Supervision of Gymnastics Activities
- Constant visual supervision is recommended for all elevated inversions, following initial skill instruction and after all safety concerns have been emphasized.
- On-site supervision is recommended for all other activities.
Instructional Considerations for Gymnastics Activities
- To ensure safety in gymnastics, it is particularly important that skills be taught in proper progression.
- Activities must be based on skills that are taught.
- Review previous lesson skills prior to advancing.
- Assess the students for strength and ability to attempt new skills.
- Teachers should identify students absent on days when prerequisites were taught and ensure they are brought up to date.
- Apparatuses should be introduced one piece at a time when working toward the development of a circuit. A progression from lower to higher apparatuses should be followed.
Safe Landing Techniques
- At the beginning of each gymnastics unit, students should be taught proper and safe landing techniques.
Movements that Should Not be Attempted
- Students should not perform skills beyond their abilities.
- Aerial movements should not be attempted.
Spotting and Alternatives
- Spotting, in general, is not recommended in the education setting. Teacher should ensure apparatus configuration is appropriate so skills can be done without a spotter.
- Teachers may utilize the Dominant Movement Pattern (DMP) approach in place of spotting. This involves:
- Teaching progressive activities that lead up to skills.
- Teaching students how to land safely from a variety of different and probable situations.
- Ensuring landing mats and equipment are at an appropriate height for students to ensure safe activity and minimize risk of injury in landing.
- Level I Gymnastics certification in-services, workshops or courses may help teachers feel more comfortable in understanding the DMP approach.
Equipment/Facilities for Gymnastics Activities
- Teacher should do a safety check to ensure proper set-up prior to student use, e.g., ensure all locking mechanisms are secure.
- Springboards with flat, long take-off area should not be used as a mounting device for vaults or other apparatus.
- Clothing with belts or zippers should not be permitted.
- Suitable footwear for gymnastics should be worn and includes bare feet or running shoes. Socks alone must not be permitted.
- Mats should be placed on, under, and around all designated landing areas and equipment without overlaps or gaps.
- Velcro mats should be properly connected.
- Precautions should be taken to minimize movement of mats on impact.
- Gymnastic mats should be used for floor work, tumbling and landing on feet from a controlled height (student’s height at shoulder is maximum jumping height). These may include:
- Ensolite 3.8 cm (1½ in.)
- Trocellen 5.1 cm (2 in.)
- Ethefoam 3.8 cm (1½ in.)
- Sarneige 3.8 cm (1½ in.)
- Mats of equivalent compaction rating.
- Landing surfaces to be used for elevated inverted skills: 30.5 cm to 60.9 cm (12 in. to 24 in.) solid or cross-linked foam pit. These surfaces should not be used as landing surfaces for vaulting or for controlled landings, e.g., landing on feet, off any piece of equipment.
Layout of Gymnasium
- Floor plan should allow enough space around each piece of apparatus for safe movement.
- Landing area should be a safe distance away from walls and equipment.
- Trampolines are not be used as equipment resources in schools.