How Heavy is a Shot Put?

It might strike some people as a bit strange when they are informed that the shot put event in the Olympics is classified as a track and field event. Well, many people think that track and field involves a lot of running. Nevertheless, that never stops people from wondering about just how heavy is the iron ball they use for this event.

Before dealing with the different weights of the various sizes of shot put balls they use for this event, it would be interesting to deal with a few terminologies. For instance the term “putting” refers to the motion of pushing or throwing the metal ball. The shot in shot put refers to the actual metal ball in question. So the name of this sporting event basically refers both to the metal ball and the act of hurling it into the air.

Dealing with the Weights

Note that there are different weights of shot put balls that are used in this sporting event. The Olympic men’s event for instance would use a ball that weighs around 7.25 kilograms or 16 pounds. The high school boys’ shot put event typically uses a metal ball that weighs 12 pounds or 5.44 kilograms. On the other hand, middle school boys, girls’ high school and girls’ Olympic shot put events will typically use a ball that ways four kilograms. Finally, the middle school girls’ shot put event typically uses iron balls that weigh around six pounds or 2.7 kilograms.

Origins and History

Well, when people talk about the Olympics, the first thing that would come to mind is the fact that these games originate from ancient Greece. However, digging into the history of this game, you actually won’t find any recorded sports event in Greece where competitors are required to throw dead weight.

An interesting tidbit is that shot put balls and the actual competition of throwing these heavy pieces of weight can be traced all the way back to Scotland. It was during the middle ages when soldiers competed in throwing canon balls. Records also show that the earliest competition regarding the throwing of shot put balls occurred in the early half of the 19th century. Going back to 1866, we also find that the shot put event was already made part of the British Amateur Championships.


Here are a few tips for who aspire to hurl those heavy shot put balls. First off, note that this sport will require one’s full body strength. Don’t think that everything relies on an athlete’s arm. You don’t even need to beef up your body in this event. What’s more important is to strengthen the legs and one’s core muscles in order to become quite a good player of this sport.

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