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High Jump Game and Its Health Effects Term Paper

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Updated: Jul 1st, 2021


High jump is one of the numerous track and field events that have been growing in popularity over the past decades. The sport’s history can be traced back to the early years of the 19th century in Scotland (World Athletics n.d). It was first incorporated into modern sports as an event in the Olympic Games in 1986. High jump is one of the games that has undergone numerous evolutions since its inception as a competitive sport.

In ancient times, jumpers used either a scissors technique or a straight-on approach to get over the bar. Techniques changed in the 20th century with the participation of athletes such as Michael Sweeney, George Horine, and Cornelius Jonson. Examples of accomplished jumpers include Dwight Stones, Ni-chi Chin, Gerd Wessig, Sara Simeoni, Dietmar Mogenburg, and Patrik Sjoberg. Countries that participate in the sport include Japan, China, Sri Lanka, India, Ukraine, Canada, United States, Great Britain, Russia, France, and Kazakhstan.

Several techniques have been used in the sport by athletes, including the Straddle, the Eastern Cutoff, and the Western Roll. The Fosbury flop gained fame when the management of the sport introduced foam landing beds in the 1960s to improve the safety of athletes (World Athletics n.d). Competitors are required to jump unaided over a four-meter long horizontal bar that is hoisted on two vertical poles (Cissik, 2019).

The main goal is to jump as high as possible without tripping over the bar. For each height that is set by the referee, each competitor gets three attempts to jump without knocking over the bar (World Athletics n.d). A competitor is eliminated if the three attempts are completed unsuccessfully. High jump has both physiological and physical benefits to people of different ages.

It is important for jumpers to possess certain skills in order to enable them to clear jumps successfully. According to Cissik (2019), “proper timing, speed, striding, and curving are necessary skills that guarantee successful jumps.” The angle of approach determines the optimal height that can be cleared. Bad timing and insufficient aggression are major causes of unsuccessful jumps. The speed of approach determines the length of a sprint and the amount of momentum that is converted into upward motion (Cissik, 2019). It is important for jumpers to learn how to adjust their approach run and takeoff speed for different heights. Proper approach shape, backward spin, rotation rate, and foot clearance are skills that successful jumpers should possess.

Materials of the Game

Unlike other sporting events, high jump does not require many materials. Equipment used include high jump stands and laths, mats, landing area, waterproof landing mat covers, control meter, and cross bars (World Athletics n.d). The high jump stands comprise two vertical bars that are placed on both sides of the landing mattress. They are marked with height measurements and hold the crossing bar over which the competitors jump.

They can be made of aluminum or galvanized steel depending on the manufacturer’s preferences. Moreover, they are available in varied sizes and materials. The majority of manufacturers include the following components in their high jump stands: a steel T-shaped base tube, a reference level on each side, and a telescopically-adjustable rod (Sports Systems, n.d). The crossbar can be made of aluminum, polyethylene, or fiberglass. Modern high jump stands are telescopically adjustable and extend up to heights of between 2.0 and 2.65 meters.

Safety, durability, and stability are important factors that are considered when buying equipment for high jump. The quality of the landing area is one of the most critical aspects of the game because of the safety of athletes (Freeman, 2015). Therefore, special attention is paid during the manufacture of landing mattress. The mat is comprised of a washable and waterproof synthetic material that is made of differentiated density (Sports Systems, n.d). The top is concealed with a waterproof weather cover that protects the mat from destruction by atmospheric agents. The interior is usually made of specially designed foam that offers a soft and safe landing area (Sports Systems, n.d). A platform is placed under the landing mat above the ground to prevent damage from water and other environmental agents.

Success in high jump primarily depends on proper training. Therefore, it is imperative for athletes to choose apparel that promotes effective training and performance. The shoes used by athletes are special because they are designed for speed and power (Freeman, 2015). In recent times, spikes have been introduced as an addition to high jump shoes. Many athletes have found it difficult to shift from normal shoes to spikes because they interferes with the run up. Spiked shoes are useful, particularly when jumping in wet conditions because they have a stiff sole and heel spikes. They prevent slipping and aid in the transfer of speed into vertical motion during jumping (Freeman, 2015).

