Scottish Highland Games Webcam:
Enroll, login and access the webcam for this adventure here:

YEA Team At YEA Backyard Game Summer May 30 2020This adventure introduces you to the ancient sport of the Scottish Highland Games. Along the way, you will happily become immersed in the clans, music, dance, stories and Scottish culture.  Try it, you will like it!

What Will Be In This Adventure? When you sign up for this adventure, you will learn how to throw the 9 events featured in the Scottish Highland Games. Each event is different and all of them require a combination of strategy, balance & form, as well as strength & power.

Specifically, on this site, you will learn the following:

  • how to throw a caber, aka how to turn a caber
  • how to throw braemar stone and open stone
  • how to throw light and heavy Scottish hammerYEA Live In-Person Scottish Highland Games Practice
  • how to throw light and heavy weight for distance
  • how to throw weight over bar
  • how to do the sheaf toss

You will learn how to do these by participating in online classes, practices and clinics. Each class or clinic will feature the following:

  • work flows created from event specific exercises
  • footwork drills & unique movement patterns for the safe execution of the 9 events
  • game rules and etiquette
  • surviving and thriving on game day.

Description Of Scottish Highland Games Events

Event #1 is called the Braemar Stone.

New Batch Of Stones For Your Exercise Adventures (YEA) Scottish Highland Games

stones ready for throwing

This event is similar to Track and Field Standing Shotput throw.  Instead of putting a perfectly round metal shot, our athletes put the odd shaped, natural stone as far out in front of them as they can. The weight of the stone thrown by the men is between 22-26 lbs.  Women throw between 11-18 lbs.  The weights of both the Braemar and Open Stones are adjusted by broad age groups.

Event #2 is called the Open Stone and is lighter than the Braemar Stone. In this event, the athlete is allowed to move through the throwing box(trig) in rotations, spins or other variations. We will teach from novice level to advanced throws.  The weight of the Open Stone for men is between 16 and 22 lbs. Women throw between 8 and 12 lbs.

Joe Shepherd throwing stones

athlete Joe Shepherd throwing Braemar Stone

Maggie Rothermel learning how to throw stones

Maggie Rothermel learning how to throw stones

Degree of Difficulty:
On a scale of 1(easy) to 5(most difficult), I would give this event a 2. Every new thrower assumes that this will be the easiest throw of them all –conceptually and physically it is.  However, in order to throw great distance it is so much harder than it looks.

This throw is all about how to create energy in one part of your body, move it into the opposite part and push it through the stone. Our work flows quickly teach this concept and can also be used to increase the strength required.


Event #3 And Event #4 - Light And Heavy Weight For Distance(WFD).

Cindy Johnson - weight for distance

athlete Cindy Johnson throwing weight for distance

Joshua Peterson weight for distance

Joshua Peterson throwing weight for distance

Weight For Distance is actually 2 events – Light and Heavy. We will work with both in this class, as the heavy WFD has a different rhthym than the lighter one, making it important to have experience with both weights. The implement is a metal “ball” attached to a chain/handle that is between 12-14” long.  Both of the WFD implements are thrown for distance, measured from the end of the throwing box(trig) to where it lands.  The longest distance for either event wins in a competition.

In competition there are many different ways to throw these events, including moving down the throwing box in a series of rotations. As with the stones, we will start out at novice level and move into more complex movement patterns as you progress.

Sky Stephens throwing weight for distance

Sky Stephens throwing weight for distance

Weights for the WFD implements vary: Men 39 and under throw 28 lbs. for Light WFD and 56 lbs. for Heavy WFD. Women 39 and under throw 14 lbs. for Light WFD and 28 lbs. for Heavy WFD. Other age groups, including those under 18 years of age will throw lighter weights.

You will select the beginning weight for both implements, when building your own practice weight.  See instructions in the tab labeled "Equipment". This weight will allow you to experiment with how you are to connect with the weight, without the fear of injury.

As you get more comfortable with the movement patterns, you will want to move into a competition weight. A list of reputable vendors are listed on the "Equipment" tab.

