Tumbling (gymnastics)

Tumbling
Jordan Ramos tumbling gymnastics champion.jpg
Jordan Ramos in the British Tumbling Championships
Highest governing bodyInternational Gymnastics Federation
Characteristics
Team membersIndividuals or teams of 3 or 4
Mixed genderNo
TypeGymnastic sport
Presence
Country or regionWorldwide
Olympic1932 only
World Games1981

Tumbling, sometimes referred to as power tumbling, is a gymnastics discipline in which participants perform a series of acrobatic skills down a 25 metres (82 ft) long sprung track. Each series, known as a pass, comprises eight elements in which the athlete jumps, twists and flips placing only their hands and feet on the track. Tumblers are judged on the difficulty and form of their routine. There are both individual and team competitions in the sport.[1]

Tumbling can also refer more generally to similar acrobatic skills performed on their own or in other gymnastics events, such as in floor exercises or on the balance beam.[2]

Tumbling is governed by the FIG, the International Federation of Gymnastics, and is included as an event within trampoline gymnastics. Although tumbling is not currently an Olympic event, elite tumblers competing at the international level can compete in various events organised by the FIG as well as at the World Games.

History[edit]

While the origins of tumbling are unknown, ancient records have shown acts of tumbling in many parts of the world including China, India, Japan, Egypt and Iran. Tumbling became part of the educational system of ancient Greece, from which early Romans borrowed the exercise for use in military training.[3]:2 During the Middle Ages, minstrels incorporated tumbling into their performances, and multiple records show tumblers performed for royal courts for entertainment.[4]:12 It is at the end of this period in 1303 that the verb tumble is first attested in this sense in English.[5] There was renewed interest in formalised physical education during the Renaissance, and shortly thereafter gymnastics began to be introduced into some physical education programmes, such as in Prussia as early as 1776.[6] The FIG was officially formed in 1881, then known as the European Gymnastics Federation.[4]:18 Tumbling, however, was not governed by the FIG until 1999. Before this time, the International Trampoline Federation governed the sport since its founding in 1964.[7] National federations have even longer histories, such as the Amateur Athletic Union of the United States which included tumbling in events as early as 1886.[3]:3

Tumbling has only been included as an official event in one Olympic games, the 1932 Summer Olympics, and was exclusively a men's event. It was around this time that the floor exercise, which includes many elements of tumbling, became an individual event at the Olympics.[3]:3

Tumbling has been an event at the World Games since the event's founding in 1980, first appearing at the 1981 World Games.[8]

In the United States[edit]

The Amateur Athletic Union of the United States has included tumbling since 1886 and added women's tumbling in 1938.[3]:3

The National Collegiate Athletic Association previously included tumbling as an event, but removed it in 1962 to emphasise artistic gymnastics.[3]:3 More recently in 2019 the NCAA recommended acrobatics and tumbling be added as a sport to the Emerging Sports for Women programme.[9]

FIG competitions[edit]

Equipment[edit]

The main piece of equipment used in tumbling is the tumbling track. The track is 25 metres (82 ft) long by 2 metres (6.6 ft) wide with a height of no more than 30 centimetres (12 in). The track is sprung and padded to assist the gymnasts during their pass. There are three lines running the length of the track. The middle line marks the centre of the track. The outer two mark the boundary of the track and are 150 centimetres (59 in) apart.[10] Although part of the track extends beyond these lines, a pass is considered interrupted if a gymnast touches the track outside these lines.[1]:23

Before the tumbling track, there is a run-up area on which the gymnasts can generate speed before beginning their pass. This run-up area measures 10 metres (33 ft) in length and should be the same height as the track itself.[10]

At the end of the tumbling track there is a mat called the landing area. This mat is 6 metres (20 ft) long by 3 metres (9.8 ft) wide with a thickness of 30 centimetres (12 in). Within the landing area is a smaller landing zone, measuring 4 metres (13 ft) by 2 metres (6.6 ft), which is either filled in or outlined with a contrasting colour. Behind the landing area there must be an additional mat for safety, measuring at least 3 metres (9.8 ft) by 2 metres (6.6 ft).[10]

If desired, the gymnast may use a vaulting board to begin their pass. This may be placed either on the tumbling track or the run-up.[1]:22

Format[edit]

