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track and field athletics event in which athletes jump over a horizontal bar placed at measured heights without the aid of any devices. The high jump was first practised in England in the 19th century. It became an Olympic sport in 1896 for men and in 1928 for women. The rules that were made in 1865 still exist today. Thus, every athlete has three attempts on every height. The athletes are allowed to touch the bar but they must not knock it down.