Degree of Difficulty:

Linda M Hughes throwing weight for distance

Linda M Hughes throwing weight for distance

On a scale of 1(easy) to 5(most difficult), I would give this event a 3. Unless you are in the men’s division under 40, then I say BRAVO to you for heaving that 56# weight around!

Many throwers love the challenge of this throw, as to successfully execute it requires timing, finesse and strength. Our work flows and drills help you learn timing and to help gain the necessary strength. And when that is in place, you can cast the weight, letting it do the hard work.

When this all comes together, it is an exhilarating experience. (Yes, this is my favorite throw).


Event #5 And #6 are the Scottish Light And Heavy Hammer

Bernie Welch throws heavy hammer

Bernie Welch throws heavy hammer

Linda M Hughes throws heavy hammer

Linda M Hughes throws heavy hammer

Scottish Hammer is actually 2 events – Light and Heavy. We will work with both in this class, as the heavy WFD has a different rhthym than the lighter one, making it important to have experience with both weights. The hammer is a metal “ball” attached to a 48-52” conduit pipe. To throw, you grab the end of the long conduit handle with both hands, get it in the air and throw it in an elliptical circle around your body. After several winds, you release the hammer in the air. The distance between the trig and where it lands is measured, the longest distance wins.

Weights for the Scottish Hammer are as follows: Men throw 16 lbs. for Light Hammer and 22 lbs. for Heavy Hammer. Women throw 12 lbs. for Light WFD and 16 lbs. for Heavy WFD. Other age groups, including those under 18 years of age and over 70 may throw lighter weights.

You will select the beginning weight for both implements, when building your own practice weight.  See instructions in the tab labeled "Equipment". This weight will allow you to experiment with how you are to connect with the weight, without the fear of injury. As you get more comfortable with the movement patterns, you will want to move into a competition weight. A list of reputable vendors are listed on the "Equipment" tab.

Degree of Difficulty:
On a scale of 1(easy) to 5(most difficult), I would give this event a 4.

Throwers either love this event or tolerate it. Both Light and Heavy Hammer require extreme core strength, hip flexibility and controlling your overall body movement and timing. Because of these things, I would consider the hammer to be one of the more difficult throws.

As with the other events, we use the work flows to build the specific movement patterns and also to build the strength required. This is especially true for this event.

Joe Debrohun Throws Heavy Hammer

Joe Debrohun throws heavy hammer


The 7th Event is the famous Caber Turn.

Linda M Hughes running with caber

Linda M Hughes running with caber

Joe Shepherd turms a 201 Caber

Joe Shepherd turms a 20' Caber

Caber is Scottish Gaelic for the word “tree” and there is no other sport event like it. The purpose of the caber turn is to pick up the smaller end, take a walk or a run to gather momentum, and then flip it end over end in front of you. In the throwing area, you are the center of a clock, you will attempt to flip your caber end over end and land at 12:00 for the perfect throw. Your judge will be walking behind you and will mark and record the perfect score or any variation from it. If you are unable to flip it end over end, you will still be marked and recorded on how close you were to flipping it.

Degree of Difficulty:
On a scale of 1(easy) to 5(most difficult), this event is a 5.

There is nothing more intimidating than to put a telephone pole on your shoulder and run with it. There is nothing more exhilarating and satisfying than being able to pic, run, pull it up and flip it end over end to 12:00.

Frankie Warden Caber Turn

Frankie Warden turns the Caber

Maggie Rothermel's 1st Caber turn

Maggie Rothermel's 1st Caber turn

The safe use and care of a caber is the first thing taught to YEA students attempting this event. We have several work flows set up to teach movement patterns and to build the strength necessary to do each step in the throw sequence. Instructions are available on the "Equipment" page to either buy/make your own cabers and you will be shown how to apply the work flow to the caber.

We recommend disciplining yourself to learn how and be able to complete 4 successful turns with a caber, before moving into youir next challenge height/weight caber.