Three factors are considered when choosing the right high jump shoes: comfort, ankle support, and flexibility. According to Freeman (2015), “thick soles increase stability and ensure a comfortable take-off.” In normal shoes, holes are incorporated in the heel to allow for the addition of spikes if the jumper desires.

Rules of the Game

The rules of high jump are set by the International Association of Athletic Federation (IAAF). Participants in the game are required to pay great attention to technique and form (Schrag, 2019). As mentioned earlier, several techniques can be used and depend on the preferences of the individual. Jumpers are allowed to take off on a single foot, failure to which the jump is ruled as unsuccessful (Schrag, 2019). The chief judge determines the height of the jump.

The athlete can begin jumping at the set height or pass and begin at a height of their discretion. According to the IAAF, a successful jump is possible if only if the bar remains in place after the jumper leaves the landing area (Schrag, 2019). Several occurrences render a jump a failure: if the crossbar is dislodged from its position by the player during jumping or if the jumper advances past the plane of the crossbar before clearance. Moreover, the jumper is not allowed to touch the ground. The technique used during competitions determines how high one can jump.

Elimination from a competition occurs if a jumper fails to clear three consecutive jumps successfully. This can occur at a specific height or a combination of heights determined by the chief judge. The winner of a match is the person who clears the highest height without dislodging the bar (Schrag, 2019). Each time a jumper clears a specific height, the bar is raised. In certain cases, participants can tie. In that regard, two main rules are used to determine the winner.

First, the winner can be the person with fewer misses at specific height at which they have tied (Schrag, 2019). Second, the winner can be the individual with fewer misses during the entire tournament (Schrag, 2019). A tie for a first place results in a jump-off in order to determine the winner. During a jump-off, each player is given a single opportunity for a successful clearance. In each case, the height is increased from the previous level for each attempt. The crossbar is lowered or raised accordingly, until one of the players clears a specific height successfully.

The IAAF has a principal rule regarding the shoes used for jumping. They should have thick soles for enhanced stability and the spikes should not exceed 11. The standard design for jumping shoes includes 10: six in the front sole and four in the heel (Schrag, 2019). The federation also regulates the thickness of the shoes: the maximum thickness allowed is 13 millimeters and 19 millimeters in the sole and heel respectively (Schrag, 2019).

The techniques used are also regulated by certain rules that determine how the approach and the jump are approached. In many cases, jumpers utilize a 10 step approach involving a sprint and a curve toward the bar. The first five steps involve a sprint in a straight line that begin with the take-off foot while the final five involve a curve toward the bar (Schrag, 2019). The jumper is required to lean away from the crossbar and us the ankles as leverage points. The IAAF forbids athletes from using their hips for leverage. During the run, it is against the rules to crouch as the body should be erect. During the jump phase, the athlete should curve toward the bar and can use a single or double arm jump.

The Aim of the Game

High jump is a sport that requires dedication and hard work to master. Therefore, perfecting the jumping technique is the most important aspect of the game. The main aim of the game is to have the athlete jump over a bar raised at a certain height without touching it and unaided (Freeman, 2015). This is usually done for recreation and competition purposes. In the case of recreation, participants rarely follow the rules of the sport because it is not a competition.

On the other hand, people who do it for competition purposes adhere to the rules as set by the IAAF. The attainment of excellence involves a lot of training sessions and practice, as well as the possession of key skills and courage (Freeman, 2015). Speed, power, flexibility, and aerial awareness are some of the skills that jumpers should possess (Dale, n.d). The use of high jump as a recreation spot is common among people of all ages. It is most common among the youth because of their flexibility.

The two major objectives of high jump include competition purposes and physical exercise. Many professional athletes pursue high jump as a career and engage in competitions, the most prestigious one being in the Olympics. Competitive high jump has numerous economic benefits that range from salaries, endorsements, and prize money. The top athletes in the sport are highly successful individuals whose main occupation is sports.

They train and compete for a living. Others have received multimillion product endorsements from international corporations. The use of high jump as a physical activity is common among young people and is based on the attainment of key skills that include power, speed, and flexibility (Dale, n.d). In order to master jumping techniques, many hours of training and practice are needed. The sprinting drills performed during training have several physiological benefits. Practice sessions usually include plyometric exercises that increase the ability to generate power and perform better (Dale, n.d).

