Highland Games Information and Rules

This is a Scottish Highland Games amateur athletic event hosted by the Celtic Heritage Alliance of McMinnville, OR USA (“CHA”).

June 8th, 2019. Athlete registration begins at 8:15AM; competition starts at 9:00AM.
Date: June 9th, 2019. Athlete registration begins at 8:15AM; competition starts at 9:00AM.
Linfield College Campus, 900 SE Baker McMinnville, OR 97128

Pre-registration ends:
April 15th, 2019

Add to cart

Athlete Package:
Pre-Registered competitors will receive two 2-day passes to the McMinnville Scottish Festival and Highland Games (Saturday-Sunday, June 8th-9th, 2019); one official Highland Games T-Shirt for mandatory (except for late registrants) wear during competition; one lunch for each registered athlete on each day of competition. All registered athletes will be exempt from entry fees to the McMinnville Scottish Festival. All athletes must check in at Festival Gate to gain entry prior to proceeding to the athletics field. Shirts will be distributed at the Athlete’s Tent at the games field. T-Shirts will only be distributed to those that attend and compete. Late and walk-on registrants must pay their fee with cash or credit at the gate on the day of competition. Late registrants are not guaranteed an official game shirt.

Weight over Bar, Light and Heavy Weight for Distance, Light and Heavy Hammer Toss, Caber Toss, Competition Caber Toss (Challenge Caber), Sheaf Toss, Braemar and Open Stone Put. The McMinnville Scottish Festival and the CHA reserve the right to add, change, combine, or eliminate scheduled events.

Classes must have 3 or more preregistered athletes to be competed.
Scoring: Hosts will recognize the results as official marks using an aggregate calculation or “decathlon” point system to determine the best of divisional placing, and will publish said results in the NASGA national database.

Athletes must participate in all events (with the exception of the challenges), unless they become injured, in order to qualify for prizes. Prizes will be awarded to the top three athletes for each class. No refunds will be granted after May 1, 2019.

1. Competitors will wear the official 2019 McMinnville Scottish Festival Athlete T-Shirt, a Kilt, and “Highland Hose” at all times while on the athletic field.

2. Athletes should refrain from wearing any earrings, jewelry, watches, or other accessories that could cause injury. Any such wear will be at the Athlete’s own risk.

3. Competitors must compete in all events to be eligible for an overall athlete award.

4. Competitors under 18 years of age must have parent/guardian signature on this form and parent/guardian must be present during competition.

5. Athletes must be registered and present on the field before the first event begins. Athletes not present after 2 minutes must obtain permission from the Athletic Director to compete.

6. All events will be governed by the Scottish Heavy Athletics (SHA) Rules. A full copy can be found online at

7. Registered athletes are not permitted to consume alcohol during their participation in the games. If an athlete partakes of alcohol during the competition, he/she will be expelled from the competition, forfeit any refund of fees and will not be considered for scoring or prizes.

8. Athletes are expected to conduct themselves in a sportsman-like manner, including maintaining a friendly and respectful attitude towards the public, staff and other participants. Any athlete who displays poor sportsmanship or engages in inappropriate behavior may, at the Athletic Director’s discretion, be expelled from the Games and forfeit any refund of fees. Depending on severity of behavior, athlete may also be suspended from future McMinnville Scottish Festival events.

9. Decisions of the Judges and Athletic Director are final. The Judge has the ability to disqualify any competitor.

Type of Events for Athletes

  • 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.
  • Weight 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 (9.1 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.