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Originally appearing in Volume V15, Page 554 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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JUMPING,' a branch of athletics which has been cultivated from the earliest times (see ATHLETIC SPORTS). Leaping competitions formed a part of the pentathlon, or quintuple games, of the Olympian festivals, and Greek chronicles record that the athlete Phayllus jumped a distance of 55 Olympian, or more than 30 English, feet. Such a leap could not have been made without weights carried in the hands and thrown backwards at the moment of springing. These were in fact employed by Greek jumpers and were called halteres. They were masses of stone or metal, nearly semicircular, according to Pausanias, and the fingers grasped them like the handles of a shield. Halteres were also used for general exercise, like modern dumb-bells. The Olympian jumping took place to the music of lutes. Jumping has always been popular with British athletes, and tradition has handed down the record of certain leaps that border on the incredible. Two forms of jumping are included in modern athletic contests, the running long jump and the running high jump; but the same jumps, made from a standing position, are also common forms of competition, as well as the hop step and jump, two hops and jump, two jumps, three jumps, five jumps and ten jumps, either with a run or from a standing position. These events are again divided into two categories by the use of weights, which are not allowed in championship contests. ' The verb " to jump " only dates from the beginning of the 16th century. The New English Dictionary takes it to be of onomatopoeic origin and does not consider a connexion with Dan. gumpe, Icel. goppa, &c., possible. The earlier English word is " leap " (O.E. hleapan, to run, jump, cf. Ger. laufen). In the running long jump anything over 18 ft. was once considered good, while Peter O'Connor's world's record (1901) is 24 ft. 114 in. The jump is made, after a short fast run on a cinder path, from a joist sunk into the ground flush with the path, the jumper landing in a pit filled with loose earth, its level a few inches below that of the path. The joist, called the " take-off," is painted white, and all jumps are measured from its edge to the nearest mark made by any part of the jumper's person in landing. In the standing long jump, well spiked shoes should be worn, for it is in reality nothing but a push against the ground, and a perfect purchase is of the greatest importance. Weights held in the hands of course greatly aid the jumper. Without weights J. Darby (professional) jumped 12 ft. 12 in. and R. C. Ewry (American amateur) 11 ft. 4s in. With weights J. Darby covered 14 ft. 9 in. at Liverpool in 1890, while the amateur record is 12 ft. 91 in., made by J. Chandler and G. L. Hellwig (U.S.A.). The standing two, three, five and ten jumps are merely repetitions of the single jump, care being taken to land with the proper balance to begin the next leap. The record for two jumps without weights is 22 ft. 21 in., made by H. M. Johnson (U.S.A.); for three jumps without weights, R. C. Ewry, 35 ft. 74 in.; with weights J. Darby, 41 ft. 7 The hop step and jump is popular in Ireland and of ten included in the programmes of minor meetings, and so is the two hops and a jump. The record for the first, made by W. McManus, is 49 ft. 22 in. with a run and without weights; for the latter, also with a run and without weights, 49 ft. z in., made by J. B. Conolly. In the running high jump also the standard has improved. In 1864 a jump of 5 ft. 6 in. was considered excellent. The Scotch professional Donald Dinnie, on hearing that M. J. Brooks of Oxford had jumped 6 ft. 22 in. in 1876, wrote to the news-papers to show that upon a priori grounds such an achievement was impossible. Since then many jumpers who can clear over 6 ft. have appeared. In 1895 M. F. Sweeney of New York accomplished a jump of 6 ft. 51 in. Ireland has produced many first-class high jumpers, nearly all tall men, P. Leahy winning the British amateur record in Dublin in 1898 with a jump of 6 ft. 4- in. The American A. Bird Page, however, although only 5 ft. 64 in. in height, jumped 6 ft. 4 in. High jumping is done over a light staff or lath resting upon pins fixed in two uprights upon which a scale is marked. The " take-off," or ground immediately in front of the uprights from which the spring is made, is usually grass in Great Britain and cinders in America. Some jumpers run straight at the bar and clear it with body facing forward, the knees being drawn up almost to the chin as the body clears the bar; others run and spring sideways, the feet being thrown upwards and over the bar first, to act as a kind of lever in getting the body over. There should be a shallow pit of loose earth or a mattress to break the fall. The standing high jump is rarely seen in regular athletic meetings. The jumper stands sideways to the bar with his arms extended upwards. He then swings his arms down slowly, bending his knees at the same time, and, giving his arms a violent upward swing, springs from the ground. As the body rises the arms are brought down, one leg is thrown over the bar, and the other pulled, almost jerked, after it. The record for the standing