Jumping isn’t necessarily seen as much of an important statistic when looking at athletes, much less a category worth defining as a sport. Realistically, these statements couldn’t be farther from the truth as the field of jump training has seen growth in recent years.

Although it might not be that big in scope, jumping not only holds merit in determining a person’s athleticism but also carries a unique community of individuals with jaw-dropping abilities. Jumping may not seem all that eye-catching, but I bet you’ve never seen someone jump 40 inches in the air.

The amount of preparation that goes into attaining a high vertical jump is comparable to what Olympians undergo (maybe a tad exaggerated). These are professional athletes, and yet sadly there is no world-wide competition when it comes to jumping, which makes searching for these records a hassle.

However, I’ve compiled below a few of the highest vertical jump records across three distinct jumping methods.

The Highest Vertical Jump Records

As previously mentioned, I'll only be focusing on three jumping methods for the sake of simplicity. These are:

o Standing Vertical Jump (Jump from static position)
o Running Vertical Jump (Jump after running)
o Box/platform Jump (Jumping onto a box/platform)

We'll be looking at records that have been verified since they provide the most accurate numbers. There are quite a few unofficial records held but the information surrounding them is often based on speculation, not to mention they have yet to be checked by an entity like Guinness World Records.

The information we'll be using for the standing and running jump records will come from the NBA Draft Combine and NFL Scouting Combine since they provide the most accurate numbers. They also house some of the highest jumpers known to man, making them great resources.
For the box/platform jump, we'll be looking at Guinness World Records.

Standing Vertical Jump Record: 46"

This method of measurement is the most standard amongst athletes since it gives the most consistent and reliable results out of the three.

NBA Record: 39.5"

This record is actually shared by two basketball players: Kenny Gregory and Nick Young. Gregory's results are from 2001, and Young's results are from 2007, so you could say that Gregory is the first holder for this record. There's another basketball player named DJ Stephens who reportedly reached a 40" vertical, technically making him the record holder and that number the actual record.

The only problem is that this information isn't really verifiable since there's no mention of his draft score on the official NBA website. So, I would count this as an unofficial record, though some have acknowledged this score as being factual.

NFL Record: 46"

Gerald Sensabaugh holds the highest standing leap in the NFL at a surprising 46 inches, and this is according to the NFL Combine results from 2005. What stands out is the huge gap between the NBA and NFL when you compare their highest jumping stats.

Logically you'd think that basketball players would score much high on a vertical jump exam, especially when compared to football players. In reality, there are plenty of reasons why basketball players don't have nearly as high of a jump, much of which has to do with their height and sport.

After all, most players are tall as is, being able to reach the rim without much problem. This makes it rather redundant to focus on improving jump height. Basketball is also a long game, making endurance rank much higher on their list of priorities relative to being explosive on the court, whereas football is the exact opposite.

Running Vertical Jump Record: 45.5"

The running vertical jump is less accurate since the run-up can influence your jump in many ways depending on how long you run and how much momentum you gain. Even so, it's still a favorite for most and is often labeled as the "maximum" vertical jump height.

NBA Record: 45.5"

In this department, the NBA leads the way, though not for the reason you might expect. Yet again, Kenny Gregory's combine results from 2001 show him as one of the highest jumpers in the NBA, at least officially, with a running vertical jump of 45.5 inches.

Unofficially (as in not acknowledged on the website), DJ Stephens, the same player mentioned before, reportedly holds a 46-inch running vertical. Unfortunately, he isn't mentioned anywhere on the NBA site.

NFL Record: N/A

Yep, that's right.

The reason the NBA is the winner in this category is that the NFL doesn't measure the running vertical jump. If it did, there's no doubt that football players would have a much higher score, considering that they tend to have higher verticals on average.

We can also assume that the run-up to a vertical jump can add up to about 6 inches in height, at least based on the NBA information. that means we could be looking at a nearly monstrous 50 inches in jump height or more. A new world record!
Then again, this is only speculation, but the idea still holds some ground.

Box/Platform Vertical Jump Record: 65"

This method has a person jump onto a box or platform, but unlike the previous two methods, it measures from the floor to the height of the platform, instead of measuring a person's reach. This is how you get such crazy numbers; normally what's measured is the area between arm reach and jumping reach.

The highest box/platform jump, according to Guinness World Records, is 65-inches and was achieved by Brett Williams in 2019. While the measurement style is different, this category is nothing to scoff at; the work put into this jump is arguably more difficult since there's the added fear of having to jump onto a large object.


Pretty impressive huh?

Sad to see that these achievements don't gain much attention, at least not nearly as much as they deserve. Here we can look over these records and see just how outstanding they really are. Though let me not prep up jumping too much; it's interesting, but not comparable to something like basketball.

With that said though, it'd still be nice to see some type of world competition where the best compete because I feel it'd give us a better look at how groundbreaking this space has become.

Author's Bio: 

Ball Amazingly is a basketball blog that covers various topics on becoming a better basketball player, information regarding basketball and training, and content made to entertain.