...a fascinating, complex and fiercely proud history of allegiance.

Scottish Clans, Societies and Associations

Ancient... enigmatic.... colorful.... complex.... all of these words describe the Clans of Scotland which are part of this country's compelling historical journey. Historically, a clan was made up of everyone who lived on the chief's territory, or on territory of those who owed allegiance to the said chief. Through time, with the constant changes of "clan boundaries", migration or regime changes, clans would be made up of large numbers of members who were unrelated and who bore different surnames. Often, those living on a chief's lands would, over time, adopt the clan surname. A chief could add to his clan by adopting other families, and also had the legal right to outlaw anyone from his clan, including members of his own family. Today, anyone who has the chief's surname is automatically considered to be a member of the chief's clan. Also, anyone who offers allegiance to a chief becomes a member of the chief's clan, unless the chief decides not to accept that person's allegiance.

Few countries in the world can boast a life span as rich or diverse as Scotland. The true story of the people, the battles, the nobility and its Kings and Queens, is more thrilling than any novel, and has more love stories than all the Hollywood movies. Scotland’s clans provide Scots everywhere with a point of reference for their identity, history and culture.

Some of the implements used in the games were created as alternatives to traditional weapons when England forbid any Scotsman from bearing arms. Though other activities were always a part of the festivities, many today still consider Highland athletics to be what the games are all about. Regardless, it remains true today that the athletic competitions are an integral part of the events and one—the caber toss—has come to almost symbolize the Highland games.

We at Scotfest | Oklahoma work hard to provide you, the festival patrons, a great opportunity to not only experience the Highland games as a spectator, but we also encourage you to take part, to pick up the sport, to sign up in one of our Novice Classes and to potentially become the next World Champion Highland Games athlete.


Olivia Tyler | 2018 World Champion


2018 Women's World Champion - Olivia Tyler

T exas native, Olivia Tyler has been throwing for about 6 years, with about 3 of those years off to grow, birth, and recover from her 5 year old and 1 year old babies. She threw the discus, hammer, and indoor weight at Texas Tech University, which she found to be a huge help with highland games. Olivia was introduced to the highland games through her husband, Spencer, as she missed throwing since leaving college. Now, Spencer and Olivia get to train, travel, and throw together, which makes the games even more fun for them both! They love the trips, people, throwing, and friendships from the games!

2018 Women's World Champion

World Record holder in Sheaf

2018 North American Co-Champion

2016 North American Champion

The Caber is a tree that has been cut and trimmed down so one end is slightly wider than the other. It can vary length from 16 to 22 feet and between 100 and 180 pounds. The smaller end is rounded off so it will be easy to cup in the thrower’s hands. The caber is stood up for the thrower with the large end up. The thrower hoists the caber up and cups the small end in his hands. He then takes a short run with the caber and then stops and pulls the caber so that the large end hits the ground and the small end flips over and faces away from the thrower. 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. If the caber is not turned, a side judge calls the degrees of the angle the caber makes with the ground.
This event is similar to the hammer throw as seen in modern-day track and field competitions, though with some differences. In the Scottish event, a round metal ball (weighing 16 or 22 lb. for men or 12 or 16 lb. for women) is attached to the end of a shaft about 4 feet in length and made out of wood, bamboo, rattan, or plastic. With the feet in a fixed position, the hammer is whirled about one’s head and thrown for distance over the shoulder. Hammer throwers sometimes employ specially designed footwear with flat blades to dig into the turf to maintain their balance and resist the centrifugal forces of the implement as it is whirled about the head. This substantially increases the distance attainable in the throw.