It sometimes seems like trampolines have been around forever, but if you really look into the history, it’s easy to see that they have actually only been around since 1936 when they were invented by George Nissen and Larry Griswold at the University of Iowa. The trampoline has enjoyed years of being used in acrobatic acts and even military training, but it wasn’t even officially recognized as a sport in the U.S. until 1967, and it didn’t earn a spot in the Olympics until 2000.
As it can be seen in the Olympics, the trampoline event pits 32 total competitors in men’s and women’s individual events against each other. Routines are built using different somersaults and twists. Every competitor must complete two routines that use 10 moves, and only the top eight male and top eight female competitors advance to the finals, where one 10-move routine is performed. Nine judges selected by the International Gymnastics Federation critique each routine by difficulty, flight time, and execution. Learn more about the amazing history of the trampoline and its Olympic rules from the infographic below.