"Unlike the other throwing events (shotput, discus, and hammer), the technique used to throw the javelin is dictated by IAAF rules and "non-orthodox" techniques are not permitted."
This may make it more challenging to enter without formal training.
This forum has some interesting discussions on the practicalities and histories of throwing spears and other projectile weapons.
I don't have a link to offer you, as I read about the use of the javelin in a number of books on classical warfare. By the end of the classical Greek period of heroes- which can be likened to the era before more modern soldiering tactics, every hero would equip himself with a number of weapons, the javelin, heavier stabbing spear, and a sword for back up.
However, by the time of Alexander and the phalanx, javelins were not carried by the heavy infantry, but lighter infantry, called peltasts. A peltast's job was to run through gaps in the line, carrying a javelin and buckler, and hurled the javelin at the enemy line, hoping to create holes in it. When you're throwing at a mob, accuracy isn't desired, but range sure is. The skirmishers would run up and discharge in waves, running back to the rear of the lines for another javelin.
The Romans were the ones to really capitalize on the idea of arming their heavy infantry with a shield-imparing javelin.
It's an interesting weapon, with a lot of history from a number of cultures.
Not sure if you can use this or not, but...
If you have access to JSTOR through a university or what not, the above article details experimentation of Greek javelin throwing.
Many years ago I did the same and found the Javelin trainer very nice and helpful. I didn't pursue it though, but I got the feeling he was keen to accept out-of-the-loop students.
My guess is it's such a specific and injurious sport there aren't many takers compared to a lot of the other field events.
Watch you don't break yourself though...
Um......I do Javelin. I've done the kung-fu spear and threw the Javelin while running the Decathlon in college. Before the decathlon there was no spear throwing skill there. Trust me it's not as easy as it looks. Because of the design of the two weapons Javelin is not a very good weapon. It will normally break during melee combat. Spears can be thrown but don't have the same distance. On average I could throw a Javelin about 190 feet and spear maybe 40 feet with any accuracy. It took me over a year to learn how to throw the javelin with any competency.
1. There are track clubs that'll have javelin coaches
2. Craigslist is your friend. (BTW Javelins are expensive)
3. In Eastern culture you have the throwing spear so I wouldn't necessarily call the javelin a Western weapon.
Hope that answers some of your questions.
good to know guys. I didnt know if it was possible to get into it if you hadn't been form the beginning. THanks.
I have thrown something that almost resembles a javelin (only in shape) in the SCA. It is as close to a javelin as a rattan stick is to a sword, which isn't. I do get to throw it at people who are standing in a crowd, and usually somebody will pick it up and throw it back at my crowd. If I had to hit a single person I doubt I could do it with any consistency, but it's fun when somebody is daydreaming, waiting to get to the front of the fight, and I manage to lay a lucky one on them. If I'm throwing it then I'm waiting around myself, with everybody wishing they had something to do, so they watch the flight and react like sports fans watching a hail-Mary.