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All About SHINTY

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Playing the ball Officials/Equipment
Fouls and misconduct


Objective: Two teams of 12 try to score goals by using clubs (camans) to get the ball into the opposing net. The matches last 90 minutes, with an interval of at least 5 minutes at half time.

Shinty is a Gaelic field game of Scottish origin.


Starting the game

Play is begun and restarted after half time with a throw up from the centre of the field. The referee blows the whistle and starts the game by throwing the ball up to a minimum height of 3.6 metres (12 feet) between two opposing players standing on the centre spot.

The two players stand at least 91 centimetres (3 feet) apart, with camans crossed. They must not move away until the ball is hit in the air or has hit the ground. No other player is allowed within 4.5 metres (15 feet) of the centre spot until the ball has been played.

Playing the ball

Players may use both sides of the caman to hit the ball. Only the goalkeepers can use the hands to stop or control the ball. Kicking the ball is not allowed, but it can be passed without touching along the ground. A player within striking distance of the ball is allowed to hook an opponent's caman.

A goal is scored when the ball passes completely over the goal line, under the crossbar and between the goal posts.

10 yard hit
This is awarded to the defending side from anywhere in the 10 yard area (the 10 yards extending forward from the end line) if an attacker sends the ball across the by-line (end line) without it going into the net to score a goal.

Corner hit
This is awarded from the 2 yard quarter circle to the attacking side if a defender sends the ball across their own by-line. A goal can be scored directly from a corner hit.

Hit in
This is awarded to the opposition if the ball is accidentally hit across the side line. The hit is taken from the point where the ball crossed the line. The player faces the pitch with both feet on the ground. The ball is put back into play with an overhead hit with the back of the caman. No player can be within 4.5 metres (15 feet) of the player hitting the ball before the ball is in the air.

If the player misses the ball, the hit in is not retaken. If the player takes the hit in incorrectly, the hit in is awarded to the other team. If the player hits the ball more than once, a set blow is awarded to the other team. After the hit in, the player who hit the ball cannot touch it again until another player has hit it. A goal can be scored directly from a hit in.

Set blow
This is awarded to a team if the opponents have infringed the rules (see fouls and misconduct, unless it would give an advantage to the offending team. The ball is placed on the ground and struck with the caman in any direction.

If the player misses the ball, the set blow is retaken. After the set blow, the player who hit the ball cannot touch it again until another player has hit it, or it has touched the body or clothing of another player. A goal cannot be scored directly from a set blow.

Penalty hit
A penalty hit is awarded for an infringement by a defender in the 10 yard area. The ball is hit directly at goal from the penalty spot. Until the hit is taken, all players except the player taking the penalty hit and the defending goalkeeper (who stays on the goal line) must be at least 4.5 metres (15 feet) away from the ball.

If players are out of position, the hit can be retaken. If the ball does not get to the goal line, the hit is deemed a bye and the ball is played by a defender. If the ball rebounds off the goal posts or crossbar, it remains in play.

After the penalty hit, the player who hit the ball cannot touch it again until another player has hit it. A goal can be scored directly from a penalty hit.

An attacker is offside if they are in the opponent's 10 yard area before the ball enter it.

Fouls and misconduct

No player can:-

- Kick, catch or throw the ball (except the goalkeeper, who can use hands).

- Use the body or caman to obstruct, trip, jump at, or throw an opponent.

- Deliberately throw the caman at the ball, or join play without the caman, or part of it, in the hand.

- Deliberately obstruct an opponent when not in possession of the ball themselves.

- Deliberately put a ball over the side line.

- Hook an opponents caman when not in striking distance of the ball (within striking distance is allowed).

The referee may caution or send off a player for rough or reckless play, misconduct, deliberate infringement of the rules, or unsporting speech or behaviour on the field. A suspended player cannot be replaced, so the team continues with less players.


The game is controlled by a referee, who is assisted by goal judges and line officials, who do not change ends at half time. Goal judges stay close to the 10 yard area, and observe goal scoring, fouls in the 10 yard area, when the ball crosses the goal line and which team hit it last, and offside, when an attacker enters the 10 yard area, if they were before or after the ball. The line officials monitor when the ball crosses a side line and which team hit it last.


The field
The field is rectangular, and may be sized between 128 metres and 155 metres (140 and 170 yards) long, and 64 metres to 73 metres (70 to 80 yards) wide. Most fields are 146 metres by 73 metres (160 by 80 yards).

The goal
The goal posts are 3.05 metres (10 feet) high, and the crossbar is 3.66 metres (12 feet) long. The depth of the net is 1.37 metres (4 feet 6 inches). The posts are painted white.

The ball
The ball is round and made of cork and worsted, with a leather covering. It has a circumference of 19 to 20 centimetres (7½ to 8 inches). It weighs between 70 and 100 grams (2.5 to 3.5 ounces).

Players wear jerseys, shorts, socks, and boots (without spikes or studs). The goalkeepers wear jerseys of a different colour.

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