Track And Field Equipment List
Track and field is unique because it encompasses many different events within one competition, commonly known as a “meet.” The events within any given track and field meet include running, jumping, and throwing events. Track and field teams usually have many different members, each competing in events they have individually trained for. Events are mostly individual competitions, but some require small groups to compete. An individual or group winning their event earns points for their team, and the team with the most points at the end of the entire competition wins. Track and field events require agility, speed, strength, training, and specialized equipment. Read on to learn more about all the equipment needed for track and field!
Banana steps are a fun and simple tool to improve your agility, whether you’re a track and field athlete or not. Banana steps are small hurdles 6, 12, 18, or 24 inches off the ground. You can use banana steps to improve strength and vertical leaps by jumping, running, or skipping over them. Banana steps are made out of PVC pipes, and you can usually find them in bright colors like yellow, green, and orange. Typically, they will only weigh one or two pounds. Banana steps usually cost about $10 per step, or you can buy them as a set of six for around $30-$40.
Batons are used by track athletes who run in relay events. Batons are usually made of aluminum but can also be plastic. For practice, any baton will work, but for races, batons are color coded per team and have to be made of aluminum. You can buy a single baton for $4 or a dozen for about $40.
A crossbar is the horizontal part of a high jump or pole vault you jump over. The standard crossbar is 13 ft and 1.5 in long. The high jump has been included in the Olympics since the very first Games in 1896. You should only buy a crossbar if you already have the holders and a landing mat for your landing. You can get a practice foam crossbar for about $30, but a regulation fiberglass crossbar costs $100 to $150.
A discus is the most important piece of equipment needed for discus throwers. The discus cannot weigh less than 2kg, 4.4 lbs, for men. For women, it is 1kg or 2.2 lbs. The discus is traditionally made from wood with metal around the outside, but others are made from fiberglass. Surprisingly, the style has changed very little over thousands of years. For beginners, a cheap discus can cost around $30, but for more experienced athletes, a discus can be upwards of $400.
A discus cart is a very useful tool that can save your energy and strength at practice and meets. A discus cart can typically carry anywhere from 12 to 24 discuses. You can get a cart that is only for discuses or carts that have carriers for shot puts, javelins, and even more. A discus cart typically has five-inch wheels to move it around the stadium. Discus carts will cost upwards of $1,000.
Usually, a finish line is painted onto the track. Sometimes the finish line is permanently on the track, but for meets, it’ll often be painted over to be brighter for the races. If you want to create your own finish line on the street or backyard, you can use white spray paint, tape, or a string. A sector line kit with tape and staples will cost around $50 to $100 and can be used to tape down a finish line.
Hammer And Weight Throwers
Hammers and weight throwers are usually referred to together simply as hammers. Hammer throwers will only really need one hammer to practice or compete. Weight throwers originate from old highland games in Scotland and England. Hammers come in multiple colors and are usually made of an iron ball attached to a metal wire with a handle. Hammers must weigh 16 pounds and cannot be longer than 46.3 inches. You can buy a hammer or weight thrower for $150 to $200.
Hammer gloves help throwing athletes grip their hammers. The same gloves can also be used for other throwing events like javelin and shot put. For practice, you can buy or use any gloves, like baseball batting gloves or even gardening gloves. However, you can’t wear gloves that cover all your fingers in competition. Your thumb can be covered. In competition, athletes usually wear a glove on their non-dominant hands. A good competition hammer glove will cost $10 to $20 per glove.
High Jump Pits
High jump pits are something you need to have if you’re going to be a high jumper or pole vaulter. The jump pits are soft landing spots made of foam, usually with a plastic covering. To be considered regulation for competition, a high jump pit has to be 16.4 ft by 9.8 ft. If you need to buy a high jump pit, it will cost upwards of $6,000. Often, teams will provide pits for athletes to practice on so that they don’t have to invest in their own pits.
High Jump Standards
The high jump standards are two metal poles that hold up the crossbar. The high jump bar can be raised or lowered for different heights. High jump poles used to be made of wood but are now made of lightweight metal. You can buy a high jump set-up with wheels to make it easier to transport. If you are buying equipment for high jump, you’re going to need to separately buy a crossbar and a pit. The high jump standards alone will cost anywhere from $400 to over $1,000.
