Long Balls: The longest shots in sports

After watching Stephen Curry hit this spectacular 30-foot three-pointer, it left us wondering who else has some of the longest shots in sports?

This is a list of some of sport’s longest and most amazing shots ever made (ranked in order of distance from least to greatest).

82 Ft 2 In (25.04m) – Backward Basketball Shot

The Harlem Globetrotters have forever been known as the epitome of entertainment in basketball and they continue to impress. According to Guinness World Records, Thunder Law (yes that is his name) successfully attempted a 25m (82’2″) backwards shot at the US Airways Center on November 3rd, 2014.

112 Ft 6 In (34.3m) – Forward Basketball Shot

If you were asked who holds the record for the longest forward basketball shot, off the top of your head, names such as Stephen Curry, Lebron James, Michael Jordan or even the original king of the three-pointer, Reggie Miller may come to mind but not one of these legends of the game is the holder of this title. In fact, according to Guinness World Records, Elan Buller holds the world record for the longest forward basketball shot with a distance of 112’6″.

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197 Ft (60.04m) – Hockey

If you’re a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs this may hurt a bit, as one of the longest shots in NHL history came at the expense of goaltender Vesa Toskala in 2008. Defenceman Rob Davison of the New York Islanders scored a wild short handed goal that took several bounces and slid past the Maple Leafs goaltender.

222 Ft (67.7m) – American Football Throw

When you think of American football, you tend to think of the quarterback and how far he can throw. There are rumours of old school players with immensely strong arms like Brett Favre and Terry Bradshaw, who could throw the ball 80+ yards with the flick of a wrist. Unfortunately we couldn’t find any proof of this outside of the NFL chat groups but we were able to find a video of Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco throwing the ball 74 yards (222′) at a quarterback competition in college. With an arm like that, it’s no wonder why the Ravens drafted him.

294 Ft (89.6m) – American Football Punt

Punters are typically the last position that comes to mind when you think about football. Yet, these forgotten heroes move the football further than anyone else on the field per attempt. According to pro-football-reference, Steve O’Neal set the NFL and professional football record with a punt of 98 yards (294′) in 1969 against the Denver Broncos, a record he currently still holds.

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445 Ft 10 In (135.9m) – Baseball Throw

Photo courtesy of the Atlas Coal Mine

Photo courtesy of the Atlas Coal Mine

When you think of the all-time strongest arms in baseball history, you tend to think of names such as Bo Jackson, Mickey Mantle or Ty Cobb. Yet one of our very own, Canadian Glen Gorbous holds the record for the longest throw in baseball history with a distance of 445’10”. According to the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame, Gorbous accomplished this feat while playing for the St. Louis Cardinals’ Triple A team. Gorbous’ record has withheld the test of time, as it’s been 59 years since he set the record back in 1957. In case you’re wondering how impressive this mark really is, the distance to centre field at the Rogers Centre is 400 ft. This means that Gorbous’ record breaking throw is the equivalent of hitting a centre field homerun at the Rogers Centre. Pretty impressive.

575 Ft (175.3m) – Baseball Hit


The record for the longest hit in baseball history was set by none other than legendary hitter and Yankees’ great, Babe Ruth. Ruth is widely considered one of, if not the greatest hitters of all-time and hit a mark of 575′ on July 18, 1921 at Tigers Stadium in Detroit. What’s most impressive about this record is how it has withstood all this time, even with the advancements in training, supplements and technology.

930.04 Ft (283.5m) – Archery

As one of the more underrated sports, archery is the ultimate game of calm and precision. The point of this iconic game is to use a bow to propel a single arrow through the air and place it in the bullseye on your designated target. According to Guinness World Records the farthest accurate shot in archery history was made by Paralympian Matt Stutzman with a distance of 283.47m (930.04′) in 2015. Stutzman won silver at the Toronto 2015 Parapan Am Games after winning silver at the London 2012 Paralympics Games.

1653 Ft (503.8m) – Golf

Golf is one of sports more eloquent and classic games, which despite being known as a lazy man’s game has given us some of sports most iconic figures, such as, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods. However the longest drive in golf history did not happen during a typical stroke play tournament. According to several sources in 2007 during a long drive competition, Mike Dobbyn drove a golf ball an unfathomable 551 yards (1653′). How impressive is a 551 yard drive? Bubba Watson, who is currently regarded as one of the more heavy hitters on the PGA Tour, had an average drive distance of 315 yards in 2015 with his longest drive going a distance of 402 yards. That’s an outlandish 149 yard difference between Dobbyn’s long drive and Watson’s PGA best.

So that was fun. But how do those distances compare with what Canada’s best throwers have done in official track and field competitions? Here’s a look at the Canadian records:  

72 Ft 9 in (22.21m) – Shot Put

Nothing says power quite like the shot put, where the point of the event is to see how far someone can throw a small ball that weighs a hefty 7.26kg (16lbs). According to Athletics Canada, Dylan Armstrong set the Canadian record in shot put with a distance of 22.21m (72.87 Ft), leaving it just 9.33 Ft short of the backwards basketball shot distance but did so with an object that outweighs a basketball by 14.63 lbs.

222 Ft 7 in (67.88m) – Discus Throw

The discus throw is one of the oldest events in the Olympic Games, part of the modern program since Athens 1896. According to Athletics Canada the Canadian record in discus throw was set by Jason Tunks on May 14, 1998. Tunks won gold at the 2003 Pan American Games and was a bronze medallist at the 1999 Pan American Games.

259 Ft 6 in (79.13m) – Hammer Throw

Much like shot put, the hammer throw is the definition of a power sport, where an athlete tries to throw a small ball that weighs 7.26kg (16lbs) attached to a chain through the air as far as they possibly can. The Canadian record was set by James Steacy of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan who according to Athletics Canada hit a mark of 79.13m (259.62 Ft) on May 16, 2008. He was the first Canadian in 84 years to reach an Olympic final in hammer throw at Beijing 2008. Steacy is also a gold medallist at the 2007 Pan American Games and a five-time CIS national champion.

278 Ft 2 in (84.81m) – Javelin

As one of the oldest Olympic sports, javelin dates back to the Ancient Olympic Games in 708 BC. The Canadian record in javelin was set on June 25, 2011 by Scott Russell according to Athletics Canada. Exactly how far is 84.81m? That’s the equivalent of almost one and a half ice rinks. Impressive! Scott Russell is a silver medalist at the 2002 Commonwealth Games and was a finalist at Beijing 2008.

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