Tumbling competitions consist of two rounds. The first of these is a qualifying round for all participants, and the second is the final round for the top eight participants or teams. In the qualifying round, every participant performs two passes. In the final round, individual competitors perform an additional two passes while teams perform one pass per member. Each pass comprises eight elements. The first element of a pass may begin on the run-up but must land on the tumbling track. Passes are only allowed to move in the direction of the landing area, with the exception of the final element which may be performed in the opposite direction. A pass must have at least 3 elements to be scored and can be considered interrupted for a variety of reasons, such as the gymnast being out of bounds, the spotter touching the gymnast or a fall during the pass. All passes must end with a somersault, meaning the gymnast must flip at least once in the final skill.[1]:19-23

In each round, a participant is not allowed to repeat the same element, with some exceptions. Some common moves with low point value are excluded from this rule. Elements can differ by the number of somersaults, twists or even the position of the gymnast's body. The same element may be repeated if it is preceded by a different element, and a skill with at least two somersaults and a twist may be repeated if the twist happens in a different phase of the skill.[1]:19-22 For instance, a double somersault with a twist may be repeated if the twist happens during the first somersault in one element and during the second somersault in the other.

Federations are allowed to add requirements to the passes in the qualifying round or even make a particular pass required. At FIG events special requirements are placed on the qualifying passes such that the first pass does not award any difficulty points for twists greater than a half-twist and the second does not award difficulty points for the final element if it does not include at least a full twist and deducts points for not including two somersault skills with at least a full twist each thereby focusing the first pass on somersaults and the second on twisting. As a result, these passes are respectively known as the salto pass and twisting pass.[1]:19-20

Scoring[edit]

Tumbling passes are judged on two major components: difficulty and execution. Both are calculated to the tenth of a point. Scores are determined by a panel of judges. There are two judges who are responsible for the difficulty score, five for the execution score and one who oversees the panel and handles miscellaneous and contested issues regarding judging.[1]:23-25

Difficulty judges are given competition cards before the gymnast performs this pass. These cards lay out the intended skills of the pass, and these judges are responsible for deducting points when the gymnast fails to perform the intended skills. Each skill has a pre-defined point value. Common connecting skills such as round-offs and handsprings have low difficulty values, and cartwheels have no value at all. Somersaults are given difficulty points based on how many flips and twists the gymnast performs and the position of their body during the skill.[1]:21-24

Difficulty scores are consistent throughout all types of competitions with two exceptions. In youth competitions, skills have a maximum difficulty score of 4.3. In women's competitions, there is a 1.0-point bonus for each additional element with a difficulty value of at least 2.0 beyond the first.[1]:23-24

Execution is scored based on each element's form, control, height and rhythm as well as the form and stability of the landing. Deductions are calculated independently by all five judges and taken from the maximum score of 10.0 points. The largest and smallest scores are ignored and the remaining scores are added together. At FIG events, this process of taking the middle three scores is done per element rather than per judge.[1]:24

The gymnast's final score comes from adding the 3 execution scores and the difficulty score and subtracting any penalties incurred for things such as improper dress, improper procedure or an improper pass. Final scores are rounded to three decimal places. [1]:20-25

Banned skills[edit]

In youth competitions, quadruple somersaults are banned. Performing this skill will result in the gymnast being disqualified from the competition.[1]:23

Tumbling skills[edit]

Common Types of Skills in Tumbling
Skill Explained
Round-off A common entry skill seen in every type of gymnastics to turn horizontal speed into vertical speed.
End Skill The skill competed at the end of the run, this is either a double/triple somersault, a twisting somersault or a combination somersault.
Flick A long somersault where a gymnast moves from feet to hands to feet again in a backwards motion.
Whip A long, low and fast somersault done without the hands. This move is unique to tumbling and the trademark of the discipline.
Double Somersault The tumbler launches into the air and rotates twice vertically around before landing on their feet. This skill is done in a tuck, pike or straight position.
Triple Somersault The gymnasts launches into the air and rotates three times vertically before landing on their feet. This skill is done in a tuck or pike position and has yet to be competed in the straight position
Twisting Somersault A single somersault in which the tumbler rotates horizontally. This is can be done as a single 'full' twist, a double twist or a triple twist.
Combination Somersault A somersault that is a combination of double/triple and twisting skills. For example, in a double twisting double straight, the gymnast will rotate twice vertically and twice horizontally before landing. The hardest combination somersaults performed would be either the full in triple pike in which a gymnast rotates vertically three times in a pike position with a full twist in the first rotation or 'the miller' in which a gymnast rotates horizontally four times and vertically twice.
Transition Skill This is where a gymnast performs either a double somersault or a combination somersault in the middle of their run as opposed to doing it as an end skill. No triple somersaults or combination somersaults involving a triple vertically rotation has yet to be competed.

