Shinty (Scottish Gaelic: camanachd, iomain) is a team game played with sticks and a ball. Shinty is now played mainly in the Scottish Highlands and amongst Highland migrants to the big cities of Scotland, but it was formerly more widespread in Scotland, and was even played in northern England into the second half of the 20th century and other areas in the world where Scottish Highlanders migrated.
|Highest governing body||Camanachd Association|
|First played||Pre-historic Scotland and Ireland|
|Team members||12 players per side|
substitutes are permitted
|Mixed gender||Officially No|
(there are no rules to prevent women from playing in men's teams, a frequent occurrence in the lower leagues, with some of shinty's elite female players playing or having played for lower league men's teams)
While comparisons are often made with field hockey the two games have several important differences. In shinty a player is allowed to play the ball in the air and is allowed to use both sides of the stick, called a caman, which is wooden and slanted on both sides. The stick may also be used to block and to tackle, although a player may not come down on an opponent's stick, a practice called hacking. Players may also tackle using the body as long as it is shoulder-to-shoulder.
The game was derived from the same root as the Irish game of hurling and the Welsh game of bando, but has developed unique rules and features. These rules are governed by the Camanachd Association. A composite rules shinty–hurling game has been developed, which allows Scotland and Ireland to play annual international matches.
Another sport with common ancestry is bandy, which is played on ice. In fact, in Scottish Gaelic the name for bandy is "ice shinty" (camanachd-deighe) and once upon a time bandy and shinty (and shinney) could be used interchangeably in the English language.