Trampoline gymnasts compete in one of four categories: Individual Trampoline, Synchronised Trampoline, DoubleMini-trampoline and Tumbling. The best gymnasts often specialise in two of the four disciplines: Individual trampolinists often compete in Synchro as well, while some top Double Mini gymnasts take part in Tumbling at the World level. While it's not unheard of, very few will do Individual Trampoline as well as Double Mini or another combination of the two.
A trampoline is a device consisting of a bed, strong fabric stretched between a steel frame using many coiled steel springs. Gymnasts bounce on trampolines nearly 30 feet in the air performing 10 skills in sequence and without stops. The performance of the most complex movements, without deviations from the centre of the bed and at the highest point is the main objective of a trampoline routine.
Synchronised Trampoline doubles the fun - and the risk - of Individual Trampoline. Two gymnasts perform the same exercise on trampolines lined up side by side. Added to the rigors of maintaining perfect control while bouncing nearly 30 feet in the air is a unique challenge: mirror your partner’s movements as closely as possible.
In Synchronised Trampoline, partners must do the same elements at the same time and must start facing the same direction. However, it is not required that they twist in the same direction.
The snare-drum rhythm of Tumbling runs - a quick, crisp string of eight tumbling elements - are performed on a special spring floor 25 meters long and two meters wide. The tumbling strip is preceded by an 20-meter runway, which gymnasts sprint down to gather momentum before hurling themselves into their tumbling sequences. At the end of the tumbling floor, softer landing mats are stacked to absorb the impact of the grand finale of the pass, usually the most difficult and spectacular element of all.
Explosive and suspenseful, Double Mini-trampoline is the discipline for gymnasts who might enjoy being fired out of a cannon. The Double Mini-trampoline bed, one part angled, one part flat and located at the end of a long runway, is essentially two mini-trampolines joined together. It makes for a fantastic launching pad.
Gymnasts sprint down the runway toward the angled trampoline bed and use it to catapult themselves into the air, performing a number of flips and/or twists before rebounding on the trampoline and immediately re-punching to perform a second, usually even more complicated series of flips and twists. This second element finishes on the landing pad behind the Double Mini-trampoline.