Backyard Shot Put

It always starts here… in your backyard.  

Dedicated to throwing areas we have made ourselves.


2722924006_9a6ce888f7_oWhy not Backyard Throws?

Sometimes you run other events in your Neighborhood Olympics. But eventually we get a little more into it and we take out the high jump and set up a more permanent backyard shot put area.  If we’re really twisted we pour cement, put in a rim, toe board and level the landing area.

Backyard Throws is more accurate but everyone knows what shot put is but throws is kind of generic and vague.  Throws, like throw rugs, in the backyard?

Oh, you mean like discus? (making a frisbee throwing motion)

Backyard Shotput is a clear picture of what its all about, even if I cheat and expand it to hammer throw in a cow pasture or throwing a rock into a lake from a sand dune with rotational shot style….

Its really all about our passion for throwing and drive to excel.

 Our criteria:

  • NOT inside a running track – maybe not anywhere close to a running track.
  • Shot Put, Discus, Javelin or Hammer.
  • Not built by or for a school or government agency.
  • For training only except unusual or one off competitions.
  • Maybe only a one time venue, no one will ever use it again…

Send video, jpegs, or stories of your favorite backyard throwing venues.



Feuerbach’s Field of Dreams  – Preston Iowa


























No, not Al Feuerbach, former World Record Holder and three time Olympian.
Tom Feuerbach, Al’s older and less musically inclined (but taller) brother.

Al never threw out of this circle, but brother Tom coached many top Iowa High School putters from this circle, including his son Jake.

It always starts here, in the back yard.  We always find a way to make it easier to pursue our passion.

I especially like the corn field in the background.
A nice Iowa touch.  Just like the Field of Dreams movie except with a shot circle instead of the baseball diamond. I can see Ralph Rose (3 Olympic Gold, 2 Silver 1 Bronze), Martin Sheridan, Bud Houser, Parry O’Brien, Brian Oldfield, Wladyslaw Komar and others walking out from between the corn stalks to prepare for the competition.


Donegal Ireland – The Loneliness & Desolation of the Shot Putter












Thanks to Colin Paul, Irish American thrower.

This picture reminds me that summer in Ireland and England is like winter in the Pacific Northwest, kind of.  Well, OK, not exactly but it is wet and dreary in both places a LOT of the year!  This photo shows why shot putters are introverted, sad and often depressed.  As a result many develop a taste for beer.

Or wine, see below.


New York Vineyard – The Ladies & Gentlemens’ Ideal Throwing Field

The Thrower’s view – The Backyard Vineyard and Shot Put Circle – Another view

Eh Tony, Pisano, Check this out…

This month’s backyard shot features its own vineyard off the right sector of the well manicured landing area. The tasting room includes the throwing circle and the entire field as well.  Note the thoughtfully placed shade trees for the officials by the circle and in the field.

Ironwood Throwers Training Center – Rathdrum Idaho

June 4th was the date of the Ironwood Throwers Classic
in Rathdrum Idaho, just north of Ceour d’Alene and 40 minutes east of
Spokane WA Airport.

Bart Templemann, the founder of the Ironwood Throws Camp
held a “Throwers Only” meet for the second year.  This year it was
combined with The National Scholastic Athletic Foundation
who brought the top high school throwers in the nation to compete
with and hang out with the professional throwers.

What a concept!  It was terrific for the students and their mentors.
Oh, and the competitions were great and the food Friday night
and Saturday after the meet was amazing!

No thrower left hungry and I got extra cookies!

Throwers Competitions, and Indoor – Outdoor TrainingIMG_0834

Training for Throwers Onlya1
Indoor Training Hall, Shot Put, & Hammer CageIMG_0833
Shot Put looking North during competitionIMG_0841
Discus Circle, Shot Circle, Training Hall and Hammer Cage




Discus Drills and training slab

Discus Drills only, No Throwing. “I wanna go to Rio!”  Sam Mattis





Mac Wilkins

Sunrise over Mt Hood – Early Bird Shot Put?





























