Power Tumbling blends the most exciting aspects of an Artistic Gymnastics floor exercise with the dynamics of Trampoline skills. Tumblers perform on a specialized tumbling strip, which is 26 metres long and 1.5 metres wide. The strip is an elevated floor sprung with horizontal fibreglass rods concealed beneath a carpeted layer of foam. The innovation of this specialized 'floor' has raised the level of the sport to new heights. It provides the athletes with an extremely explosive 'launching pad', which can propel the most talented athletes high into the air allowing them to perform combinations of consecutive aerial skills at levels of difficulty not normally seen in Artistic Gymnastics.
In competition the athletes perform tumbling lines (connected tumbling skills) called 'passes'. These passes consist of eight acrobatic elements judged on their degree of difficulty and execution - which includes the evaluation of speed, technique, height and maintenance of tempo throughout the entire 8 element pass.
Competitions are thrilling displays of dare devil feats, which defy gravity. The intensity builds, as the athlete stands alone at the end of the 11 metre long runway. With an explosive burst of power the athlete initiates their running approach with full effort toward the beginning of the tumbling strip. In a blink of an eye the athlete performs 8 dynamic elements, which are connected at the speed of light. The only thing to move faster than the tumbler is the rate at which this sport is evolving! In fact, the world's best tumblers are now performing triple twisting double saltos, full twisting triple backs and some are even performing double backs in the middle of the pass proceeding through to a triple back pike dismount! The incredible pace and intricate highflying manoeuvres make Tumbling one of the most enjoyable disciplines to experience!
Athletes perform a compulsory routine consisting of 10 pre-set elements. The routine is judged only on the performance - execution. The Voluntary Routine consists of 10 elements chosen by the competitor and is evaluated on execution and degree of difficulty. In both cases, the 10 elements must be performed one after the other, with no breaks or extra jumps in between. The trampoline itself consists of a metal frame with a woven '7 x 14' bed with springs that propel the body upwards. All skills must originate and be completed on the bed, ideally never straying from the centre mark.
Synchronized Trampoline two competitors perform the same routine at the same time on two separate trampolines, as a mirror image of each other. This event is wonderfully artistic and requires the athletes to work together with precision timing to create the illusion of one unit. In addition to the degree of difficulty and the execution of the routine, judges also evaluate how well the two athletes synchronized every movement.
Double Mini Trampoline consists of 2 beds with the first bed slightly slanted upward to meet a second, horizontal bed. The athlete performs a running approach, an entry skill off the first bed, which must land on the second bed. This element must immediately rebound up into the air to initiate the final skill off the second bed before landing on the dismount mat. Each 'routine' actually consists of two spectacular highflying elements.
The Grand River Gymmies is proud to offer excellent programs, both at our club, as well through our outreach clubs, at every level - from the beginner to the Olympian! Although most gymnasts will learn new skills on various different pieces of equipment, only four events are used in Women's Artistic Gymnastics competition. They are: Vault, Bars, Beam and Floor. Vaulting is an event that requires tremendous speed and strength down the runway. This power is used to generate the necessary airtime up off the horse to complete the intricate twisting or salto vault. Once in the air, the gymnast then aims for a perfectly stuck landing. Bars is an event that demands special timing in order to initiate seemingly effortless swinging elements. The most advanced routines will incorporate daring 'release' moves that flip through the air before quickly catching the bar once again and smoothly continuing on to an exciting, high flying dismount. Beam is the event that true champions make appear deceivingly easy. The gymnast must perform on the 10 cm. wide 'stage' as if she were on a full floor area. Although the athlete must create and perform the routine without music, she is expected to dance through a multitude of leaps, jumps, turns and acrobatic elements as if music was dictating every beat. Floor Exercise is the most popular event for the viewing audience, due mostly to the musical accompaniment. A floor routine is the best example of where sport meets art, as each gymnast strives to merge her own unique personality and emotion into every performance. Few athletic events offer as much potential for beauty and daring as the gymnast who defies gravity while gracefully negotiating the most incredible tumbling elements!