Weight Throw Equipment List
Weight throw is one of the most straightforward events in track and field. Contestants are given a weight and told to throw it as far as possible, with the winner being the owner of the farthest throw. When it comes to weight throw, many pieces of equipment are required, and many high schools do not even feature the event in their track and field programs. Keep on reading to learn what this equipment is and how it’s used.
What equipment do you need for weight throw?
- Duffel bag
- Hammer rack
- Safety cage
- Throwing circle
- Throwing shoes
A thrower needs numerous pieces of equipment when competing, and the first step to organizing everything is purchasing a bag. Athletes typically use duffel bags to carry their hammers and shoes, as well as any other tape or gloves they may bring with them to the meet.
Most competitors in the event use gloves of some sort. These gloves provide throwers with a better grip on the handle of their weight, which offers a number of benefits. Wearing gloves can offer more control over the weight, especially in terms of direction. Additionally, wearing gloves can make a thrower more confident in their grip, allowing them to put all their energy into the throw without worrying about the weight flying out of their hands.
One-half of the weight that athletes throw is called the hammer. The hammer is a solid metal ball, weighing 12 pounds for boys in high school and 16 pounds for men in professional competitions. These are the same weights as used for shot put, but the distances seen in weight throw are much higher because of the handle that is attached to the ball.
In order to give athletes somewhere to store their hammers while they’re not throwing, hammer racks are essential to any event. These also keep hammers and handles organized, so players do not misplace or lose their weights. Most racks have wheels on them, though as they begin to fill up, they can be quite heavy to push.
The handle and wire are what distinguish weight throw from shot put. Both pieces are constructed of lightweight metal and are crucial to the event. The handle allows players a surface to get a strong grip on, and the wire allows athletes to wind up their throws before releasing their weights high into the air. In the Olympics, wires must be no longer than 1.22 meters, or four feet, long. Both the handle and the wire must also be strong enough to withstand the intense force put on them as some of the world’s strongest humans swing them around and around.
One of the most important pieces of equipment in weight throw is the safety cage. This cage is constructed with a number of tall metal poles surrounding the throwing circle, with the space between the poles being filled by a mesh net. This cage, the same one used for shot put and discus, is paramount to protecting spectators and fellow competitors alike. It protects from errant throws that are either mistimed or those that occur when a thrower loses their grip on the handle. The poles are dug far into the ground, and the net must be extremely strong to absorb the impact of any wild weights.
The area where throwers release their weights from is called the throwing circle. Seven feet in diameter, the throwing circle marks the acceptable area where weights can be thrown from. Athletes can spin their bodies around to build up momentum for their throws, but they cannot step outside the throwing circle. If the athlete steps out of the circle at any point before their throw lands, the toss is disqualified. In addition, a small white piece is placed in the front of the circle to let throwers know where the boundary is and to prevent them from stepping too far forward. This is the same throwing circle used in shot put and discus.
The last piece of equipment that throwers should make sure to have is proper throwing shoes. These shoes are specially designed for throwing events in track and field. Unlike other track shoes, these do not have spikes on the bottom but rather feature a smooth sole. This allows for throwers to spin more easily as they build momentum. In addition, these shoes have a textured rubber outsole that both adds durability to the shoe and allows throwers to “glide” after releasing their throws. This is important, as after building up so much torque, it’s key for throwers to slowly stop moving rather than an abrupt motion.