Irish Two Handed Stone Throw Rules

Irish Two Handed Stone Throw Rules used at Iowa Irish Fest

The Irish have a long tradition of throwing stones, sometimes at the British, sometimes at each other, but more often in a sporting competition. The following are adaptation of traditional Irish Rules for the Two-Handed Super Heavy Weight (stone) Throw.

Thoughts on Running the Event:

Since  a sand pit is not available for an impact area,  a lighter set of stones will be used so that there will be a greater difference between the throws.  This should help avoid the measuring stick mark determining the outcome.

General Rules

  1. For men, the standard stone weights must be at least double that of the heavy weight for distance implement.  However, we will be using a lighter set of stones:
    For men:  70 lbs rather than the traditional 112 lbs (8 stone)
    For Women: 35 lbs  rather than the traditional 56 lbs (4 stone)
    NOTE: Masters & Lightweights will use the same weight stone
  2. The Stone will be thrown off grass, from behind the 4-foot foul line (painted line).
  3. For safety reasons, It is recommend that a painted foul line is used rather than a toe board.
    A trig is NOT used for safety reasons: Although a small chance, it is unwise to have a tripping hazard with a heavy implement that maybe over the throwers head.
  4. It is also recommend that two vertical poles be erected at the end points of that foul line to provide a visual indicator of the foul line’s position.
    The thrower may have the stone chest high obscuring his view.  Having these poles provides for a better competition. 
  5. The competitor may use any reasonable length approach (run up) to the line.
  6. The stone shall be thrown with one or both hands, without follow.  In other words, the contestant cannot step beyond the line or touch the ground in front of the line with any part of his/her body.
    Note: If vertical poles are used, they are treated as if they are beyond the foul line and cannot be touched with any part of the throwers body. 
  7. All rulings of the Judge are FINAL.
  8. Any style of legal throw may be used as long as it is deemed safe by the judge.
  9. NO SPINNING — Any style of throw in which the competitor turns his back to the impact zone is deemed illegal.
    (This is a stupid thing to include in the rules but somebody will come along and claim it is not in the rules, therefore it is legal … an unheard of event in highland games? ) 
  10. Any style of throw in which the thrower does not maintain control of the stone or his own body is deemed illegal.
  11. Fouls (invalid) throws:
    1. The thrower may place one foot or both feet upon the line, but if either foot crosses over the foul line before the implement strikes the ground, the throw is ruled as a foul and not measured.  (When you step over the line, that is called the “follow”)
      In other words the foul line is in bounds.
    2. The thrower may not cross the foul line until the measure is taken; otherwise the throw will be ruled as a foul and not measured.
    3. If the thrower ignores the instruction of the judge, the throw will be ruled as a foul and not measured.
    4. The thrower makes an illegal throw; the throw will be ruled as a foul and not measured.
    5. At no time during the throw, and not until the stone has been discharged into the air, may a competitor turn completely around, so that the back is towards the foul line, otherwise the throw will be ruled as a foul and not measured.  NO SPINNING
    6. The measurement of the throw shall be from the nearest point at which the stone strikes the ground (nearest to the foul line) to the center of the foul line on the edge facing the field (as the line is in bounds).
    7. The roll of the stone does not count in measuring (did I really need to spell that out?).
    8. If you feel you have been judged unfairly, throw the stone farther on your next attempt as all rulings of the Judge are FINAL.
Home of Iowa Heavy Athletics