This information comes from the FIT press information from World Championships 1994 in Oporto/POR, it is, therefore, somewhat dated although still largely relevant.
- Isn't trampolining dangerous?
- What is required of a competitive trampoline?
- When, how and where did trampolining originate?
- What is trampolining like?
- What makes a good trampolinist?
- How long does it take to get to competitive standard?
- How often do trampolinists train?
- What is the best age for trampolining?
- How high does a performer jump?
- Is trampolining in the Olympics?
- How is international trampolining run?
- What is the world competitive structure?
- What events are included in a trampoline competition?
- What is involved for a competitor at a competition?
- How are the routines judged?
- How is difficulty worked out?
- How does double-mini trampoline and tumbling feature?
- What is involved with tumbling and double-mini trampoline?
No. Like all sports trampolining has a very comprehensive set of safety regulations. It is recommended that activity should only occur under the supervision of persons who have obtained a trampolining coaching qualification and who will know about equipment standards and learning the skills involved. Webmaster note - see more about trampoline safety.
Power is required for top level jumping so that height, and therefore time is available to execute the double, triple and even quadruple somersaults and twists involved. This necessitates a frame that sets a bed a metre off the ground and that is approximately 7' (2.14m) by 14' (4.28m). The bed is made of material (nylon or string) of about 6mm (¼") width.
For hundreds of years there have been circus rebound acts. The modern trampoline was invented by George Nissen, USA in 1936 and spread to Europe in the late 1940s. Webmaster note - read more about history.
Having your first go on the trampoline can provide a very strange experience - you feel as if you have been on a boat in a very stormy sea! Sooner or later however, you adapt and the up and down experience is very exhilarating. There are 30 or more different skills a beginner can master without having to do any up-side-down somersault movements. Webmaster note - why not find out first hand at one of our 'taster' sessions?.
Trampolining demands sound technique with the performer being able to call on courage when learning new moves. The activity at the top level is a power sport, and only those with good innate special adaptability are likely to master the complexities and demands of competition.
Some athletes learn very fast and are normally on the national open circuit within a year of beginning the sport. At youth international level most athletes will have 3-5 years experience in the sport, and at senior level 4-7 years.
As with most modern competitive athletes, trampolinists have full training programmes, with some having 1 or 2 training sessions of 1-3 hours duration 5-6 days each week. Others may have less training days each week.
The dynamic demands of the sport make it one for young people, and whilst people in their twenties have taken up the sport and achieved a good standard, the majority of stars are likely to have commenced their trampolining career in their pre-teenage years. The human body appears to be particularly receptive of the learning demands from the ages of 9-14 years, with the associated power demands coming into play from the age of about 12-14 years.
International rules require that the minimum height of the ceiling in the competition hall be 8m (26' 3") and athletes have been known to touch 9.14m (30') ceiling with their finger tips! 5m is adequate for beginners. International athletes get high enough to spend nearly 2 seconds in the air, so a routine of 10 skills lasts approximately 20 seconds.
No. The International Trampoline Federation (FIT) is, however, one of those IFs recognised by the International Olympic Committee. It should also be remembered that there are many more sports outside the Olympics than in! Webmaster correction - it was first in the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and now has a regular spot. As at 2006, it still hasn't made it to the Commonwealth Games though.
The FIT was formed in 1964. There is an elected Executive of 10 members and a Technical Committee of 7 members, forming the Board, and who run the international side of the sport. There are also various Commissions with their own remits. A Congress is held every two years, in conjunction with the World Championships, with elections every four years. Each of the 42 member federations of the FIT can send representatives to the Congress and each have voting power.
Since the 1st World Championships in 1964 there has been a continuous development towards a more comprehensive world-wide structure of competition:
- 1964 1st World Championships - held every two years e.g. 1992 Auckland (NZL), 1994 Oporto (POR)
- 1969 1st European Championships - held every two years e.g. 1991 Poznan (POL), 1993 Sursee (SUI)
- 1972 1st European Youth Championships - held every two years e.g. 1992 Deinze (BEL), 1994 Gent (BEL)
- 1973 1st World Age-Group Games - held every two years e.g. 1994 Vila do Conde (POR), 1996 Kamloops (CAN)
- 1981 1st Pan-Pacific Championships (now Indo-Pacific Championships) - held every two years e.g. 1993 and 1995
- 1992 World Cup Series - held over a two year period with finals at end of second year e.g. 1992-1993 and 1994-1995
- 1994 1st Pan-American Championships - to be held every two years
- 1994 1st Asian Championships - to be held every two years
A number of countries also hold international invitational events that attract entries from many members federations.
There are individual events for men and women. Out of the results of either the first two rounds of competition, a team result is arrived at, for both men and women. A team consists of 3/4 members. There are also competitions for pairs (synchronised trampoline), tumbling and double-mini trampoline (DMT).
All competitors perform two routines. The top 10 athletes with the highest score, which determines the start order, then proceed to the final where they perform a further optional routine, starting with a zero score. The athlete with the highest score at this stage is the winner. The winner is the competitor, pair with the highest score in the final. The winner of the team competition is the team with the highest overall points. Webmaster correction - this is largely correct although rules governing finals can vary depending on the competition in particular as regards numbers and scores reset.
5 judges mark a routine for style. They take into consideration whether the
routine has good form (tidy with straight legs and arms, head controlled, body
straight, ...), is kept in the middle of the bed and is off a consistent height.
Additionally, with voluntary routines, difficulty (tariff) is assessed and this is added to the mark for style (form). Style has 3 times the weighting of difficulty - it used to be 1:1 a number of years ago, so the sport is very much more an aesthetic one, and safer too.
The amount of movement a performer makes, whether somersaulting or twisting, decides on the rating (tariff) of a move, i.e.
- for every 90 degrees of somersault 0.1 is given
- for every 180 degrees of twist 0.1 is given
Therefore, a double (tucked) somersault with 1/2 twist gets 0.9. At the somersault level, piked and straight moves receive a 0.1 bonus for each somersault, compared with tucked somersaults. E.g. a double somersault, piked, with 1/2 twist would get 1.1. Webmaster correction - not entirely true now, see our page on competition organisation.
The disciplines of double-mini trampoline and tumbling have featured in the World Championship schedule since 1976. The number or participating nations is slowly growing in these disciplines, but we would like to see a greater interest shown in these sports by our members.
Tumbling - athletes perform two voluntary passes (each of 8 elements) along a 26m sprung surface track, which must be padded. The top ten athletes after the preliminaries proceed to the final where they perform an additional voluntary routine, consisting of 8 elements. Passes should show good control, form, execution and maintenance of tempo. The winner is the competitor with the highest score in the final.
Competition consists of both individual and team events. The winner of the team competitions is the team with highest overall points.
Double-Mini - athletes perform three passes (preliminaries) with a maximum of 2 skills in each pass, and a further two passes in the final on the 2.85m x .72m bed. A pass includes a run up, mounting the bed, doing a maximum of two moves (but including up to 3 contacts) dismounting the bed onto a soft landing area. The top 10 after the preliminaries proceed to the final. The winner is the competitor with the highest score in the final.
Competition consists of both individual and team events. The winner of the team competition is the team with the highest overall points.