The Sport of the Javelin Throw: Its History, Techniques, and Regulations

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

Throwing is the process of moving objects from one place to another with all your might so that the object reaches the maximum distance. Throwing is the most important element in javelin throwing sports activities.

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

The book is a physical education and sports book for grade IX junior high school or MTS.

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

History of the Sport of Javelin Throw

Javelin throwing activities were often carried out by humans in ancient times to hunt animals to make ends meet. Humans also use this javelin for war. Before being used as a sport, javelin throwing was used more for action and self-protection. Centuries later, javelin throwing was made into the sport it is today.

This javelin throw 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 this javelin throwing sport officially became part of the athletics branch at the modern Olympics since 1908 (men) and 1932 (women).

In addition there are two developments that have influenced the development of this javelin throwing sport. The first is to use the disc as a spin tool for throwing. This method provides a good distance for throwing, but it is also frequently banned. The second is the rule that athletes do not turn their backs to the direction of the throw.

Javelin Throwing Sports Technique

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 throws and also reduce injuries to the arms. Before doing this javelin throwing technique exercise, you are required to warm up so that the whole body, including the arms, is stretched and not stiff when moved.

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

1. Javelin Holding Technique

Holding the javelin properly and correctly is the key to a good throw. On the javelin, of course, there is a rope coil which is used as a recommended place to hold the javelin. It is at this point that the javelin is most effective.

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

a. American style

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

The way to hold the javelin in the American style is to hold the javelin by the string between your forefinger and thumb, then palm and other fingers grip the stick as usual.

This hold is also easier to perform than the Finnish hold. 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 thrust, only the technique of holding them is different.

b. Finnish style

The way to hold the javelin in the Finnish style is to hold the javelin on the coiled part of the rope with the middle finger and thumb that meet, followed by the rest of the fingers that hold the javelin, but the index finger remains straight following the javelin.

The style of holding the javelin on this one is similar to the American style, but the straight forefinger must be extended slightly back to control when you want to throw the javelin.

c. Clamp Style

This clamping style is done by holding the javelin on the coiled part of the rope with the index finger and middle finger between the javelin in a clamped position. This style of holding the javelin is to prevent injuries to the elbows due to wrong throws. But because of the thin rope, it can also cause problems when throwing.

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2. Technique of Carrying the Javelin

After you can determine which style of holding the javelin is right for you, the next step is the correct technique for carrying the javelin. Below are the steps.

  • Hold the javelin and position the javelin over your shoulder. In this case the position of the elbows should point forward. Then point the javelin forward at a 40 degree angle to the intended throwing area.
  • When performing 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 the run, you have to make sure the position of holding the javelin is in accordance with the initial technique.
  • When you’ve reached the final stride, rotate the leg opposite your javelin hand, then point your hips toward the javelin target.
  • Next, cross leg movements while pulling the javelin backwards. In this case the position of the body must be leaning back to get ready to throw the javelin at the target area.

3. Javelin Throwing Technique

When you understand how to hold the javelin, the next step is how to run when you want to throw the 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 also have to remember is that the position of the javelin must be level above the parallel line with the ground.
  • The last part of the beginning consists of cross steps which are called cross steps . In addition there are several other ways such as, tiptoe ( hot steps ), cross steps ( cross steps ), rear cross steps ( rear cross steps ).
  • In the cross step method , when the left leg is lowered, then the shoulder is rotated to the right slowly. After that the right arm moves back. At the same time the center of gravity drops during the run start.
  • Rotation of the shoulders and straightening this arm continues to move backwards without interruption until it passes over 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, it ends with a cross step. After that, lift your right heel as your knee moves forward, then open both legs by stepping your left foot as far forward as possible and stepping to the left a little.
  • In this condition, keep the javelin in the grip at shoulder height. Your wrists must be kept in an upward position so that the javelin’s tail does not touch the ground.
  • Then in this last phase, when the left foot is lowered at the end of the throw, then the hips rotate forward and are marked by an inward rotation of the right leg and knee. After that, immediately open your left shoulder, and turn your right elbow upwards, straighten the javelin over your arm and shoulder towards the target.
  • Then press the left leg like 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 Techniques

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 your front foot for support, then push off with the other leg. Change your point of gravity and weight forward while preparing to throw the javelin.
  • At the same time, you can throw the javelin up front. Release the javelin that you are holding when your hand is in front of the pedestal.
  • Throw the javelin as hard as you can, and keep your body balanced when throwing.


The book is a physical and sports book for grade VIII SMP and MTS.

General Rules in Javelin Throwing

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

1. Equipment for throwing javelin

The javelin consists of three parts, namely, the eye of the javelin, the body of the javelin and the rope. The body of the javelin is made of metal, then the sharp eye of the javelin with a long tip.

The specifications for the temple and princess javelin have several differences. These predefined specification rules ensure that the javelin can fly and land properly and correctly. In this case, the engineering manager must take care to ensure all javelins comply with legal regulations.

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The weight of the javelin for men is 800 grams, while for women it is 600 grams. Men’s javelin length is 2.60 m to 2.70 m. Meanwhile, 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 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 Track

According to applicable regulations, the length of the javelin starting track 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 and 5 cm wide.

3. Javelin Limit Curvature

The arch for the javelin boundary is made of meta wood which is painted white and placed flat on the ground. This arch is an arc that has a diameter with a radius of 8 m. The curved line measures 7 cm. The 0.75 m is constructed as an extension of the throwing arc and is at right angles to the parallel running track of the start.

4. Javelin Landing Area

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

5. Javelin Throw Assessment

In his assessment, javelin throwing uses a 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 measures the mark between these marks. Some of the elements of the assessment are how to hold the javelin properly and the farthest and correct 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 throwing arch. Ballesters say that a throw is considered valid if the point of the javelin touches the ground before the rest of the javelin, and must fall completely into the landing area.

Legal Javelin Throw Requirements

  • The javelin must be held by a coiled string, and must be thrown over the shoulder and the upper part of the arm.
  • The throw is invalid if the blade does not strike the landing area before any other part.
  • The thrower may not cross any of the parallel lanes while throwing the javelin.
  • Throws are counted invalid if the thrower touches the throw line at right angles to the line parallel to the body of the thrower.
  • After the initial motion of the throw until the javelin has been released and is flying, the thrower may not turn his body so that he faces the landing area.
  • The thrower may not leave the runway before the javelin is thrown into the landing area. From a stance leaving the starting running lane, from behind the throwing arc, and the extension line.
  • The javelin must land on the landing area and make a landing mark, not having to stick to a hole in the grass.
  • It is not allowed to use tools to glue the hands so that throwing the javelin will be better. Not even wearing gloves.
  • The athlete only has 1 minute to throw the javelin. If the athlete has not bowled in the last 15 seconds, the referee will raise a yellow flag as a warning. Points will not be counted if the time limit has been exceeded.
  • Generally, athletes try to throw three times in a competition. Even on some occasions, athletes can have the opportunity to try six times.
  • If the points between the athletes end in a draw, then another throw must be made. The athlete with the best throw will emerge victorious.
  • The referee determines the winner from the legal throw and the farthest distance.

Books on Physical Education, Sport and Health for class X SMA/MA/SMK and equivalent, compiled based on the latest revision of the 2013 Curriculum. Presented with due regard to the interrelationships of technology, health, environment, and society. The material in this book reveals several techniques or methods of mental skills that must be mastered by students.

Book Recommendations & Related Articles

Well, Sinaumed’s, that’s an explanation of the sport of javelin throwing in which there is history, techniques, regulations, and requirements for javelin throwing. If you are interested in practicing javelin throwing, you can learn from the article above.

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