What is Shinty?
Shinty (Scottish Gaelic: camanachd, iomain) is a team game played with sticks and a ball. Shinty is now played mainly in the Scottish Highlands and amongst Highland migrants in the cities of Scotland. It was formerly more widespread in Scotland, and was even played for a considerable time in England and other areas of the world including Russia and USA.
While comparisons are often made with field hockey, the two games have several important differences. In shinty, a player is allowed to play the ball in the air and is allowed to use both sides of the stick, called a caman, which is wooden and slanted on both sides. The stick may also be used to block and to tackle, although a player may not come down on an opponent’s stick, a practice called hacking. Players may also tackle using the body as long as it is shoulder-to-shoulder.
The game was derived from the same root as the Irish game of hurling and the Welsh game of bando, but has developed unique rules and features. These rules are governed by the Camanachd Association. A composite rules shinty–hurling game has been developed, which allows Scotland and Ireland to play annual international matches.