Hurdles are the physical piece of equipment that hurdlers have to jump over to complete a race. Hurdles are made of metal on the bottom and a wooden or fiberglass top. The hurdles are designed to be bottom-heavy so that they’ll fall over at even the lightest touch. Old hurdles were designed in a “T” shape, not the modern “L,” and when they fell, they would rise up and be more likely to trip you. For most hurdle races, there will be ten hurdles. For practice, you might only need one to three hurdles, but to run a full race, you’ll need ten. Each hurdle will cost about $100 to $500.
Javelins are the main tool for another throwing event. A javelin is basically a long spear that you throw as far as you can. Javelin has been around since the Ancient Greek Olympics. The javelin is made of wood or lightweight metal and has a metal tip so it will stick in the ground. Modern javelins will usually have a soft material grip to help you throw it. To be legal for competition, the javelin has to be at least 102 in long and weigh at least 1.8 lbs for men. For women, a javelin must be 86 in and 1.3 lbs. You only really need one javelin, and you can buy it for anywhere from $200 to $600.
A jump board is a small and simple piece of equipment used by long jumpers and triple jumpers. The board is a square wooden or synthetic square on the ground. To complete a legal jump, you must take off before or on the board. The board has to be at least 1 meter from the end of the runway. You want to take off as close to the end of the board as you can, but if you go over it, your jump will be disqualified. More advanced jump boards will have sensors built in to tell where your foot hits. A lot of tracks will already have a jump board permanently attached to the ground, but you can also buy one to install yourself. A jump board will cost anywhere from $150 to $800.
Lap counters help officials and runners by telling them how many laps around the track the runner has left. You only need a lap counter for races longer than 400m because any shorter race won’t have multiple laps to count. A lap counter is usually a flip board with numbers on it. You flip the numbers down, counting how many laps you have to go. The counter is flipped whenever the person in first place finishes a lap. You can buy a lap counter with a bell attached to it. However, you can also use a separate bell to ring on the last lap. You can use any number flipper to count down laps, but if you’re going to buy a top-of-the-line lap counter, it will cost up to $650.
Markers are for throwing sports to show where the throw landed. Markers can be made of just about anything, though, for the most part, they’re made of metal. You can use anything as a marker if you’re just beginning to throw and don’t want to break the bank. As long as it is heavy enough to stay on the ground and not move, it should work. If you want to buy legitimate metal markers, they will cost anywhere from $50 to $200 a set.
Measuring tapes can be used for a lot of things in track and field. You can use a measuring tape to mark the distance of a race or to spread out the starting blocks. You can also use a measuring tape to determine the distance of a throw from the throwing spot to the marker where it landed. Track and field measuring tapes are typically made of fiberglass or steel. You can choose how long you want the maximum on the tape to be, anywhere from 50 ft to 350 ft. A measuring tape will cost you between $20 and $120, depending on the length and material.
Megaphones are definitely not necessary if you’re a beginner, but you will see more advanced athletes and their coaches using them. At crowded meets where your coach can’t get down to the track level, a megaphone helps them to give instructions from the stands without having to yell. Megaphones are made of metal and hard plastic and usually allow you to adjust the volume. There are not many track-and-field-specific megaphones, but you can get one at most sporting goods stores or online retailers. A good megaphone will cost around $100.
Pit Levelers And Rakes
Pit levelers and rakes are for smoothing out sand of long jump and triple jump pits. After you land in the pole-vault pit, it can leave a pretty big hole in the sand, so a rake can help to smooth out the sand for the next person. While most meets will have field maintenance rakes specific for track and field, you can also use any common rake used for yard work. A high-quality track and field rake costs around $75.
Pole Vault Bags
A pole vault bag is a bag for carrying your vaulting pole. Most pole vault bags will hold multiple poles. The bag will be made of nylon or polyester and have a zipper and two handles to help carry it more easily. A pole vault bag is extremely useful for pole vault athletes, allowing them to carry their vaulting poles without any risk of damaging them. A pole vault bag can cost over $100.
