If you’ve ever watched a track and field competition, you’ve probably seen athletes competing in the long jump.
The long jump has been a staple of the Olympic games since 1986, and it’s an excellent way for athletes to test their limits, strength, and endurance.
Many high school and college athletes also participate in the long jump, so whether you want to use the sport for working out or you plan to compete at any level, knowing the dimensions of the long jump pit can help you set up a practice area.
Long Jump Pit Dimensions
Long jump pits can vary slightly in size. They must be 2.75 meters or about 9.02 feet wide and between 7 and 9 meters or 22.97 and 29.53 feet long.
Long jump pits are filled with sand to cushion the jumper when they land, so you’ll also need to create a depression in the pit where the sand can be placed.
The sand must be at least 30 centimeters or about 0.98 feet deep. The border surrounding the pit should be 5 centimeters or just less than 2 inches wide.
When creating a long jump pit, you’ll also need to take the dimensions of the runway and takeoff board into consideration.
The runway is the path the jumper will run down, gaining speed so they can propel themselves forward and jump as far as possible.
The runway is narrower than the pit, but it should still be 4 feet or 1.22 meters wide, and it must also be at least 40 meters or about 131.23 feet long.
At the end of the runway, but before the pit, there’s a space called the takeoff board. This board helps to propel the jumper.
The end of the board also marks the foul line, and if the runner steps across the foul line before jumping, the jump is considered a scratch.
The takeoff board must be about 4 feet wide and about 20 centimeters or 0.66 feet long. The board must also start at least 2 meters or 6.56 feet from the beginning of the pit.
Many people draw dashes along the edges of the long jump pit. This helps to more easily measure how long the jump was. If they’re used, these dash marks should be 5 centimeters apart.
Other Long Jump Pit Specifications
Aside from the dimensions of the pit, runway, and takeoff board, anyone looking to build a long jump area should also observe a few other technical specifications.
First, you’ll need to fill the pit with a particular type of sand. The sand must either be pure quartz sand or washed river sand. The sand should be clean and free of debris.
As mentioned above, the sand must be at least 30 inches deep at the edges, but the sand in the middle of the pit can be slightly deeper.
The sand used in the long jump pit should be fine. The grains of sand should not have a diameter of more than 2 millimeters or about 0.08 inches.
Even sand that’s larger than 0.2 millimeters is frowned upon, and any grains with a diameter larger than 0.2 millimeters cannot take up more than 5% of the sand’s total volume.
These specifications help to ensure that jumpers have a soft, smooth landing.
It’s also important to ensure that the materials used for the top of the takeoff board and the borders around the pit are made of flexible materials, and these borders should have rounded edges.
This helps to ensure that, if a player lands wrong, the risk of injury is lower. The takeoff board should also be level with the borders of the pit.
The sand in the pit is often also level with the edges, but it doesn’t need to be as long as it’s at the correct depth.
Long Jump Scoring
Long jumps are measured from the end of the takeoff board or foul line to the closest indentation in the sand made by the jumper. This indentation can be made by any part of the jumper’s body.
Most jumpers try to land feet-first for a more accurate measurement. Even if jumpers begin their jump before the foul line, the jump is still only measured from the foul line.
The jumper must complete the jump within one minute after stepping onto the runway. If two jumpers jump the same distance, the tie is broken by measuring their second-longest jumps.