What Is the Vault Made of in Gymnastics? Exploring the Materials Used in This Essential Apparatus

Are you a fan of gymnastics but have always wondered what the vault is made of? Well, look no further because we’ve got you covered. The vault, which is one of the six apparatuses in women’s artistic gymnastics, is made up of a wooden frame covered in foam and a horse made of metal. But it’s not just any type of wood- it’s a solid, smooth, and sturdy piece of furniture-grade plywood that’s been specifically chosen for its durability.

The foam on the vault, also known as the runway, is an essential component as it helps absorb the impact from the gymnasts when they land on the mat. Additionally, the foam also serves as a cushioning system that helps protect the gymnast from injury. And let’s not forget the metal horse! The horse provides the platform for the gymnasts to launch themselves off from and is specifically designed to be adjustable so that gymnasts of different heights can use it.

So, there you have it. The vault may seem simple at first glance, but it’s actually a complex piece of equipment that’s been engineered to support the incredible athleticism and grace of gymnasts. Now that you have the details, the next time you watch gymnastics on TV or in person, take a moment to appreciate the thought and care that went into creating the vault.

Gymnastics Equipment Manufacturing

Gymnastics equipment manufacturing has come a long way over the years, with state-of-the-art materials and technologies being used to create equipment that is both safe and reliable. The manufacturing process involves several steps, including designing, prototyping, testing, and production.

The most common materials used for gymnastics equipment are wood, foam, and metal. Different types of wood are used for different apparatus, depending on the requirements for flexibility and durability. For example, oak is a popular choice for vaulting boards due to its strength, while softwoods like pine are used for balance beams and floor exercise mats to provide cushioning and support.

  • Foam is used for padding on equipment like vaults, bars, and balance beams. The foam used is typically closed-cell foam, which means it doesn’t absorb water, making it easier to clean and maintain.
  • Metal is used for the frame of equipment like bars and vaults. Steel is the most common metal used, as it’s durable and can handle the weight and pressure of gymnasts without bending or breaking.

The manufacturing process for gymnastics equipment involves a combination of automated machinery and skilled labor. The equipment is designed using computer-aided design (CAD) software, which enables precision manufacturing and minimizes waste. Once the design is complete, a prototype is created and tested to ensure it meets safety standards and performs as expected.

After the prototype has been approved, the equipment is manufactured using a combination of robotic machinery and skilled labor. The pieces are cut and shaped, then assembled by hand and inspected to ensure each piece meets the required specifications.

Trends in Gymnastics Equipment Manufacturing

Gymnastics equipment manufacturing is constantly evolving, with new materials and technologies being developed to create safer, more reliable equipment. Some of the trends in gymnastics equipment manufacturing include:

  • Carbon fiber: Carbon fiber is a popular material for equipment like vaulting poles and balance beams, as it’s lightweight, strong, and flexible.
  • 3D printing: 3D printing is being used to create prototypes and small parts for gymnastics equipment. This technology enables manufacturers to create complex shapes and designs quickly and with minimal waste.
  • Smart equipment: Smart equipment is being developed to provide real-time feedback to coaches and gymnasts. For example, sensors can be added to balance beams to measure the force and pressure applied during routines, enabling coaches to provide more targeted training and feedback.

Gymnastics Equipment Safety Standards

Gymnastics equipment safety standards are set by organizations like the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). These organizations set minimum safety requirements for each piece of equipment, including dimensions, materials, and construction techniques.

Equipment Minimum Safety Standards
Vault Length: 1.20m-1.35m; Width: 0.90m-1.10m; Height: 1.20m-1.35m; Weight: 35kg-45kg
Balance Beam Length: 5m; Width: 10cm; Height: 1.25m-1.55m; Weight: 50kg-60kg
Bars Distance between the two bars: 1.40m-1.60m; Height of the high bar: 2.50m; Height of the low bar: 1.70m; Weight: 40kg-50kg

Manufacturers must adhere to these safety standards to ensure their equipment is safe for gymnasts to use. Additionally, coaches and athletes must follow proper safety procedures when using the equipment, including proper warm-up and cool-down routines and wearing appropriate safety gear.

