-Thursday, November 9, 1978-The Michigan Daily
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By ELLEN FUTTERMAN
This time, it seems the Nissen Com-
pany, the world's largest trampoline
manufacturer, cannot bounce back.
The company is no longer manufac-
turing trampolines in North America
because the "dangerous apparatus" is
too expensive to insure.
Insurance, companies are wary of the
trampoline because of the increase in
serious injuries coupled with the
public's readiness to sue. The National
Federation of State High School
Associations was forced to drop the
trampoline as an interscholastic com-
petition sport this year because mem-
ber schools were having difficulty ob-
JOHN NORDLINGER, co-chairman
of Physical Education at Huron High
School, in Ann Arbor, said "Safety was
the underlying factor for dropping the
trampoline from gymnastic com-
University gymnastics coach Newt
Loken continues to use the trampline,
though only under "strict supervision."
"Safety belts and harnesses are used
for difficult stunts," said Loken.
"There are spotting platforms around
the trampoline as well as watching
THERE HAVE been no serious
trampoline injuries reported at the
University or any Ann Arbor public
A 1977 survey by the Consumer
Product Safety Commission estimated
there were 18,200 trampoline accidents
requiring emergency room treatment.
Last September, the American
Academy of Pediatrics drafted a policy
statement reading in part, "That tram-
polines be banned from use as a part of
the physical education programs in
grammar schools, high schools and
colleges, and also be abolished as a
CITING A two-year study by the
National Athletic Injury-Illness Repor-
ting System, the academy said, "Spinal
cord injuries with permanent paralysis
resulted more frequently from tram
polines than any other gymnastic sport.
Next to football, trampolines were
found to be the highest cause of per-
manent paralysis in this survey.
According to the national study, the
highest annual incidence of permanent
paralysis on the trampoline is at a four-
year college level - about one case in
every 5,000 athletes, about twice as high
The National Collegiate Athletic
Association (yCAA) banned trampline
competition from gymnastic meets in
1971, saying it was unsafe. However, an
August NCAA newsletter said, "that
while trampolines are dangerous they
are optional to athletes as a training
device for other sports."
COACHES Nordlinger and Loken
contend trampoline accidents are a
result of poor supervision and training,
not because the apparatus is inherently
"There is no longer competition on
the tramp but I use it for training in
other gymnastic events," said Nor-
dlinger. "It's a good learning device."
Yet in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the
Nissen Corporation is worried about the
future of trampolines.
"Since colleges and high schools are
dropping trampolines and insurance
premiums are so high on the apparatus,
it doesn't pay to manufacture them in
the U.S. anymore," said Norman Barns
of the Nissen Corp. "Everyone is suing.
Most of the suits involve accidents from
Now Nissen must start over. With
stringent guidelines and an instructor
certification program to be set up this
year by the United States Gymnastic
Safety Association, Nissen believes the
trampoline can be revived.
FdaNoeber 17 1978 Frwer Center: 8:O0pn
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