Hammer throw

The sport known as hammer throw, is a sport that belongs to the branch of athletics in which a metal object called hammer is thrown at a certain distance, using both hands within a throwing circle. This practice is considered one of the most difficult in sports and can be practiced by both, men and women.

Hammer throw

Related topics

Discus throw, javelin throw

What is hammer throw?

Hammer throw is a sport located within the category of athletics that consists of throwing a hammer, which is actually a metal ball of different weights within a throwing circle using three turns.

About hammer throw

The modern technique of this sport requires a pitcher to make three complete and rapid body turns within a given area before throwing the weight. The athlete’s strength, balance, and timing of the throw are essential. If the athlete gets on or leaves the circle, the shot will be a miss or if the hammer falls out of a 40° sector marked on the field from the center of the circle.

In order to measure the throw after the ball has been thrown, the ball must fall into a 40 degree sector and the athlete must not leave the circle before the hammer hits the ground. The thrower, usually makes three or four turns before releasing the ball. Athletes usually throw four or six times per competition. In the case of a tie, the winner will be the athlete with the best distance and effort.


The sport began thousands of years ago in the British Isles and according to the stories, it dates back to the Tailteann Games that were held in Ireland around the year 2000 B.C., when the Celtic hero Cú Chulainn took in his hands a cart wheel by its axle, turned it around his head and threw it further than any other individual could have done.

The wheel launch was replaced by a rock stuck to the end of a wooden handle. The different forms of hammer throw that existed were practiced among the ancient Teutonic tribes at religious festivals in honor of Thor, their god, and hammer throw was practiced in Scotland and England in the 15th and 16th centuries.


The athlete should stand at the back of the circle facing back, should place his feet at shoulder width or a little further apart with the handle in the left hand and with the right hand on the left. The right foot is placed pointing forward and should remain in place without moving, the knees should be bent slightly. With the handle grasped with both hands, the athlete should keep his feet in the same place to rotate the ball, drawing circles above and below his head, up to the height of the knees.

Once the hammer gains more speed, the thrower turns on himself two or three times to further accelerate the hammer ball and then releases it up and forward at an angle of approximately 45 degrees. The hammer must land within an established field, winning the race whoever gets the greatest distance at the end of the three throws per athlete.

Hammer throw rules

Hammer throw phases

The hammer throw is based on five different phases that are:


The track to perform this throw is a circle of 2.15 m in diameter, made of cement or a similar surface in which is placed inside a safety cage, protected by nets.

Characteristics of the hammer


Hammer throw shoes should be specially made of reinforced rubber sole, with a fabric lining and Velcro in the middle of the foot.

Written by Gabriela Briceño V.

How to cite this article?

Briceño V., Gabriela. (2019). Hammer throw. Recovered on 24 February, 2024, de Euston96:

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