The individual trampoline event became an official Olympic sport at the 2000 Olympic Games held in Sydney, Australia. USA Gymnastics added trampoline events to its purview one year prior, in 1999. Competitors complete three routines in Olympic competition, each of which have 10 elements. Rules call for performing these elements continuously without hesitating or making any straight jumps. Like any piece of official Olympic equipment, the trampoline must meet certain equipment requirements.
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The official trampoline for the Olympic games is one that meets the technical regulations set by the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique, or FIG. This includes the size requirement. The official-size trampoline is 16.5682 feet long, 9.54724 feet wide and 3.78937feet high. Other organizations, such as USA Gymnastics, also follow FIG standards for competitions.
The bed that the gymnasts jump on must be constructed of nylon or string material. It is about 6 mm, or .24 inches, thick. The bed is required to have a tension that stabilizes within one second of contact. The area beneath the bed must be free of any obstructions.
The official trampoline for the Olympics must have shock-absorbent safety platforms, commonly referred to as end decks. This includes a large, thick mat that sits at either end of the trampoline. This mat offers a cushion in case a gymnast falls from the trampoline. The framework for the safety platform must be attached firmly to the ends of the trampoline.
Official competition trampolines used in the Olympics and other events must feature safety padding. This shock-absorbent padding covers the trampoline’s spring and frames. It cannot be thicker than 55 mm, or 2.16535 inches, and it cannot cover any part of the trampoline’s bed. Requirements also call for padding to be fixed firmly to the frame, but the padding must not hinder the normal action of the bed or springs.