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High Jump Guide

High Jump Rules and Records
The Competition

The high jump requires an athlete to jump, leaping off of one foot, over a horizontally lying bar. The crossbar is held in the air by high jump standards, which are usually metal stands that are marked with height measurements. If the crossbar (usually fiberglass), is dislodged from the standards during an athlete's jump, the jump is considered failed. If the athlete clears the crossbar with their entire body, the jump is successful.

The bar is raised each time the athletes clear a height and the athlete who clears the greatest height wins the competition. If a jumper fails three consecutive jumps, that athlete is eliminated from the competition.

Besides dislodging the bar, a jump is ruled failed if the athlete jumping touches the ground or advances beyond the plane of the near edge bar before clearing the height of the crossbar.

In the event of a tie, there is a 'jump-off', which begins at the next greater height from where the last successful jumps were made. Each athlete is given one attempt and the bar is lowered until only one athlete

World Record
  • Men's: 2.45m (8ft 0.25 in) Javier Sotomayor (Cuba) 1993
  • Women's: 2.09m (6ft 10.25 in) Stefka Kostadinova (Bulgaria) 1987
How To High Jump - Technique
The Fosbury Flop:

The Approach:

  • Often times jumpers use a 10 step approach.
  • The first five of which are a straight line sprint which will start by pushing off with the take-off foot.
  • The runner should not crouch during the run and be running with his/her body erect.
  • The second half of the approach is in a five step 'curve' toward the bar.
  • The athlete should lean away from the bar and use his/her ankles as the leverage point (not hips).

The Jump:

  • Curving toward the bar, the athlete should leap completely vertical before he/she reaches the center of the bar and allow the momentum from the approach to carry his or her legs completely over the bar.
  • The athlete can use either a single or double arm jump, which determines how many arms are clear the bar initially.
  • The athlete rotates the non-takeoff leg, hips and shoulders in the air until his or her back is to the bar and arches the body with the knees apart to allow the hips to clear the crossbar.
  • Once the hips clear, the athlete must quickly force their legs upward and straight to allow them to pass over the bar.
High Jump Shoes
Shoes For High Jump:

These shoes have very thick soles to increase stability when leaping. This allows for a more comfortable take-off. Also, the shoes feature 'spikes' on their bottoms for traction while approaching the jump. In many cases there are holes in the heel of the shoe that the athlete jumps off to allow them to add spikes for traction in their curve if desired. This lets the athlete run faster into their turn before the jump without losing balance.

IAAF regulations state that the number of spikes in the sole cannot exceed 11. Standard configuration is six spikes in the front sole and four spikes in the heel. IAAF also regulates the maximum thickness of the shoe's sole for high jump and long jump, but not in any other track and field events.