So where and when might you see a shinty game? Shinty was traditionally played during the winter months; New Year’s Day would be marked by a large-scale game between neighbouring communities. In more recent years, leagues and cups run between spring and autumn. Many towns and villages throughout the western and central Highlands have teams, and depending on fixtures, you might catch a home game.
If you want to see a match that’s bound to be electrically-charged, try and see the two fiercest rivals in the game, Kingussie and Newtonmore in action. These two villages lie in the Cairngorms National Park only three miles apart, and during both clubs’ long histories, more often than not they have been the most dominant forces in both league and cup tournaments. Kingussie were named by the Guinness Book of Records as world sport's most successful sporting team of all time.
In addition the dozens of teams in the Highlands, there are shinty clubs in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Musselburgh in East Lothian. Shinty is popular at a university level, with almost all Scotland's main universities possessing a team.
There’s also the chance to see shinty played on an international level. Every October, Scotland play Ireland in a match of shinty and the Irish game of hurling. As they are technically two different games, each evolving in its own way, a composite set of rules has been agreed between the Camanachd Association and its Irish counterpart, the Gaelic Athletic Association. In 2013 it was announced that a hybrid of the two games would be launched, called Iomain, where all players will use the same type of stick that is neither a Scottish caman nor Irish hurley.