In the 1980s a youth group with an interest in Scottish culture happened across a mention of shinty in a history book. The description captured their imagination and soon a selection of camans (the shinty stick) had been carved from curved branches and scrap wood. Without a set of the modern rules, the games had a very organic feel, but after a few members returned from Scotland with professionally made sticks and rulebooks the move was on to form a proper shinty club. After a circuitous route through two decades, three of the original shinty boys formally founded Northern California Camanachd in 2001.
In the decade since its founding, NCC has played in Scotland three times and hosted the Isle of Skye team in California, playing the first ever US-Scotland International matches both in the UK and the US. The list of firsts goes on to include founding the first US shinty league, first US shinty cup winner, and many other historic firsts. The club has fostered the development of other American teams and greater awareness of the sport. In 2008 and 2009 NCC players presented shinty in front of over 30,000 attendees at the Pleasanton Scottish Gathering and Games.
Come and play with us!
As the above history suggests, most of our early members came to shinty through an interest in Scottish culture and their own ancestry. Since then many members have been attracted purely on the basis of the sport itself, which is a mix of hand-eye coordination, field strategy and athletic fitness. In short, you don't have to be Scottish to play shinty!
The NCC holds regular co-ed practices and welcomes anyone interested in learning this great Gaelic sport. Our league season runs from February to June, and we hold year around practices and new members are welcome any time. Please explore the site to learn more about our club - the FAQ page is always a good starting place for basic info. If you are interested in joining us please visit this page, for our schedule go here. If you have unanswered questions please drop us an email.
Please visit our Media page for press coverage and writings about Northern California Camanachd.