Athletics throwing events

The four standard throwing events — shot put, discus, hammer, and javelin — all involve the use of implements of various weights and shapes that are hurled for distance.

Discus throw


The discus throw includes a throwing circle, protective cage and landing sector. They are located near the ends of the back straight and the landing sector is located in the grass area inside the track.

The facility for discus throw, near the 1500m start, is usually combined with a facility for hammer throw.Discus-throw-circle-facility The only difference is the diameter of the throwing circle is 2.50m for discus throw and 2.135m for hammer throw. The protective cage must meet the more stringent requirements for hammer throwing. If two separate discus and hammer circles are placed within the hammer protective cage then the discus throw circle is the circle closer to the landing sector.

Throwing circleDiscus throw facility dimensions

The throwing circle is made of band iron, steel or other suitable material, the top of which is flush with the ground outside or the synthetic surface or concrete surround. The interior of the circle is constructed of concrete and must not be slippery.

Further information on the construction of the throwing circle is in Section of the Manual, page 59.

Safety cage

Frequently discus and hammer are thrown from a combined facility. In those instances the higher standards required for hammer throwing apply to the protective cage design. To provide greater safety it is desirable to extend the netting on the side of the cage nearer to the track further than 7m from the centre of the circle and/or increase the height of the netting for the last 2m.

Landing sector

The landing sector consists of cinders or grass or other suitable material with an even surface soft enough to ensure that the place of the initial fall of the implement can be clearly established by the judges. The landing surface must not allow the implement to bounce backwards, thus creating a risk that the measuring point is obliterated.

The landing sector is laid from the middle of the circle with an angle of 34.92 degrees and marked by 0.05m wide white lines, the inside edges which form the boundary of the sector. The length of the sector is 80m. Its angle of 34.92 degrees will be attained if the two sector lines at a distance of 80m are spaced 48m apart.

Hammer throw

Layout Hammer throw facility dimensions

The hammer throw facility includes a throwing circle, a protective cage and a landing sector. It is usually combined with the facility for discus throw.

Throwing circle

The circle for the hammer throw is slightly smaller than the discus throw. The surface finish to the concrete circle is slightly smoother for hammer throwing than for discus throwing. When a circle is used for both discus and hammer throwing a compromise finish is required. See section of the Manual for further information.

Safety cage

Hammer and discus must only be thrown from an enclosure or cage to ensure the safety of spectators, officials and athletes. Cages specified in the manual are intended for use in major stadia in high class competition when the event takes place outside the arena with spectators present or when the event takes place in the arena and other events are taking place at the same time. Simpler and smaller cages may be adequate for competition of lower standard and for well regulated training facilities. Further information is available from section 6.3.2 of the Manual.

Combined discus and hammer throw cage

combined discus and hammer throw facility dimensions



The javelin throw facility includes a runway, a throwing arc and a landing sector. Since the length of the runway exceeds the space available in the segment, it is usually extended across the track and track border. javelin runway and landing sector dimensions

It is necessary to have a removable kerb and the height of the surfaces of the oval track and the segment must be the same along the track border. For a runway in either segment, the landing sector is located in the grass area inside the track.

The runway is 30m minimum long and measured from the beginning of the runway to rear edge of the side markings outside the runway at the same level as the throwing arc. It is marked by two parallel white lines 0.05m wide and 4m apart. The runway is covered with the same surface as the track.

Throwing arc

The throwing arc is situated at the end of the runway. It is painted or made of wood (3 to 5 weatherproof, bonded layers) or a suitable non‑­corrodible material like plastic. If not marked with paint, it must be installed flush with the surface of the runway.

The throwing arc is 0.07m wide, white and curved with a radius of 8m from the centre point in the middle of the runway, in the throwing direction. It is advisable that the centre point is marked with a synthetic plug of a different colour to the surface, with a diameter and surface thickness of 20mm‑­30mm. Lines are drawn from the extremities of the arc at right angles to the parallel lines marking the runway. These lines are white, 0.75m in length and 0.07m wide.

Landing sector

The sector lines are laid from the centre point on the runway through the crosspoints of the throwing arc and the lines of the runway. The length of the sector is 100m. At this distance the inner edges of the sector lines are 50m apart. The marking of the sector lines extends to a distance appropriate to the competition.

Shot put


The shot put facility includes a throwing circle, a stop board and a landing sector. The landing sector is usually located in the grass area inside the track.

Throwing circle Shot put facility dimensions

The inside diameter of the throwing circle is 2.135m ± 0.005m.

Stop board

The stop board is painted white and made of wood or other suitable material in the shape of an arc so that the inner edge coincides with the inner edge of the circle. It is placed midway between the sector lines and firmly fixed to the ground. It measures 1.21m ± 0.01m long on the inside. The width at the narrowest point is 0.112m ± 0.002m and the height is 0.10m ± 0.002m measured above the adjoining surface of the circle when the stop board is firmly in position.

Landing sector

The length of the sector is 25m. The angle of 34.92 degrees is attained if the two sector lines, at a distance of 25m, are spaced 15m apart.


IAAF Track and Field Facilities Manual 2008 (PDF 5.6 MB)

Sport association details

Athletics West Ltd

Vince Del Prete
Chief Executive Officer
PO Box 157, Floreat WA 6014
Telephone 61 8 6272 0480
Facebook athleticswest


The information in this guide is general in nature and cannot be relied upon as professional advice concerning the design of, or marking out for, sporting facilities and playing areas. No assurance is given as to the accuracy of any information contained in this guide and readers should not rely on its accuracy. Readers should obtain their own independent and professional advice in relation to their proposed sporting activity.

Page reviewed 07 October 2022