The average vertical jump is often a comparison of physical fitness that done during high school or for elite athletes. For those still in school it is to see basic physical fitness. But for athletes who aim to compete, making sure that your score is above the average is a must.
If possible you want to strive to be on the top end of the table since this is what coaches and scouts base their assessments on.
Average Vertical Jump Norms by Gender
Below is a table to covers the average jump height based on gender. The first column represents the skill level rating based on how high the individual is able to jump.
On the 2nd and 3rd columns are the average vertical leap of males shown in inches as well as centimeters. You can use either depending on which system you’re used to.
The final 2 columns are the jump height norms for females, also shown in inches as well as centimeters.
|excellent||29 and higher||71 and higher||25 and higher||61 and higher|
|very good||24 - 28||61-70||20 to 24||51 to 60|
|above average||20 - 24||51-60||16 to 20||41 to 50|
|average||16 - 20||41-50||12 to 16||31 to 40|
|below average||12 to 16||31-40||8 to 12||21 to 30|
|poor||11 and below||30 and below||7 and below||20 and below|
On average, males have a few inches above females, though there are differences because some female athletes like volleyball players, high jumpers, and basketball players have high vertical leaping abilities.
The goal is to achieve at least a good vertical leap which gives you a an advantage over your opponents whether it is in basketball, volleyball, football or other sports.
What is a Good Vertical Jump to Aim For?
Since the table shows that for the general population as a whole it may not be the best thing to compare with specially if your target competition are elite athletes. That’s because you may beat the regular guy or gal on the street, but highly likely the person on the opposing team is a well trained athlete that performs better than the regular person on the street.
To find those who have good vertical jump ability, we turn to the professionals and elite athletes who train for this and spend a lot of time working out to get more athletic.
Here are some more relevant figures:
In the NBA and Basketball Players:
- The average vertical jump of NBA players is 28” to 30”.
- The highest vertical leap from the NBA draft combine ever is 46” by Dalenta Jameral “D. J.” Stephens.
- In a given NBA draft combine, we see 4 to 7 players jumping over 40”, and between 25 to 32 players jumping between 35” to 40”.
- The highest NBA jumpers rank around 44” to 48”, with names like Michael Jordan and Zach LaVine included in that list.
- There have been more than 80 players who’ve gone through the NBA draft combine jumping 40 inches and over on the Max Vertical (running start), but only D.J. Stephens has been able to achieve 40 inches on the no-step vertical.
In the NFL and Football Players:
- Coincidentally, as of this writing the highest vertical leap from the NFL Draft Combine is also 46” by Gerald Sensabaugh.
- One important note is that the highest verticals in the NBA draft combine are based on what they call the Max Vertical, where players get a running start. In the NFL draft combine, however, they only test standing vertical, where players can’t take any extra steps but just jump straight up from a flat-footed position. This makes the 46” in by Gerald Sensabaugh more impressive.
- In the last 10 years of the NFL draft combine, more than 15 players have achieved a vertical of over 42 inches (from standstill position). Comparing to the NBA, only 1 player has reached the 40 inch mark on the standing vertical.
Comparing Football with Basketball Players Vertical Jumps
When the word vertical leap is mentioned, we automatically think of basketball players because of the dunking that goes on the NBA game today.
One interesting fact that came up from our research is that on average, the football player has a better vertical jump than the basketball player. This is shown in part by the statistics above between NBA and NFL players.
It has also be shown years ago that the average:
- NCAA Football Player (Division 1) has between 29 to 31 inches in their vertical.
- NCAA Basketball Player (Division 1) has an average jump height of between 27 to 30 inches.
Among the reasons include that football players train for explosiveness and power which is the main reason for their good vertical jump. Another is that basketball players are also taller. Shorter individuals tend to jump higher that taller individuals, as you’ve probably already noticed.
How Does Your Vertical Stack Up?
Are you at par or better than these elite athletes? If you are playing competitive ball and want to be among the best the levels above are some great targets to shoot for or beat.
And the only way to get there is to train so that your jumping muscles and your body can be as explosive and athletic as possible.
Not sure how to train to jump higher? Take a look at the Jump Manual, if you have access to weights. Or the Vert Shock System, if you prefer not to use weights. Both can get you jumping more than 8 inches higher than you already are.
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