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Shotput Ball Specifications

History

    Shot put originated as "stone put" in ancient Scotland, and was originally contested with stones rather than the metal balls used today. The Olympics included a men's shot put competition in 1896, by which point the modern shot put ball was somewhat standardized; women's shot put did not make it to the Olympics until 1948.

Size

    In international shot put competitions, the ball weighs no less than 7.260 kg for men and 4 kg for women, per IAAF guidelines, as of 2010. Until 1927, women's shot put balls often weighed up to 5 kg. At the high school level in the United States, the ball weighs 6 kg for men and 3 kg for women.

Material

    Shot put balls are typically made of lead and encased in a steel shell. Shot put balls can be made of solid iron or brass, as well; any metal not softer than brass is an acceptable shot put material. The ball must be spherical in shape and have a smooth surface.

About the Author

Ginger Yapp has been writing professionally since 2006, specializing in travel and film topics. Her work has appeared in such publications as "USA Today" and online at Hotels.com. Yapp also has experience writing and editing for a small California newspaper. She earned her B.A. in film and media studies and has worked as an ESL teacher at an international school.