The Hammer Throw Dead Zone

There are a few genuine treasure troves of coaching information available free online. The first is Hammer Notes, which I devoured when I was first learning the hammer. For better or worse, it remains a great way to survey the current theories of hammer training 30 years after its initial publication. The other is the free online archive of New Studies in Athletics, the IAAF’s official technical publication. In browsing it the other day I came across a 2001 analysis of the current IAAF hammer throw cage by a team of Japanese researchers including Olympic and world champion Koji Murofushi.

The hammer throw sector and cage has various changes over the past 60 century. The hammer throw was once thrown without a cage and with a 90 degree sector. Now it is thrown with an immense cage and a 34.92º sector. The new cage was introduced in 2004 and the sector in 2002. Both have been met with skepticism by athletes, cost complaints from clubs, and a warm welcome from risk managers.


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4 replies
  1. Zach Hazen
    Zach Hazen says:

    So glad to see this brought up. Its been bugging me for a while. Of course many less official cages are grossly better or worse than the official cages. I would think the IAAF would be able to do trigonometry and have a reasonable design. You have to make some assumptions about release point, but at the end of the day its just drawing straight lines. Christ, get an intern with 1 week of CAD experience to figure it out! (Or just listen to the Murofushi Clan)

  2. Jerry
    Jerry says:

    “Looking at the footwork of the top throwers also shows that they have a curve through the ring that was not as prevalent 20 years ago. It helps them line up their throw to land in the sector without hitting either side of the cage.”

    I wonder if this “curve” has any effect on artificially limiting the distance or diminishing the throwers power. Very thought provoking article.

  3. Gary England
    Gary England says:

    Some of the recent 30 cage doors seem to have been designed poorly as I know of a few that have been destroyed under high wind.


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  1. […] Bingisser posted a great article on his blog a couple of weeks ago titled The Hammer Throw Dead Zone.  In it he talks about research done by Koji Murofushi and others that shows that the current IAAF […]

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