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We are often asked “What is the best way to mat my balance beam area?” so we thought it fitting to provide detailed illustrations of some typical setups. Below are some standard matting setups for competitions (JO and FIG) as well as for an everyday gymnastics training situation.

JO Competition Setup

Junior Olympic competition rules require 12cm thick landing mats underneath the beams, along with having some supplemental mats available for dismounting.  Per the 2014-2015 Women’s Rules and Policies, the following beam landing mats are the minimum required for levels 6-10 competition.

  • Mount Area – 7.5′ wide x 18′ long (levels 6-10)
  • Dismount Area – 7.5′ wide x 12′ long (levels 6-10)
  • Underneath Beam – 15′ wide x 15-1/2′ long (levels 6-10)

For our meet setups, we “over-mat” just a little bit, using 8′ wide mats on then ends and using 15.5′ long for the dismount area.  Here is what it looks like:

  • A: 416-123 – 7.5’ x 15.5’ x 12cm Firm Landing Mat (2 underneath the beam)
  • B: 416-197 – 8’ x 15.5’ x 12cm Firm Landing Mat (2 – 1 at each end of beam)
  • C: 416-663 – 5’ x 10’ x 8” Skill Cushion
  • D: 416-583 – 4’6” x 10’ x 1-1/2” Sting Mat
  • E: 416-319 – 7’ x 10’ x 4” Throw Mat
  • F: 416-184 – 4’ x 7.5’ x 12cm Slab Landing Mat (1 at “Runup” end)
  • G: 416-315 – 12cm Beam Filler Mats (1 set – covers each beam leg)

Balance Beam Shown: 407-440 – ELITE RA Balance Beam

Not shown: 416-325 – Beam Leg Pads

FIG Competition Setup

The FIG requires 20cm thick landing mats for international competition.  Additionally, they require a larger area be matted for the mount and dismount areas, as well as the area underneath the beam.  Here is the FIG required matting for balance beam:

  • A: 416-558 – 8’ x 15’ 6” x 20cm V-2
  • B: 416-263 – 8’ x 15’ x 10cm Supplemental Throw Mat- (on top of mat F)
  • C: 416-264 – 8’ x 12′ V-Spec
  • D: 416-557 – 8’ x 12’ x 20cm V-2
  • E: 416-574 FIG Beam Filler System – 16’ x 3′ x 20cm
  • F: 416-262 – 8′ x 15′ 6″ x 20cm V-Spec

Balance Beam Shown: 407-440 – ELITE RA Balance Beam

Not shown: 416-325 – Beam Leg Pads

416-267 FIG Balance Beam Competition Landing Mat Set (All Mats)

Training Beam Area Setup

Mats for balance beam in a training environment are seen in lots of different shapes, sizes and configurations.  Typically, the matting needs for a gym depend on the level of gymnasts training, the space available, and the number of beams being used.  We usually recommend a 7.5′ wide mat under the beam with a minimum of 12cm thickness.  Depending on the needs of the gym, we will design for a dismount area on one end and at least a 4′ mat on the other end if they don’t need (or have room for) a run-up area.

Here is an example of how 3 beams running parallel could be matted for a gym:

 

  • A: 416-123 – 7.5’x15.5’x12cm Firm Landing Mat
  • B: 416-184 – 4’x7.5’x12cm Slab Landing Mat
  • C: 416-123 – 7.5’x15.5’x12cm Firm Landing Mat
  • D: 416-315 – 12cm Beam Filler Mats (2 sets – each beam leg)
  • E: 416-663 – 5’x10’x8” Skill Cushion

Balance Beam Shown: 407-440 – ELITE RA Balance Beam

Not shown: 416-325 – Beam Leg Pads

Gym Design 

Recently, we helped one of our clients, Hayden’s Gymnastics in Evans, GA do a redesign of their gym layout. We configured a fitted mat system for their beam area which included 5 high beams and 2 low beams. All mats velcro together, so they now have a very safe, low maintenance, training environment for their gymnasts.  They are also relieved to no longer have to worry about mats shifting and exposed concrete areas that open up the possibility for injury.

If American Gymnast can help you with any gym design services, please go HERE for more information or feel free to call us at: 1-877-789-2267

If you have a great beam setup in your facility, please share it with us. Send us your photos on our Facebook page or tell us about it in the comments below.

Brad Thornton

Strength & Fitness Team Lead