Olympic Trampoline Rules and Judging
The trampoline scoring system is pretty complex – but you can enjoy being a spectator without knowing every single rule. Here are the basics.
The final mark a trampolinist receives is based on two different scores:
- The difficulty (“A”) score starts at 0.0 and increases with every difficult skill performed. It usually ranges from the high 15s to low 16s for men, and the high 13s to high 14s for women.
- The execution (“B”) score begins at a 10.0, and the judges deduct for errors in performance such as a break in form or an extra bounce.
For the execution mark, five judges each score the routine. The highest and lowest marks are thrown out, and the three middle scores are added to the “A” score to total the final mark. Therefore, execution is weighed more heavily than the difficulty in the final score.
How to Judge for Trampoline Routines Yourself
It’s possible to pick out a great routine without knowing every scoring nuance. When watching trampoline routines you should look for:
- Good Form and Execution: In all positions, the feet and legs should be together, and the toes should be pointed. The body should be in one of three positions at all times: tucked (knees bent), piked (legs are straight and hip angle is less than 135 degrees), or straight (legs are straight and the angle of the hips is greater than 135 degrees). Arms should be straight and close to the body as much as possible.
- A High Degree of Difficulty: As mentioned earlier, part of the score a gymnast receives is due to the difficulty of his/her routine. In general, the more flips and twists a gymnast performs before hitting the trampoline, the more difficult his/her routine is.
- Variety of Elements: No skill may be repeated during a routine. Performing a skill in the straight position and in the pike position counts as two different skills. (e.g. A full-in straight and a full-in piked are two different elements). In the qualifying rounds of the Olympics, this carries over to both of the routines a gymnast performs. S/he may not repeat the same element in either of his/her routines in that competition.
- Continuous Flow of the Routine: The gymnast must perform a skill on every bounce, without taking an extra bounce between skills. S/he may not stop at any point, receive help from a spotter or touch anything besides the trampoline bed, and s/he must land every skill with both feet hitting the trampoline simultaneously.
- The Right Ending: The gymnast must end his/her 10-skill routine with both feet on the trampoline, standing upright. S/he must stand upright and in control for three seconds or a deduction is incurred.