Pole Vault Grip Tapes
Pole vault grip tape is essential if you are a pole vaulter or a pole vault coach. Pole vault grip tape is the sticky tape wrapped around a vaulting pole that you put on to improve your grip. Some poles come with tape, and some don’t. Either way, after a while, pole-vault tape will wear out, so it is important to replace it. The tape is sticky and usually made of cotton cloth. You can buy a 25-yard roll of tape, and that should last you a while, depending on how much you pole vault. A big roll of tape should only cost about $20.
Pole Vault Pits
Pole vault pits are very similar to high jump pits. At a basic level, they are large foam cushions meant to provide a safe landing for pole vaulters.. Pole vault pits are bigger than high jump pits. They have space for the spot where the track ends for your pole vault to go into the box. Pole vault pits can be up to 30 ft by 30 ft and their cushions are usually very thick. You should only buy a pole vault pit if you don’t have access to a track with a pit already there. A pole vault pit will cost between $7,000 and $30,000.
The first piece of equipment that you should buy as a beginner pole vaulter is a vaulting pole. Vaulting poles were made of wood when the sport was born, and then bamboo starting in 1904. Today, most vaulting poles are made of fiberglass or another synthetic material. Lengths vary for most adults from 10 feet to just over seventeen feet. The sizing of a vaulting pole depends on an athlete’s size, proportions, and preferences. As a beginner, you can buy just one, but Olympic-level athletes have multiple vaulting poles that they utilize. A vaulting pole will cost you anywhere from $600 to $1,200.
Race clocks are what tell time during a track race, both for you as a runner and for the rest of the people in the stadium. Almost all race clocks are digital. Most go down to the second, though Olympic-level clocks count down to the hundredth of a second. Race clocks come with a tripod and a remote to start and stop the clock. You only really need a race clock for races, as you can just use a stopwatch for practice. A high-quality race clock will cost between $1,000 and $2,000.
Shot puts are, far and away, the most important piece of equipment if you’re going to be a shot putter. A shot put is essentially just a heavy ball that people throw from their shoulder as far as they can. In the Olympics, the regulation shot put is about 16 lbs for men and 8.8 lbs for women. However, shot puts come in all kinds of weights for practice. They’re usually made of steel or another dense metal. For competition, you likely only need one shot put, but you can buy multiple for practice if you’d like. A shot put will cost between $25 and $200.
Many track and field athletes wear tight shorts made of spandex, especially at practice. They are made of stretchy athletic material that allows for maximum range of motion. They are designed to hug the leg tightly like a second skin. Spandex shorts come in every color, and some track and field athletes own an entire rainbow of spandex. Popular brands of spandex include Nike and Adidas. For some people, spandex shorts are part of their uniform. Spandex is especially popular among short-distance runners because of the way they hug the legs and increase mobility. You can buy spandex shorts for between $25 and $35.
Spikes are a part of track shoes that help with traction, no matter the event that you are in. Certain spikes are for short-distance running, while others are for long distances. There are also spikes for the long jump and high jump. There are two types of track spikes: needle and pyramid. They get their names from the shape of the spikes. You have to buy spikes separately from the track shoes; however, metal spikes come in bags of anywhere from 10 to 30 spikes. These bags will cost around $10 or $15, depending on the number of spikes.
Starting blocks are important if you want to be a short-distance track runner. Races that span 800m and above don’t use starting blocks, but runners in the 100m, 200m, and 400m races use starting blocks. Starting blocks help you to push off more easily to get running at a top speed more quickly. Usually, starting blocks will be provided by the meet, but for practice and for personal use, a set of blocks is good to have. Starting blocks are typically made of metal and are adjustable, costing between $80 and $500 for a set.
Stopwatches are important because they allow you to accurately capture how fast you ran. Most stopwatches are small and digital, with buttons to start, stop, and reset the watch. There are more high-tech stopwatches for race officials that come with a printer to print the times of runners while the clock still runs. If you want to take track seriously, investing in a stopwatch is important and can help you improve your running. Track and field stopwatches cost between $20 and $50.
