These are some basics for those unfamiliar with Shinty. For a more detailed instructional booklet please visit our Resources Section and download the Camanachd Association's Coaching Manual. If you have questions or suggestions please visit our contanct page.

The Ready Position

Here's how you start. Important points (1) feet about shoulder width apart - a stance where the feet are too far apart or too close together makes it difficult to move quickly and maintain balance; (2) two hands on the caman, one at the top and one half or two-thirds of the way down the stick; (3) back of the hand facing forward on the top hand, fingers forward on the bottom hand; (4) toe of the caman pointing upwards.

Dribbling the Ball

Dribbling is how you move the ball while maintaining possession. It's important to keep your hands apart (as in the Ready Position) and not let the ball get too far away from you. Use both sides of the caman head to control the ball (note this difference between shinty and field hockey rules). It's important to keep an eye on the field and players while dribbling, don't get too caught up in looking at the ball!

Hitting the Ball

There are several ways to hit the ball in shinty, the main differences being where one's hands are on the caman and how far and hard you want the ball to go.

Stopping the Ball

There are three main approaches to stopping the ball: with feet, body, or stick. Which method you use will depend on the game situation and placement of the ball. Whichever means you choose, it is important to remain focused on the ball's movement and to be aware of the players around you. In stopping the ball a player should be aiming to control the ball. Once control is established you can advance the ball via dribbling, a pass, or even take a shot. Being able to stop the ball is a vital skill and all three approaches should be practiced regularly!

The Shie or the Hit In

When the ball crosses the sideline and leaves the field of play, the team who did not touch it last brings the ball back into play via a shie, also known as a hit-in. There are some very specific rules about shies, so it is important to learn this technique correctly.


The goal-keeper (or just keeper) in Shinty has several unique challenges. He is guarding a goal that is 10 feet high and 12 feet wide, he must be proficient with his hitting and blocking, and and having quick reactions is a good thing too. The keeper in Shinty has no way to create a dead ball except to put the ball out of bounds (which is legal) and either cede a corner (by putting it over the end line), or a shie (putting it over the touch or side line).

The Throw Up

The game is begin by a throw-up in the center circle. Two players (one from each team) stand facing each other (with the goals to their left and right) and crossing their camans, and referee throws the ball up between them.

Miscellaneous Tips

There are a number of details, far too many to pass along here, that make the game of Shinty exciting and make the play great. Here are a few tips and ideas that might be of help.