Ancient Athletics

Ancient Athletics

You don’t have to be of Scottish descent to compete. Anyone of any race or religion can compete to celebrate and continue the Celtic tradition of the highland games. We encourage anyone to sign up and give it a go.

Only rule we have is you have to wear a kilt :-)

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  • In Saline, the athletes are divided into several classes to keep the competition competitive with similar skill levels:

    • Men’s amateur Class

    • Men’s Master Class - Ages 40+

    • Men’s Master Class - Ages 50+

    • Junior Class - Age 13-17

    • First Time Thrower Class

    • Women’s Amateur Class

    • Women’s Master Class - Age 40+

    • Men’s Lightweight Class - Men under 200# 

    • Who can compete? 

  • What events are being held at Saline:

    • Braemar Stone - 22# for men and 12# for women. Is a stone that is thrown without any forward movement. After 3 tries, the athlete with the furthest toss is the winner

    • Open Stone - 16# for men and 8# for women. Is a stone that is tossed by forward movement by spinning or gliding. After 3 tries, the athlete with the furthest toss is the winner

    • Heavy Weight for Distance - 56# for men and 28# for women. Is a weight on a chain that is thrown with one hand for distance. After 3 tries, the athlete with the furthest toss is the winner. 

    • Light Weight for Distance - 28# for men and 14# for women. Is a weight on a chain that is thrown with one hand for distance. After 3 tries, the athlete with the furthest toss is the winner. The stronger athletes can throw this weight around 85 feet.

    • Weight Over Bar - 56# for men and 28# for women. Is a weight with a ring on it that is thrown one handed over a bar for height. Each time the athlete makes it over the bar, the bar is raised until there is one athlete left. 

    • Sheaf Toss - 20# for men and 10# for women. Is a burlap shack (resembling a hay bale) that is tossed with a pitch over a bar for height. Each time the athlete makes it over the bar, the bar is raised until there is one athlete left. The stronger athletes can toss the sheaf over 30 feet

    • Heavy Hammer - 22# for men and 16# for women. Is a metal ball on the end of a stick that is thrown for distance. The athlete has his back facing the field and spins the hammer over his head until maximum speed is reached and then released. After 3 tries, the athlete with the furthest toss is the winner. The stronger athletes can toss the hammer over 115 feet.

    • Light Hammer - 16# for men and 12# for men. Is a metal ball on the end of a stick that is thrown for distance. The athlete has his back facing the field and spins the hammer over his head until maximum speed is reached and then released. After 3 tries, the athlete with the furthest toss is the winner.

    • Caber Toss - The Caber toss is considered the signature event of the Heavy Events. The Caber is generally a log measuring about 16-20 feet long and weighing approximately 100-150 lbs. The caber toss is an accuracy event. The goal is to flip the caber and have it land at a 12:00 o’clock position while the athlete stands at a 6:00 o’clock position. ​

  • Why are we looking forward to SCF? You will see athletes from all across the midwest at this festival. We will have athletes from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri and Wisconsin who come to take part in this awesome venue. I want to recognize two local athletes that people should come out and support. 

    • We have a first time female thrower named Tara Chippew from Romulus, MI. She just got into this sport a few weeks ago but has been strength training and throwing shot-put since 2020.  She got into the sport by watching the highland games and seeing them at various festivals. “As I got older I got more curious about my family history, then I really wanted to see someone with my family tartan compete. It took me a while to realize that I didn't need to wait to see someone compete, it could be me competing in my family's tartan.” What does she like about it? “ I love the camaraderie with highland games, it seems even across the planet it's really just one big community. Favorite event? “It's hard to pick between the hammer and caber, but I will have to say the caber. It's challenging, it looks insane and there's nothing else like it. I love getting to say I got the throw trees today!”

    • We also have Eric Spence from Bay City, MI. Eric has been throwing for 7 years and is ranked #11 in the United States last year. Eric got into the games from a pro thrower. What does he like about the sport? “I really enjoy throwing heavy things and I love the people involved.” What’s his favorite event? “Sheaf or caber because they are completely unique to the Highland Games.

  • Saline has always been popular with the athlete’s families. There is tons of stuff to keep the kids busy and things to look at and enjoy. Some athletes make this event their family vacation.