Athletics - High Jump

standard track and field event

A standard track and field event. That means that all athletics events will have a high jump competition. But what is it, the athlete must clear an horizontal bar using only the strength of their bodies. Each competitor takes a running jump to clear this horizontal bar it is an highly demanding sport both physically and technically.

With few rules and regulations apart from they can only leap off one foot and must not knock the bar off it's rest. he can touch the bar as long as he doesn't use any part of his body to hold it up.

Usually in competitions each athlete chooses the height of their opening jump this will be a bit on the low side the bar is then raised in increments of 3 to 5cm early on it will be raised by 1cm near to the conclusion of the event. Having cleared an height competitors may not attempt that or a lower height again. A competitor can pass at any height but once they have recorded three consecutive misses they are out. The person who clears the highest jump wins ties are decided on the lowest number of failed attempts.

Like all sports the golden rules apply class will out and top athletes especially in the middle distance races last for a lot of years.

Things To Know

high jump bar ,scissor jump, Fosby Flop,Western Roll,

High jumpers tend to be of above average height men are 6ft 1in or taller Women are usually over 5ft 10in. almost all are lean slim build with well developed quadriceps and calf muscles. Speed, flexibility and good co-ordination are also important. Close fitting clothing is essential to prevent snagging on the bar.


The high jump bar is made of lightweight material such as reinforced plastic or aluminum 4m (13ft Long) it can be round, square or triangular in cross section and rests on two uprights, the measured height has to be able to be adjusted rapidly as the event progresses. Immediately behind the bar is a deep soft mattress to cushion the jumpers landing.

Types of Jumps

The high jump is nothing but an evolving event until the 1960's the most popular methods of jumping were the western roll and the scissor jump, to make a scissor jump the athlete must approach the bar from an angle and threw first the inside leg and then the outside leg over the bar in a scissoring motion and landing on the feet. This was first used by American Michael F Sweeney who took the world record in 1895 with a jump of 6ft 51/2ins (1.97m) The Western Roll was made popular by George Horine in 1912 he cleared 6ft 63/4ins (2m) to make a western roll an athlete must again approach from an angle but using the inner leg for the take off whole the outer leg was thrust up to lead the body sideways over the bar. Then came the Fosbury Flop this caused a sensation when first used by American Dick Fosbury at the 1968 Mexico Olympics to do a Fosbury Flop the athlete takes a curved running approach then launches themselves off the outside foot into a modified scissor jump with the back arching backwards over the bar by the time the hips pass over the bar the whole upper body in in descent the athlete should land on the shoulders.

Mens world record stands at 2.45 Javier Sotomayer 1993,

Women's World record stands at 2.09m Stefka Kostadinove 1987