The javelin throw is outlawed in 36 states as a high school event
November 25, 2017 7:56 AM   Subscribe

A few things you might not know about the javelin.

- Discontinued Olympic javelin events include two-handed javelin and freestyle javelin.
- The "Spanish style" of free-style javelin which included a spin, was banned swiftly.
- Babe Didrikson Zaharias was the first female javelin medalist when women were allowed to participate in 1932.
- As record-setting javelin throws approach the maximum distance attainable within a stadium infield, the javelin has been redesigned to be less aerodynamic.
- Javelin accidents are rare but do happen occasionally.
- Javelinas are cute, but unrelated.
posted by jessamyn (51 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
 
Javelinas? Cute?
posted by jim in austin at 8:12 AM on November 25, 2017 [5 favorites]


I'll give you my javelin when you pry it from your cold, dead chest!
posted by Naberius at 8:22 AM on November 25, 2017 [10 favorites]


Maybe not allowed in high schools, but at the grade school my son attended, the javelin has always been a big part (well, 20%) of their annual pentathlon for the 5th graders.
posted by LeLiLo at 8:25 AM on November 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


It's sad to see another cool event start to be limited to the small number of people with convenient access to training. This already bedevils winter sports (in the US there are a tiny number of places where you can even start to train for a number of different events).
posted by MattD at 8:27 AM on November 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


I am wildly entertained by the athletes casually tossing their Javelins in the Spanish 'spin' video, while wearing cardigans. Sorry, sweat cardigans? Maybe that was the very last time Cardigans were cool?
posted by Brockles at 8:39 AM on November 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


Julius Yego, one of the best javelineers in the world is Kenian, hardly a field event powerhouse. He got the "YouTube Man" nickname because since there were no specialized coaches in Kenya, he used the internet to learn the training and see the technique of the elite athletes.

The Javelin is easily one of my favourite events on any athletics meeting.
posted by lmfsilva at 8:48 AM on November 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


Ah too bad! The javelin and shot put were the only chance I ever had of competing at my school's Sports Day (this was back in India).
posted by peacheater at 9:01 AM on November 25, 2017


First, they came for the lawn darts.
posted by clavdivs at 9:12 AM on November 25, 2017 [11 favorites]


(Just a quick note that the link under "freestyle javelin" goes to an article about a gruesome injury. Perhaps this was the intended link?)
posted by Tsuga at 9:15 AM on November 25, 2017


So my dad always said that there was no javelin any more because some kid got skewered. Could he have been...telling the truth?
posted by wenestvedt at 9:16 AM on November 25, 2017 [6 favorites]


I remember once back in the late 70s, I saw the opening bit for SNL and it was "NBC Sports Presents: Bruce Jenner Catches The Javelin Throw" and it was a (pre-photoshop) photo manipulation of the famous Jenner victory arms up photo with a javelin piercing his torso. I laughed long and hard, and I still chuckle about it even having not seen that image for 40 years.
posted by hippybear at 9:26 AM on November 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


Perhaps this was the intended link?

It was, thank you. I forgot, somehow, to include a via link, I learned about this on the QI podcast, Episode 10. Here's some more javelin trivia from them.
posted by jessamyn at 9:29 AM on November 25, 2017


I tend to associate javelins with the Javazon build for the Amazon in Diablo II. Lightning Fury in the Secret Cow Level... good times, baby.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:35 AM on November 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


Also, Jarts. Anyone remember Jarts? I played Jarts as a kid and they were great fun. I get why they were outlawed, but still....
posted by hippybear at 9:36 AM on November 25, 2017


Neighborhood lawn dart competition culminated with who could toss one OVER the house.
posted by sammyo at 9:39 AM on November 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


Fore!
posted by hippybear at 9:52 AM on November 25, 2017


The problem the javelin presents for high school is probably more one of management than absolute safety of the event. High school meets, especially non-championship ones, are usually officiated by untrained volunteers, who are often spread thin. At the least, for safety the javelin requires multiple officials paying full attention for a long time, which just isn’t possible, especially with four or so other field events going on, as well as nine or 10 track events. Also, high school track and field athletes have little experience (for the most part) and tend to wander and not pay close attention to what’s going on around them. I'm generalizing, obviously, but with the javelin (and other events too), accidents happen. Sometimes the officials themselves are the problem, even in relatively safe running events like the 1500.

Anyway, that's my take, as a sometimes-official at high school and college meets.
posted by young_simba at 9:54 AM on November 25, 2017 [7 favorites]


Lawn darts? Pfft.
Pool darts are the real game.
posted by chavenet at 10:04 AM on November 25, 2017


Javelina is one of the best plays I’ve ever seen in scrabble. Triple word score bingo, natch.
posted by brand-gnu at 10:27 AM on November 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


The Javelina Cantina in Tucson used to throw Jappy Jalloween parties. Just FYI, y'know.
posted by workerant at 10:40 AM on November 25, 2017


The javelin-throw is so entertaining because it is an explicitly martial, antiquated activity reduced to extravagant sport in a way that is so unlike any other Olympic event I can think of off the top of my head (I'm not very familiar with the Olympics). It's the kind of sport that you could show to a Mycenaean, without any preface or context provided.

In fact, what I love about it is that it's so simple to grasp. No fancy rules, just an intuitive sport of throwing a universally recognizable object.
posted by constantinescharity at 11:14 AM on November 25, 2017 [6 favorites]


Basically the entire Decathlon is something you could show to a Mycenaean without any preface or context.
posted by hippybear at 11:32 AM on November 25, 2017 [6 favorites]


Also, if states are outlawing high school javelin events, where will the next generation of Decathlon winners come from?
posted by hippybear at 11:33 AM on November 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


Modern Pentathlon is explicitly martial, having descended from a competition for cavalry officers.

