the bar, picks up the weight with one hand, swings it between his legs and then heaves it up and over the bar – hoping the weight misses him on the way down!

Please note all timings are approximate and subject to change
11:30Putting 16lb Ball
12:00Putting 27lb Stone
12:30Throwing 28lb Weight for Distance
13:00Throwing the 16lb Hammer
13:45Throwing the 22lb Hammer
14:30Throwing 56lb weight for Distance
15:00Qualifying Caber
15:30Tossing the Caber
16:00Throwing the 56lb weight over the Bar

Track & Field Events


The rules of Scottish Backhold wrestling are simple and easy to understand, the opponents shake hands, when they do this the referee checks his watch as only thirty seconds are permitted to take a hold. Once both wrestlers have joined hands the referee shouts ’’hold’’ and the bout commences. Should any wrestler break his hold, he loses that fall, and in any case the first to touch the ground loses. If both land together it is called a ‘’dog fall’’ and they start again.

Bouts are either best of three or best of five falls, but finals are always best of five. Some historians think that the reason why the right arm is always placed under the left is because in an ancient battle if a man swung a sword or axe at you and missed, the defender would trap his sword arm, trip him then finish him off on the ground. Nowadays much is said about Oriental ‘martial arts’ which are often not very practical, but Backhold was one of the martial arts of the Vikings and in its day a very necessary skill to help ensure survival on the battlefield.

Rob Roy MacGregor was not only a skilled swordsman who had won many duels, he was also a formidable wrestler. Often after he has sold his cattle at a Tryst, he would have a few drams in a local howff, then celebrate his sale by challenging anyone to wrestle, and there was always someone bold enough to accept his challenge.

The competitors at highland gatherings are usually very aware of the traditions and history of their sports. They also know that the modern Olympic Games were inspired by the sporting events and ideals which were exported from Scotland during the 18th and 19th centuries; wherever we Scots travelled we took our ancient sporting customs with us.

High Jump

Long Jump

Triple Jump

90 Metre Race

200 Metre Race

400 Metre Race

1600 Metre Race

3200 Metre Race


800 Metre Race – Handicap

1600 Metre Race – Handicap

3200 Metre Race – Handicap

De’il Tak the Hindmost

Please note all timings are approximate and subject to change
10:45High Jump 11-15 years
11:1590m - Open heats 
11:0090m Local Final 
11:3090m 11-15 years
11:4590m - Open Final 
11:55800m Cycle Race 
12:00High Jump Local 
12:00High Jump Open 
12:05800m - Open Handicap 
12:25200m - Local 
12:35200m - Open Handicap 
12:45Shot Putt 11-15 years
12:501600m Cycle Race 
13:001600m Open Handicap 
13:15Children's Racesunder 6, 8, 10, 12 to 14
13:30Long Jump Local  
13:30600m 11-15 years
13:30Long Jump Open 
13:451600m Ladies Handicap 
14:003200m Cycle Race 
14:10Triple Jump Local 
14:10Triple Jump Open 
14:153200m- Open Handicap 
14:40Long Jump 11-15 years
14:451600m - Local 
15:00Di'el Take the Hindmost Cycle Race 
15:15400m Open Handicap 
15:30400m - Local 

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