Throw cages are an important piece of equipment featured in every discus and hammer-throwing event. Throw cages serve two purposes. Firstly, throw cages protect both the spectators and other athletes from throws gone awry. Throw cages also help you to aim a legal throw, which has to land within a certain area in order to count. Throw cages are made from aluminum or steel posts with nets all around. Some cheaper throw cages are made from regular cloth netting, but more expensive ones are made of metal. Typically throw cages are already present at track meets and practice facilities. A throw cage typically costs between $1,000 and $10,000 to purchase one new, depending on the size, materials, and configuration.
Track shirts can be pretty much any shirt that is comfortable and easy to move in. Preferably, you want to wear an athletic shirt, one that is tight on the body, though not constricting. You’ll want a track shirt made of breathable material. More popular than a t-shirt, you can wear a tank top style track shirt, also made out of breathable, light material. Most track uniforms for meets are tank tops, and you can buy custom tank tops with designs for races. Tanks can range in price from $10 to $40, depending on the brand and quality.
There are many different kinds of track shoes you can buy, but most track shoes have spikes on them (the size depends on the event). For example, short-distance runners need to wear lightweight spikes that allow them to bounce a lot and run up on the balls of their feet. Longer-distance track shoes have bigger spikes and offer more support. For events like hammer throw and discus, spikes aren’t recommended, as you’ll need shoes that can grip cement. Track shoes vary a lot based on the event, size, and material. You can buy cheap track shoes for about $30, but if you want higher-quality shoes, they will often cost upwards of $150.
Track shorts are pretty much any pair of shorts that you can run or be athletic in. A popular material for track shorts is spandex because it is comfortable and lightweight. The other most popular type of track shorts is short running shorts. These usually have some mesh built-in, a lot like a swimsuit, and are made of very light material so as not to weigh down the runner’s legs. You can buy multiple different kinds of track shorts depending on your personal preferences. Track shorts cost between $25 and $70.
List of Track and Field Equipment
- Banana Steps
- Cross Bars
- Discus Carts
- Finish Lines
- Hammer and Weight Throwers
- Hammer Gloves
- High Pit Jumps
- High Jumps
- Jump Boards
- Lap Counters
- Measuring Tapes
- Pit Levelers and Rakes
- Pole Vault Bags
- Pole Vault Grip Tapes
- Pole Vaults
- Pole Vault Pits
- Race Clocks
- Shot Puts
- Starting Blocks
- Throw Cages
- Track Shirts
- Track Shoes
- Track Shorts
What equipment do you need for track and field?
A lot of equipment goes into track and field, and almost all of it is necessary for competition. However, many of the items are specific to different events in track and field. You do not need a high jump pit to compete in the hammer throw, but you do need a hammer and hammer gloves! Knowing what event you are going to participate in beforehand allows you to purchase the equipment you will need. Most track and field teams will supply meet and practice equipment, so athletes don’t have to purchase expensive pieces of equipment themselves. However, apparel such as track shorts, track shirts, and track shoes are all things competitors in every event will need.
What makes track and field equipment unique?
Track and field equipment is unique because every event has its own equipment necessities. You cannot use a discus in the hammer throw, and you don’t jump over a hurdle in the high jump. Every piece of equipment is utilized in a very specific way and is required for different events within any given track and field meet.
What is the most important track and field equipment to buy?
The most important track and field equipment for you to purchase varies based on what event you will be competing in. Along with the apparel that you need to purchase for training or competing, you will need equipment specific to your event. So, if you compete in the javelin throw, you will need track shoes, track shirts, track shorts, and a javelin. If you run in the long relay, you would not need a javelin but would need spikes and a baton.
What is the expected cost for track and field equipment?
Shoes and clothes for track and field will typically cost about $200 for shorts, shoes, a shirt, and any undergarments. When it comes to specific equipment like a hammer or discus, the price depends on the weight, size, and quality. A discus for a newer and younger competitor may only cost $30, but one for an Olympic-level athlete may cost upwards of $500.