Javelin Throwing: Its History, Techniques and Rules

Javelin sheet sport is one of the athletic sports. This sport requires technique, speed, and strength to be able to throw a javelin as far as possible. The javelin throw comes from two words, throwing which means throwing far away, and javelin which means a pointed stick.

Throwing is the process of moving objects from one place to another with all their might so that objects reach the maximum distance. Throwing is the most important element in the sport of javelin throwing.

According to PASI (1988), javelin throwing is one of the sports in athletics that uses a long round spear-shaped tool to throw it as far as possible. Meanwhile, according to Jerver (1996), javelin throwing is a touch movement of the hand using a long-shaped object that is thrown as far as possible.

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Knowing the sport of javelin throwing will not be complete if we do not know how its history is. Behind this world-famous sport, javelin throwing has a history in ancient times. Here is the history of the sport of javelin throwing.

The History of the Javelin Throw

The activity of throwing javelin was often done by humans in ancient times to hunt animals to meet their needs. Humans also use this javelin for war. Before being used as a sport, this javelin throwing activity was used more for action and self-defense. After centuries later, javelin throwing became the sport it is today.

The javelin throwing has been introduced since the Olympics in ancient times as part of the Pentathlon in 708 BC. Furthermore, this sport also appeared in Germany and Sweden in the 1870s. Then the sport of javelin throwing officially became part of athletics at the modern Olympics since 1908 (men) and 1932 (women).

In addition there are two developments that have influenced the development of this sport of javelin throwing. The first is to use the disc as a spinning tool for throwing. This method provides good distance for throwing, but it is also often prohibited. The second is the rule so that the athlete does not turn his back to the direction of the throw.

Javelin Throwing Techniques

The javelin throw is an athletic sport that prioritizes arm and muscle movement. Therefore it is necessary to do the right exercises and techniques to maximize the throw and also reduce injury to the arm. Before doing this javelin throwing technique, it is required to warm up so that the whole body, including the arms, is stretched and not stiff when moved.

In the technique, the javelin throwing itself is divided into four, namely, the javelin holding technique, the javelin carrying technique, the running technique, and the javelin throwing technique.

1. Javelin Holding Technique

javelin holding style

Source: Kompas.com

Holding the javelin properly and correctly is the key to a good throw. On the javelin, there must be a loop of rope that serves as the recommended place to hold the javelin. This is the most effective place to hold the javelin.

There are three styles of holding the javelin namely, American style, Finnish style, and clamping style. Here are the styles for holding a javelin.

a. American style

This American style is an easy style to do, especially for beginners who are just learning to throw the javelin. In addition to beginners, society and education also use this style to hold the javelin because the thrust generated by the thumb and index finger is higher.

The American way of holding the javelin is to hold the javelin on the part of the string between the index finger and thumb, then the palm and other fingers grip the stick as usual.

This grip is also easier to do than the Finnish style. Usually the people who hold the Finnish style are elite athletes only. In general, the American and Finnish javelin holding styles are still used today because they have the same strong impulse, only the holding technique is different.

b. Finnish style

The Finnish way of holding the javelin is to hold the javelin by the loop of the rope with the middle finger and thumb together, followed by the rest of the fingers holding the javelin, keeping the index finger straight along with the javelin.

This style of holding the javelin is similar to the American style, but the straight forefinger must be extended slightly back to control when throwing the javelin.

c. Clamp Style

This clamping style is done by holding the javelin on the loop of the rope with the index and middle fingers between the javelin in a clamping position. This style of holding the javelin is to prevent injury to the elbow due to a wrong throw. However, because the rope is thin, it can also cause problems when throwing.

2. Javelin Carrying Technique

After being able to determine which style of holding the javelin suits you, the next step is the technique of carrying the javelin correctly. Below are the steps.

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  • Hold the javelin and position the javelin over your shoulder. In this case, the elbow should point forward. Then direct the javelin forward at a 40-degree angle to the intended throwing area.
  • When taking the first step, try to keep your hips perpendicular to the target area. Before throwing, generally beginners will run 10 steps, while athletes can usually go up to 13 to 18 steps.
  • During running, you must ensure that the position of holding the javelin must match the initial technique.
  • When you’ve reached the final step, rotate the foot opposite your javelin-holding hand, then bring your hips toward the javelin throwing target.
  • Next, do a cross leg movement while pulling the javelin back. In this case the body position must be leaning back to get ready to throw the javelin in the target area.

