Decathlon Sports - Decathlon Event

An athletic event combining 10 track and field events contested by the male athletes in two consecutive days. The winner of the decathlon is titled the world’s greatest athlete for the year.


Decathlon sports are an ultimate test of an athlete’s speed, strength, agility and endurance. Decathlon is a two-day track and field meet that encompasses 10 individual athletic sport events -- 100-meters, 400-meters, 1500-meters, 110-meter high hurdles, javelin, discus, shot put, pole vault, high jump, and long jump. The decathletes need to stay concentrated and focused during the entire 10 games in order to win. The decathlon is an endeavor against time, distance, fatigue and endurance. In reality, a decathlon athlete competes against himself and the scoring table. It takes what coaches refer to as ‘decathlon mentality’ – an ability to remain keyed up for each attempt or race and stay focused throughout the ten events. A decathlon athlete tries to capitalize on his strengths to maximize the total score

Decathlon History

Decathlon sprouted from the ancient game pentathlon. Pentathlon is a game that was played at the ancient Greek Olympics. Pentathlons involved five games – long jump, discus throw, javelin, sprint and a wrestling match. Introduced in Olympia during 708 BC, the game was extremely popular for many centuries. By the 6th century BC, pentathlons became part of religious games.

Gorgos, from Elis town near Olympia was a four-time pentathlon winner during the period. Another key player was Lampis, a young Spartan who was the first Olympic winner. Automedes was also a known player of the time. The last recorded game winner was Publius Asklepiades of Corinth in AD 241. Roman Emperor Theodosius I officially put an end to the game in AD 393 by closing down all the sanctuaries including Olympia.

From the mid 1700s various versions of the game emerged. The 1948 Olympics endorsed a new implication to the game. Seventeen-year-old Mathias emerged as the then decathlon winner, banishing the myth that decathlon was a game for the old and the experienced. Mathias still remains the youngest decathlon sports champion in Olympic history.

In 1964 the International Amateur Athletic Federation laid out new scoring tables and brought about some standardization in the game. The 1970s saw the game spreading to the Eastern European nations, mainly the Soviet Union, Poland and East Germany.

Decathlon Sports

Decathlon is essentially a male sports event. The female version is a seven-event sport called heptathlon. Decathlon sports comprise 10 events played over two days. At a professional level, players need to score a minimum of 8000 points at a rate of 800 points per game in order to win in a decathlon. It is necessary to be comfortable while performing the event, you can find sports store for decathlon to get proper equipment. It is seldom that decathlon sports are won with a score below 8000 points.

Decathlon sports attained Olympic status at the 1912 Olympic games held at Stockholm. The winner of the decathlon is titled the world’s greatest athlete for the year. Jim Thrope won the first decathlon Olympics title. The scores for each game are maintained according to the international performance table. A participant can win up to 1000 points in a particular event. The person who chalks up the highest score wins the title. Additional points are awarded each time an athlete exceeds the established world record for any category event.

The Decathlon Schedule

1. 100 meter dash – Three to eight runners participate in the event which is a basic measure for leg speed.
2. Long jump – The toe board is 8-inch high. Criteria for winning are leaping ability, speed and accuracy.
3. Shot put – The throwing circle is seven feet wide and the iron ball weighs 16-pounds. The best of three scores is considered. The event is a test of a player’s arm strength.
4. High jump – The crossbar is raised at 3 cm and the landing pit is made of foam rubber.
5. 400 meter dash – The event is a test for stamina and speed.

1. 110m Hurdles – The event is a combination of speed and agility. There are 10 hurdles, each 42 inches high, placed at 10 yards from one another.
2. Discus Throw – The discus weighs 2 kilograms and is 82.5 inches in diameter. The contestant has to throw the discus within a 40-degree sector.
3. Pole Vault - The pole is 14 to 15 feet long. Each player has to swing over a crossbar using the upper end of the pole. This is the most difficult of all events.
4. Javelin Throw - The metal spear is 8 ½ inches long and weights 800 grams. The javelin must land point first within the sector in order to qualify. Each contestant gets three throws and the best one is taken into consideration.
5. 1500 meter run – This constitutes 3 ¾ laps around the 400-meter track. It is a test of the player’s endurance and will power.

Decathlon Rules

The decathlon rules differ between tournaments. Check out the rulebooks that govern the different levels in decathlon sports:

International meets IAAF Rulebook
National / Domestic meets USA T&F Rulebook
College meets NCAA Rulebook
High School meets National High School Rulebook

Though there are minor differences between the rulebooks, here are some basic rules for decathlon sports:

1. There should be a time gap of 30 minutes between every event.
2. The competitors get only three attempts each in long jump, shot put, discuss and javelin.
3. Automatic timings should be used while timing the events and games.
4. Only three fault attempts are granted to contestants in running events.
5. All measurements should be made using steel tapes and only metric measures are to be used.
6. A minimum of three players is required to start any event.
7. It is mandatory for the athletes to take part in all the ten events.
8. The event score and the total score of each player must be announced after each event.
9. The winner has to score the highest point at the scoring table.

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