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Trampolining Basics

Trampolining For Beginners

Beginners Guide To The Sport of Trampolining

Please do not try these trampoline tricks without proper supervision and training.

This page is designed to give complete newcomers a taste of trampolining. The Basics Competitive trampolining is a judged sport (like gymnastics or diving) whereby the competitor performs two routines each of ten moves, with one mark awarded for each move performed perfectly. Deductions are made according to performance imperfections in each move. The resultant individual scores are then added up to give a total score out of ten for each routine. Marks are also added on for the difficulty (we call it 'tariff') of the second routine. The tariff of the routine is calculated by adding up the tariffs of each move in it.

Trampoline Moves

Many moves are named with reference to how the trampolinist lands on the trampoline. There are four possible landing positions:

to feet: landing in a standing position

to seat: landing in a sitting down position with the legs pointing straight ahead

to front: landing on the stomach, or front, with hands under chin

to back: landing on the back with arms & legs pointing upward


The seat, front & back positions lend themselves to three basic moves:the seat landing, the front landing & the back landing which are performed from a normal upright jump. These can then be linked together one after another (this is what happens in routines) with no upright jump in-between. So for example the linked move we call seat landing to front landing means 'land on your bottom & rebound straight over onto your front'.

As well as these basic landing positions, we must consider twists. A 1/2 twist jump is when the trampolinist simply jumps up and faces the other way (180 degrees). From that it follows that a full twist involves a complete revolution to face the same way again (360 degrees). These can obviously be extended to one and a half, double, triple etc..

These two ideas (landing positions and twists) can be combined to form more complex moves and links. For example:

A 1/2 twist to back landing involves the trampolinist in jumping up, twisting through 180degrees and landing on the back. A front landing 1/2 twist to seat landing means jump & rotate forward into a front landing then on the rebound simply roll over through 180 degrees to land in a seat landing position.


Body Shapes In The Air

When in the air it is possible to do many things, some of which have been mentioned above. In order to do any move, we must consider the body shape of the trampolinist. When not performing a move, the body shape should normally be 'straight' - i.e. upright and fully extended. There are three other possible body shapes:

tucked: curled up in a little ball with the hands on the shins and the knees together.

piked: in a 'touching the toes' like position with legs straight and together and the hands near the feet.

straddled: the same as piked but with the feet well apart.


These shapes can be done whilst in the air and give rise to the most basic moves of all: the tuck jump, the pike jump and the straddle jump. They can also be done during somersaults (see below) with the exception of the straddle, which is never used apart from in a straddle jump.


Somersaults are partial or complete rotations, forward or backwards around the hips area. Never, never ever call them Flips!! Somersaults are named by considering six things: The direction of rotation: forward or backward (very occasionally also sideways). The amount of rotation: single, double, one and three quarters etc. The amount of twist: in multiples of a half. The body shape in the air: straight, piked or tucked: The take-off position: from feet, from seat, from front or from back. The landing position: to feet, to seat, to front or to back. From this, we can see that there are hundreds of types of somersaults which are possible. Consider for example: A backward, one and three quarter somersault, two and a 1/2 twisting, piked, from feet, to back landing somersault! As far as I know, no-one actually does this move, but it is possible. Mathematical types might like to note that if the take off position is from feet, the landing MUST be to back landing (work it out !!).

Many everyday somersaults have special names of their own, and here are a few examples:

Crash Dive : a three quarter front somersault to land on the back.

Lazy Back : a three quarter back somersault to land on the front.

Barani : a single front somersault with a 1/2 twist.

Rudi : a single front somersault with one and a 1/2 twists.

Randi : a single front somersault with two and a 1/2 twists.

Adolf : a single front somersault with three and a 1/2 twists.

Full Back : a full twisting single back somersault (usually done straight).

Ball-Out : a one & a quarter forward somersault done from a back landing to feet.

Cody : a one & a quarter backward somersault done from a front landing position.

One & Three : a one & three-quarter front somersault, (lands on the back).

Half-Out : a double front somersault with a 1/2 twist at the end. (see illustration in side panel).


Double somersaults and above

The more twists and somersaults you have in a move, the more combinations are possible. The recognition and naming of multiple twisting, multiple somersaults is a science in its own right, and being able to name the blur of body parts you have just seen in the air will make you the envy of many. The number of somersaults is rarely more than three, the number of twists rarely more than four, and the position is normally feet to feet. This keeps things a bit simpler than they might be, but the difficulty lies in working out both the rotational direction and how many twists happened and WHEN. For example, a double front somersault with a 1/2 twist can be done in two ways: With the twist in the first somersault (called a Half-In) ... or, in the second somersault (a Half-Out). A double back with a full twist can be done in three ways: With a 1/2 twist in each somersault (Half-In Half-Out), ... all the twist in the first (Full-In) ... or all the twist in the second (Full-Out).


The basic premise is that each quarter-somersault (90degrees forward or backward) is awarded 0.1 point, and each half-twist (180degrees around the Longitudinal axis) is also awarded 0.1 point. An additional 0.1 points is awarded per completed somersault (each somersault is worth 0.5 instead of 0.4). Single somersaults without twist performed in pike or straight position receive an additional 0.1 point bonus. [Single somersaults with twist are considered to be done in a 'free' position, so do not qualify for the straight legs bonus]. Multiple somersaults of 720degrees or more, with or without twist, executed in the straight or pike position will receive an additional 0.2 points maximum bonus. These straight-legged bonuses are only applicable to whole somersaults, e.g. there is no such bonus to Ball-Out Barani, thus 0.6 for somersault (5 quarters plus 0.1 bonus for one completed somersault) plus 0.1 for 1/2 twist, totals 0.7 points, regardless of shape. Repeated skills do not receive any Tariff award. Here are some examples:

back landing = 0.1 (1/4 somersault rotation)

1/2 twist to front landing = 0.2 (1/4 somersault rotation plus a 1/2 twist)

seat landing = 0.0 (no upper body rotation or twist at all)

pike back somersault = 0.6 (four quarters of rotation plus 0.1 completed somersault bonus, plus 0.1 for straight legs)

straight barani (single front somersault with 1/2 twist) = 0.6 (four quarters rotation plus a 1/2 twist but no straight legs bonus)

tucked full twisting 1 3/4 front somersault to back = 1.0 (seven quarters rotation, with 0.1 complete somersault bonus, plus two 1/2 twists)

Our thanks to the Ministry of Air for the material on this page