what’s on


Running has been part of Highland Games since their formative years and is very much enjoyed today by both participants as well as spectators.

Our running events include: 90m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1600m and for the youth: 90m, 200m, 400m, 800m.

We also have lights field events which include the long jump and triple jump competitions.


Cycling has been introduced to our Highland Games as they are great to watch from the sprints to the De’il tak the hindmost which allows participants to cycle round the track with the last rider being removed each lap until a winner emerges.

Our cycling events include: 800m, 1600m, 3200m, De’il tak the Hindmost.


Tossing The Caber

This event has changed little since its inception. Cabers are tapered and can vary in length and weight but usually around 150lbs and up to 17 feet. The object of tossing the caber is to throw the pole directly ahead, landing on the heavy end so that the light end makes a perfect turn over and lands pointing directly in line, away from the thrower. Points are then awarded on how straight the caber falls with any deviation attracting penalty points.

Throwing The 56lb Weight Over The Bar

The origins of this event will be fairly clear. In early games, large stones were thrown over a pole or rope and the height increased until a winner remained.  These days agricultural weights are used.

Putting The Shot

This was one of the simplest competitions, in that competitors were required to throw large boulders as far as possible.  Needless to say, no two boulders are alike, so some of the success boasted did not quite match up to others.

Nowadays the weight is standardised at 16lbs and 22lbs and a regulation steel ball replaces the rather less predictable stones.

Throwing The Hammer

Since a Blacksmith’s forge was to be found in almost every glen, it is not surprising that another Highland pastime was Throwing the Hammer.  These days throwing style is strictly controlled.

No turning is allowed and the thrower grasps the handle and swings the hammer three or four times round his head before releasing it behind him.  Whilst the spectators are quite safe, the occasional straying hammer can be a hazard for Judges and stray Games officials.

Throwing The Weight For Distance

Throwing the weight for Distance is done with a ball and chain, no more than 18″ long with a handle attached.

The thrower must use only one hand and has 9 feet behind the marker to make 3 full turns before releasing the handle and hurling the weight forward.

Competitors are disqualified if they unbalance themselves when throwing and step or fall over the trig. When properly executed, it is probably the most graceful of the heavyweight events but it has its risks hence “cage” to protect the spectators.

Highland Dancing

Highland dancing is a competitive and technical dance form requiring technique, stamina, and strength, and is recognised as a sport by the Sport Council of Scotland.

In Highland dancing, the dancers dance on the balls of the feet. Highland dancing is a form of solo step dancing, from which it evolved, but while some forms of step dancing are purely percussive in nature, Highland dancing involves not only a combination of steps but also some integral upper body, arm, and hand movements.

Highland dancing should not be confused with Scottish country dancing which is both a social dance (that is, a dance which is danced with a partner or partners) like ballroom dancing, and a formation dance (that is, a dance in which an important element is the pattern of group movement about the dance floor) like square dancing.

Some Highland dances do derive from traditional social dances, however. An example is the Highland Reel, also known as the Foursome Reel, in which groups of four dancers alternate between solo steps facing one another and a figure-of-eight style with intertwining progressive movement. Even so, in competitions, the Highland Reel dancers are judged individually. Most Highland dances are danced solo.

Pipe Bands

We are delighted to welcome back the Balaklava Pipes and Drums to Stirling Highland Games this year. Piping performances are scheduled throughout the day for you to enjoy. The first march around the games field will stop of the Chieftains Gathering marquee just prior to 12:00 noon when our Highland Games Chieftain will officially announce the games open.


The Balaklava Pipes and Drums band of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Regimental Association are based in Stirling, Scotland and practice at the 51st Highland Division T.A. Springkerse. The band is affiliated to the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders Association, Stirling Castle.

Tug of War

The basics for Tug of War is that a line is made on the ground at right angles to the rope. The rope must be between 10 and 12.5 centimetres in circumference, and must be free from knots or other holdings for the hands.

The minimum length of the rope is 35 metres and the ends have a whipping finish. Five tapes are fixed to the rope, a red tape top indicate the middle of the rope, tow white tapes 4 metres either side of this and two blue tapes 5 metres either side of the red tape.

The first puller must be within 30 centimetres of the blue tape. The pull has been won when the white tape is pulled over the mark and matches are decided on three pulls.

We are looking at a tug o war competition if interest is generated


Backhold wrestling can be seen all over Scotland and the North of England from May to October at Highland and Border Games.

The rules are simple, once the closed hold with the right hand under the opponent’s left is taken, the referee shouts ‘hold’ or ‘wrestle’ to commence the bout. The first wrestler to touch the ground or break their hold loses.

The sport is thought to be one of the earliest and most basic of martial arts and is depicted on crosses and standing stones dating from the 7th and 8th centuries. Variations of backhold exist in at least 10 other European countries including Iceland, Albania and Sardinia. Today the sport is organised into District, National and European Championships.

The English Cumberland & Westmoreland Wrestling Association has since 1900 insisted that their competitions, open to any wrestler, are the world championships.

In Scotland there are eight adult weight classes commencing at 9st 7lbs up to heavyweight at over 15st 7lbs.

Throws retain their robust early English names and there are many variations of the most important techniques which are hypes, buttocks, twists, hanks, backheels, strokes and inner-hooks.

We are looking at showcasing a wrestling competition if we have interest.

Kids Activities

We fully understand what it’s like when you take the family to an event and they get bored after 30 mins.

That’s why we have teamed up with Active Stirling again to provide some activities to keep them entertained!


Let them run around while you chill for a bit and maybe consider who is entering the Visitors race around the highland games track in the afternoon.