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  • Writer's pictureJ Farrow

An insider's guide to trampolining.


Ever wanted to take part in trampolining? Perhaps you wanted to gain a deeper understanding into the world of gymnastics and trampolining just so happens to be on your top list? Whether you're an avid fan or you just want to read an article. This interview in sport gives us an interesting dive into the world of trampolining.

NewsKnight: What is trampolining like?

B Madjaros: Trampolining is very intense. If you have ever played a musical instrument or a sports match you know what it is like when you get nervous and people are watching you. But in trampolining you also have the added fear that if you mess up you have the risk of injuring or killing yourself. It makes things a lot more nerve wracking!

NK: Do you train?

BM: Every Wednesday I train at trampolining for an hour at Marriotts School although most people in my group train more than one day a week. We then do a routine to get stronger and more flexible called circuit ten. It involves running 300 metres, doing 20 V-Sits, 10 back pullovers, 20 squats, 20 lunges and 5 leg lifts.

NK:How are marks decided?

BM:Unlike what people think, marks are not just looking pretty and doing complicated moves although that is a factor. They time how long you take to finish it. They have a timer and the higher you jump, the longer it takes. So if the whole 10 move routine takes 15.2 seconds then they add 15.2 to your score. There are a few sections on the trampoline. 2 in front of you and behind you, 1 in each corner and 2 on the sides from the centre. If you jump on the first section in front or behind you, they knock off 1 mark from the overall score.. If you go on the side, you lose 2 marks. If you go one the sections near the corners then 3 marks are lost. The corners have the highest penalty with 4 marks going down the drain though. On top of this if you manage to land in a specific position when you finish and keep it there for 3 seconds without stumbling or stepping then you get 0.3 marks. And, on top of all that to remember, there will be 5 judges who give you a score out of 10 (including decimals). So, there is a lot more than people think there is going on behind the marking.

NK:What are the age categories?

BM:These are weird. There are normal categories you might think of like 11-12 and 7-10 as well as 13-17 (separated in boys and girls) but here is the weird part (which I found out the hard way). For example, if you are 12 and the year is 2023. You had your birthday last year so you would expect to be in the 11-12 category, right? Wrong. They take the age you will be this year. So if you turned 12 last year but you are still 12 next year when the competition is you will be in the 12-17 category. But if you turned 12 that year you will be in the 11-12 category. An easy way to remember it is that the age you will be on December 31st of that year is the age that you will be categorised by.

NK:What are the routines (you are doing)?

BM:There are different routines that you will learn and if you are advanced enough (you don’t have to be doing the highest level of routine) make your own. You also don’t have to learn 2 routines, you can just learn one and perform it twice although they knock off marks for that. The higher routines will get more marks. All of the routines have 10 skills. I am doing routine level 2 and 3. Here are the routines:

Level 3:Back somersault, straddle, seat drop, half twist to feet, half twist, pike jump, back landing, half twist to feet, tuck jump and piked front somersault.

Level 4:Straight back somersault, straddle, back somersault, Barani (front somersault with a half turn in the middle of it), half turn, tuck jump, back somersault to seat landing, half twist to feet, pike jump and piked front somersault.

NK:What are scores like?

BM:In the competition I have been to so far, the 13-17 are on average to 40-45 and the 11-12 average to about 25-30. The most competitive category was the female 13-17 with about 30 people competing in it. The problem is you need to get used to jumping high before the competition as if you jump higher than normal there you will get nervous and most likely mess up.

So what are the different things you do at the competition?

So, there is the trampolining that I talked a lot about. But there are also the tumble runs. You need to run down a little strip onto a trampet which is like a very tiny trampoline.You then need to do the best skills possible when you go on. You run onto the trampet and do a skill, land back on it and do a skill off of the trampet. This is its own category with its own medals. Then there is a strength routine category. You will need to get 70% at least to pass. The routine is the same for everyone and goes like this: Forward roll into a dish shape and hold for 3 seconds, do 4 alternate V-Sits (like a V-Sit but with one leg), straddle fold for 3 seconds, pike fold for 3 seconds, go to back support and hold for 3 seconds, go to arch and hold for 3 seconds, fall down and push up to front support for 3 seconds and stand up and shoulder stretch for 3 seconds. To not fail, you can only have 15 marks maximum knocked off. The most marks you can lose are on the straddle. Each skill has 3 points where if you don’t do them you lose marks. You lose about 1 mark on each point but if there are only 2 points on one of the skills normally one has 2 marks lost. But on the straddle fold there are 3 points, one being 2 marks, one 1 mark and one a whopping 5 MARKS. That is ⅓ of the maximum amount of marks allowed to be lost. If you are not bent lower than 45 degrees which is about half way for the 3 seconds you lose 5 marks.

NK:What does it feel like?

BM:You get nervous and then scared. Even the slightest change in the middle of a skill can make you feel uncomfortable. You need to try to jump in the middle of the trampoline and high. At the competition I don’t think about jumping high as I will get too scared and I vaguely think about jumping in the middle. I don’t jump high in general.

NK:Have you ever been injured?

BK:Yes, but only once and fairly recently. A common injury is biting your tongue in the middle of a skill as sometimes if you don’t think about it your tongue sticks out. At the time I was thinking how long the pain would last but also “hmm, that was quite overdue”. I have been trampolining for 3 years and have never been injured. What happened is I was doing a tricky part of routine 4 and was thinking more on technique then trying to actually do the skill. After the back somersault I was meant to do a barani but the way I landed made me move backwards in the air while turning forwards. I couldn’t land as I would’ve landed on my face, I couldn’t do a skill as I started panicking and I was already quite low. So, after thinking quickly I decided that I should stick my hands out. This would’ve been fine on any other surface as I would’ve just put a bit of pressure on my hands but it was on the trampoline. Instead of staying firm, it bounced. This made the energy stay in my arms and my left arm took the full force. My right arm was completely okay. I couldn’t move my left arm for 1 week without it hurting almost unbearably. After another 2 weeks I could use it for normal functions, I just couldn’t bend it or straighten it. Another 2 weeks after that it was almost perfectly normal. Even now, about 3 months later it hurts the tiniest but if I extend it fully I have to concentrate on it. Looking back on it, I should’ve stuck my hands out sideways as I could’ve turned it into a front landing which is an easy skill. It almost happened again a while back but I remembered last time and just did a front landing.

NK:Who trains you?

BM:Two people train me; Phil Dodson and Shevelan Ruth. They are quite good at trampolining. Ruth came 3rd in one of the categories (which are different as they are for adults) in the world championships in Sofia, Bulgaria. She is only 30 years old on top of that! Phil is also really good as he came 5th in the 2009 world games! I am really lucky to be coached by them.

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