These jump-training movements increase strength and improve the overall wellbeing of individuals. The Fosbury flop is the most famous technique used by jumpers. An individual requires a lot of flexibility in order to perform the technique properly without injury. The regular stretching done during training sessions targets major body muscles and joints. In that regard, they can be used as a healthy way of engaging in physical exercise for the enhancement of human wellness.

High jump has several learning outcomes. Two of the most important ones include the comprehension of the 3 phases to a perfect jump and the demonstration of the basic skills needed for the execution of proper jump technique. There are three phases involved in a high jump: the run up, the takeoff, and the clearance (High jump, 2019). The run up involves a short sprint done at a critical angle. A certain curve, an appropriate speed, and the right number of strides are required for an effective approach run. During the takeoff phase, the jumper turns at an angle of about 45 degrees and thrusts the body over the bar (High jump, 2019).

The clearance and landing are the last steps that involve going over the bar without touching it and landing on the mattress. Proper form should be maintained to ensure that the athlete lands safely and avoids injuries to the back, hands, legs, and neck (High jump, 2019). Another learning outcome is the demonstration of the skills required for a successful jump. As mentioned earlier, power, flexibility, and speed are important skills that are needed for success in the sport of high jump. Moreover, aerial awareness is a necessary skills because it enables the jumper to estimate accurately his/her position in relation to the ground. (High jump, 2019) People who have taken part in high jump can demonstrate these skills because their possession is inevitable for the completion of a successful jump.

Age-Related Physiological and Psychological Effects

High jump is a sport that is enjoyed by people of all ages. However, it is more popular among young people because they are stronger and more flexible than older people. Flexibility is one of the most important skills that jumpers should possess, and it can be improved through regular stretching that targets all muscles and joints in the body (High jump, 2019). High jump is a physical activity that involves varying levels of intensity. Training for the game involves three main forms of exercises: sprinting, weight lifting, and plyometrics. It is important for high jumpers to have a high speed for the takeoff phase of the jump.

In that regard, they engage in speed and endurance workouts such as hill training and ladder workouts (High jump, 2019). Weight lifting is done in order to have strong cores and lower bodies that easily propel the body over the bar as the height increase. Plyometric exercises such as skips, hurdle jumps, and stretching prevent failure and injuries. All the aforementioned exercises have varied benefits to young and old people.

Among children, they strengthen their bones, decrease body fat, improve cardiovascular health, and lower the risk of obesity and heart disease (Collins, 2014). In adults, the sport aids in the management of body weight through fat burning, improves mood, lowers blood pressure, and supports the management of depression. In addition, it boosts energy, promotes better sleep, and boosts confidence (Collins, 2014).

In people of all ages, regular participation in high jump helps to prevent or manage several health problems that include arthritis, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. Human power, strength, and flexibility decline with age. Therefore, older people should engage in high jump under controlled environments because of the risk of injury. Lower flexibility can lead to poor form during takeoff and clearance, which can lead to dangerous landing (High jump, 2019). Injuries can occur among children. However, the risk is lower because they are more flexible than adults.

The psychological effects of playing high jump include increased confidence and self-esteem, an improved self-image, better memory, and mood improvement. In addition, it relieves anxiety and depression. Research studies have shown that exercise is an effective method of treating mild to moderate depression. A study conducted by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health revealed that running for 15 minutes a day lowers the risk of major depression by 26% (Collins, 2014).

As a form of exercise whose intensity varies from low to high, high jump can be used to treat mild depression. Exercise has several effects on the brain that include the release of endorphins, neural growth, the development of new activity patterns that promote well-being, and the reduction of inflammation (Collins, 2014). These effects are experienced by both young and older people. In older people, it can help to reduce the symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (Collins, 2014). Sustained involvement in training sessions can help to build stronger resilience among young people. High jump can help teenagers to boost their immune system and therefore, cope with emotional challenges in a healthy way.


The benefits of high jump are due to the fact that it is a sport that involves moderate to intense physical activity, especially during training sessions. As mentioned earlier, training includes sprinting, weight lifting, and plyometrics. In itself, the sport involves a lot of jumping, sprinting, and flexibility movements. Jumping movements involved in the game engages most of the body muscles, and in that regard, they bring numerous health benefits (Collins, 2014).

