With origins going back almost 1,500 years, shinty (camanachd in Scottish Gaelic) is now played mainly in the Scottish Highlands, though Highland migrants have taken it to some of the country’s cities.

There are 12 players per team and the object is to hit a hard ball, which is about half the size if a tennis ball, with a curved wooden stick or 'caman' into a goal. The game has similarities to field hockey, although a key difference is that the ball can be played in the air and both sides of the stick can be used. Although the ball can be kicked in the outfield, goals can only be scored with a stick.

Unlike some other traditional Celtic sports, scoring is simple with a single ‘point’ for a goal. The team scoring the most goals wins.

The season runs from spring to autumn, with the climax being September’s Camanachd Association Challenge Cup final. The sport’s governing body is the 126-year old Camanachd Association

A similar game to shinty is played on the Isle of Man and is known as cammags. The sport had largely died out by the turn of the 20th century but has recently been enjoying something of a revival.


Camanachd Association -