Guidelines for trampoline users from the USA Gymnastics Risk Management Safety Handbook
USA Gymnastics provides comprehensive guidelines for trampoline use in a gym setting that are worth reinforcing:
- Trampolines are heavy and require careful handling, so take precaution when opening and closing a trampoline.
- Proper warm-up should precede trampoline use.
- Beginning students can learn many skills with very small bounces or no bounce.
- Control is the most important aspect of performance on a trampoline. Uncontrolled bouncing should not be allowed.
- Athletes should learn to perform a “check” bounce or taught to “freeze” which involves flexing the knees when the gymnast lands on the trampoline bed. Flexing the knees results in immediate cessation of the bounce. This landing position should be reinforced with each lesson.
- New users of the trampoline should begin by simply walking around the trampoline bed to get a feeling of its flexibility.
- Athletes should wear proper attire that does not impede movement—this includes loose or large jewelry.
- Shoes should not be worn on trampolines. On solid-type (polypropylene) beds, socks may be slippery.
- On professional webbed trampoline beds, gymnastics shoes or socks are recommended.
- Athletes should learn fundamental bounces and body positions before attempting more advanced skills.
- Athletes should climb on and off the trampoline and should never jump from the trampoline to another object, another trampoline, or to the floor. Proper entry and exit from the trampoline should be included in each lesson.
- Only one person should bounce on a trampoline at a time. An exception to this rule involves “on-bed” spotting methods which should only be used by experienced and skilled trampolinists, instructors, and coaches.
- Gymnasts should bounce only as high as they can easily control and attempt to bounce near the center of the trampoline bed.
- Gymnasts should not attempt to step or land on the springs.
- Gymnasts should not bounce when they are overly fatigued. Keep turns short.
- Most serious trampoline injuries occur during a somersault. Somersault maneuvers should be reserved only for qualified athletes under close and careful supervision.
- Somersaults to anything but a landing on the feet should be practiced only under careful and close supervision.
- Trampolines should only be used when instructed by a competent instructor or coach.
- Trampolines should not be used when the performer is ill or under the influence of medication (or alcohol).
- Objects should not be placed under the trampoline.
- Generally, trampolines should be surrounded by mats, some form of restraining equipment that prevents the gymnast from falling off a trampoline, and spotters. Or the athlete should perform all difficult skills in an overhead spotting belt.
- Trampolines should not be set up close to walls or other pieces of equipment.
- Spotters and other athletes should not sit or lean with their arms on the trampoline frame while another athlete is jumping.
- Knee and stomach drops should not be permitted without proper instruction.
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The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as all encompassing, or suitable for all situations, conditions, and environments. Please contact us or your attorney if you have any questions.