Biathlon is simply what you do when the Russians invade.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:41 AM on November 25, 2017 [14 favorites]


If you have skis.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 11:44 AM on November 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


Javelin accidents are rare but do happen occasionally.

I think since the Olympics discontinued the javelin catch as an event, the accident rate has dropped sharply.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:50 AM on November 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


Was about to make a joke about just waiting to see what happens when they allow atlatls in competitive sport, and then I find The World Atlatl Association.
posted by scruss at 11:59 AM on November 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


Javelin accidents are rare but do happen occasionally.

Yeah but it shouldn't take your attention away from the enjoyment of the sport. Like they did with the nitroglycerin bottle relay.
posted by Splunge at 12:13 PM on November 25, 2017 [5 favorites]


I'd like to see a study comparing javelin accidents to cumulative concussion injury in football.
posted by hippybear at 12:17 PM on November 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


Compared to football brain injuries, javelin injuries are merely a footnote.
posted by Splunge at 12:39 PM on November 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


But they are much more crowd-impacting when they happen.
posted by hippybear at 12:43 PM on November 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


It's like, you can play Jarts for a lot of summers, even over the top of the house, but that one time that you throw one and the mailman "catches" it, that's the one everyone remembers.
posted by hippybear at 12:45 PM on November 25, 2017 [12 favorites]


But all the times you casually smacked your sister in the head with your lunchpail while in line for the bus for school... nobody even notices that.
posted by hippybear at 12:45 PM on November 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


Basically the entire Decathlon is something you could show to a Mycenaean without any preface or context.

Unless it's an Atari you might have to explain the gaming platform you are playing it on.
posted by srboisvert at 1:45 PM on November 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


My son fences and there are sporadic instances of schools banning fencing because it uses weapons. Baseball bats, which can do far more damage, are fine though.
posted by COD at 2:04 PM on November 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


But they are much more crowd-impacting when they happen.

Granted. But the ultimate degree of damage and impact to life has to go to football. It may be hidden for the most part. It certainly doesn't have the technicolor payoff. But still, as far as damage numbers, football is far ahead of the pack.
posted by Splunge at 2:21 PM on November 25, 2017


But all the times you casually smacked your sister in the head with your lunchpail while in line for the bus for school... nobody even notices that.

Well... she might have. :) I know my brother noticed when I slammed his head into the fence.
posted by Splunge at 2:23 PM on November 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


Javelinas throw you!

They are also a highway menace causing a number of accidents.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 2:40 PM on November 25, 2017


My son fences and there are sporadic instances of schools banning fencing because it uses weapons. Baseball bats, which can do far more damage, are fine though.

Sport fencing seems pretty damn safe to me, what with the ( assume) dull-tipped blades and the armor and the facemasks. Is it riskier than I think?

Had I ever pursued a sport, that would have been my preference. There were no fencing classes in any school I attended though. Nor archery, my second choice.

Come to think of it, I might have been into throwing javelins too if someone had tried to teach me.
posted by emjaybee at 5:53 PM on November 25, 2017


That Spanish throw is nuts. Is there a more dangerous way to throw a javelin?
posted by Horselover Fat at 5:56 PM on November 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


Is there a more dangerous way to throw a javelin?

Hold my beer!
posted by hippybear at 6:10 PM on November 25, 2017 [9 favorites]


Can you open carry a javelin in Texas yet?
posted by kvanh at 7:11 PM on November 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


First, they came for the lawn darts.

Lawn darts are obviously based on plumbata, large lead-weighted throwing darts used by infantry in Antiquity and Medieval times.

It's unclear why children are no longer encouraged to play with them.

Make your own!*

*(Please supervise your children around molten lead)
posted by sebastienbailard at 7:51 PM on November 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


Yay plumbata! I trot them out whenever I'm playing d&d and someone says that darts are a silly weapon in a medieval arsenal.
posted by dazed_one at 9:13 PM on November 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


I ran over a javalina a little while back.
Its tusk went through one of my tires. A beefy off-road tire, no less.
posted by flaterik at 2:32 AM on November 26, 2017


Is there a more dangerous way to throw a javelin?


Straight up into the air?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:16 AM on November 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


The world record for throwing a javelina, two-handed is 5.3 meters and 317 stitches.

Major sports equipment manufacturers have not expressed interest in developing a more aerodynamic javelina.
posted by sebastienbailard at 10:31 AM on November 26, 2017 [4 favorites]


The sequel to Javelinas Ate My Pumpkin, tentatively titled Javelinas Ate My Camera, was scrapped when javelinas ate their camera.

Also, I decree that all javelins should henceforth be designed like the one Lamar threw in Revenge of the Nerds.
posted by not_on_display at 9:49 PM on November 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


Sport fencing seems pretty damn safe to me, what with the ( assume) dull-tipped blades and the armor and the facemasks. Is it riskier than I think?

Not at all, my son has been a competitive fencer for 12+ years and his worst injury is probably a bruise, or maybe a jammed finger.
posted by COD at 5:59 AM on November 27, 2017


Modern Pentathlon is explicitly martial...

And so modern that they use laser pistols!
posted by exogenous at 1:06 PM on November 27, 2017


Brockles: "Maybe that was the very last time Cardigans were cool?"

I remember "Lovefool" being a pretty big hit, and that was 1996.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:20 PM on November 29, 2017 [2 favorites]


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