Who is Randy, anyway? – Gymnastics in Newmarket
In Trampoline, like Gymnastics in Newmarket and surrounding clubs, skills are named based on two criteria: 1) the technical components of the skill; if a skill is a forward somersault with 1 1/2 twist in it, then it is often referred to (in Gymnastics in Newmarket particularly) as a front one and a half. 2) The name of the first person to perform the skill successfully in an international competition, or the name of the person who undeniably invented the skill. In the case of the forward somersault with 1 1/2 twist, its name is a Rudolph or Rudy – a name that is invariably used by the community of trampoline and Gymnastics in Newmarket and the surrounding area.
Names of skills can be confusing; especially, when we are not familiar with them. And naming conventions are not always followed. Take for example once again forward somersault with any given number of twists in them.
The Barani: a forward somersault with 180o twist
The Rudy: forward somersault with 540o twist
The Randolph or Randy: forward somersault with 720o twist
The Adolph: forward somersault with 1,080o twist
However, and likely due to the level of difficulty inherent in the skills themselves, or in order to avoid redundancy, there is no name for anything after the Adolph. And no accepted term exist for the skills with even number of twits other than their technical description. A front flip with 360o twist is called a front-full, or a full twist. Similarly, there are no given names for backward somersaulting skills with twists in them (except for the Arabian – we will look at it in the next paragraph). A back flip with 180o twist is referred to as a back half; 360o is a back full and incrementally so depending on the number of turns performed in the skill.
Names can also be quite interesting, and it is worth looking at their history, I recommend all the readers of this blog to learn more about where the sport of trampoline came from, and why it has become the world class game that it is today. But while we are on the topic of twisting skills, let’s consider the Arabian, which is simply a back flip with a half twist in it. Unlike its other back-somersaulting-with-twisting counterparts, it has a name, and it does only to differentiate it from its fraternal (not identical) twin. The twisting phase of the Arabian is done much earlier than in the back half; it is finished by the time the body of the athlete is at a horizontal position (in the air) parallel to the bed of the trampoline. This early twisting action allows the Gymnasts to spot the trampoline and ensure safety in what would otherwise be a blind landing – similar to the front tuck. The Arabian is also a very important progression to several more advanced trampoline skill, like the “Half-half”, but we will talk about that later.
Now, about Randy: Who is he? Was he a trampolinist? When did he perform this skill the first time? It could be fair to say that he knew Rudy and Adolph, as they are both known, and very well, to trampolinist all over the world. But even if we don’t know the origins of these familiar names, we should always look at them as an achievement of human ingenuity and courage; of invention not of something material but of a set of skills that will be passed onto many eager jumpers for centuries to come. Yes, the name is important, but the emotions of joy, exhilaration, and at times fear that they elicit in us is what we should respect and embrace as we continue to strive to become the best trampolinists we can be.
If your looking for a Gymnastics in Newmarket, I’d recommend giving Airborne Trampoline North a try.
Airborne Trampoline North specializes in the gymnastics sport of trampoline. Airborne is a proud member of Gymnastics Ontario, Gymnastics Canada, and employs certified trampoline coaches through N.C.C.P.
This blog was created by Peyton Dracco, who coaches trampoline and Gymnastics in Newmarket.
Follow Peyton Dracco on Twitter at @pdracco