Culture: Sports and Games
There are two traditional stories concerning the origin of this ancient sport. Men would hold competitions using two types of stones to determine who among them was the strongest. The first stone, called the clach cuid fir, or "manhood stone" weighed over one hundred pounds; men competed to see who could lift it to a certain height or place it on a wall. The second stone, the clach neart, or "stone of strength", was much smaller, usually around twenty to thirty pounds. The contest at which this stone was employed was to see who could throw it the farthest. Supposedly, the stone put evolved from these two competitions.
All young men needed to take up stone putting was a smooth rock from the river bed. In the past, each gathering had its own stone, which could vary in weight from Tomintoul's thirteen pound stone to Braemar's twenty-eight pound stone. Today there are two variants of stone putting styles that call for different stones. The "Braemar Stone" weighs between twenty and twenty-six pounds for men, or between thirteen and eighteen pounds for women, and is thrown from a stand-still. The "Open Stone" is several pounds lighter (sixteen to twenty-two pounds for men, eight to twelve pounds for women), and can be putted with any style so long as it is put with one hand and is cradled in the neck until the moment of release.