2 Aug 2016

Trampoline - Guide to one of Rio's Lesser Known Sports

1:32 pm on 2 August 2016

Olympic Disciplines - Trampoline is part of the gymnastics family of sports, where gymnasts perform acrobatics while bouncing on a trampoline.

Dylan Schmidt, Trampoline, Rio 2016 Olympic Games, New Zealand Gymnastics. 11 May 2016.

Dylan Schmidt will represent New Zealand in the trampoline at the Rio Olympics. Photo: Photosport

Trampoline has only been part of the Olympic program since 2000 and New Zealand has never had a trampoline gymnast at the Games until now.

Nineteen year old Dylan Schmidt's track record as World Age Group Champion, Pacific Rim Champion and 2014 Youth Olympic Games Champion holds him in good stead to be competitive.

Competition at Rio

When: Competition will take place on Friday 12 August and Saturday 13 August.

Where: All of the gymnastics competitions, including trampoline, will be held at the Rio Olympic Arena at Barra Olympic Park.

Between 14 and 16 men, and the same number of women, will compete at Rio in the men's individual and women's individual competitions.

The qualification round: athletes perform a compulsory and an optional routine. The compulsory routine is pre-designed and must contain a set of skills in a certain order, while the optional routine can contain any 10 recognised skills. The eight athletes with the best scores advance to the final round.

The final: the top eight gymnasts from the preliminary rounds perform one more voluntary routine in the final, competing in ascending order depending on their two-routine score. The leading qualifier has the doubtful honour of jumping last, but any of the eight finalists can become Olympic Champion with the medals based on their final routine.

Demystifying the Event

Trampoline routines are performed on web or string beds (trampolines) that can propel the gymnast up to 10m in the air.

After the judge gives the signal, the gymnast must start their performance within 1 minute, during which they are allowed to jump on the trampoline until they reach the required height and stability for their routine.

They then start the first of 10 skills in a routine. Two voluntary routines are performed.

The first voluntary routine has only two skills that receive points for difficulty, and the other eight are judged on execution only.

The time of flight of each routine is also calculated.

The second voluntary routine is made up of single, double or triple somersaults with multiple twists.

A successful routine will show consistency of height, proper technique and a minimum deviation from the centre of the bed. The routine must end under control in an upright position.

The most popular Olympic trampoline routines include three basic positions: tucked, piked and straight. But there's plenty of variety in between, including the barani (a front somersault with a half-twist), the cody (a backward somersault from the front) and the triffis (a triple-front somersault with a half-twist).

The Stars of Trampolining

For men, the Olympic Champions have been Aleksander Moskalenko (Russia), Yuri Nikitin (Ukraine), Lu Chunlong (China) and Dong Dong (China). The Chinese men have been dominating the sport for the past two Olympic cycles and we can expect them to be on the podium again in 2016.

For women, the Olympic Champions have been Irina Karavaeva (Russia), Anna Dogonadze-Lilkendey (Germany), He Wenna (China) and Rosie MacLennan (Canada). The Chinese women won silver and bronze medals at the 2012 Olympic Games so we can expect them to be pushing again for the podium.

Did you Know?

China has won a third of the entire men's and women's Olympic trampoline medals awarded to date, with three golds, one silver and four bronzes.

Trampoline is a form of gymnastics that artistic gymnasts can move on to if they want to continue as a competitive gymnast.

The average age of an Olympic trampolinist is mid-20s.

Trampoline has four disciplines at the World Championships - individual trampoline (the Olympic discipline), synchronised trampoline, double mini-trampoline and power tumbling.

The New Zealand trampoline community has less than 300 nationally competitive members and there are 27 trampoline clubs across the country.