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Rules of the Game: Trampoline

Imagine the tumbling you see in gymnastics. Now imagine doing it three stories in the air.

Trampoline combines the tumbling you see in artistic gymnastics with the added pressure of doing it some 30 feet in the air. The basic positions are tuck, pike and layout. Combined with somersaults, twists and jumps, it creates for a seemingly endless array of moves. The trampoline is about 14 feet long by seven feet wide.

Each trampolinist does a compulsory routine and a voluntary routine. Judges will score based on difficulty, execution, time of flight and horizontal displacement. That last one is new for the Tokyo Olympics. It means deductions will be made for how far the gymnast veers away from the middle box of the trampoline when they bounce.

There are two rounds: compulsory and voluntary.

The difficulty value of four elements are counted in the compulsory round while the value of ten elements is counted in the voluntary round. There is no maximum to this score. Two judges score difficulty.

The execution score starts at 10. A trampolinist can lose up to 0.5 points for every mistake but cannot gain points. There are six judges looking at execution. The top two and bottom two judges’ scores are thrown out. The remaining two are added together for a final execution score.

A machine will determine total flight time to within 1/1000th of a second. That total time in seconds will be turned into a number which is added to the score.

Each trampolinist will start with a horizontal displacement score of 10. They’ll face deductions of 0.1 to 0.3 depending on how far out of the box they land.

Score example: 16.3 (difficulty) + 18.0 (execution) + 17.275 (flight time) + 9.1 (horizontal displacement) = 60.675.

The eight trampolinists with the highest scores advance to the final. The final involves only voluntary skills.

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