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Definition of Obstacles

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Aerial Obstacle – An aerial obstacle is one where the athlete must proper their body through the air, often unsupported by an obstacle.  This movement will often consist of a giant swing or Lache movement.


  • Rope swing
  • Lache
  • Big Dipper 
  • Ring Hopper 

Upper Body Obstacle – An obstacle where the athlete’s body is generally suspended with the exception of a grip related movement.


  • Cannon Ball Alley
  • Salmon Ladder
  • Cliff Hanger
  • Hanging Line
  • Unstable Bridge

Ascension Obstacle – Any obstacle in which the athlete needs to ascend vertically to complete the obstacle.


  • Invisible Ladder
  • Rope Climb
  • Vertical Spider Climb
  • Warped Wall

Agility Obstacles – An obstacle on the ground that is fast moving and tests more of an athletes agility than balance.


  • Quad Steps
  • Shrinking or Disappearing Steps
  • Swivel steps 
  • Prism Tilt

Balance Ostacles – Obstacles on the ground that test an athletes balance more than agility.


  • Spinning log
  • Balance Tank
  • Precision Bars
  • Snakes Crossing 

It is important to note that many obstacles can fit into multiple categories and would satisfy FINA course requirements for either category.  As an example, a Cannonball Alley run may satisfy either the upper body or the Aerial requirement, depending on the course setup and distance between obstacle.  Feel free to contact your FINA representative to clarify if necessary.