It’s easier than ever to follow shinty, or simply to find out about Scotland’s unique sport.
You can watch the weekly progress of all the adult league teams on shinty.com, and there is a huge amount of shinty news and comment available, including youth shinty, especially on-line. Many of the top fixtures such as the Camanachd Cup final are broadcast live on TV.
shinty.com – website of the Camanachd Association, the ruling body of shinty, including fixtures, results, league tables and news.
womens-shinty.com – results, tables, fixtures, news and info on the official web-site of the ruling body of women’s shinty, the WCA.
YouthShinty.com – match results, league tables, and news on national and regional youth shinty.
The World of Shinty – subscribe to this Facebook page to receive up-to-the minute results and news from the world of shinty. Follow @worldofshinty on Twitter.
Shinty – wikipedia page with overview of the sport
ShintyShop – on-line shinty equipment supplier. Please note that the club makes no particular recommendation regarding equipment purchase, and will be happy to post links to any bona fide shinty equipment supplier.
Shinty on youtube – watch footage of the sport at its best, regularly updated
Shinty is a thrilling sport requiring fitness and a high level of skill. It is thoroughly a community sport, and thrives where loyalty to community is strong.
It has traditionally been a winter-season sport, but since 2004 the major competitive season has run from the start of March till around October.
Here is an overview of the sport’s competitive structure from a Central Scotland perspective.
Clubs play in the North or the South area. The boundary between the two is approximately the line dividing Highland Region from Argyll and Bute. Clubs whose locality spans the dividing line (notably Ballachulish) are at liberty to opt for inclusion in either area.
The leagues were restructured for the 2014 season, and altered again for 2015.
The current arrangement consists of a Premier League composed of the top 10 teams from both regions, and a second-tier National Division, currently in 2017, with 9 teams. In addition, there are 2 North and 2 South Divisions.
Many top clubs field a first team plus a second team in a lower league. Under the new structure, all of the North and South Divisions are contested by a mix of first and second teams. Only first teams are eligible to play in the Premier and National Leagues.
Glasgow Mid-Argyll (GMA), Aberdour and Tayforth represent Central Scotland. GMA was promoted to the Premier Division for the 2017 season. Aberdour competes in the South 1 division, to which Tayforth were also promoted for the 2017 season. Both GMA and Aberdour have second teams in South 2. Tayforth, drawing players from all of the Eastern part of the South area, currently play home fixtures at Levenhall in Musselburgh (just beyond the race course).
The top cup competitions are the nationally contested Camanachd Cup, and the MacAulay Cup. In the latter, the top 8 North teams from the league are on one side of the draw, and the top 8 South teams are on the other, leading to a North v South final.
The McTavish cup is competed for by North teams, while the Celtic Society Cup is the equivalent for South teams. There are other cups competed for locally, or restricted to particular divisions and/or non-league teams.
There is also a university league, which plays during the winter season. Edinburgh University plays in this.
(Click on image for a higher resoluton version.)
Women’s shinty has also undergone some changes in recent years. There is currently a National Divisions 1, within which both Aberdour and Glasgow Mid-Argyll (GMA) compete with some success, North and South second divisions, and a development league. Tayforth plan to enter a women’s team in 2017. The top cup competition is the Women’s Camanachd Cup (the Valerie Fraser Trophy).
There is also a women’s university league.
There is a national under-17s league, and the top two from each of two groups go on to play semis and a final for the London Shield. Central Scotland teams are not currently represented in this.
Aberdour and GMA both frequently compete in the major South of Scotland under-17s trophy, the MacQuiston Cup. The North equivalent is the Junior MacTavish Cup.
At under-14, there is a system of North leagues, and one South league. Aberdour and M&B (Milngavie & Bearsden) have competed in the South league.
Aberdour and GMA have also competed in the National under-14 MacMaster Cup.
A pooled Central Scotland team may enter these two touraments in 2015.
Central Scotland clubs also compete in development and regional leagues.
In addition, there are numerous youth development fixtures – leagues, cups, and one-day competitions at various age-groups.
The Schools Camanachd Association runs several of these for school teams, generally during school hours.
In order to provide opportunities to high school players at all levels, and including those above the under-17 age criterion but still at school, the CSYSA runs a number of informal competitive events as development camps
At primary level, regional indoor competition winners compete at an indoor national finals tournament at P7-and-under and P5-and-under. There are also three one-day primary competitions, the national MacAulay sixes in Oban, South sixes in Taynuilt, and the North ‘World Cup’ in Inverness.
CSYSA run the Central Scotland regional competitions – indoor winter fixtures, and an outdoor summer leagues for P7-and-under, P5-and-under, and Development (for younger more inexperienced players).
Hybrid-rules shinty/hurling and shinty/camogie matches take place annually between Scotland and Ireland (or a British team playing the Irish sport in the case of the universities Internationals).