It seems that once upon a time, there was a village in Sutherland called Auchnaclory, which stood by the falls of Dromach on the River Dromach. Each day, men would come down from the hills and stand on their side of the river, whilst the women would come up from the village, stand on their side of the river and hurl haggis luncheons across to their men-folk. Out of these humble beginnings grew ‘The Auchnaclory Hurlings’ an annual competition where people from all over Scotland would gather at the little village and try out their skills at hurling haggis for distance and accuracy. “The sport died out, but a group of enthusiasts decided to revive it for the Gathering of the Clans in 1977, and held a hurl at the Preston Field Hotel.” What happened next astonished everyone. Requests for the rules poured in from all over the world, and in no time, a World Haggis Hurling Association has been formed to co-ordinate the sport. Now, Haggis Hurling competitions are held in the USA, the UK, Australia, Canada and interest is coming from all over the world. The world finals are held in Edinburgh in September.
Here are the basic rules:
- Haggis must weight at least 1 Â½ lb., any less provides an insufficient lunch for a hungry Highlander.
- Hands must be washed in peat before hurling, as the haggis is a slippery object.
- No one can hurl until the Hooter sounds, as it reflects the cry of the Lassies, letting their Laddie know that lunch is flying across the river.
- Feet must stay on the barrel until the haggis lands, as the Lassies used to stand until they were sure the right Laddie had caught their haggis.
- Both feet must be on the barrel at the moment of hurl, as the Lassies of Auchnaclory were modest and would not show their ankles.
- Measurement is taken from where the haggis is caught.
- The haggis must be caught in order for the throw to count.
- The Lassie must throw to the Laddie.