What Are the Rules of the Shot Put Event to Be Held at the Tokyo Olympics 2021?

Published 07/11/2021, 1:03 PM EDT
EUGENE, OREGON – JUNE 18: Ryan Crouser competes in the Men’s Shot Put final during day one of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at Hayward Field on June 18, 2021 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)


Shot Put is a popular event held at the Olympics every four years and strong athletes from all over the world compete for the prize of the longest throw. The primary objective for shot putters is simple- the athlete who manages to throw the object the longest distance wins. 

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The object in question is a spherical ball that weighs differently for men and women. This ball is expected to be thrown in a pushing manner by contestants, who try to register the maximum score in the set amount of tries. 

Track & Field: 2016 Summer Olympics: View of USA Joe Kovacs during the Men’s Shot Put Final at Olympic Stadium. Kovacs wins Silver.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 8/18/2016
CREDIT: Donald Miralle (Photo by Donald Miralle /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)
(Set Number: SI95 TK1 )

The ball, called a ‘shot’, weighs 7.26 Kg (16 pounds) for men with a diameter of 110-130mm (4.3-5.1 inches) and 4-kg (8.82-pound) for women with a diameter of 110 mm (3.7–4.3 inches). 

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Athletes participating in this event have to adhere to several rules, failing even one of which can result in an entire throw being deemed a foul. Firstly, the throw is to be made within a circle. Athletes must complete the entire motion and push within this area, failing which the throw will be a foul. 

EUGENE, OREGON – JUNE 18: Ryan Crouser competes in the Men’s Shot Put final, throwing for a world record of 23.37 meters during day one of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at Hayward Field on June 18, 2021 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

When their name is called, contestants have to proceed to complete the entire attempt within 60 seconds. During this time, the entire entrance, motion, throw, and landing must be executed. Once the Shot has landed, the stance is measured from the circumference of the throwing circle to the mark. 

Only a designated area is allowed for throwing and if the shot lands outside this, the throw will be considered a foul. In case athletes throw the shot on the footboard or outside the throwing circle as well, it will be a foul throw. 

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Shot Put requires athletes to exit from the back of the circle

After the throw is made, athletes must exit the circle from the back and cannot move forward or otherwise. If they exit the circle sideways or from the front, the entire throw will not be counted. 

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 18: Joe Kovacs of the United States competes during Men’s Shot Put Qualifying on Day 13 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 18, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

Athletes cannot throw the shot outside this circle and are allowed to wrap their fingers for safety. Gloves are strictly not allowed. Furthermore, athletes must pause before beginning the throw motion and cannot carry any momentum from walking in. 

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The shot must be kept to the neck and resting on the shoulder throughout the motion until the release, failing which the throw is deemed a foul. 

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 18: Joe Kovacs of the United States competes during the Men’s Shot Put Final on Day 13 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 18, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

Finally, the longest throw earns the victory based on the farthest mark made. Results are judged accordingly after review and replays. The best throw out of each athlete’s attempts is considered.

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Luke Dias

1468 articles

Luke Dias is a senior WWE and AEW author at EssentiallySports, having published more than 1000 articles on professional wrestling. Having completed courses in Advanced Writing from the University of California and Media and Ethics from the University of Amsterdam, Luke is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in Journalism from Xavier’s College. His tremendous knowledge of WWE history enables him to make past connections, adding depth to the articles.

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