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This event is similar to the hammer throw as seen in modern-day track and field competitions with some differences.

In the Scottish event, a round metal ball (weighing 16lb or 22lb for men and 12lb or 16lb for women) is attached to the end of a shaft about 4 feet in length.  The shaft is made of wood, bamboo, rattan or plastic.

With the feet in a fixed position, the hammer is whirled about one's head and thrown for distance over the shoulder.

Hammer throwers sometimes employ specially designed footwear with flat blades to dig into the turf in order to maintain their balance and resist the centrifugal forces of the implement as it circles the head.  This substantially increases the attainable throwing distance.