Introduction to trampolining
Trampoline sports are exciting high flying activities which teach aerial awareness, safe landing skills and body control. Trampoline sports include trampoline, double mini tramp and tumbling. These activities are best learnt in an affiliated Gymnastics Victoria club, and with qualified and accredited coaches. Gymnastics is a sports industry leader in club development through the Club 10 Quality Assurance Program. This Program enables affiliated clubs to meet specific standards of club operation, including risk management, equipment maintenance, coach accreditation and member protection. Participating clubs can be readily recognised by the Club 10 logo.
Due to the exciting, energetic and challenging nature of trampolining, injuries may occur, as is the case with any physical activity. With the heights reached and skills performed by participants, particularly at advanced levels, safety is of paramount importance. By coaches, clubs and participants being aware of their responsibilities the sport can be conducted in a safe and responsible manner.
The following information helps to highlights the common responsibilities of key personnel within trampoline activities to minimise the risk of injury to participants.
- Provide a safe environment.
- Adequately plan activities.
- Evaluate athletes for injury and incapacity.
- Provide safe and proper equipment.
- Warn trampolinists of the inherent risks of the sport.
- Know first aid.
- Ensure clear, written rules for training and general conduct are followed.
- Keep adequate records.
(Extract from “Update Logbook” Coach Accreditation-Australian Sports Commission).
- Be appropriately qualified for the level being coached, be registered with Gymnastics Australia and keep all qualifications up-to-date.
- Annual updating is a required part of professional development.
- Complete the Managing the Risks of Coaching (MRC) compulsory online study unit. MRC focuses on safe, controlled learning environments and reducing and managing risk.
- Ensure each trampolinist participates at the appropriate level for their ability, commitment and number of training hours.
- Plan lessons beginning with a warm up to ensure the trampolinist’s body is ready for the class. Strength, conditioning and flexibility should be a focus to prepare for skill development. A cool down to minimise muscle tightness should end the session.
- Teach appropriate progressions for each skill and ensure that the participant has the necessary skill, strength, conditioning and flexibility before embarking on harder skills.
When a club affiliates with Gymnastics Victoria, a number of standards must be met which help ensure a safer environment is provided for gymnasts.
- Programs are planned catering for individual needs and allow participants to progress at their own pace.
- Participants’ medical histories are kept on file and known to relevant club personnel.
- A current First-Aider is on site and accessible at all times.
- A list of local emergency contacts is available.
- Ice is readily available.
- Equipment is erected and dismantled according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
- There is sufficient working space around each trampoline and they are level.
- The area above, below and around trampolines is clear of obstructions.
- Equipment safety checks are undertaken on a regular basis.
- Club safety rules are displayed and enforced.
- Warm-up areas are level, firm and free from obstruction.
- Appropriate distance between apparatus is provided to cater for unintentional falls.
- All exposed wires and chains are covered.
- Consideration is given to ceiling height, floor surface, lighting and heating/ventilation.
- End decks are in place for all competitions.
Gymnastics Victoria takes no responsibility nor supports the use of home trampolines, though they are available. Home trampolines should always be supervised by an adult. Rules and responsibilities as listed throughout this fact sheet should also be followed in the backyard where possible. Gymnastics Victoria recommends that children learn basic trampoline skills and safety at an affiliated club.
- Be appropriately attired; this includes fitted clothing and socks. Jewellery is not to be worn in the gym.
- Dress for the conditions; be aware of the gym’s temperature and dress accordingly.
- Bounce in the centre of the trampoline and keep your eyes on the end frame pad where possible.
- Perform skills with control.
- Mount and dismount correctly. This includes coming to a complete stop in the middle of the trampoline and then walking to the side. Climb off carefully without pulling on the frame pad or springs.
- Ensure there is only one participant at a time on the trampoline.
- Avoid distracting other participants.
- Engage the services of trained adults to spot when required.
- Keep the club aware and up-to-date of current and relevant medical history.
- Take regular drink breaks to replenish the body’s fuels before, during and after training.
Respect your coaches
- Always listen carefully and obey your coach’s instructions.
- Use equipment only when and how instructed by your coach.
In the case of an injury
- Stop immediately if you experience an injury or illness.
- Injured gymnasts should seek prompt attention from qualified first aid personnel or a sports medicine professional.
- Injuries should be fully rehabilitated through a specific and supervised program before returning to activity.
- Injured gymnasts may still be able to undertake modified training which avoids using the injured area. Maintaining contact with coaches, friends and the gymnastic environment enhances the rehabilitation process and will help gymnasts remain motivated and in good spirits.
For further information
Smartplay – Sports Medicine Australia
The development of this fact sheet is a partnership between Gymnastics Victoria and Smartplay.
Prepared by Gymnastics Victoria with help from gymnastic coaches/administrators and support staff.
Photos courtesy of Troy Anderson and Gymnastics Victoria.