Athletics Men’s Decathlon – How are each event’s marks converted into points?

In a previous post we have described how the men´s decathlon event proceeds and left the promise of explaining how the different times, distances or heights, accordingly to each event, are converted into points to sum up the total decathlon’s score.

Well, so it goes like this. The IAAF discloses a Combined Events Scoring Tables separately for each event. The formulas and tables currently in force are the following:

For a given performance, the point score (P) is calculated using one of the following equations:

Track events P=a*(b – T)^c [where T is Time in seconds; e.g. 10.51 for 100 metres].

Jumps P=a*(M – b)^c [where M is Measurement in centimetres; e.g. 793 for long jump].

Throws P=a*(D – b)^c [where D is Distance in metres; e.g. 52.55 for discus throw].

a, b and c are the parameters listed below, published by the IAAF in 2011.

* is the mathematical sign meaning “multiplied by “, and

^ is the mathematical sign meaning “raised to the power of”.

The value of points must be rounded down to a whole number after applying the respective formula (e.g. 980.999 points becomes 980).

PARAMETERS (constants for each event):


Two calculation examples in practice:

–          100 metres mark of 10.51 seconds corresponds to 973 points, through 25.4347*(18.00-10.51)^1.81

–          Discus throw of 52.55 metres entitles an athlete 924 points, since it equals 12.91*(52.55-4.00)^1.10

As a curiosity, if all the best marks ever achieved by a decathlon athlete in each event are summed up that would amount to a hypothetical world record of 10.485 points.

Better, if we consider the current world record for each decathlon’s event we would end up with a total of 12.544 points for the best possible decathlon’s world record as shown below.


Since the current decathlon world record is of 9.039 points, this mark represents 86% of the first hypothetical world record and 72% of the second one.

For more detailed information check out the IAAF’s official document on:

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