Discus is among the many field events in modern day track and field. The event can be traced to Greek and Roman times and has been a part of the modern Olympiad since 1896. Throwers stand in a ring and hurl the discus as far as possible. Any thrower who steps outside the ring during competition is guilty of a foul, and his throw is disqualified.
The size of a discus ring
The diameter of a discus ring is 2.5 meters, or 8 feet 2 1/2 inches. The surface of the discus ring, according to USATF regulations, should be made of recessed concrete, asphalt, synthetic material or wood. There should also be a rim surrounding the recessed part of the circle that is created out of iron or steel to reinforce the circle edges.
To accompany the discus ring, sectors zones are to be created and clearly mark the zone in which the discus should be thrown- throwing outside this sector would result in a sector foul for which the throw will not be counted in competition. The sector is to be marked with lines, and create a sector of 34.92 degrees from the center of the discus ring.
Function of the Discus ring
The discus ring's diameter is to not only create a level playing field for all competitors but also give enough room for competitors to throw the discus in regulation to many different types of throwing styles, including the full spin of the "South African" style and the simple standing throw.
The discus ring is to made of concrete or similar material for easy maintenance and to lower chances of injuries by the competitors.
How to make a makeshift discus ring
Many throwers might not have access to a discus circle of their own and will need to improvise and use a rope, a nail, and a spray can in order to work out correctly. To create a discus circle with the correct specifications, you will need a rope of 48.25 inches attached to a nail or stake in the middle of the area you have marked to create your discus ring. Drive the spike into the ground and circle the area while holding onto the rope and spraying around the circumference you create while walking around the edge of the discus circle.
Warnings for creating a makeshift discus ring
After creating the makeshift discus circle, erect some sort of cage or netting to keep spectators or coaches from being hurt while they help you with your form.
While discus is a throwing event, many competitors use a full body throw that could, if the discus is let go prematurely, seriously injure those in attendance at the event.
Also, if the makeshift circle is made on grass or concrete without the other specifications it cannot be used in competition in accordance with USATF regulations.
What have we learned? We learned that a discus ring has a diameter of 2.5m/8ft 2 1/2in, that the sector that you must throw the discus in is 34.92 degrees, and that if you make a makeshift (or a fully functional) discus pit make sure you have a cage or netting around it to keep spectators and officials safe at meets.
- Photo Credit Photo courtesy Library of Congress
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