Terry Thompson, Tossing the caber, Highland Games, 1940. Photographer: Ronnie Jaques. Courtesy of National Archives of Canada e10979681.
Source: Library and Archives Canada/Ronny Jaques fonds/e010979681
Out of all of the Scottish heavyweight events, the caber toss is the most known and certainly the most popular. The competitor must “pick” (pick up) the caber, run, and toss it so it lands straight out from him at a 12 o’clock position. The caber is tossed for accuracy, not distance. The judge must “call it” just as the caber hits the ground. A side judge will sometimes be used to determine if the caber rotated through 90 degrees – if not it’s a “Fifer” and not counted. The caber can be any size, and can range between 18′ to 26′, and weigh from approximately 100lbs to 150lbs. Size is important, but so is the athlete’s style. The competition caber is a red Nova Scotia spruce that will, no doubt, continue the Antigonish tradition of big tough cabers. Antigonish is known worldwide for using cabers that will bring out the very best a thrower can muster in attempting to master the “Big Stick”.