Pre-Concrete Throwing Circles


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Pre-Concrete Throwing Circles

Postby dj » Fri Dec 14, 2012 9:47 am

Is there anyone out there who frequently competed on throwing circles of clay, cinder, dirt or grass? My best source on this information passed away a couple of years ago, and I'm looking for a new go-to guy!

I have questions arising from having seen footage of Babe McDonald winning the 1912 OG shot put. I was surprised to see him doing a reverse at the end of the put, which has me on a new quest for information.

Thanks.
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Re: Pre-Concrete Throwing Circles

Postby Jackaloupe » Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:31 pm

I'm no "source" to speak of, but did compete, in Decathlon plus HS, in plenty of those rings. Even had a clunky pair of Discus Shoes with a single spike up front to spin around. My current Asics Throwing Shoes have target-like concentric circles on the forefoot, as if you'd spin precisely there.

I seem to recall Jim Fuchs, Yaley OlyChamp reversing in the shot. There's always been a TowBoard so the reverse needn't be affected by the circle's surface. What it did change radically, in the ShotPut, was the ability to slide/glide a la Parry O' Brian, rather than hop like Fuchs. Hopping (sideways after swinging the leg forward) did put you in a decent throwing position; the main diff., besides speed, lies in the rotation (45 degrees more) while using the entire back that replaces the over reliance on lateral trunk movement (in the same plane).

In the same sense, increasing the Discus turn by the same 45 degrees, i.e. also lining up facing the back of the circle, went hand-in-hand with the concrete circle. Again, it allows greater speed w/o slipping, paradoxically permitting less friction at the turning foot w/o lateral slippage.

Then there's the all-weather effect, esp. post-rain when it's a lot easier to squeegee (sp?) out and towel off a ring than deal with mud.
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Re: Pre-Concrete Throwing Circles

Postby dj » Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:39 am

Fabulous, you're already answered some of my questions.

First thing I wanted to know was about shoes. I'm guessing DT was the only event using a spiked shoe. Was that spiked shoe only on one foot? The right foot for a right-handed thrower? Or is it possible hammer throwers also used a single-spike shoe?

Was a spiked shoe worn with a solid clay circle? I can certainly imagine the spiked shoe for softer surfaces like cinders and grass, but the nice thing about a clay circle is that--I imagine--it could hold its form through multiple rounds and multiple throwers.

In the SP, did you see throwers intentionally creating a groove in the middle of the circle to provide better support for the rear leg (similar to what baseball hitters do when digging in at the plate)? If you had several top throwers would they agree on where they would create a groove--whether intentionally in advance or through the course of the competition--or would they fight over where the groove would go.

Did you ever compete at a venue where one of the sector lines was constantly changed as the circle was moved after every round or several rounds? This was more common in the DT, HT and JT (pre-adoption of JT radial measurement in c1948), uncommon in SP where the stop board would have had to be moved each time.

Thanks for any help.

I would have taken this off line, but I thought the general information of how throws used to be contested might be of general interest.
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Re: Pre-Concrete Throwing Circles

Postby gh » Sat Dec 15, 2012 9:02 am

I seem to remember a picture in T&FN, early-50s vintage (maybe Jiří Skobla?) in which there's a putter clearly wearing at least one spiked shoe (I would say front foot).
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Re: Pre-Concrete Throwing Circles

Postby Marlow » Sat Dec 15, 2012 9:29 am

This looks pretty cleaty

http://0.tqn.com/d/trackandfield/1/0/b/ ... sexton.jpg

(caption says Robert Garrett, Olympic shot put champion, 1896, but it looks newer than that)
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Re: Pre-Concrete Throwing Circles

Postby dj » Sat Dec 15, 2012 10:20 am

Marlow wrote:This looks pretty cleaty

http://0.tqn.com/d/trackandfield/1/0/b/ ... sexton.jpg

(caption says Robert Garrett, Olympic shot put champion, 1896, but it looks newer than that)


That's definitely Leo Sexton in the LA Coliseum. Where did you find a caption that says its Garrett?
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Re: Pre-Concrete Throwing Circles

Postby Marlow » Sat Dec 15, 2012 10:55 am

dj wrote:Where did you find a caption that says its Garrett?

Oops - I read too far down. :oops:

http://trackandfield.about.com/od/shotp ... shot_2.htm
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