Gym Ceiling Height

Subject: Gym Ceiling Height


I have a quick question for you concerning the ceiling height for a gymnastics facility. The architects think 25 feet is plenty. I just wanted to get your advice.


A 25′ high ceiling is certainly fine for an artistic gymnastics training facility. Rhythmic and Tumbling and Trampoline gymnastics facilities require an 8 – 10 meter (26′ – 32.5′) high ceiling for competition.

Planning Above Ground Pits?

If you are planning above ground pit installations, the 25′ high ceiling is still high enough, but ideally you would want an 8 – 10 meter (26′ – 32.5′) high ceiling.

Heating and Cooling Cost are Huge Consideration

There are some other considerations. Since heating and cooling are such a large part of the operational cost of running a gym, every cubic foot of ceiling height that you can save is a consideration. High ceiling gyms should consider economical heating and cooling systems, like geothermal systems, passive solar heating, solar electric, solar heating, etc.

Trampolines Essentially Determine Ceiling Height Requirements

The events and training that require the most height are bars and trampoline. Of the two, trampoline requires the most ceiling height. International trampoline minimum ceiling height is 8 meters (26 feet). Placing trampolines in-ground would allow you to lower that ceiling height by the four-foot height of the trampoline to 22 feet.

Careful Gym Design Can Minimize Utility Costs and Still Provide Enough Height

Normal gymnastics buildings are freestanding steel buildings with sloped roofs. The ceiling height in the middle is higher than at the eaves. Planning and placing all the bars and trampoline stations in the center of the building can allow you to have an overall lower ceiling height requirement and less cubic feet to heat and cool.

AC Ceiling Ducts Require Careful Placement or Higher Ceilings

Another consideration is if cooling (or heating) ducts are hung from the ceiling. The ceiling height must either be raised to compensate for them or they must be placed strategically between equipment, especially bar and trampoline stations (or equipment must be placed between the duct work). This means that with careful planning between the ceiling height, placement of equipment and placement of ductwork, you can reduce the amount of cubic feet of air space that you will be heating and cooling over a number of years. If you don’t do that type of careful equipment and ceiling height planning you will have to have a higher ceiling and will forever be paying to heat and cool thousands of cubic feet more air space.

All of this information is available in our Secrets to Gymnastics Gym Design e-Book. Don’t remember if you have purchased it or not, but it will cover almost all of the questions you have and many question you likely won’t think about.

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If you have questions relating to gymnastics, we will do our best to provide you with answers to the best of our ability.


2 Responses to “Gym Ceiling Height”

  1. Jo Ellis May 16, 2012 at 11:47 am #

    We offer a recreational gymnastics program and we are considering building a new facility. We don’t offer any competitions just strictly recreational programs. We would like to offer up to level 5 or 6 but wanted to know the min. height for the ceiling.

  2. Gymnastics Zone May 17, 2012 at 10:53 am #

    While I have actually coached in gyms with 16 foot high ceilings, that made for some both weird and potentially unsafe situations. Gymnasts could actually walk on the ceiling in a handstand on bars. What equipment you have can also be problematic, such as above ground trampolines, which start with their surface about 4 feet off the ground, which in a gym with a 16 foot ceiling only leaves a paltry 12 feet of headroom. Even for a recreational program, anything less than an 18 – 20 foot ceiling height would be a concern. And since ceiling height does no usually take into account ceiling obstacles, like heating ducts and lighting, either extremely careful placement of equipment requiring the most ceiling height is necessary, or your design should be considering more of a margin of error.

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