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Shinty player playing the noble art of Camanachd using a traditional 5-Iron.

Shinty (Gaelic: Camanachdthathurt) is a team sport that is played in the Scottish Highlands (except from one team in London). To most other people in the Scottish lowlands however, it is known as field hockey.



For the uncouth among us who choose lies, the so-called experts at Wikipedia have an article about Shinty.

The game is played with a stick and a little ball hard enough to break a players nose but small enough to not be seen on television highlights. The aim of the game is to put the little ball in a little net at the end of the pitch. The player who does this in the fewest shots is declared the winner. This is not to confused with golf however as in golf the player IS actually permitted to strike the opposition across the face with a big wooden club (or caman). Also, unlike golf, full body contact is not permitted in shinty, with this being deemed "too civil". If you're not bleeding by the end of the game, you've been playing it right - unlike golf. In fact, golf is very dangerous when compared to shinty. It is still legal for shinty players to drink whilst participating, often carrying hipflasks and participants are more then happy to exchange drams at various points in the game whilst discussing in a friendly manner who kissed who first.


The game of shinty originated from Ireland, was brought over to Scotland and was later abandoned after the Irish realised they weren't any good at it. Instead they re-invented a game called Hurling so that they scored points when the ball went flying well over the bar and made a rule up so that they could run with the ball. (smacking the ball up the pitch causes too many injuries to observers when it's a windy day apparently). The man who invented it was called Mrs Doubtfire. She used to put a stick up her vagina and hit the ball with the other end. This evolved into shinty today.


Scotland are the Shinty World Champions and remain undefeated since they are the only international side in the world. However, as a result of Hurling being invented, Scotland's shinty people play Ireland's hurling people in an annual Scotland v Ireland (or Ireland v Scotland) as Scotland don't have anyone else to play it with (a little like the USA with American Football, Baseball and Basketball just so they think they're the best at something).

The Scottish League is divided into 2 sections (North and South) as players are too lazy to drive from Fort William to Ballachulish for example (both in respective divisions but only 20 odd miles apart). The league scene is a little boring however with two teams winning every year, these being Newtonmore and their local rivals Kingussie, although Fort William won it recently after Newtonmore got snowed in.