According to some theories, the leisurely sport of modern day golf stems from the ancient game of shinty. But shinty, which has a big event coming up on September 15 — the Scottish Hydro Camanachd Cup – is anything but calm. In fact, shinty, or camanachd, as people traditionally call the sport in the Gaelic-speaking West Highlands, has been called “carnivorous hockey.”
The fast-paced game, which some sources trace right back to 5th-century Athens, is played with two 12-man teams. All players wield a curved stick called a caman and try to score goals, like in hockey and lacrosse. Shinty was brought to Northwest Scotland with Christianity and the Gaelic language almost two thousand years ago by Irish missionaries. The feisty game could lay claim to being Scotland’s national sport amid stiff competition from heavy athletics events, including tossing the caber.
The final of the Scottish Hydro Camanachd Cup will be held at Mossfield Park, Oban, Scotland. The prize is one of the most prestigious in shinty.
Cover Photo Credit: Alasdair Middleton – flickr.com