Hopes have been raised that traditional Tug of War competitions could be saved in the north-east due to a rule change.
The Grampian Games Association voted to reduce the size of teams from eight to six at a public meeting in Aboyne this week.
There are 12 Highland Games in the association’s annual circuit, which all hold various tug of war competitions.
Leagues had struggled to attract enough teams for events across Scotland, affecting teams such as Ballater-based StrathDee, Cornhill in Banffshire and Elgin in Moray.
It has now been proposed that the smaller teams, and smaller combined weights – from 725g to 520g – will help attract new participants.
The new rules will be trialled in the 2020 league season for tug of war.
Scott Fraser, a Grampian Games Association representative of the Scottish Highland Games Association, said: “We have planned to drop the size of teams from eight to six people.
“It is not a definite solution – but something we are now working with.
“Hopefully it can attract more teams to the fold and inspire more people to get involved.
“It is a great sport – and one a lot of people don’t realise they can do.”
Mr Fraser added that the association, alongside a development officer for the region, were working hard to inspire the next generation to take part in Highland Games.
The Scottish Government has pledged more than £145,000 through Event Scotland to support Highland Games across the country, and said it recognised the “positive economic impact” they have on local communities.