The Difference between ‘Trampoline’ and ‘Gymnastics’

Below are a few of the stark differences between trampoline and gymnastics… 

When you say ‘Gymnastics’ to people, the first thing that comes to mind for most people is traditional artistic apparatus – floor, bars, beam and vault. You might even think there’s that balance one, and the one with the ribbons and stuff… For most people, including Trampoline gymnasts, the first thought wouldn’t be ‘Trampoline’ – and that’s due in part because trampoline used to be a different ‘sport’ in it’s own right, with the British Trampoline Association (BTA) as it’s governing body from as early as  1963, that is until the BTA and the ‘British Gymnastics Association’ as it was then, merged. It’s a gymnastic discipline, sure, but not only was it separate to British Gymnastics for many years, but it’s still also the lesser-known (but growing!) little-sister of the sport.

Trampoline is a discipline, Gymnastics is not

What do I mean? Well ‘gymnastics’ is the generic word for all of the disciplines, including trampoline but it is so frequently used to refer to artistic, that people don’t recognise just how broad gymnastics has become… e.g. the “Glasgow World Cup Gymnastics” event, which is all about artistic.

“Trampoline is too easy” – Jack Kelly

In gymnastics, not only are you expected to start young, you’ll also be doing a lot of body preparation and conditioning before you’re doing those cool “flips” you want to show off with in the school yard. This is because a basic skill like as an upstart on A-bars requires a lot of core strength, not just technique and practice.

Jack Kelly often says that anyone can do a somersault on the trampoline, and he’s right, with the invention of these trampoline parks, most kids are having a go and the technique might leave a lot to be desired, but a basic somersault on the trampoline is achievable by the average Joe. Thats a stark different to a kid saying “I want to do a flip on beam” only to realise that it’s going to take years to get there.

In gymnastics your career is pretty much over by the time you’re off to Uni…

Trampoline on the other hand, because of the lesser strain on your body, one of GB’s best female competitors has just turned 30 with a Bronze Medal at world championship level! (Happy Birthday Kat Driscoll!) A brilliant result, and it just goes to show that trampoline can be a later specialism.

Artistic Gymnastics is subjective

In gymnastics athletes create their routines and performances and are marked on performance and musicality as well as the skills that are included in the routine. In trampoline marks are awarded for the execution (neatness) and difficulty of a skill based on the amount of rotation and twist.

That’s a few of the differences I think parents and participants should be aware of – comment below if you know of any other differences. ~ Bella 😉


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