Although some developmental competitions for children and young people take place indoors, or outdoors on artificial surfaces, shinty is primarily an outdoor sport played on a natural grass surface. The playing area is much larger than for other outdoor team sports such football (soccer), rugby or field hockey. The pitch dimensions can be up to 155m long by 73m wide.
Shinty is a sport that is very much a community based sport and as a result home games are mostly played in the local area on pitches that have been developed from ground that may have had a variety of uses before being developed for shinty. This development means that shinty pitches may be of different standards in different parts of the country.
These issues present challenges for the development and maintenance of shinty playing facilities. Because of the large playing area which is fully utilised by only one sport in, sometimes, rural or semi-rural areas, thinking about a move towards, for example, all-weather playing surfaces presents enormous resource challenges.
However the weather, particularly in the north and west of Scotland, does present a challenge to maintenance of the natural playing surfaces.
Many clubs though have risen to the challenge of developing their facilities. Since the 1970s there has been a significant growth in the number of clubs that have financed and built high-quality changing and club rooms.
The Camanachd Association has received notification (June 2008) regarding the Fifth Edition of the Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds (Green Guide).
The Football Licensing Authority, on behalf of Department of Culture, Media and Sport, has now published the Green Guide and a summary of the new guidance which updates the previous edition. The Guide can be downloaded from DCMS’s website or purchased from TSO .