What is the average vertical jump for men and women, by age and by height?
One of the best ways to see how well you’re doing in any skill is to compare with others. So, measuring yourself and how high you jump to the average vertical jump of your peers or those you’re competing against gives you an idea if you need to work harder or not.
Vertical Jump Defined
One of the difficulties that’s encountered when comparing vertical jump height is that there are so many factors involved. And because you won’t be able to bring everyone in one room and test them under the same conditions you can’t be totally sure that how you were tested is the same as how others were tested.
Before going on to the average figures here are some things to be aware of when you ask others about their vertical and start comparing.
1. How the jump test is done
This is a big factor.
In the NBA for example, they use 2 different tests, one where you jump from a stand still position, and another where you get a running start.
Depending on who you compare with or ask their averages, they may be telling you their maximum jump height which is often from a running start and you may be using a standstill figure.
Make sure to compare the same type of jump.
For more about how you can measure your vertical at home see our writeup here. To learn more about vertical jump tests and equipment.
2. Normal vertical jump compared to whom
- As you’ll see below, the average leaping ability really differs significantly when you’re comparing males and females. Because of their muscle mass and strength advantages men have generally better jumping capacity.
- Another thing to consider is age. As we get older, our muscles get weaker. This means that given the same training your jump when you’re in your 40’s will be lower than when you were in your 30’s. Our best jumping heights come during our 20’s. Our table below gives a clearer picture of this.
- Lastly, it has been shown that depending on what sport you play, the average vertical differs too. Sports where jumping ability is tested, measured and needed to get an edge, like basketball, volleyball and football have athletes that score higher on jump tests compared to athletes who don’t need that particular skill. For more see below. Does Ensure Help You Gain Weight
3. Tricks to get better results
Because vertical jump measurements are very important parts of scouting reports, athletes are using simple tricks that give them higher results than if they didn’t. Little tricks like shrugging the shoulders or hinging the hips as some methods that give the jumper a better result.
That said however, there have been a few general ground rules that organizations have followed when testing and measuring jumping ability which makes comparison better.
Average Vertical Jump for Men and Women
The table of vertical jump averages below is a quick way to see how you compare relative to others in general. The table is divided into males and females because men have a distinct advantage compared to women when it comes to vertical leap. Splitting them up gives a better way to compare.
The average vertical jump for men falls between 16 to 20 inches while it is around 12 to 16 inches for women. A good vertical jump is one that’s over 2 feet for males and over 20 inches for females.
To excel however, men need to get over 28”, while women over 2 feet high.
|8 inches & below
|4 inches & below
|8 to 12 inches
|4 to 8 inches
|12 to 16 inches
|8 to 12 inches
|16 to 20 inches
|12 to 16 inches
|20 to 24 inches
|16 to 20 inches
|24 to 28 inches
|20 to 24 inches
|more than 28 inches
|more than 24 inches
Take note that the table includes people of different ages and is a general comparison. To compare with those in your age group see the next table below.
Average Vertical Jump by Age
As we get older our jumping ability also deteriorates on average, with some some exceptions, of course or individuals who didn’t train when they were younger and started training at an older age.
But as a whole our best jumping ability comes before we get to 30 years of age and slowly goes down by about 3 inches for each decade we age.
|20 to 29 years old
|30 to 39 years old
|40 to 49 years old
|50 to 59 years old
So What is a Good Vertical Jump Score?
We’ve seen the good vertical jump scores for the general male and female populations. However, if you’re an athlete, chances you are less interested in comparing with the regular Joe and Jane.
Instead your interest is on how you stack up against those you will be competing against or model yourself to.
So for this section to see which jump scores are good, we’ve decided to do some research on elite athletes who are known to have superior jumping abilities. These are namely the basketball players, football players and volleyball players
For Basketball Players
- A study from a few years past recorded that NCAA Division 1 college basketball players averaged between 27 to 30 inches in their vertical.
- This compares to some of the best NBA leapers who go over 40 inches with ease with Michael Jordan said to be going up 46”.
- As far as recorded levels, the highest vertical jump recorded in the NBA draft combine was by D.J. Stephens back in 2013 with 46 inches.
- In the 2014 draft combine, 6 players went over 40” in their max vertical, while 29 other players recorded between 35” to 40”.
For Football Players
- Top NFL Draft Combine measurements show that a number of NFL players have done between 42 and 46 inches in their vertical, which are where the highest scores are.
- Gerald Sensabaugh still holds that vertical jump mark for the NFL Draft Combine at 46 inches.
- When it comes of NCAA Division 1 college football players, a previous study noted that the average jump height ranges between 29 and 31 inches which makes them really good vertical jumpers and better than their basketball counterparts.
- Studies have been made and show that because football players train for more power and be more explosive they are able to produce better vertical leap results compared to basketball players.
For Volleyball Players
- The 1988 Canadian men’s volleyball team logged an impressive 36 inch average while the Chinese men’s national volleyball team slightly lower at 33.86 inches.
Average Vertical Jump by Height
Unfortunately, there are no statistics on the average vertical jump by height. But, if you look at the our list of the highest vertical jump in the NBA article, you’ll quickly see that the there are not a lot of big guys who can go up as high as the smaller ones.
Basically, there are much less 6’9 players or tall who jump 40 inches. Maybe because they don’t need to jump as high to dunk or block shots.
In contrast, a lot of NBA players in our list fell under “short” (NBA standards) 6’3 or lower and in the middle 6’4 to 6’8 range.
Another great place to refer to is the Olympic high jumpers. These guys jump for a living. And, if you look at the top competitors year in and year out in the Olympics, they fall under the range of 6’2 to 6’6.
I’m sure body dynamics has a lot to do with it. The leverage you get from longer gets beats out overly short or overly long legs. This is why many of the top jumpers fall around the 6’0 to 6’7 range.