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In today’s Physical and Health Education class, we will be learning about Javelin Throw
The Javelin Throw has been used as a mode of hunting and warfare since the days of our forefathers. Throwing a javelin or a spear is almost as old as human civilization itself. The activity slowly evolved into the track and field sport of javelin throw we know today.
The Ancient Olympic Games in 708 BC, perhaps, is the earliest recorded appearance of javelin throw as a sport at any major event. At the time, javelin throw was not a standalone sport but part of the multi-sport pentathlon event.
Javelin throw became a part of the modern-day Olympics from 1908 after the men’s javelin throw event was introduced in London. Incidentally, it was the last of the throw events, after shot put, hammer and discus, to be included.
The women’s javelin throw competition debuted at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. Since then, both men’s and women’s javelin events have been two of the most popular athletics events today.
Under the current World Athletics rules, javelins used in competitions need to meet certain specifications.
The javelin or spear is cylindrical in shape and tapers down at both ends.
Javelins used in senior men’s competitions need to weigh a minimum of 800gm and measure between 2.6m and 2.7m. For women, the minimum weight needs to be 600gm while the length of the javelin can be between 2.2m and 2.3m.
A javelin has three parts – a head, a shaft, and a cord grip.
The shaft or main body of the javelin is made of metal or other suitable materials. It may be solid or hollow but must have a smooth finish without any grooves, ridges, holes or any roughness.
The field where javelin throw competitions are held can be divided into two parts – the runway and the landing sector.
The runway or take-off area is a stretch of running track which allows javelin throwers to make a running start before their throw and gather momentum before releasing the javelin. The runway should at least be 30 meters in length and can extend to 36.50 meters, if conditions permit. The minimum width of a runway must be 4 meters.
The end of the runway is marked by the throwing arc, which has a 8 meters radius. The throwing arc is also called the foul line or scratch line.
Athletes cannot step beyond the runway markings once their attempt starts.
- Landing Sector
In front of the runway, there’s a funnel-shaped landing sector, usually covered in grass or artificial turf. The lines of the funnel make an angle of 28.96 degrees when they meet after intersecting the two ends of the throwing arc at the end of the runway.
Javelin Throw Rules
The objective of javelin throw is to hurl a narrow cylindrical hollow spear the furthest distance possible. Throwers must abide by a set of rules for their throws to count as valid.
For the throw to be counted, the javelin must land tip first inside the bounds of the landing sector. The javelin, however, needs to only make a mark on the ground and doesn’t necessarily need to stick in the ground or ‘break turf’.
The athlete must hold the javelin at the grip with one hand. Wearing gloves on the throwing hand is not allowed. Athletes may tape their fingers as long as it doesn’t provide any additional assistance during the throw. Judges check tapings before competitions. Taping two or more fingers together is also not allowed.
Throughout the entire process of the throw, the javelin must be kept at an overhand position, i.e. over the shoulder or upper part of the throwing arm.
Unlike other throwing events, non-orthodox styles are not permitted in javelin throw, which means athletes need to conform their techniques to a set of fixed rules. Athletes also cannot turn their backs to the landing sector until the throw is completed.
While releasing the javelin and before it lands, athletes must stay behind the throwing arc or foul line.
Javelin Throw Scoring System
Scoring in javelin throw is essentially calculating the distance covered by the javelin.
Once the javelin lands head-first inside the landing sector, the point of initial impact is marked by judges with a marker, usually a spike.
Then the distance, in a straight line, of the marker to the inside edge of the center point of the throwing arc is measured. The measurement is rounded down to the nearest centimeter.
In summary, throwing a javelin or a spear is almost as old as human civilization itself. The activity slowly evolved into the track and field sport of javelin throw we know today.
What is Javelin Throw?
The field where javelin throw competitions are held can be divided into two parts. List them.
List three rules that must be followed when participating in Javelin Throw.
We hope you enjoyed today’s class. In our next class, we will be talking about Shot Put.
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