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History

The first use of a kind of trampoline dates back to 1800, according to newspapers and commemorative cards of the time. At that time, the Hughes circus in London called one of its numbers “the trampoline jump”, using this word for the first time. Since then, the word trampoline has been used in different circus performances to describe any elastic apparatus that includes jumping over obstacles or vertical jumps.

From observing the fall of trapeze artists into the safety net, George Nissen (USA) started to develop ideas for the trampoline. Physical Education Professor and champion in diving and tumbling, he constructed the first trampoline prototype in his garage in the 1930’s by binding a piece of canvas to a metal frame using elastic bands.

Olympic History

Trampolining first became an Olympic event at the 2000 Sydney Games after it was accepted by the international Olympic Committee on 1 January 1999. Competitions for both men and women were included.

Technical

The Competition Area

The competition hall in Trampoline must be at least eight to ten metres high. Strict safety rules demand the existence of large and thick mats situated on both sides of the trampoline but also on the floor, two metres around it.

The Competition

The competition consists of a qualification and a final for men and women. All athletes present a compulsory (with 10 skills) and an optional routine (with 10 different skills without limitation) during qualification. The scores from the two routines are combined for an overall score.

The top eight competitors qualify for the final and perform only one voluntary routine of 10 different skills without limitations. The scores from the qualifiers do not carry over to the final.

equipment

Trampoline

The trampoline consists of a net, 4.25m long and 2.14m wide, made of durable nylon that is stabilised with about 120 springs on an iron framework. Red vertical lines designed on the net determine the permissible exercise zone for the athletes (about 2x1m). Its height is about 1.5m from the floor. For the athletes' safety, an additional safety mat is used on the side of the Trampoline.

Clothing

Men: Men wear a sleeveless body suit and long gym trousers The gym trousers must be of a unitary single colour, but not black or any other dark colour.

Women: Women wear a tight body suit with sleeves that covers at least 2/3 of the length of their arms.

Athletes can perform their routines wearing socks or special shoes designed for Trampoline, but can never be barefoot. Athletes who do not obey the above regulations, or wear jewelry during the competition, may face the penalty of expulsion.

rules

General Rules

Each Trampoline routine consists of 10 elements. Athletes are obliged to submit the “competition card” 48 hours prior to the commencement of the event, in which they state the exercises they intend to present.

Athletes have to begin their routine one minute after the signal is given by the Chair of Judges Panel, otherwise points will be deducted. The starting order of the athletes in the qualification event is determined by a draw, which takes place four months prior to the games and with the responsibility of the International Gymnastics Federation.

In the finals, the starting order is determined based on the standings from the qualification rounds. The athlete with the lowest score presents his/her routine first.

The Event

The event consisted of two phases: the qualifications and the finals that took place on one day for women and one for men, in the following way:

Qualifications: The athletes performed two routines.

A voluntary routine with 10 elements, which included special requirements and a second with 10 different skills without any limits.

Finals: The eight best athletes of the qualifications performed only one voluntary routine, with 10 different elements without a limit.

The first routine of the qualifications with the required elements (eg double front somersault, front somersault with 1½ turn, double back somersault with a turn) was performed as written in the competition card and as designated by the Technical Committee of the International Federation.

The judges considered only the execution of this routine. The level of the exercises and their order of execution varied in the second routine of the qualifications and the finals. Judges judged these routines on the basis of their composition and execution.

Judges

Nine judges judge the athletes. These are: Chair of Judges Panel, Assistant to the Chair of Judges Panel, two judges for the difficulty level and five judges for Execution.

The Chair of Judges Panel with the cooperation of the assistant is responsible for the event and determines the highest score for each routine.

The judges on Difficulty evaluate the level of difficulty of the routine.

The judges on Execution evaluate the quality of the execution of the routine (technical mistakes such as the lack of the right positioning of the body, maintaining the right height and control of the exercises and final landing). 

Scoring

Beginning with his routine, each athlete has 0 Difficulty points and 10 points for Execution.

Difficulty score: Each element the athlete performs has a specific difficulty value that is calculated and added by the two difficulty judges and gives the final mark of Difficulty.

Execution score: Each of the five Execution judges makes deductions (if necessary) of up to 0.5 points for every element performed by the athlete. The total deductions, as well as a possible deduction for lack of control after the last element are then  subtracted from the 10 original points. The highest and the lowest of the five judges’ scores are cancelled and the remaining three are added up. 

Time of flight score: In 2011 a Time of Flight machine which measures the total flight time of the gymnast was introduced. It has been tested during the World Cups 2011, then used in the World Championships in Birmingham 2011 and will also be used at  the Olympic Games in London 2012.

Difficulty score + Execution score + Time of Flight score  = Final score

Team HeroesEntire Team

Kat Driscoll held the world number one ranking in 2011 after winning three medals, including a gold, in World Cup events.She qualified her place with a top-eight finish at the World Championships and finished fourth at this year’s Olympic...

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