Do Night Flyers go to any competitions?
Night Flyers is a competitive club, which means that we take part in regional grading competitions 4 times each year, plus the East Midlands 'closed' championships. Some of our members also attend the regional or national schools competitions.
Your first competition may be a bit scary, but if you understand how things work and what the judges are looking for, you'll be well prepared. These few pages should give you some insight into the way that trampoline competitions are run.
What is a 'Grading Competition'?
Most of the competitions that we attend are regional 'grading' competitions. This means that you will compete against other trampolinists in the same age group and grade (D, E, F, G, H or I). There are typically up to 20 competitors in each group, although occasionally you may find there are only 2 or 3. When you arrive at your first competition, it will be busy and may seem a bit daunting. Don't worry, just look around for your coach or other club members and they'll sort you out. You'll see lots of more experienced trampolinists, but you will be competing against people of similar age and ability to yourself. Once a year, we also take part in the regional 'closed competition'. This is effectively the East Midlands Championships, where competitors are grouped by age, but not separated into grades.
What happens when I get there?
The competitions are held at various venues around the East Midlands, from Northampton to Worksop. A week or so before the event, you will be given a time at which you should be competing - make sure you're there an hour ahead, as timings can be a bit variable. Most competitions will have 2 to 4 beds running throughout the day and your group will be allocated to one of these. You will be given the chance for a 'general warm-up' to practise your routines - usually about 4 gos. Then everyone does a 'controlled warm-up' before competing their set routine, then their voluntary routine.
How will I know what to do?
There are 'marshals' controlling each trampoline. Their job is to make sure the right person is on the right trampoline at the right time. They also organise the warm-ups, so that everyone gets a go. When it's your turn to compete, the marshal will tell you. You may have to sit on the bed and wait for a minute if the judges are still adding up the scores for the previous competitor. The superior judge will check your name and then ask you to perform your routine. You should 'present' to the judges and then do your routine. You can take as many straight bounces as you want to get settled (up to a minute, but don't overdo it!). The judging starts from the first actual move of your routine. Complete all 10 moves, remain stationary for at least 3 seconds after your 'out bounce' at the end, and then present to the judges to show you have finished.
What are 'sets' and 'vols'?
The first round is for the compulsory or 'Set' routine. For grades I to E, everyone in the group performs one of up to two defined routines (see here for the current set routines for each grade and age group) which is marked for form only. For higher grades, the set routines can vary, but must include certain compulsory moves.
The second round is a voluntary ('vol') routine, which may be the same as the 'set' (compulsory at 'I', but usually the same at 'H' and 'G' too), but will usually include more difficult moves. The vol is scored for form and awarded a bonus score reflecting the difficulty (the 'tariff'). There is a maximum tariff limit for grades C and D, and limits on the number of somersaults allowed in the lower grades. Recent judging changes have been introduced to place more emphasis on good form rather than a high tariff.
Your overall position is determined by the total of the two rounds. If there are a large number of entrants, or you are competing at one of the higher grades, it is usual to have an extra, final round for the top 8 competitors from the first 2 rounds. This round is also a voluntary routine.
How well will I do?
Actually winning a trophy is great, but it can be a bit of a lottery at times, depending on how many other people there are in the same group (have a look at some of the results pages if you don't believe me!). In the lower grades especially, you are competing against yourself really - trying to improve on your previous scores, complete a new routine or achieve a qualifying score for the next grade. The most important thing to remember is to enjoy yourself!
Anything else I should know?
A quick note on clothing. Leotards must be worn (NightFlyers provide these during the week before the comp. Please return unwashed, inside out). Boys should wear light shorts or trousers. All competitors must wear white socks or trampoline shoes. Long hair must be tied back. No glitter!
|To find out more about judging, deductions and tariffs , follow the links above. To find out about the requirements for each grade, click here.|