3. Javelin Throwing Technique

javelin throwing series

Source: master Pendidikan.com

When you understand how to hold a javelin, the next step is how to run when you want to throw a javelin. Below are the steps.

  • When you start running, make sure you run while carrying the javelin with the javelin above your head, arms bent forward, and palms facing up. As in the initial position of holding the javelin. What you must also remember is that the position of the javelin must be parallel to the parallel line with the ground.
  • At the end of the beginning consists of cross steps called cross steps . In addition, there are several other ways, such as hot steps , cross steps , rear cross steps .
  • In the cross step , when the left leg is lowered, then the shoulder is turned to the right slowly. After that the right arm moves back. At the same time this point of gravity drops during the start of the run.
  • This shoulder rotation and straightening of the arm continues to move backwards without interruption until it passes over the top of the left leg. This results in the body leaning backwards.
  • Your eyes should be straight ahead. Then, when the right leg lands in a bent position and ends with a cross step. After that, lift your right heel as your knee moves forward, then open your legs by stepping your left foot as far forward as possible and stepping slightly towards the left.
  • In this condition, keep the javelin in your grip at shoulder level. Keep your wrists facing up so that the tail of the javelin doesn’t touch the ground.
  • Then in this final phase, when the left foot has been lowered in the end of the throw, then the hip rotates forward and is indicated by an inward turn of the right foot and knee. After that immediately open the left shoulder, and the right elbow is rotated upwards, the javelin is straightened over the arm and shoulder towards the target.
  • Then press the left foot as if jumping and followed by the right foot inward, then straighten it while the right knee is also straight so that it forms a longitudinal position from the body, and is ready to throw.

4. Javelin Throwing Technique

javelin throwing technique

Source: wikipedia

Here are some steps for throwing a javelin. This technique can be used if you want to throw a javelin without a running start.

  • You should straighten your arms and lean back. Don’t forget to keep your eyes on the target area.
  • Use the front foot as a support, then push with the other foot. Change the point of gravity and body weight forward while preparing to throw the javelin.
  • At the same time, you can throw the javelin towards the front. Release the javelin that you hold when your hand is in front of the pedestal.
  • Throw the javelin as hard as you can, and keep your body balanced when throwing.

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General Rules in Javelin Throw

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has established a number of rules regarding javelin throwing. The following are general rules in the sport of javelin throwing.

1. Javelin Throwing Equipment

The javelin consists of three parts, namely, the javelin’s eye, the javelin body, and the javelin rope. The body on the javelin is made of metal, then the blade is pointed with a long end.

The specifications of the pura and princess javelins have several differences. The rules of the specifications that have been set are to ensure the javelin can fly and stick properly and correctly. In this case, the engineering manager must take care to ensure that all javelins conform to legal regulations.

The weight of the javelin for men is 800 grams, while for women it is 600 grams. The length of the javelin for men is 2.60 m to 2.70 m. While the female javelin has a length of 2.20 m to 2.30 m.

In world or regional championship competitions, participants must use the javelin that has been provided by the committee. However, in other competitions at a smaller level, participants may bring their own javelin as long as it has been checked and marked by the committee.

2. Javelin Throw Prefix

According to the applicable rules, the length of the javelin throw prefix may not be more than 36.50 m and not less than 30 m. This track shall be marked with two parallel lines 4 m apart with a line width of 5 cm.

3. Javelin Throw Boundary Arch

This arch for the javelin throw limit is made of meta wood which is painted white and set flat to the ground. This arch is an arc that has a diameter of 8 m. The curved line measures 7 cm. A length of 0.75 m is made as an extension of the throwing curve and the right angle to the starting track parallel.

4. Javelin Throw Landing Area

This landing area is marked with an arc drawn and centered at an angle of 28.96 degrees.

5. Javelin Throw Rating

In his judgment, this javelin throw uses the flag as a symbol. The white flag is used if the throw is made correctly and lands successfully in the landing area. While the red flag is used to indicate that the throw made was wrong.

A javelin throw is measured from the mark closest to the point of the javelin to the inside of the circle, then measure the mark between the marks. Some of the elements of the assessment are how to hold the javelin correctly and the most distant and precise landing of the javelin.

Muhajir (2007) said that a throw can be said to be valid if the javelin has scratched or stuck in the landing area. The throw is said to be invalid if when the participant throws, the foot touches the arch of the throw. Ballesters said that a throw will be considered valid if the point of the javelin hits the ground before the rest of the javelin, and must fall completely into the landing area.

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