Materials commonly used in vault construction

The vault is one of the most iconic events in gymnastics, requiring the athlete to display power, speed, and agility. As gymnastics has evolved over the years, so has the technology and materials used to construct vaults. The following are some of the commonly used materials in vault construction:

  • Steel: Steel is a popular choice for vault construction due to its strength and durability. The inner structure of the vault is often made of steel, with padding and covering added for safety and aesthetics.
  • Foam: Foam is used extensively in vault construction to provide cushioning for the athlete. The foam may be made of polyurethane, which is durable but heavy, or EVA foam, which is lighter but less durable.
  • Wood: Wood is also commonly used in vault construction, particularly for the outer casing. The wood may be laminated for strength and to prevent cracking or splitting, and finished with a non-slip surface for grip.

When constructing a vault, it is important to consider the height and weight of the athlete, the level of competition, and safety regulations. The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) has strict guidelines for vault construction, including minimum and maximum dimensions, and padding requirements.

Additional safety measures

In addition to the materials used in vault construction, there are additional safety measures that can be taken to protect the athlete. These may include:

  • Spotting: Coaches or spotters may assist the athlete in performing the vault, ensuring that they land safely and correctly.
  • Landing mat: A landing mat is placed in front of the vault to provide extra cushioning for the athlete’s landing.
  • Proper technique: Athletes should receive proper training and coaching to ensure they are performing the vault correctly and safely.

Regulations for competitions

When it comes to competitions, there are strict regulations in place to ensure the safety of the athletes. The FIG has set guidelines for the height and width of the vault, as well as the materials used in construction. Additionally, the padding and landing mats must meet specific thickness requirements.

Event Height (cm) Width (cm) Padded area (cm) Minimum mat thickness (cm)
Men’s vault 135-140 100-105 120 x 90 20
Women’s vault 125-135 95-100 120 x 90 20

As with all gymnastics events, safety is of utmost importance in vault construction. By using the right materials and following the regulations set forth by the FIG, athletes can perform the vault with confidence and skill.

Differences between vaults used in artistic and rhythmic gymnastics

Vaulting is a common feature in both artistic and rhythmic gymnastics, but the differences between the types of vault used in each discipline are significant. While artistic gymnastics requires a wider range of vaults, rhythmic gymnastics uses only one:

  • Artistic gymnastics: In this discipline, the vault is an apparatus consisting of a springboard and a padded table that measures about 4 feet long and 2.5 feet high. The gymnast sprints toward the table, plants their hands on it, and uses it as a springboard to execute a variety of flips and twists before landing on the mat. In artistic gymnastics, there are several different types of vault that a gymnast can perform, including the Yurchenko, Tsukahara, and Kasamatsu.
  • Rhythmic gymnastics: In contrast, rhythmic gymnastics uses a different kind of vault known as the “vaulting horse”. This apparatus is much smaller than the artistic gymnastics vault and consists of a padded box that measures only about 3.3 feet long and 1.3 feet high. The gymnast runs toward the box and performs a jump over it, either with or without a handstand element, before landing on the mat.

The differences in the apparatus used for the vault in artistic and rhythmic gymnastics have a significant impact on the types of skills that can be performed. Because the artistic gymnastics vault is larger and provides more height and amplitude, gymnasts are able to execute more complex and acrobatic movements in the air before landing. In rhythmic gymnastics, the smaller vaulting horse means that athletes rely more on technical precision and graceful movements in order to execute their vault effectively.

Safety Precautions for Vault Usage

As with any sports equipment, the vault can be dangerous if not used properly. Here are some important safety precautions to keep in mind:

  • Proper supervision: Only athletes who have received proper instruction from a qualified coach should be allowed to use the vault. Additionally, an adult should always be present to supervise and ensure safety.
  • Correct technique: Athletes should always use proper technique when performing vault exercises. This includes proper hand placement on the vault and proper form during takeoff and landing.
  • Appropriate matting: Depending on the skill level of the athlete and the training exercise being performed, different types and numbers of mats should be used to cushion any falls.