I have taught countless students ranging from 4 yr old children to 70+ men and women in how to turn the caber. Caber sizes have ranged from 2’cardboard tubes to 20’ 125 lb logs and everything in between. I look forward to teaching you how to safely turn your own cabers.

Click to see pictures from Colorado Medieval Festival 2019 Caber Clinic.


Event #8 is learning how to use a pitch fork to toss a simulated bale of hay over a bar.

Sky Stephens attempts 20'Sheaf toss

Sky Stephens attempts 20'Sheaf toss

Joe Shepherd tosses sheaf at 20;

Joe Shepherd tosses sheaf at 20;

The bar goes up after each successful toss until you can not go any higher. The competition ends when the sheaf can not be tossed any higher by any of the competitors. The sheaf is a burlap "box" stuffed with twine and the fork is an actual 2 or 3 tine pitchfork that has been modified for use in this event. The "standards" are 2 metal poles staked down securely. The crossbar rides between these 2 poles on a pulley system. The toss is executed by the thrower facing away from the crossbar, stepping out a few feet in front, gouging the sheaf through with the pitchfork and then tossing it up and over your shoulder and the bar. It's best if you don't look, as that will change the path of the sheaf. LOL. Yes, it is easier said than done.

Weights for the Sheaf are as follows: Men 39 and younger throw 20 lbs sheaves, men 40 and older throw 16 lbs. Women 39 and younger throw 12 lbs., women 40 and older throw 10 lbs. Other age groups, including those under 18 and over 70 years of age may throw lighter weight sheaf.

Degree of Difficulty: On a scale of 1(easy) to 5(most difficult), this event is a 4.

This event has a lot of moving parts and can be tricky to master. When you do master some of these, it is a lot of fun. Initially, we will focus on the safe way to throw something overhead and behind you, at the same time we show you how to see the results of your throw, when you can't look. As with every event, our work flows and drills help you learn timing and to help gain the necessary strength. And when that is in place, you can toss the sheaf quite far.

Instructions and/or a reputable vendor list are available on the "Equipment" page to either buy/make your own sheaf and fork. Instructions will also be available for you to make a one legged standard to practice with, although you may want to just throw to the air for awhile. As with caber, we recommend disciplining yourself to learn how and be able to complete 4 successful tosses at one height, before moving up to your next.


Event #9 is learning how to a weight over a bar.(WOB)

Joe DeBrohun throws a 13' WOB

Joe DeBrohun throws a 13' WOB

Sky Stephens throws a 13' WOB

Sky Stephens throws a 13' WOB

The bar goes up after each successful toss until you can not go any higher. The competition ends when the weight can not be thrown any higher over the bar. The weight is a metal ball with a single ring handle. The "standards" are 2 metal poles staked down securely. The crossbar rides between these 2 poles on a pulley system. The toss is executed by the thrower facing away from the crossbar, stepping in front of the bar, and then throwing it up and over your shoulder and the bar. It's best if you don't look, as that will change the path of the WOB. Definitely, that is easier said than done.

Weights for the WOB are as follows: Men 39 and younger throw 56 lbs, men 40 and older throw 42 lbs. Women 39 and younger throw 28 lbs., women 40 and older throw 21 lbs. Other age groups, including those under 18 and over 70 years of age may throw lighter weights.

Degree of Difficulty:
On a scale of 1(easy) to 5(most difficult), this event is a 5.
The first thing we will focus on is how to throw a heavy object overhead and behind you. Then, we will show you how to see the results of your throw, because you will be able to see the entire flight path. As with every event, our work flows and drills help you learn timing and to help gain the necessary strength. And when that is in place, you can toss the WOB quite far.

Instructions and/or a reputable vendor list are available on the "Equipment" page to either buy/make your own  pratice WOB. Instructions will also be available for you to make a one legged standard to practice with, although you may want to just throw to the air for awhile. If you have already made sheaf standards, you can use these for WOB throws as well. As with caber, we recommend disciplining yourself to learn how and be able to complete 4 successful tosses at one height, before moving up to your next.

