The javelin is a long spear-like piece of equipment that is used by men and women in the javelin throw field event. The javelin is one fixed piece of equipment made up of three parts, the shaft, head and grip. The javelin may not contain any moving parts. Females will use a 600 g javelin ranging in length from 2.2 m to 2.3 m; young boys use a 700 g javelin with a length of 2.3 m to 2.4 m; and men will use an 800 g javelin that has a length of 2.6 m to 2.7 m.
The shaft is the major component of the javelin to which the grip and the head are affixed. The shaft may be solid or hollow in construction. The shaft must be made of metal or other suitable material. The surface of the shaft should be smooth and free of any scratches, dents or bumps and is uniform throughout. The shaft tapers from its widest point of 20 mm to 30 mm in the center of the javelin to the tip and tail of the javelin. The taper to the tip of the javelin should be so the angle of the point is no more than 40 degrees. At a distance of 150 mm from the tip the diameter of the shaft should exceed the maximum diameter of the shaft by more than 80 percent. At the midpoint between the center of gravity and the tip the diameter of the shaft should not exceed 90 percent of the maximum diameter. At a distance of 150 mm from the tail the diameter of the shaft should not be less than 40 percent of the maximum diameter of the shaft. At the midpoint between the tail and the center of gravity the diameter of the shaft should not exceed 90 percent of the maximum diameter. The diameter of the shaft at the end of the tail should not be less than 3 1/2 mm.
The head of the javelin is located at the tip of the front end of the shaft. The head must be made entirely of metal. The tip of the head ends in a sharp point and may be reinforced with metal alloy. The head ranges in length from 250 mm to 330 mm. The distance from the tip of the head to the center of gravity of the javelin should be no less than 0.8 m and no more than 1.06 m from the center of gravity.
The grip covers the shaft and it is held by the athlete during each attempt. The grip is located over the center of gravity of the javelin. This position is just behind the maximum diameter of the shaft. The grip should be uniform in thickness and should not exceed the diameter of the shaft by more than 8 mm. The grip should have a nonslip pattern surface. It must not contain any indentations of any kind.
- USA Track and Field Coaching Education Manual, USA Track and Field, 2006
- NCAA: Cross Country and Track and Field