It is also important to regularly inspect the vault equipment to ensure it is in good condition. Any damage or wear should be addressed immediately to prevent potential accidents.

Here is an example of appropriate matting for different levels of athletes:

Athlete Level Matting Configuration
Beginner Two mats stacked on top of each other
Intermediate Three mats, with a sting mat on top and a block under the sting mat
Advanced Four mats, with a sting mat on top and a block under the sting mat. Additionally, a spotting platform may be used.

By following these safety precautions, athletes can safely and confidently use the vault to improve their skills and performance.

The Evolution of Vault Design Over Time

The vault is without a doubt one of the most exciting events to watch in gymnastics. Even though it is only performed for a few seconds, the athletes’ speed, power, and grace make it an awe-inspiring spectacle. As gymnastics has evolved over the years, so too has the design of the vault. Here’s a look at how it has changed:

  • Pre-1950s: The vault was essentially just a horse, much like the pommel horse, with a springboard placed in front of it. Athletes would run up to the springboard and use it to launch themselves onto the horse. The vault was judged primarily on the height of the athlete’s body over the horse.
  • 1950s-1980s: The horse was redesigned to include a metal spring that created a smoother and more consistent rebound. The introduction of the vault table also allowed gymnasts to perform more complicated maneuvers, such as twists and flips, without clipping their feet on the springboard.
  • 1980s-1990s: The horse was repositioned, and a wider runway was added to give gymnasts a longer distance to build speed. The springboard was also moved closer to the horse, allowing for more powerful and dynamic vaults.

Today’s vault design is the result of years of incremental improvements and innovations. In 2001, a new “vaulting table” design was introduced to increase safety and improve the consistency of the rebound. The table consists of a padded surface and metal springs, which provide a more consistent and predictable rebound. It also includes a “rounded” end, which makes it easier for gymnasts to land their vaults smoothly.

The current vaulting table also has a number of additional features, such as adjustable height and angle settings, to make it easier for athletes of all sizes and shapes to perform at their best. It is a true marvel of engineering, and a testament to the determination and innovation of the sport’s top performers and designers alike.

Year Vault Design
Pre-1950s Springboard in front of a horse
1950s-1980s Horse with metal spring and vault table
1980s-1990s Repositioned horse and wider runway
2001-Present Improved vaulting table with adjustable settings

In conclusion, the evolution of the vault design over the years has played an instrumental role in the development of modern gymnastics. It has allowed athletes to safely perform more complex and impressive vaults, pushing the boundaries of the sport and inspiring the next generation of gymnasts to reach new heights.

Equipment maintenance and upkeep for vaults

Gymnastics vaults are a crucial piece of equipment in any gymnastics facility. These vaults are expensive investments, which is why maintaining and keeping them in good condition is of utmost importance. In this section, we’ll be discussing the different aspects of vault maintenance.

  • Keep the surface clean: One of the most basic maintenance tasks that you can do is to keep the surface of the vault clean. Regularly wipe down the leather and vinyl coverings to remove chalk, sweat, and other debris. A dirty surface not only looks bad but can also impact the grip of gymnasts using the vault.
  • Inspect it regularly: Check the bolts, nuts, and screws of your vault regularly to make sure that they’re tight and secure. Also, inspect the padding and the vault table to make sure that they’re in good condition. Damaged padding can be a safety hazard for gymnasts and may need to be replaced or repaired.
  • Replace parts when needed: With regular use, some parts of your vault may become worn down or damaged. When this happens, it’s important to replace the parts to prevent any accidents from happening. Common parts that might need to be replaced include the landing mat, springs, and the coverings on the sides of the vault table.

Besides regular maintenance, there are also additional upkeep measures that you can take to extend the life of your vault.

