Junior Shinty


_mg_5772eEvolving in the Highlands and now governed by the Camanachd Association based in Inverness, shinty is about two teams striking a small leather ball with a curved stick known as a caman.  The caman is made of wood and the curve slanted on both sides. The ball is a hard solid sphere, slightly smaller than a tennis ball and chopped in half, consisting of a cork core covered by two pieces of leather stitched together.

In shinty, a player is allowed to play the ball in the air and to use both sides of the caman. The caman may also be used to block and to tackle, although a player may not come down on an opponent’s caman.  Players may also tackle using the body as long as it is shoulder-to-shoulder.

The game can be played by children, men or women and, with the ball travelling at speeds of 100 miles per hour, can be quite an experience for both players and spectators!

It is never too late to start playing the game – simply get in contact with a shinty club near you.


There had been several shinty teams on the island before the formation of the present Bute Shinty Club which was started post-war in 1946.  The first of these was established in 1906 and among them North Bute was the most successful, having been runners-up in the 1923 Sutherland Cup.

In 1947 the newly-established Bute Shinty Club introduced the Highland Games to raise funds to support the club and subsequently many of the shinty players took part.  Among the regular shinty names competing over the years were the Hunters, the McMillans, I Caskie, I Fraser, the Macfies, Zeb Walker, B Carmichael and Jim Tait.

In 1972, as British champions, Zeb Walker and Scooby McMillan travelled to Tenerife to take part in the world wrestling championships.  In 1973 Johnny Macfie, Zeb and Scooby took part in the Europa Games in the Meadowbank Stadium in Edinburgh.

The post of Shinty Club President and Highland Games’ President was combined up until 1984, at that point it was decided to run the Highland Games with a separate committee and chairman.  The separate committees have worked well and supported one another since then, both for the good of shinty and the success of the Highland Games.  The Secretary of the Games for many years was keen shinty supporter, T B McMillan.

For more information on Buty Shinty Club visit the club’s website – www.buteshintyclub.co.uk.