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Track & Field/re: discus,javelin and shot put field


i have a sister whom is conducting a project on the following subjects mentioned. her project is based on how does a discus,javelin and shot put field looks like and what are the certain degrees needed to be followed by particular athletes.

Dear Monika:

I assume that the focus of your sister's inquiry is about
high school track and field.  In your case the answer
actually applies to all track and field rules in general
use in the USA and the IAAF (International) so that
throwing applies a standard field for all levels
that I know of or have heard of.

Throws start from positions inside the circle for the discus
and shot put.  The javelin begins with a runway (also an open
"V" shape up to a boundary marked by a white arc on the ground
and thrown from the front of the wide end of the "V".

All boundaries are marked by white lines except on the interior
of circles and runways.  All white lines are out of bounds if
anything lands on it or touches it.

The shape of the fair boundaries for Discus, Javelin and
Shot Put are the shape of an open "V" with both legs (or arms)
extended without prescribed boundary ends so that a throw
staying within the extended arms area are legal.  This is true
because the accuracy within the area of the extended arms
allow the longest throws an athlete can place a throw.

Javelin and discus call for substantial area for landing
as the discus can be caught by the wind and more often on
many surfaces the discus will tend to slide or bounce
(dangerous for officials) and can cause serious injuries to any
one who may be struck by one.  

Similarly the javelins despite its pointed end, may not land
on its nose and may also bounce and change direction in the
wind. Shot put lands fair within an existing circle which is
often a gravel or a much harder surface than turf or grass.
The surface needs to be able to create a mark where the shot
put lands.  A hole indicates where the perimeter of the shot
landed and also an interior small circle the size of the
perimeter of the center of bottom shot lefts it mark which
is technically where the throw should be measured.  This
element is often overlooked.  If all shot put landings are
measured to the same part of the landing circle in competition
it doesn't make much difference, but not if records are being
All implements apply an Angle of the "V" (Vortex) of 34.92
degrees and extends as far as needed.  Both the discus and
javelin may not be competed without strong preventive protective
fence circling the throwing circle leaving only the area of the
legal throw exposed.  Injuries can be very serious even fatal
when any implement strikes any person.  Javelin landing area
should be fenced of very clearly marked with at least flags and
rope or tape.

Only the athlete taking the throw should be inside the protective
cage.  Only certified usually uniformed officials should be next to
or within the inside areas.  All people around should always watch
the throwing athlete since implements often fly outside the perimeter
of the protective fencing and markings.

This is a comprehensive description of the requested areas.  Because
this answer may be used to instruct or inform scholar-athletes the
safety details which are all a part of the areas are very important
and I would not like it to be incomplete.

I hope your sister will find too much information or if used for any
teaching purpose that everything is covered and clear.
Dick Howland

Track & Field

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Richard Howland


I am a master USATF Track and Field official and can answer questions about officiating high school (NFHS), college (NCAA), National (USATF) and international in field events. I am not a coach except for other officials. My specialties are the Field events except pole vault.


I delight in meeting athletes from all backgrounds and ages. I have even officiated field events for a one hundred year old long jumper as well as many "Master" and "Senior" athletes. Special olympics is a great event for officials to volunteer and see the essence of good sport on the faces of the athletes. After thirty three years as a trial lawyer in Massachusetts with a focus on sports law, among others, I retired and devote much of my time to officiating. I referee soccer, time football, officiate swimming and diving, and officiate and start all events in track and field. My special focus in field events. In high school and college I played soccer, squash and lacrosse, but track was not available in any depth then. Since I was a lawyer I began officiating and training to officiate sports which I could fit into my schedule. I honestly do not remember when I first started track and field officiating, but estimate that I have been very active for at least fifteen years. I regularly officiate all events and levels.

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