For example, you can install a protective cover over your vault when it’s not in use. Covers will protect your vault from dust and moisture and help keep it looking new. Additionally, you could use a voltage protector for your vault. These devices help reduce the risk of electrical spikes, which can damage the motor in your vault.

Task Frequency
Wipe down surface After each use
Inspect nuts and bolts Weekly
Replace landing mat As needed
Install protective cover After each use

By following these maintenance and upkeep procedures regularly, you’ll ensure that your vault remains in good condition and will last for many years to come.

The role of vault in competition scoring and routine composition

Vault is one of the four events in artistic gymnastics, along with floor exercise, uneven bars, and balance beam. It is an apparatus composed of a vaulting table and a runway. Gymnasts run down the runway, jump onto the springboard on the vaulting table, and then perform a handspring, front flip, or other acrobatic movement to propel themselves off the table and into the air. The vault is scored based on the difficulty of the skills performed, the execution of those skills, and the landing.

  • Difficulty: The skills a gymnast performs on the vault are assigned a value based on their complexity, with more difficult skills receiving higher point values. These values range from A to H, with H being the most difficult.
  • Execution: After a gymnast performs their vault, judges evaluate how well they executed the skills they attempted. This includes factors like form, height, distance, and precision.
  • Landing: Finally, judges assess how cleanly the gymnast finished the vault by looking at their landing. Deductions can be taken for steps, hops, or falls.

The total score for a gymnast’s vault is the sum of the difficulty value and the execution score, minus any deductions taken for mistakes on the landing. The score is then factored to account for the difficulty of the skills performed.

In terms of routine composition, vault is often the first event in a gymnast’s competition order. A successful vault can set the tone for the rest of their performance and boost their confidence. However, it is also a high-risk event, as a mistake on the vault can lower a gymnast’s score and put them at a disadvantage for the remainder of the competition. As a result, many gymnasts choose to perform a more conservative vault that they know they can execute well, rather than attempting a more difficult skill that carries a higher point value but also a greater risk of error.

Difficulty Value (DV) Execution Score (ES) Deductions (D) Total Score (TS)
5.2 8.8 0.1 14.5
5.6 9.0 0.3 14.3
6.0 8.5 0.2 14.3

Overall, vault is an essential component of a gymnast’s competition routine. As the first event in the order of competition, it can set the tone for the rest of the performance. A gymnast’s success on the vault depends on the difficulty of the skills they perform, their execution of those skills, and the landing.

What is the vault made of in gymnastics?

Here are some frequently asked questions about the materials used to make a vault in gymnastics.

1. What is the top of the vault made of?

The top of the vault is made of a wooden board covered in a layer of soft foam and a layer of durable leather. This provides enough grip and cushion for the gymnasts to launch themselves off of the vault.

2. What is the body of the vault made of?

The body of the vault is made of a metal frame that is covered in a layer of foam and then wrapped in a tough, durable PVC cover. This cover protects the frame from wear and tear and provides extra grip for the gymnasts.

3. How high is the vault?

The vault is approximately 4 feet high for men and 3.5 feet high for women. This height is a standard set by the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG).

4. How wide is the vault?

The vault is approximately 3.9 feet wide for men and 3.3 feet wide for women. This width is also set by FIG and is designed to be narrow enough for gymnasts to clear it with precision.

5. Can the vault be adjusted for different skill levels?

Yes, the height of the vault can be adjusted for different skill levels. Lower height is used for beginner gymnasts, while higher heights are used for more advanced levels. However, the width of the vault remains standardized.

6. How much does a typical vault weigh?

A typical vault weighs around 88 pounds. While it may seem heavy, it is designed to be sturdy and withstand the impact of the gymnasts launching off of it.

Closing Thoughts

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about what the vault in gymnastics is made of. We hope this article has provided valuable insights into the design and construction of this essential gymnastics apparatus. Please visit again for more informative articles on gymnastics and other sports-related topics.

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