Trampoline gymnastics is a breathtaking sport with most modern trampolinists able to reach heights nearing 10m (almost 33ft), even going so far as to touch the ceilings of some arenas! As well as being a sport in its own right, trampolining is widely recognized as a training tool for many other gymnastic disciplines and sports such as diving.
Trampolining gymnastics is a relatively new addition to the Olympic schedule debuting in 2000 at the Sydney Games, despite the training aspects it brought to other sports. The competition is analysed by seven judges, two who evaluate the difficulty of the routine, and five who judge the execution. The scoreboard ranges from 0 to 10. The trampoline consists of a nylon cloth strung with 120 pins. It is surrounded by a thick mat at each end to cushion the impact if anyone makes a misjudgement!
What the gymnasts do
Competitors perform two routines: a compulsory routine with 10 elements and an optional freestyle-like routine with no limits that demonstrates 10 different skills.
The target area on the trampoline which the gymnast must aim to stay within is 2m x 1m (6.56ft x 3.28ft).
Trampolining has a language of its own and many of the moves are named after the person who invented them.
Some of the common trampolining moves include:
Adolph — a front somersault with three-and-a-half twists.
Baranis — a forward somersault with a half twist.
Dolphin — a move starting on the back, with a front somersault and landing on the back.
Liffis — a double somersault with a twist.
Triffis — any triple somersault combined with a component of twist.
Randolphs — a forward somersault with two-and-a-half twists.
Rudolphs — a forward somersault with one-and-a-half twists.
Only individual events have appeared at the Olympics although there are other types of trampolining, including synchronized trampolining, tumbling, and double mini-trampolining. It’s still a new sport in the eyes of the olympics, so there’s still a chance other categories within the sport become part of the olympic family.