The Highland Games, also known as the Scottish Games, is an event that is held each summer in Scotland as well as in those countries that happen to have a big Scottish diaspora such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States. They are held in order to celebrate being Scottish and are attended by thousands and thousands of people who are proud of their Scottish ancestry. Below we are going to take a look at the history of this event. Betting on the Games However, before we take a look at the history of this event, we think it is prudent to inform you that you will be able to place bets on who you think will win a particular event or who you think will lift the prestigious trophy at the end of the tournament. The Scots have always loved a little gamble, so it really can come as no surprise to find out that there is plenty that you can place your money on when you are watching full grown men try to prove just how Scottish they are. The Scots are also well known for liking their alcohol, so you should also not be surprised to hear that there is plenty of whiskey and beer available when the games are taking place. If you are a gambling man, be sure not to get too drunk or you might just end up placing a bet that you will come to deeply regret. The History of the Highland Games Historians do not really know why the Highland Games came into being, but they firmly believe that these games were used as a means to find the strongest men to go into battle and to determine which man will be best to be the leader of a household. The first reference in literature to the Highland Games dates all the way back to when King Malcolm III was ruling Scotland during the 11th century. He organized a race to the top of Craig Choinnich and it is believed that he was doing this as a means to find someone to be his royal courier. In 1314, the Ceres Games were held in Fife after Robert the Bruce allowed a fair to be held in order to honor the clansmen and villagers who fought in the Battle of Bannockburn. These games are the oldest Highland Games in the country and still take place to this very day. In the 18th century, the Lord of Clan Grant summoned a number of clan members, asking them to bring guns, swords, and dirk, which is a clear indicator that they were going to be attending an event where they had to show off their weapon skills. In 1838, the Queen of England visited the Braemar Highland Games for the very first time. She gave the game her seal of approval which increased their popularity and led to the Highland Games being established as a Scottish Tradition. Queen Elizabeth II, the current Queen of England, attends these games quite regularly
Playing games is a good way to have fun and transfer information from one person to another. The Games in Scotland are one of such games used to transfer information about history to the next generation. These games have various links to the different aspects of the Scottish history. The event is now held as an annual event in the summer. It is now known as the “highland games.” This game is governed by the Scottish Games Authority (SGA). The Scottish Games Association The SGA is the governing body of the highland games. It represents over 60 Highland Games in Scotland. It is also affiliated with overseas members in Canada, Australia and so on. This organization sets the rules that any competition involving traditional Scottish games will work with. The traditional Scottish games include Heavyweight games, Highland Dancing, Solo Piping, Pipe Bands, Tug of War, Wrestling and Light Field games. It also keeps the records and updates them when a new record is set. This governing body is celebrating its 60-year anniversary. As it normally does, it is set to organize a fair as part of the celebration. The fair will feature various activities including gambling on the outcomes of the events at the fair and a blackjack tournament. Blackjack Tournament as a Fundraiser The aim of this fair is to raise funds for the organization. The organization has laid out plans to help improve itself and benefits its members. The funds raised will offset some expenses. The blackjack tournament is an accumulation styled tournament. Although it is a tournament, players are expected to be free, chat with each other and maintain a friendly environment during the competition instead of a very competitive one. The entry fee is £50 with a £1500 reward for first place and a £2000 price pool to accommodate the runner-up. The tournament involves two rounds each producing two winners. There are no current limits to the available seats but rumors have it that SGA is working with 140 players. Due to the COVID-19 regulations, this may be an online live blackjack tournament. If there is a relaxation of the restrictions at the proposed time of the tournament, it will be a physical fair and a physical blackjack tournament. Blackjack Expert to Facilitate the Tournament This tournament is not exactly a tournament; it is more of a fundraiser. Scottish Games Association is expecting lots of amateur players. To ensure the game remains fair, the association will be inviting Mr. Shane Hennessey. He is a blackjack and games expert as well as a professional writer at betinireland.ie/casino/. He has been churning out quality contents on gambling for years now. His experience and ability to gather information from multiple sources have contributed to the contents of his articles on gambling. He will be tutoring the players and giving them tips on blackjack basic strategy. The aim of this exercise is to ensure that the players are well grounded. The training will be done over a number of practice sessions. The sessions will also help them differentiate between the accumulation styled blackjack from the elimination blackjack. There are rumors the players may be grouped according to how they perform at the practice sessions but nothing has been confirmed.
Nowadays, the Highland Games include competitions with a bit of a modern twist such as sheep-dog trials, cycling, wellie-throwing, and marathon races. However, the tradition “heavy competitions”, which have been part of the games for centuries still remain and are some of the most popular events. Below we are going to take a closer look at some of these popular heavy games. Rory Cameron competes in the Cabre Toss as the Glengarry Highland Games begin on Friday to celebrate the 71st year. Photo by Wayne Cuddington/ Postmedia Tossing the Caber This is probably the most popular heavy lifting event at the Highland Games. This event is the perfect test of a competitor’s control, balance, strength, and technique. Nobody knows how this game came into being. Some believe that this is how the Scottish used to quickly bridge streams or rivers, while others believe that the Scots used to flip large logs against the walls of castles as a means of breaching defences. There are other beliefs too, but we will never know the true origin. The caber is a long log, between 15-20-feet and weighing in at 100-180 pounds. The contestants have to lift the log vertically, by cupping their hands under one end. They then have to run forward and toss the caber up in the air. The caber should spin in the air and the top should hit the grass first. This event is not judged on how far the caber is thrown; it is judged on the final position of the caber. To give you an idea of the perfect throw, imagine a clock face on the grass. If the competitor tosses the caber from number 6, the perfect throw would be if the caber lands on the number twelve, with the end that he was holding facing away from him. Hammer Throw This event may go all the way back to the 13th century when King Edward I of England made it illegal for the people of Scotland to own a weapon. Nobody considered a hammer to be a weapon, but the people of Scotland turned it into one. In the Highland Games, the hammer is not really a hammer – it is a 22lbs metal ball that is attached to a long wooden pole. The contestants have to swing the hammer over their head and throw it as far as possible. Some of the best competitors can throw this hammer over 100 feet, which is really impressive. Tug-O-War This is one of the oldest games in the world, having been played in ancient Greece and China way back in 500-800 BC. Prior to 1920, it was even an Olympic event. This is a simple game, but it is highly popular at the Highland Games. In this game, two teams that consist of eight strong men try to drag the other team across a white line. It is the best out of three and usually uses a round robin approach. This game is a blend of attitude, technique, strength, and adrenaline. The team that goes on to win the most matches will be declared the strongest team and the winners of the event.