AVERAGE VERTICAL JUMP NORMS AND SCORES
For an athlete, knowing the average vertical leap of elite players is one of the ways of pushing yourself to be better.
Below we gathered various data to get the vertical leap norms of different groups of individuals. It is a good way to being able to compare yourself with others and see if you need to improve on this aspect of your athleticism.
Jump height is measured by the vertical jump test, which measures the distance an athlete is able to lift themselves off the ground. It is a measure of leg power which plays a big part in performance in many sports like basketball, football and volleyball to name a few.
Because the tables below cover many different levels, you can use the table of content here to navigate through the different average scores and results.
Average Vertical Jump Chart for Men and Women
In its most basic form, we can theoretically bunch up the general population and get the average jump height. But that has shown not to be effective because there is a wide disparity between the average vertical leap of men and women.
The body structure of males and females along with how much muscle each of their bodies have make men naturally able to jump higher, at least in general.
The chart below breaks down the average vertical jump of men and women and ranks them based on the height (in inches).
So for men, to have a good vertical jump the goal is to be able to leap up at least 24” or 2 feet high. Women on the other hand will aim for at least 20”.
Vertical Leap by Age
When it comes to the human body, one thing that everyone goes through is aging. With age, things change, including how our muscles perform. During our younger years, they are still developing all the way until we get to our 20’s and until just past 30 years old.
After that, the development stops and starts to go the other way.
The changes in our bodies muscles also show in average leaping ability as we age. During the younger years we develop and then start slowing down.
The chart below shows the average vertical leap by age for men.
For High School Athletes
During high school, we become more competitive and the drive to excel, get stronger and perform better in sports starts to build.
Around this age, coaches and instructors start measuring jump height in physical fitness tests as well as when we’re trying out for the team.
To see where you stand compared to others in your age group, our table below shows the norms for high school athletes.
We did go down a few years all the way to 10 years old for those who are starting young.
High School Athlete Jump Averages Chart
The chart above shows the average high school ages of 14 to 18 years old and how high they jump. Also included are the younger ages for those in Junior high school who want to see how they compare with other young athletes and students of their age.
For College Basketball and Football Players
For a basketball player and a football player, along with volleyball players being able to jump high not only shows athleticism but can be vital in that sport.
As far as averages go, when it comes to Division 1 NCAA players:
the average college football player jumps between 29 to 31 inches.
the average college basketball player jumps between 27 to 30 inches.
This puts them far above the averages of men their age and also compared to high school athletes, which is why they’re considered elite and only few of them get to make their teams.
What is a Good Vertical Jump?
We now know what the general groups of people are able to jump. But what is a good vertical jump?
One way is to get the high end of the tables and charts above. There we’ll be able to tell how good we currently are and how much more there is to improve.
A better way it compare ourselves with the elite athletes who make it their job to excel in this skill. We’re taking about the athletes whose sports depend on jumping ability to perform.
One thing about vertical leap is because it goes in fast motion it is almost impossible to measure on the fly. Another thing is during games we can’t tell if the athlete is going at their full abilities or just taking it easy.
So how do we compare?
A good way then to compare is to use draft combine test results.
In certain sports, namely the NBA and the NFL, players who want to enter the league via the draft, go through a rigorous testing process called the draft combine.
Here, team scouts and organizers monitor and test the players for different skills they feel are essential to excelling in their respective games.
Both the NBA and NFL draft combines require players to do the vertical jump test.
Vertical Jump of NBA Players (Draft Combine)
For elite basketball players, the NBA draft combine results give us an idea of what a good vertical leap is. Before getting to that, we will clarify the two jump tests that are done in the NBA combine, these are the Max Vertical and the Standing Vertical.
The Max Vertical measures the highest jump of the player. In the test they give the players a running start and jump as high as they can.
For the Standing Vertical players are not allowed to take any steps. They position themselves under the Vertec jump device and jump from a flat footed starting position.
Because the Standing Vertical doesn’t have the benefit of running momentum or extra steps it is always lower than the Max Vertical.
Starting 2011, there are between 4 to 10 players each year who achieve over 40” in the Max Vertical. Before that usually only 1 to 3 players jump over 40”.
Each year there are about 22 to 30 players who achieve at between 35” to 40” in their Max Vertical.
A good running jump then, if you want to match up with the best basketball players on the planet is to try to get to 35”.
For the Standing Vertical:
Around 20 to 35 players each year jump over 30” from the flat footed, no step jump.
This makes 30” a good goal to shoot for in terms of the no step vertical jump.
Vertical Jump of NFL Players (Draft Combine)
Similar to the figures that were recorded for college football and basketball players, NFL combine vertical leap scores show to be much higher than those of NBA players.
One thing of note is that the NFL only tests Standing Vertical Jump. This means no steps before the jump.
Each year the combine on average sees about 10 players who go over 40 inches from a flat footed jump position.
One thing we noticed with both the NBA and NFL combine statistics is that each year there are more and more players breaking the 30”, 35” and 40” marks, which means that more athletes are including jump training in their workout routines.
Because volleyball isn’t as popular as basketball and football, there isn’t as much information about it that’s available. We’re sure that coaches have their own criteria when looking at players.
One player to note when it comes to volleyball is Leonel Marshall who is said to have an astounding 50″ vertical.
When it comes to elite volleyball players, a number of national teams were measured and average vertical jumps for the teams ranged from 32 inches to 38 inches.
Vertical Jump Training Resources
Now that you know where you stand compared to others and have something to shoot for. The next step is to figure out how to get there.
When it comes to improving your vertical jump there are a few ways. As far as exercises go, use our list of jump training exercises here to get results. Then, complement that with ploymetrics. These are great free resources.
Free only gets you so far. There’s a reason NBA players hire professional trainers during the off season. Heck, even Michael Jordan had Tim Grover. Pros get you further than doing it yourself. They also get you there faster. This is why we recommend going with PROVEN jump programs.