Trampoline and tumbling can be traced to archeological drawings in ancient China, Egypt and Persia. Over the years a number of methods have been devised to allow man to gain time in the air and perform a variety of skills. The trampoline is one of these methods. Trampoline was not actually a competitive event until after its invention by an American, George Nissen, as a portable unit in 1936. From 1947-69, trampoline was included as an event in gymnastics competitions by both the AAU and NCAA. The first Trampoline World Championships was in 1964, and trampoline was first recognized as a sport in its own right in the United States in 1967. Trampoline made its debut as an Olympic sport at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.
Power tumbling, first performed on simple mats, has had U.S. National Championships dating back to 1886. A number of different surfaces have been used for power tumbling, including mats, ski floors, spring floors and today’s fiber-glass rod floors, invented by Randy Mulkey. Double mini-trampoline competition was added in 1978. The first double mini-trampoline began as two individual mini-tramps, separated by a small table covered by a mat. Later, a one-piece unit was developed by Bob Bollinger and is used today as the official equipment for that event.
Trampoline and tumbling joined USA Gymnastics in 1999.