Rules of the Sport of Free Running (Parkour)
Free running, also known as “parkour”, is the activity of moving through an area as rapid and efficiently as possible. Free running was born out of military obstacle course training at the turn of the century, and is now a worldwide phenomenon as videos of popular free runners have gone viral.
How to Free Run?
Although free running can be done virtually anywhere, there’s a preference of doing it in urban environments due to the many natural obstacles to overcome.
Professional free running requires years of training, and many highly skilled free runners come from athletic backgrounds such as gymnastics or track and field. The world is your playground when it comes to free running, as there’s really no formal equipment to be used.
Rules of Free Running.
- The number one rule in free running is for competitors to respect the environment in which their trials are taking place -- this transcends all levels of competition. Damaging property is widely discouraged in the free running community.
- Free runners should take risk management into consideration, because it’s not about who can scale the tallest building, it’s about having fun with the activity you’re doing. Because free runners wear no protective equipment, there is a certain level of risk that comes with it.
- How efficient a runner is able to navigate through a series of obstacles has more “style points” and takes a higher priority than the flashiness of the trick.
- The all-encompassing rule in free running is to maintain the flow of your run. Free runners should always be one step ahead when considering the next obstacle they’re going to scale. If the flow of the run is compromised, this shows the inexperience of the competitor.
Many high level free runners don’t consider parkour to be a formal sport, but instead a tight-knit community constantly trying to better their skills. They say that the problem with calling free running a sport is that it discourages newcomers from participating. Free running, instead, is considered more of an art.
Written by: Devin Pickell