high jump without weights is 6 ft., by J. Darby in 1892. By the use of a spring-board many extraordinary jumps have been made, but this kind of leaping is done only by circus gymnasts and is not recognized by athletic authorities. For pole-jumping see POLE-VAULTING. See Encyclopaedia of Sport; M. W. Ford, "Running High Jump," Outing vol. xviii.; " Running Broad Jump," Outing, vol. xix.; " Standing Jumping," Outing, vol. xix.; ' Miscellaneous Jumping," Outing, vol. xx. Also Sporting and Athletic Register (annual). JUMPING-HARE, the English equivalent of springhaas, the Boer name of a large leaping south and east African rodent mammal, Pedetes caller, typifying a family by itself, the Pedet.idae. Originally classed with the jerboas, to whichit has no affinity, this remarkable rodent approximates in the structure of its skull to the porcupine-group, near which it is placed by some naturalists, although others consider that its true position is with the African scaly-tailed flying squirrels (Anomaluridae). The colour of the creature is bright rufous fawn; the eyes are large; and the bristles round the muzzle very long, the former having a fringe of long hairs. The front limbs are short, and the hind ones very long; and although the fore-feet have five toes, those of the hind-feet are reduced to four. The bones of the lower part of the hind leg (tibia and fibula) are united for a great part of their length. There are four pairs of cheek-teeth in each jaw, which do not develop roots. The jumping-hare is found in open or mountainous districts, and has habits very like a jerboa. It is nocturnal, and dwells in composite burrows excavated and tenanted by several families. When feeding it progresses on all four legs, but if frightened takes gigantic leaps on the hind-pair alone; the length of such leaps frequently reaches twenty feet, or even more. The young are generally three or four in number, and are born in the summer. A second smaller species has been named. (See RODENTIA.) JUMPING-MOUSE, the name of a North American mouse-like rodent, Zapus hudsonius, belonging to the family Jaculidae (Dipodidae), and the other members of the same genus. Although mouse-like in general appearance, these rodents are distinguished by their elongated hind limbs, and, typically, by the presence of four pairs of cheek-teeth in each jaw. There are five toes to all the feet, but the first in the fore-feet is rudimentary, and furnished with a flat nail. The cheeks are provided with pouches. Jumping-mice were long supposed to be confined to North America, but a species is now known from N.W. China. It is noteworthy that whereas E. Cones in 1877 recognized but a single representative of this genus, ranging over a large area in North America, A. Preble distinguishes no fewer than twenty North American species and sub-species, in addition to the one from Szechuen. Among these, it may be noted that Z. insignis differs from the typical Z. hudsonius by the loss of the premolar, and has accordingly been referred to a sub-genus apart. Moreover, the Szechuen jumping-mouse differs from the typical Zapus by the closer enamel-folds of the molars, the shorter ears, and the white tail-tip, and is therefore made the type of another sub-genus. In America these rodents inhabit forest, pasture, cultivated fields or swamps, but are nowhere numerous. When disturbed, they start off with enormous bounds of eight or ten feet in length, which soon diminish to three or four; and in leaping the feet scarcely seem to touch the ground. The nest is placed in clefts of rocks, among timber or in hollow trees, and there are generally three litters in a season. (See RODENTIA.) JUMPING-SHREW, a popular name for any of the terrestrial insectivora of the African family Macroscelididae, of which there are a number of species ranging over the African continent, representing the tree-shrews of Asia. They are small long-snouted gerbil-like animals, mainly nocturnal, feeding on insects, and characterized by the great length of the metatarsal bones, which have been modified in accordance with their leaping mode of progression. In some (constituting the genus Rhyncocyon) the muzzle is so much prolonged as to resemble a proboscis, whence, the name elephant-shrews is sometimes applied to the members of the family.
End of Article: JUMPING

Additional information and Comments

Since I am Swedish, I am not sure I understand your measurements of jumps, in feet and inches, especially when I read the figures in this article! I thought 12 inches made up one foot, but in this article I find a lot of strange figures, as follows: ... while Peter O'Connor's world's record (1901) is 24 ft. 114 in. ... while the amateur record is 12 ft. 91 in., made by ... ... record for two jumps without weights is 22 ft. 21 in., made by ... ... for three jumps without weights, R. C. Ewry, 35 ft. 74 in... ... made by W. McManus, is 49 ft. 22 in. with a run and without weights; for the latter, also with a run and without weights, 49 ft. z in., ... had jumped 6 ft. 22 in. in 1876, In 1895 ... accomplished a jump of 6 ft. 51 in. Clearly, if you converted 114 inches into feet, this would be almost 10 feet, so " 24 ft. 114 in." would be well over the present-day world record. And how much is z inches? Can anybody help me?
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