Power Tumbling

Power tumbling is an acrobatic sport combining speed, height and rhythm. It is practiced on a 25 meter long, 2 meter wide sprung track by both men and women. Power tumbling blends the most exciting aspects of an artistic gymnastics floor exercise with the dynamics of trampoline skills.

Tumbling passes are performed on an 82 ft long by 6.6 ft wide rod track with landing mats at the end for the dismount skill.

When Power Tumbling was first started, and for the first ever US National Championships in Tumbling in 1886, gymnasts would perform their skills only on thin mats. From there, “floors” evolved in a wide variety of ways, including rows of skis tied together with the ends cut off under those mats, and then to the floor used today, developed by Randy Mulkey, which is an 85 feet (26 m) long by 5-foot (1.5 m) wide track consisting of fiber-glass rods (laid horizontally, to make it springy) under two layers of foam mats[1]. At the end is a mat where the gymnast lands their dismounting skill.

Provincial competitors perform two passes, each containing 8 skills along the track, usually starting with a Roundoff, Barani, or Rudi (all forward, twisting flips) followed by a series of back-handsprings and whips (a fast, long backflip done in a straight body position) ending in a ‘dismount’ skill. In the lower levels, there are rules about what each pass should contain. At more advanced levels there is a choice about the skills performed. This includes adding much more difficulty to the passes by adding twisting whips (called single, double or triple fulls) in the middle of the pass. The dismounting skill is often another double or triple full or a double or triple backflip, which can also include extra twists. Internationally, competitors frequently have 3 double somersaults incorporated in to each pass. All athletes in this sport at high levels are expected to have a finals pass as well as their other two passes. While not used at every meet, it is important to have three passes.