Tag Archives: Distance

How To Measure A Shot Put Throw

A Simple Guide To Measuring At Shot Put

Measuring a competitor’s throw in the shot put is not necessarily intuitive. Below are some simple tips for doing it correctly and accurately. The tips assume that you are using the traditional tape measure rather than an electronic method of measuring.

Shot Landing Point

  1. Find the mark made by the shot where it first hit the ground. (The shot must land entirely within the sector. On the line is out and and is not measured).
  2. Put the zero end of the tape measure on the edge of the mark that is closest to the throwing circle.

Throwing Circle

  1. Pull the other end of the tape measure back through the centre of the circle.
  2. Make sure that the tape is not twisted. Pull the tape tight but don’t over-stretch it.
  3. Read the measurement where the tape crosses the inside edge of the stop board. Because the tape is pulled through the centre of the circle, the tape’s location along the inside edge of the stop board can vary depending on where the shot lands within the sector.
  4. If the distance measured is not a whole centimetre, record the distance to the nearest centimetre below the distance measured.

Why Pull The Tape Through The Centre of The Circle?

The tape is pulled through the centre of the throwing circle for accuracy and consistency of the measurement process. Failing to pull the tape measure through the circle’s centre may incorrectly add extra centimetres to throws that land towards the edges of the landing sector.

Personnel Required

At least two but preferably three people are needed to measure shot put performances:

Person 1 holds the zero end of the tape measure where the shot landed.

Person 2 takes the measurement from the inside edge of the stop board.

Person 3 pulls the tape measure through the centre of the throwing circle. This allows Person 2 to view the tape measure at the inside edge of the stop board from directly above.

If there is no Person 3, Person 2 can try anchoring the tape measure in the middle of the throwing circle with one foot while leaning over towards the stop board to view the measurement.

Common Measuring Errors

  1. Measuring the distance to where the shot rolls rather than where it first hits the ground.
  2. Placing the zero end of the tape measure in the middle of the mark created by the falling shot.
  3. Holding the zero end of the tape measure at the stop board.
  4. Measuring each throw from the centre of the stop board rather than where it naturally crosses the stop board when it is pulled back through the middle of the throwing circle.
  5. Reading the measurement from the outer edge of the stop board.
  6. Not untwisting the tape measure before reading a measurement.
  7. Not pulling the tape measure straight before reading a measurement.

Note

The list of tips and errors contained in this article is not comprehensive. Rather, it is a “survival guide” for shot put measuring at a grass roots level. This article is best read alongside the rules of competition relevant to a particular event.

Further Reading

How to Teach Shot Put to Young Athletes E-Book by Coaching Young Athletes


If this post helped you please take a moment to help others by sharing it on social media. If you want to learn more I encourage you to leave questions and comments or contact me directly.


Darren Wensor is a sports development professional, coach educator, specialist coach of young athletes, and founder of the blog coachingyoungathletes.com. Learn more about him here and connect with him on TwitterFacebookLinkedin, or via email. Check out Coaching Young Athletes on YouTube, the Coaching Young Athletes podcast, and the Coaching Young Athletes E-Book Series.

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