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...when England forbid any Scotsman from bearing arms.

Scottish Heavy Athletics


The Highland Games are one of the most impressive displays of competition, and Scotfest 2018 was no exception. Playing host to the IHGF Womens World Championship and the final All-American A-Class qualifier of the year in addition to over 10 other Class groups brought in some of the best athletes around from youth to over 70 years old, capturing the audience attention with an excellent display of athletics prowess.

Highland games are held throughout the year all around the world as a way of celebrating Scottish culture and heritage. In their original form many centuries ago, the Highland games revolved around athletic and sports competitions. Through these competitions the king would select the finest athletes to be his personal guard and entourage. The games were also a way for the clans to demonstrate their relative strength to each other without actually having to go to war.

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.

OFFICIAL SCOTFEST 2019 HOST HOTEL


The Scotfest family; artists, athletes, vendors, fans and more will gather at the official festival hotel Wyndham Tulsa for three days of happenings, partying and a good night of sleep. During Scotfest there will be Scotfest pre- and after- parties in the bar, breakfasts, and regular shuttles to and from Scotfest for our guests.

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Olivia Tyler | 2018 World Champion

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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


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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.
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.
A bundle of straw (the sheaf) weighing 20 pounds (9 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.