The high jump is a sports event in track and

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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The high jump is a sports event in track and field. The object of the event is to jump over a bar. The person that clears the highest bar wins the event. If more than one person clears the same height, the person with fewest misses at the lower heights wins. These are some of the interesting facts that are told in Rick Murphy's The Highjump.

In the high jump, there are four basic parts of the jump. The parts are the approach, the take-off, the execution, and the landing. To be good at the event, the high jumper must practice all four parts.

In the approach the jumper has an unlimited amount of steps. The minimum length of the high jump apron (approach area) is 15-meters. If you are approaching the bar from the right side, and you are an odd number of steps away from the bar, you start with your right foot forward.

You do this in order to have your left foot as close to the bar without touching it on the way up.

When you take-off you want your jumping foot to be as close to the bar as possible without touching the bar on the way up. To jump higher, you lift your arms with great force and drive your knee up. High jumpers must take off from one foot. In April 1954 a U.S. tumbler , Dick Browning, somersaulted over a bar set at 7 feet 6 inches. In 1962 Gary Chamberlain did a back handspring with a back flip over a bar set at 7 feet 4 inches and landed on his feet.

Over the past half-century, the execution styles have changed dramatically, from the "scissors" technique, to the "straddle," to the now- predominant "Fosbury flop." In the scissors, the jumper hurdled the bar. In the straddle, still used by some, the athlete kicks the lead leg upward, going over the bar face down. The flop was popularized by Dick Fosbury, an American who developed the style and used it to win the 1968 Olympic gold medal. The athlete approaches the bar almost straight on, then twists his or her body so that his or her back is facing the bar before landing in the pit.You look over your shoulder to get more arch. Take the hand closest to the bar, (right hand if you are approaching from the right side, left hand from the left side of the bar) and reach to the back side of the mat. You want to hold your arch until you are completely over the bar and on the landing mat.

The final stage of the jump is the landing. When you land your shoulders should hit the mat first. You want to land as close to the center of the mat as possible for safety reasons. These landing areas, which at one time were recesses filled with sawdust, are now well-padded foam-rubber mats.

The high jump is an Olympic event. In 1896 in Athens, Greece, a U.S. jumper won the first gold medal in this sport, jumping 5 feet 11 1/4 inches. In 1960 a Soviet jumper surprised the world by jumping 7 feet 1 inch. This was the first time anyone cleared 7 feet. The current outdoor world record is held by Javier Sotomayer from Cuba. His jump was 8 feet ½ inches.

Here are a few of the rules: 1. The jumper is disqualified after 3 consecutive failures at the same height.

2. All jumpers must take off from one foot.

3. If the bar is knocked off the supports, it is considered a failed attempt.

4. No practice jumps are allowed on the runway once the competition has begun.

5. The bar will be raised at least 2 cm. after each round has been completed.

6. A jumper may choose to skip a height and begin jumping at another height.

7. The final jumper may continue jumping until disqualified.

8. The uprights may not be moved during the competition.

9. The minimum length of runway is 15 meters. The maximum length is unlimited.

10. The crossbar can be made of wood, metal, or other suitable material. It must be circular, and it must be 3.98 meters-4.02 meters in length and weigh a maximum of 2 kg. The diameter must be between 25mm-30mm.

11. The landing area should be 5 meters wide and 3 meters deep.

I would recommend this book to anyone that likes to high jump.