FIG World Championship results[edit]

Men's individual[edit]

Year Location Gold Silver Bronze
2007 Quebec City  Andrey Krylov (RUS) 79.200  Huanian Pan (CHN) 77.200  Sergei Artemenko (BLR) 74.900
2009 St. Petersburg  Tagir Murtazaev (RUS) 77.300  Song Yang (CHN) 75.000  Mikhail Kostyanov (RUS) 73.900
2010 Metz  Viktor Kyforenko (RUS) 76.300  Song Yang (CHN) 75.400  Andrey Krylov (RUS) 74.600
2011 Birmingham  Song Yang (CHN) 79.100  Luo Zhang (CHN) 76.500  Andrey Krylov (CHN) 75.800
2013 Sofia  Kristof Willerton (GBR) 74.900  Tagir Murtazaev (RUS) 74.800  Grigory Noskov (RUS) 74.200
2014 Daytona Beach  Song Yang (CHN) 78.800  Alexander Mironov (RUS) 77.000  Tagir Murtazaev (RUS) 75.000
2015 Odense  Song Yang (CHN) 79.100  Timofei Podust (RUS) 78.300  Kuo Zhang (CHN) 77.700
2017 Sofia  Kuo Zhang (CHN) 76.800  Anders Wesch (DEN) 75.500  Elliott Browne (GBR) 75.500
2018 St. Petersburg  Vadim Afanasiev (RUS) 79.200  Elliott Browne (GBR) 77.900  Kuo Zhang (CHN) 77.700
2019 Tokyo  Aleksandr Lisitsyn (RUS) 78.700  Elliott Browne (GBR) 77.200  Kaden Brown (USA) 76.300

All results correct according to FIG database. Records only available from 2007. [11]

Women's individual[edit]

Year Location Gold Silver Bronze
2007 Quebec City  Anna Korobeinikova (RUS) 70.700  Olena Chabanenko (UKR) 68.200  Anastasiia Isupova (RUS) 67.700
2009 St. Petersburg  Anna Korobeinikova (RUS) 69.400  Elena Krasnokutckaia (RUS) 66.900  Ashley Speed (CAN) 62.800
2010 Metz  Anna Korobeinikova (RUS) 68.200  Elena Krasnokutckaia (RUS) 65.500  Marine Debuave (CHN) 63.400
2011 Birmingham  Jia Fangfang (CHN) 71.700  Anna Korobeinikova (RUS) 70.900  Elena Krasnokutckaia (RUS) 68.400
2013 Sofia  Jia Fangfang (CHN) 70.700  Lucie Colebeck (GBR) 67.400  Lingxi Chen (CHN) 67.000
2014 Daytona Beach  Rachel Letsche (GBR) 67.500  Lingxi Chen (CHN) 67.300  Raquel Pinto (POR) 66.100
2015 Odense  Jia Fangfang (CHN) 71.800  Lucie Colebeck (GBR) 69.100  Lingxi Chen (CHN) 67.900
2017 Sofia  Jia Fangfang (CHN) 72.300  Anna Korobeinikova (RUS) 72.100  Lucie Colebeck (GBR) 71.500
2018 St. Petersburg  Jia Fangfang (CHN) 71.100  Shanice Davidson (GBR) 69.500  Viktoriia Danielenko (RUS) 69.500
2019 Tokyo  Viktoriia Danielenko (RUS) 69.900  Shanice Davidson (GBR) 69.600  Megan Kealy (GBR) 69.000

All results correct according to FIG database. Records only available from 2007.[11]

FIT Era World Champions[edit]

Men[edit]

Year Gymnast Country
1976 Jim Bertz  United States
1978 Jim Bertz  United States
1980 Ken Ekberg  United States
1982 Steve Elliott  United States
1984 Steve Elliott  United States
1986 Jerry Hardy  United States
1988 Pascal Eouzan  France
1990 Pascal Eouzan  France
1992 Jon Beck  United States
1994 Adrian Sienkiewicz  Poland
1996 Rayshine Harris  United States
1998 Levon Petrosian  Russia

Women[edit]

Year Gymnast Country
1976 Tracy Long  United States
1978 Nancy Quattrochi  United States
1980 Tracy Conour  United States
1982 Jill Hollembeak  United States
1984 Jill Hollembeak  United States
1986 Jill Hollembeak  United States
1988 Megan Cunningham  United States
1990 Chrystel Robert  France
1992 Chrystel Robert  France
1994 Chrystel Robert  France
1996 Chrystel Robert  France
1998 Elena Bluyina  Russia

