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All You Need to Know to Jump Like a Rabbit

The History of Long Jump

Track and Field is a sport that dates back over 2,500 years all the way back to Ancient Greece. In Ancient Greece athletes participated in some Olympics games. The Ancient Greece saying Citius, Altus, Fortius means faster, higher, stronger. Track and field is known as one of the oldest sports activities. Here is a timeline to share with you the highlights in it's history from 776BC all the way till the 1970s.



776 BC

The first organized track and field events called the Olympics took place.

146 BC

the Romans conquered the Greek but the Olympic games still continued for over 500 years.

AD 393

Roman Emperor, Theodosius I abolished the games for eight centuries, because he viewed them as a pagan activity.

Late 1700s

Pedestrianism became a favorite English sport. Also, known as walking and running.


A group of English enthusiasts agreed on the minimum performance standards for certain events.


One of the first modern track-and-field meets was held at Eton College in England.


The New York athletic club held what some scholars call the first formalized track meet in the United States.


The club went on to hold the first United States national championship meet.


The Amateur Athletic Union of the United States (AAU) was formed


Vassar College staged the first women's meet in Poughkeepsie, New York


The New York athletic club and the London club held the first international meet in NYC.


The first modern Olympic games took place in Athens, Greece


The IAAF was formed in England to govern international meets. Also, meets continued for young and post-collegiate students under the AAU's supervision.


The First NCAA track and field meet was held for men.


Women's track and field was added to the Olympics.


The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) sent their first team to the summer Olympic games capturing many medals in track and field.


Track and Field boomed in popularity for both women and men.

Check out this Encarta site for more history!



What is Long Jump?

Long jumping is a track and field event. In order to be a good long jumper you need speed, strength, and mental endurance. The object of long jumping is to run down a long runway and then jump into a sand pit when you reach a white line. If you cross the white line your score does not count. After jumping your distance is measured from the furthest back point in the sand where you landed. Who ever jumps the furthest wins.

These pictures may help explain things more clearly!


Rules of Long Jump

There are three basics rules to long jump.

1. If you plant your foot on the opposite side of the white line before jumping you will receive no score. This is called a foul.

2. Your jump will be measured from the furthest back point. For example, if you jump 15 feet but your hand goes back 2 feet you will be given a 13 foot mark.

3. The person that jumps the furthest wins the competition!


Check out this site for more detailed rules of long jump.

Learning to Long Jump

   Long jump is a very focused sport. You must be focused because there is a lot to think about. You must think about steps, speed (running), height, distance, and landing. The better you get used to these things the less you will have to think about. Practice and practice is the only thing that will help you learn how to jump further.


As I said earlier, you are not allowed to step over the white line however, when you run sometimes your foot might go over the white line just because of the position you started at. Therefore, you must have the perfect steps before you jump.

Finding the right steps is quite easy. It just takes a few easy steps. Starting at the white line facing the runway and your back should be towards the pit. Be sure your foot is centered on the white line. Then, sprint down the runway like you normally would. Count how ever many steps you would like to take. Seven or nine steps with your dominant foot is usually a good number to start with. You would only count ever other step that way. Once you have ran your desired amount of steps stop and mark that spot. To be sure of where you are starting from run through a couple times. Just start from your spot and don't jump but run towards the pit. If your foot lands in the middle of the white line you have done it right but you should do it at least three times to be positive.

Speed (running)

Speed is very important to gaining distance when you jump. You need speed to pull you through the air so you will go further. To gain speed you have to run up on your toes and use your arms. You arms should go from your mouth to your pocket. When you are running practice saying mouth, pocket, mouth, pocket and you will get the correct form. Also, you must run all the way through till you jump. If you think your steps are messed up and you stutter you have just lost distance. So remember run hard.


The long you stay in the air the further you go. Therefore, it is important to gain lots of height so you will not fall as quickly to the ground. Although, gravity will still pull you down if you go high you will be held up longer. To stay up you must go off one foot and bend the other one up to your chest. Then you have keep your butt in the air for as long as you can. Some people find it helpful to put their feet straight out and reach for their toes with their hands.


The picture on the left demonstrates a athlete coming off her one foot. Usually you come off your dominant foot. The picture on the right demonstrates an athlete keeping his butt in the air to keep from going down early.


Distance is the most important thing in long jump of course. The person who jumps the furthest wins. Although it sounds easy you still have to concentrate very hard because someone who jump a tenth of an inch further than you will win. Everything you do counts. The is not a lot to distance that you don't already know. Basically all you have to do is combine what we talked about earlier, height and speed.


Landing is a very important part of long jump. If you have the perfect jump but land wrong you have just ruined the whole jump. You should land steady and with your feet as close as they can be to together. If you jump with your legs straight out you should land on your bottom. Your jump is measured from the furthest back point so you do not want to put your hand back when you jump. Landing is not complicated if you get it right it is quite simple.



  Interesting Facts About Long Jump

1. Mike Powell broke the men's world record in long jump on August 30,1991. The record was broken in Tokyo, Japan with a jump of 29 feet, 4.5 inches.

2. Galina Chistyakova broke the women's world record in long jump on June 11, 1988 in Leningard, USSR with a jump of 24 feet, 8 inches.

3. American Myer Prinstein finished runner up in the 1900 long jump in Paris, despite not even showing up for finals. Prinstein, a Syracuse University student, was instructed not to participate in the finals on Sunday, the Christian Sabbath. Qualifying jumps counted back then so he took second on the basis of those. As legend has it, he was so angry at eventual gold-medal winner, Alvin Kraenzlein, that he punched him in the face.

4. World record but no gold medal: In 1924, America Robert LeGendre shattered the world record for long jump with a leap of 25 feet, 4 inches. However, the jump was part of the pentathlon competition and LeGendre could muster only a third place finish overall. The actual long jump competition was won with a jump of 24 feet, 5 inches.

5. The true definition of "LONG JUMP" is a jump for distance from a running start.

6. Another name for long jump is broad jump.

7. Long jump is one event in a decathlon. In addition, there is high jump, discus throwing, shot put, javelin throw, 100 meter dash, 400 meter dash, 1,500 meter dash, 110 meter hurdles, and pole vaulting. The decathlon became a Olympic event in 1912.

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