This one was borderline… I mean who has a goal post in her backyard discus sector?

Oregon Coast

SW Washington


Shot Put and Discus Throw with home made circles

Shot and Discus in the wild. Isolated rural northern US.

Better throw it down the middle.

Tall grass on the left in the summer and the river is just out of sight on the right.  Gotta love that solitude!



“I wish I had a picture of my mom’s backyard as a 10th grader, I put too many holes in the grass, she sent me to the park.”   Russ Vincent

Bob Otrando Strength Systems – BOSS Training – Sunderland MA Bob’s circle has it all.  Nice flowers at the front of the circle and removable toe board for safety.  Extra video analysis with the overhead view. Also important, circle is in Front Yard! Bob won’t hide in the back.

Carl Wallin’s Circle – Hanover New Hampshire.

Carl is a long time Dartmouth Coach and supporter of the throws.  He helped develop Olympic Champion, Adam Nelson.  Bob Otrando shown in this video.

“Neat pictures.  Bob Backus had a hammer circle in his side yard, really narrow.

The best was when I was in Germany with Edwin Klein.  He had one next to a corn field.

If you missed the sector you could search for a long time looking for it in the corn stalks.”

Carl Eklund

Al Feuerbach’s home in the Santa Cruz Mountains, south of San Jose CA.

One of my all time favorites, I lived there for a year…   Home of three “Two Big Guys Mountain Games” and training site for shot put and discus (discus photos to be added later).

For the Mountain Games seating was on the porch and the amphitheater like hillside surrounding the landing area and left sector. The right sector had a steep drop that went many hundres yards to the bottom of the canyon. If you fouled to the right your shot was gone.

BGMG circle

The Circle  – Of course the original circle was a plywood platform.


Authentic Backyard Shot Put as evidenced by defective stove by backdoor.

bgmg landing

View from the circle out into the sector.

“Good one. I remember those days, they were care free and always something new around the corner.”     MIke Weeks


View from the “amphitheater balcony” back to the house and circle.

This fox was a beaver

Tim Fox – Two Time Pac-10 Champion 1979 & 1980 208′ PR

“This is such a neat idea!  It reminds me of the field where I learned to threw! I threw thousands of times (at least) there!  There was a rock pile approx. 180′ away.  When I was a freshman, my goal was to eventually hit that rock pile.  It took a few years, but I did (several times too!)  Still have that 1.6k disc somewhere.  It has the scars to prove hitting that rock pile too!  All that was done off grass, no concrete!  When the spot I’d started from got warn down, I’d have to move!  Boy, thanx for the memories!”

Thank you, Tim!

Christian Erb’s ‘Backyard Shot Put’ – Ruedlingen, Switzerland

One shot Circle, Two Discus Circles

Christian started his own “Mountain Games” and they soon outgrew his backyard.  He had to move to the local high school for several thousand fans!

RandyB_Reudlingen1 001

RandyB_Reudlingen2 001

Randy Barnes


Judd Logan, Adam Nelson, Andy Bloom, John McEwan & Dawn Dumble

Nice “Backyard Discus” field!


Competition at the High School – too many fans and throws groupies

1-Ken Flax Hammer0001

Ken Flax – Nicasio California

During freshman year in college in a cow pasture at his dad’s ranch.

Underhill VT Shot Put

Underhill Vermont – contributed by Phillip Hovencamp

Fran Moravcsik National Discus Champion 2011 (W 75-79)

Fran Moravcsik National Discus Champion 2011 (W 75-79)

Five miles up a dirt road… imagine the colors as the fall progresses!

Underhill VT shot & hammer

Like a “Backyard Golf Course” in Scotland.

Don’t hook it left, you’ll be in the gorse, laddie!

Carefull where you step.  The sheep won’t bother you but watch out for the llama, she’s a mean one.

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