World Games results[edit]

Men[edit]

Games Gold Silver Bronze
1981 Santa Clara  United States
Steve Elliott
 United States
Randy Wickstrom
 United States
Steve Cooper
1985 London  United States
Steve Elliott
 United States
Chad Fox
 France
Didier Semmola
1989 Karlsruhe  United States
Jon Beck
 France
Pascal Eouzan
 France
Christophe Lambert
1993 The Hague  United States
Jon Beck
 United States
Rayshine Harris
 Russia
Aleksey Kryzhanovskiy
1997 Lahti  Russia
Vladimir Ignatenkov
 United States
Rayshine Harris
 South Africa
Tseko Mogotsi
2001 Akita  Russia
Levon Petrosian
 South Africa
Tseko Mogotsi
 United Kingdom
Robert Small
2005 Duisburg  Poland
Jozef Wadecki
 Belarus
Andrey Kabishev
 Russia
Aleksandr Skorodumov
2009 Kaohsiung  Russia
Andrey Krylov
 United Kingdom
Michael Barnes
 Ukraine
Viktor Kyforenko
2013 Cali  China
Zhang Luo
 Ukraine
Viktor Kyforenko
None awarded  United Kingdom
Kristof Willerton

Women[edit]

Games Gold Silver Bronze
1981 Santa Clara  United States
Angie Whiting
 United States
Kristi Laman
 United States
Stacey Hansen
1985 London  France
Isabelle Jagueux
 United States
Megan Cunningham
 Canada
Maria Constantinitis
1989 Karlsruhe  France
Chrystel Robert
 United States
Michelle Mara
 United States
Melanie Bugg
1993 The Hague  France
Chrystel Robert
 Belarus
Tatyana Morosova
 United States
Michelle Mara
1997 Lahti  Ukraine
Olena Chabanenko
 France
Chrystel Robert
 Russia
Natalya Borisenko
2001 Akita  Russia
Elena Bluyina
 United Kingdom
Kathryn Peberdy
 Belarus
Anna Terenya
2005 Duisburg  Ukraine
Olena Chabanenko
 Russia
Anna Korobeynikova
 United States
Yuliya Hall
2009 Kaohsiung  Russia
Anna Korobeynikova
 Russia
Anzhelika Soldatkina
 Canada
Emily Smith
2013 Cali  China
Jia Fangfang
 United Kingdom
Rachael Letsche
 Canada
Emily Smith

Other notable tumblers[edit]

Person Country
Edwin Gross  United States
William Herrmann  United States
Rowland Wolfe  United States
Judy Wills Cline  United States
Nicole Boero  United States
Brandon Krzynefski  United States

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Grandi, Bruno; Gueisbuhler, André F.; Kunze, Horst (1 November 2017). "Tumbling". FIG Code of Points - Trampoline Gymnastics (PDF). 2017—2020. p. 19.
  2. ^ "Tumbling". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, inc. 28 January 2015. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e Carter, Ernestine; Orlofsky, Fred (1971). "History". Beginning Tumbling and Floor Exercise. Belmont, California: Wadsworth Publishing Company, Inc. ISBN 9780534006464.
  4. ^ a b Goodbody, John (1982). "The Early Days (to 1896)". The Illustrated History of Gymnastics. London: Hutchinson Publishing Group. ISBN 0091433509.
  5. ^ "tumble, v." OED Online. Oxford University Press. December 2019. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  6. ^ Loken, Newton C.; Willoughby, Robert J. (1977). "History and Values of Gymnastics". Complete Book of Gymnastics (3rd ed.). Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc. p. 2. ISBN 0-13-157172-9.
  7. ^ "Trampoline Gymnastics: History". Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  8. ^ "Gymnastics". The World Games. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  9. ^ Gail Dent (3 June 2019). "Acrobatics and Tumbling, Women's Wrestling Get Backing to Join NCAA Emerging Sports". NCAA.org. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  10. ^ a b c Watanabe, Morinari; Buompane, Nicolas; Al-Hitmi, Ali (eds.). "Trampoline Gymnastics". FIG Apparatus Norms (PDF). 2019. p. 84.
  11. ^ a b "FIG - Results". www.gymnastics.sport. Retrieved 6 January 2020.

External links[edit]