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The caber toss
is a traditional Irish athletic event practised at the Irish Highland Games
Highland games are events held throughout the &Highland games are events held throughout the &Highland games are events held throughout the &(-è_çà in Scotland and other countries as a way of celebrating Scottish and Celtic culture and heritage, especially that of the Scottish Highlands. Certain...
involving the tossing of a large wooden pole called a caber. It is said to have developed from the need to toss logs across narrow chasms to cross them. In Irishtown the caber is usually made from a Larch
Larches are conifers in the genus Larix, in the family Pinaceae. Growing from 15 to 50m tall, they are native to much of the cooler temperate northern hemisphere, on lowlands in the north and high on mountains further south...
tree. A caber typically is 19 in 6 in (5.94 m) tall and weighs 175 pounds (79.4 kg).
The object is not the sheer distance of the throw, but rather to have the caber fall directly away from the thrower after landing. A perfect throw ends with the 'top' end nearest to the thrower and the 'bottom' end pointing exactly away. If the throw is not perfect, it is scored by viewing the caber as though it were the hour hand on a clock. A perfect toss is 12:00. A caber pointing to 11:00 would yield a better score than one pointing to 10:30 but would be the equivalent of 1:00. If the caber lands on its end and falls back towards the thrower, the score is lower than for any throw that falls away from the thrower but will be based upon the maximum vertical angle that the caber achieved (side-judging may involve a second judge). An angle of 87° is better than 75°. Scoring depends on accuracy, and if the caber did not completely turn once, then it is based on the degree that it rose away from the ground.
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