Regular jumping boosts the supply of oxygen to the body organs and brings both short-term and long-term benefits. In addition, it improves the ability of the player to balance. High jump is an invaluable physical exercise because it is a total body sport that does not require too much physical exertion (Collins, 2014). Therefore, both children and old people can enjoy it and reap its health benefits. Studies have shown that jumping is more beneficial to the body than running and jogging.

Other health benefits of high jump include stronger bones, better coordination, normalization of blood pressure, increased energy, a healthier lymphatic system, weight loss, and enhanced mental performance (Collins, 2014). Jumping strengthens the bones and exerts pressure on them that increases their mineral content. The balancing coordination created between body parts during jumping increases physical fitness, recharges the body, and provides an energy boost (World Athletics, n.d). Energy boost is also caused by better oxygen circulation in the body due to jumping activity. High jump also helps to normalize blood pressure and prevent cardiovascular diseases (Collins, 2014).

Moreover, it promotes the action of the bone marrow in the production of red blood cells. Jumping also helps people to lose weight and boost the performance of the lymphatic system. Better circulation of lymphatic fluid flushes toxins out of the body more effectively and enhances the performance of the immune system (World Athletics, n.d). High jump leads to the release of hormones that improve mood, aid in the management of depression and anxiety, and that boost mental performance. Mental faculties benefit significantly from any activity that involves jumping.

Comparison to Four Other Games

All games involve different levels of physical activity and, therefore, they have positive health outcomes. However, they differ in various ways with regard to their physiological effects on the bodies of the players. Soccer, basketball, and cycling benefit the body and mind while chess benefits the mind only as it does not involve physical exertion.


Soccer is the most famous sport in the world and it is played in all continents. The dangers of playing the game include sprains and strains around the ankle and knees, concussions, and cuts due to player collisions (Collins, 2014). Overuse injuries are also common. Unlike soccer players, jumpers rarely experience the aforementioned injuries. Both games help to lose weight, improve cardiovascular health, manage anxiety and depression, and improve mood.


Basketball is a game that involves a lot of running and jumping, and its benefits are similar to those of high jump. However, it involves more risks. Ankle sprains, knee injuries, lower back problems, hand and shoulder injuries, and foot woes are common among players (Collins, 2014). Like high jump, the game improves cardiovascular health, improves mood and physical fitness, and aids in weight loss. Benefits common to both games include better cardiovascular health, improved motor and coordination skills, weight loss, and mental development. Basketball helps players’ to improve their ability to concentrate and it provides strength training that keeps the body in top physical state.


Unlike high jump that exercises the whole body, cycling primarily engages the legs. In that regard, it does not promote the flexibility of the entire body. However, its benefits include cardiovascular fitness, strengthened bones, decreased stress levels, improved joint mobility, increased muscle strength, and weight management (Collins, 2014). The possibility of injuries and concussions caused by collisions makes it dangerous for old people.


Unlike high jump, chess does not have physiological benefits as it does not involve physical exertion. Chess improves memory, increases creativity, exercises both brain hemispheres, prevents Alzheimer’s stimulates the growth of dendrites, and improves problem-solving skills (Collins, 2014). No physical risks are involved with playing the game. High jump exercises the entire body, improves cardiovascular health, and strengthens the bones.


High jump is a track and field sport that has several physiological and psychological benefits. Its history can be traced back to Scotland in the 18th century. The aim of the game is to jump over a crossbar unaided and without knocking over the crossbar. It is important for players to have key skills in order to complete successful jumps: power, flexibility, speed, and aerial awareness. High jump is important for both economic and physical benefits.

The rules of the game are set by the IAAF and define a successful jump, how a winner is decided upon, and how to deal with a tie during a competition. High jump improves cardiovascular health, increases oxygen capacity, and aids in weight loss. In addition, it helps in the management of anxiety and depression. The benefits of high jump depend on the level of intensity involved during playing and training.


Cissik, J. (2019). . Web.

Collins, M. (2014). Sport and social exclusion (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.

Dale, P. (n.d). . Web.

Freeman, W. (ed.). (2015). Track and field coaching essentials. New York, NY: Human Kinetics.

. (2019). Web.

Schrag, M. (2019). The sports rules book (4th ed.). New York, NY: Human Kinetics.

Sports Systems. (n.d). High jump equipment. Web.

World Athletics. (n.d). . Web.

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