YEA will teach groups of current and new athletes how to throw the 9 events of the Scottish Highland Games in what we call "Athlete Clinics". These are usually held in combination with games at festivals. We have been very privileged to teach these live in person clinics to small groups of new athletes in remote areas and then to follow up this training with our online classes.

Scottish Highland Games Athlete Clinic Taught By Your Exercise AdventuresWhat Happens At Each New Athlete Clinic:
This clinic is geared towards the person that wants to learn how to throw/improve each event in order to compete at a future games.

Novice level throwing is taught at the clinics. This would include: Standing throws for distance and vertical events and the 3 step caber toss. We will also review basic game etiquette, expectations and rules. The student can continue their training by enrolling in our Scottish Highland Game Adventure.

We provide all distance implements, sheafs, forks and 8' thru 14' wood cabers for use at the clinic. After enrolling in the online classes, we provide a link on how to make your own practice implements and standards. Also included will be a list of reputable vendors when these athletes are ready to move into buying their own competition weights.

If you or your organization want to bring our Athlete Clinics into your area, please contact us.


We also have had tremendous fun introducing attendees of Celtic festivals to the Scottish Highland Games events in what we call the "Spectator Clinic". We have tried combinations of things, but, the all time favorite for attendees is to try turning the famous caber.

Celtic Festival Spectator Clinic Featuring How To Throw A Caber Taught By Your Exercise AdventuresWhat Happens At Each Spectator Clinic:
Specially geared to any festival attendee that wants to try turning the mighty caber. We have cabers for the littlest little to the brawniest athlete.

We provide cardboard cabers from 18" to 8' for children as well as 8' thru 14' wood cabers for teens and adults.

We will provide coupons to all participating Spectators to enroll in our online training if they want to learn more to become a Scottish Highland Games athlete.

If you are an organization wanting to bring our clinics into your event, please contact us.

Click here for pictures of a Spectator Clinic.

Online Training Of Scottish Highland Games Events at Your Exercise Adventures

practicing athlete - Cindy Johnson

Class Time: Scottish Highland Games Adventure group training classes are offered in 2 online classes during the week, one on Sunday. The week day online classes are only offered in the early morning because we try to juggle:

  • your work schedules
  • summer mid to late day heat
  • afternoon/early evening lightning and rain storms
  • daylight savings time changes - it is dark by 4 pm in December, starts getting light by 6 am

Winter snows do not stop the YEA Team from practicing the highland games throws During winter and spring, weather may prohibit throwing. If this is the case, we will continue the classes inside and practice work flows, drills, and movement patterns only. And I have no problem shoveling snow off the practice field on Wednesday so that it will be melted off to throw by Saturday. Where there is a will, there is always a way.

Online Class Format:
The 3 online classes/week are offered on Monday, Wednesday and Sunday.  Because we know that you may be trying to fit this training into an existing work day, we offer the Monday and Wednesday classes from 6-7:00 am and 12:30-1:30 pm.  For 1 or both, this may mean that you are heading to work or are already there.  We have kept this in mind when designing the training program. 

The following will be what to expect with these 2 classes:

Joe Shepherd throwing stones

Joe Shepherd - Braemar

Linda M Hughes Hammer Throw

Linda M Hughes - hammer

Monday:
Events Covered:
Braemar, Open Stone and Light Hammer In this session, we will focus on the work flows, footwork and movement patterns required for the safe execution of these throws.  If your location and time permits, we will practice the throws with the Stones and the WFD/Hammer Combo Practice Implement.


Cindy Johnson - weight for distance

Cindy Johnson - weight for distance

Joshua Peterson weight for distance

Joshua Peterson - weight for distance

Wednesday:
Event:
Light & Heavy Weight For Distance And Light Hammer
In this session, we will focus on the work flows, footwork and movement patterns required for the safe execution of these throws.  If your location and time permits, we will practice the throws with the WFD/Hammer Combo Practice Implement.


