Make your own free website on


Throwing the Hammer

The Competition

1. The competitor, in his starting position prior to the preliminary swings or turns, is allowed to put the head of the hammer on the

ground inside or outside the circle.

2. It shall not be considered a foul throw if the head of the hammer touches the ground, or the top of the iron band, when the competitor

makes the preliminary swings or turns, but if, after having so touched the ground, or the top of the iron band, he stops throwing so

as to begin the throw again, this shall count as a failure.

3. If the hammer breaks during a throw or while in the air, it shall not count as a foul throw, provided the attempt was made in accordance

with this Rule. If the competitor thereby loses his balance and contravenes any part of this Rule, it shall not be counted as a foul throw.

The Hammer

4. Construction. The hammer shall consist of three parts: a metal head, a wire and a grip.

5. Head. The head shall be of solid iron or other metal not softer than brass or a shell of such metal, filled with lead or other solid material

with a minimum diameter of 110mm for men and 95mm for women. It shall be spherical in shape.

If a filling is used, this shall be inserted in such manner that it is immovable and that the centre of gravity shall not be more than

6mm from the centre of the sphere.

6. Wire. The wire shall be a single unbroken and straight length of spring steel wire not less than 3mm in diameter and shall be such

that it cannot stretch appreciably while the hammer is being thrown. The wire may be looped at one or both ends as a means of attachment.

7. Grip. The grip may be either of single or double loop construction, but shall be rigid and without hinging joints of any kind. It shall not

stretch appreciably while being thrown. It shall be attached to the wire in such a manner that it cannot be turned within the loop of the

wire to increase the overall length of the hammer.

8. Connections for wire. The wire shall be connected to the head by means of a swivel, which may be either plain or ball bearing. The

grip shall be connected to the wire by means of a loop. A swivel may not be used.

9. The hammer shall conform to the following specifications:

  Senior men Junior men U17 men Women and U15 Men
  Min Max Min Max Min Max Min Max
Weight complete  7.260kg   6.25kg   5kg   4kg  
Length of hammer 117.5cm 121.5cm 117.5cm 121.5cm 116.5cm 120.5cm 116.0cm 119.5cm
Diameter of head 110mm 130mm 99mm 126mm 94mm 118mm 89mm 110mm

Note: Length of hammer must be measured from the inside of the grip

Centre of gravity of head

Not more than 6mm from the centre of the sphere, i.e. - it must be possible to balance the head, less handle and grip, on a horizontal sharp-edged

circular orifice 12mm in diameter.

Hammer Cage

1. All hammer throws shall be made from an enclosure or cage to ensure the safety of spectators, officials and competitors. The cage

specified in this Rule is intended for use in a major stadium, with spectators all the way round the outside of the arena, and the other

events taking place in the arena. Where this does not apply, and especially in training areas, a much simpler construction may be

satisfactory. Advice is available on request from national organisations or from the IAAF Bureau.

2. The cage should be designed, manufactured and maintained so as to be capable of stopping a 7.26kg hammer head moving at a speed of

up to 32 metres per second. The arrangement should be such that there is no danger of ricocheting or rebounding back towards the

athlete or over the top of the cage. Provided that it satisfies all the requirements of this Rule, any form of cage design and construction

can be used.

3. The cage should be U-shaped in plan. The width of the mouth should be 6m, positioned 4.2m in front of the

centre of the throwing circle. The height of the netting panels shall be at least 7m.

Provisions should be made in the design and construction of the cage to prevent a hammer forcing its way through any joints in

the cage or the netting or underneath the netting panels.

4. Two movable netting panels 2m wide shall be provided at the front of the cage, only one of which will be operative at a time. The

minimum height of the panels shall be 9m.


(i) The left hand panel is used for a right-handed thrower and the

5. The netting for the cage can be made from suitable natural or synthetic fibre cord or, alternatively, from mild or high-tensile steel

wire. The maximum mesh size shall be 50mm for steel wire and 44mm for cord netting. The minimum size of cord or wire depends

on the construction of the cage, but the minimum breaking strength should be 300kg. In order to ensure the continued safety of the cage,

the steel netting should be inspected at least every 12 months. Visual inspection is not sufficient for fibre cord. Instead, several

sample lengths of the standard cord should be worked into the netting by the manufacturer. One of these can be removed every 12

months and tested to ensure the continued strength of the netting.

6. Where it is desired to use the same cage for discus throwing, the installation can be adapted in two alternative ways. Most simply, a

2.135/2.5m concentric circle may be fitted, but this involves using the same surface in the circle for hammer and discus throwing.

For separate circles for hammer and discus in the same cage, the two circles shall be placed one behind the other with the centres

2.37m apart on the centre line of the landing sector and with the hammer circle at the front. The shape of the rear of the cage shall

then be enlarged using a minimum of eight fixed panels and two movable panels 2m wide. The minimum height of the panels, both

fixed and movable, for this enlarged cage shall be the same as for the standard cage.

7. The maximum danger sector for hammer throws from this cage is approximately 85, when used by both right and left-handed

throwers in the same competition. The position and alignment of the cage in the arena is, therefore, critical for its safe use.