Sports acrobatics

by Valère Binet

The sports acrobatics regroup disciplines which are both ancient and young. Already practised in the antiquity, the acrobatics carried on in the Middle Ages and knew a big development in the XVIIIth century with the creation of the circus. In the XXth century, acrobatic elements were included in several sports and in dance.

The acrobatics as a very sporting discipline is relatively young. The IFSA, the international federation of sports acrobatics, was founded in 1973. Since then, world competitions were held every year and the sports acrobatics are now part of the world games program. The world games are a multisport event reserved to non olympic sports. They are organized one year after the summer olympic games, but for now, without the same impact in the media as the olympic games.

In october 1998, the I.F.S.A. congress voted to dissolve itself and to merge with the international gymnastics federation (F.I.G.).

The sports acrobatics include five events :

Pairs and groups exercises are performed with a musical accompaniment on a gymnastic type platform. They obviously include acrobatic elements execuded by all gymnasts together but, they also consist of individual elements and choreographed transitions performed in perfect synchronization with partners and music. In the first routine, the groups are building human pyramids which must be held for 3 seconds. The pairs first exercise must contain at least six partner balance elements (see the photographs). Minimum 3 of them must be held static for 3 seconds. The second routine contains tempo pair or group elements in which an acrobat is throw, for example in somersault, by his/her partner(s). It also includes individual tumbling elements or series. The third exercise must combine tempo and balance elements.

During its existence, the I.F.S.A. has also organised tumbling competitions. At that time, there were an international trampoline federation (F.I.T.) which has organised other tumbling competitions with an other reglement. When both federations merged into the F.I.G., the F.I.T. reglement was retained and since then, tumbling is not associated with the sports acrobatics anymore, but only with the trampoline.


Do you have any question about the sports acrobatics? Feel free to contact an official sports acrobatics federation ou myself.

Last update : 2001-01-21
Copyright © 1996-2001 by Valère Binet