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Looking back at 2018: women’s hammer throw world rankings

Last weekend we released our men’s world rankings. Today it’s time for our women’s rankings. For the sixth straight year, Anita Wlodarczyk led the way in the women’s hammer throw. But for the first time in a while, she showed some signs of weakness and many new names emerged on the world rankings. Check out the full rankings below. Read more

Looking back at 2018: men’s hammer throw world rankings

Without a truly global championship, many consider 2018 an off year. But if you look closer, the year was full of some big meets, including the European Championships, Asian Games, and Commonwealth Games. The year also featured a changing of the guard, with a new name sitting atop the list for the first time in four years. Our complete annual rankings for the men’s hammer are below. Check back this weekend for the women’s rankings. Read more

2018 youth hammer throw state rankings

As we finish up our look back at the 2018 season it is time to look at how the event is spread across the country. As we do every year, we like like to take a look at the sport through a geographic lens to show which states are on the rise and where the sport is spreading. Read more

Youth hammer records fall in 2018

Over the past few weeks we have covered some of the highlights of the 2018 high school hammer throw season. We have compiled our final rankings, looked at the growth in participation, and this year’s all-Americans. In this article we want to focus on some of the top performances of the year. Read more

High school hammer sees record participation in 2018

Last week we shared the 2018 high school hammer throw all-Americans. We continue to look back at the season this week by analyzing the final 2018 national performance lists. Read more

Two methods to break down complex sports

In many ways, track and field coaches have it easy. When I am coaching a hammer thrower, for example, I have just one athlete to worry about, one movement to train for, and one technique to master. Athletes in open-skilled sports, on the other hand, have a much more difficult puzzle to put together. How do coaches decide what to focus on in training and programming in such a situation? Read more

A statistical look at the 2018 indoor season

A few weeks ago we published Bob Gourley’s final national indoor performance lists of the 2018 season. Several of the marks on the list have historic impact too. Over the weekend we updated our records page to reflect marks from the recent indoor season, and several highlights stood out. Read more

Signal or noise?

The ability to be able to recognize patterns has played a crucial role in the evolution of humans. In order to be able to pass on our DNA, we need to be able to breed, which means that we need to keep ourselves healthy enough (and alive enough) to do. Read more

Correlations, causations, and multi-sport athletes

You’ve likely heard of the importance of athletes being exposed to a variety of different sports in order to increase their chances of success in their main sport. It’s widely reported that high level athletes tend to a have a multi-sport background, with 71% of NCAA Division 1 American Football players, and 90% of Division 1 runners being multi-sport athletes. A big news story in 2017 was that 30 of the 32 NFL first round draft picks were multiple sport athletes in high school. It appears that the correlation here is clear; being a multi-sport athlete in your youth increases your chances of success. But does it? Read more

Correlations don’t prove causation, but we can still learn from them

If you ever take a statistics course, one of the first things you will learn is that correlation does not imply causation. It is one of the main tenants of science and if you wonder why that is the case, just think through some examples like the perfect correlation between ice cream sales and shark attacks per month, or other great examples from the Spurious Correlations website. Simply put, just because two things coincide, doesn’t mean that one caused the other and, even if there is a causal link, which direction it is heading. Read more