Joe Shepherd 56 Pound Weight Over Bar

Joe Shepherd 56# Weight Over Bar

Sky Stephens 18 ft Sheaf Toss

Sky Stephens 18'   Sheaf Toss

Joe Debrohun 16 Ft Caber Turn

Joe DeBrohun 16ft Caber

Online Class Only Sunday:
Events:
Weight Over Bar, Sheaf Toss and Caber  
This 3rd class of the week is held on a weekend day, as the events require you to set up additional equipment, which will require more of your time.     
We ask that you give yourself at least 1/2 hr to set up the equipment before signing on to the class. 
The following is a breakdown of the Sunday session:

  • 9-10am - Weight Over Bar
  • 10:15-11:15 - Sheaf Toss
  • 11:30-12:30 - Caber
  • 12:45-1:45 - Review/practice on distance events taught Monday & Wednesday.

You will need to supply/install your own equipment.  Click to get details on how to do this.
RSVP for this class the night before, via the group text that you will added to when you become a member.


YEA Live In-Person Scottish Highland Games PracticeMetro Denver Live In-Person Class Only Saturday:
DUE TO COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS:
For Denver Metro athletes, their 3rd class of the week is a live in-person field practice limited to 15 people. This class will be conducted in the same manner as the online classes, for the same reasons. Covid-19 waivers, masks and social distancing are mandatory. Also required is equipment sanitization at set times during practice. YEA will supply sanitization supplies. Equipment, standards and implements are also supplied by YEA.

Click Here, if you are unable to sign up for online classes in this adventure, but, would like to attend the live in person Saturday practice.
RSVP for this class the night before, via the group text that you will added to when you become a member.

Example Of Practice AreaLocation:

Monday & Wednesday Classes:
These classes require a 12'x12'space and the work flows, footwork and movement patterns can be learned inside or outside. Many athletes practice in their basements, bedrooms, back yards, patios, decks or driveways, work gyms, areas around their work place.

Sunday Class:
You will need to practice throwing outside in a larger space. Many athletes will practice in unmaintained open spaces or bike trailheads, empty dirt lots or big back yards. Where ever you practice, make sure that you get permission and that you always stay aware of the other people who may be in the area. Do not throw towards people, sidewalks or streets. Also, YEA has adopted the slogan "leave no trace" after throwing in any space.

You will be taking full responsibility for securing/taking caro of this location, your conduct and the safety of others when throwing at this location.

Metro Denver Live In-Person Saturday Class:
You will be given address/directions to field when you become a member.

Technology Required For YEA ClassesTechnology:
Internet connection is required. This is not supplied to athletes by YEA.

Currently, all YEA athletes take the classes through their smartphones, tablets or through laptops. Plan on having a secure method to support your device - tripod, tabletop, etc.- to allow you to step away to try the movements being taught.

At the present time we are using the 3rd party video conferencing software:
https://whereby.com/.
You will be able to sign up for a free account with them and then log right into the webcam of your class.

Other things to consider having available for these sessions:

  • charger & power chord
  • a camp chair
  • an unbrella
  • water
  • snacks

Implements and equipment of the Scottish Highland GamesIn the Scottish Highland Games, the things you will be throwing are called "implements".

When you are first starting out, we recommend that you use practice implements.

Practice implements will be a lower weight than a competition weight, so that you can practice technique and footwork without injury. Practicing with the lower weight will allow you to feel how weight will change the timing of the throws.

We recommend that you always start with the practice implements, keeping them on hand to experiment with, even after you have moved into the official competition implements.

The other benefit of having practice implements is that you can make them yourself, with inexpensive supplies and very few tools.

After becoming a member, return here and click the link below for instructions on making the implements and height event standards. Also included will be how to buy or make a caber. And we will be a phone call away if you need help to assemble these items.

How To Make Your Own Practice Implements And Standards:
You must be a member of YEA to access these instructions:

When you are ready to move into the competition implements, please check out the following list of vendors:

Blog Posts About The Scottish Highland Games

Classes And Practices:

Clinics:

    Events:

    Equipment And Implements:

      Total Blog Posts Related To The Scottish Highland Games Adventure: