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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

Teaching Progression

  • 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

Apparatuses

  • 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, Etc.

  • 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

  • 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

  • Trampolines are not be used as equipment resources in schools.

 

Last revised on 26 April, 2021.

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