Encyclopedia of Sport: Every sport from around the world

The Vault (Gymnastics)

The vault is an Olympic artistic gymastics event performed using an apparatus called the vault. A male or female may perform the vault. The apparatus originated in Germany, it was invented by Friedrich Ludwig Jahn. It used to be known as the "horse" or the "vaulting horse."

The dimensions of the vault should be 120 centimeters in length, 95 centimeters in width. The run up area should be 2,500 centimeters in length, and 100 centimeters in width. To do a vault, the participants run down a runway, which is carpeted. The participants hurdle onto a springboard and then spring onto the vault with their hands.

The participants perform complicated vaults in different positions, like tucked, piked, or stretched. The good vaulters are the ones who are explosive off springboards, and the ones who are good pushing off a table. The judges score them for proper body alignment, form, the distance traveled, and the number of saltos and twists.

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Check out our Encyclopedia of Every Sport. Well not every sport, as there is a list of unusual sports, extinct sports and newly created sports. How to get on these lists? See What is a sport?

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