Along with running and jumping events, throwing events complete the Track & Field trifecta. The throwing events are the javelin, discus, shot put, and hammer throws. The javelin is thrown in the men’s decathlon and women’s heptathlon. The men’s javelin is longer and heavier than the women’s (men’s are 800 grams and 2.6-2.7 meters, compared to women’s 600 gram 2.2-2.3 meter spears). All javelins have a grip in the center to hold while running with the spear. The javelin is thrown after running a predetermined distance (at least 30 meters) to gain momentum. When the thrower reaches the line, or just before, he releases the spear. All throws must be done overhand. Throwers are not permitted to spin, as is allowed in discus. The point of the javelin must hit the ground first to avoid disqualification.
The discus is no longer part of the pentathlon, though it was in the ancient version. The men’s disc itself is 2 kgs and 220 mm, and the women’s is 1 kg and 181 mm. In high school competition, the practice rubber disc is often used, as it is cheap, durable and more evenly distributed than the metal discuses. The discus is thrown from a concrete circle. They face initially away from the throw, and spin counter-clockwise one and a half times. Once momentum is built, the thrower releases the discus. The discus spins off the index and middle fingers in a forehand/sidearm movement. Discs spin clockwise as they move towards the ground.
Shot putting is the act of pushing a metal ball (the shot) through the air. The term shot put can refer to the motion as well as the ball. Throwing from inside a circle, the goal is to get the ball as far as possible. The landing point is measured from the soil disturbance where the ball first bounced, not the final landing point. Shot putters have 60 seconds from the time their name is called to begin their throw. Men’s shots weigh 7.26 kilos, and women’s weigh 4 kg.
The final throwing event is the Hammer Throw. Though hammers were used historically, modern participants don’t actually throw hammers, but metal balls attached to wire handles. Men’s hammers weigh 7.26 kgs and are 3’11 3/4,” and women’s are 4 kg and 3’11.” To throw, participants swing the hammer above their head. Once momentum is gained by turning in three-four circles, competitors release the ball.
There are generally three to six rounds in all throwing events. A round consists of each player taking one throw. The competitor who has the longest throw wins (if there is a tie, the winner is he with the second longest throw).