Olympic Gymnastic Floor Routines: Moves and Scoring Explained


Women’s gymnastics is a marquee sport at the Summer Olympics, but apart from that it doesn’t get much attention outside of a dedicated fanbase.

I’m one of those fans and a former (definitely not Olympic caliber) gymnast, and I’m here to help you watch with a more discerning eye. Want to know what is required on each device? Which skills are the most difficult? How can I distinguish good routines from great ones? You are at the right place.

Here, we’ll look at floor exercise, starting with the basics and then moving on to the technical details. Choose a quick primer or go as deep as you want. We also have guides for the case, uneven bars and anti-roll bar.

A standard floor mat is about 40 feet by 40 feet, making the cross paths where gymnasts roll about 56 feet. It is made of foam and carpet with springs that allow gymnasts to perform difficult skills more confidently.

Every routine should include:

  • One flip with a twist of at least 360 degrees

  • Twisted or untwisted pair reversing

  • Rolling back and forth

  • Two consecutive jumps or jumps with steps directly connected or running between them. Either one must contain a 180-degree split.

Set to the gymnast’s chosen music (no lyrics allowed), floor routines last about 90 seconds and usually include four rolling passes. Gymnasts will usually do their hardest pass first.

Unlike vaulting, which is about pure strength, floor exercise combines strength with art. In practice, some gymnasts put less effort into their choreography; it may be little more than a series of poses nominally timed to music, and the judges can cut it off for it.

But you can tell when a gymnast really performs. look no further this routine From Canada Brooklyn Moors.

Each skill has a difficulty rating from A to J. Gymnasts receive credit for their eight most difficult skills, at least three of which are acrobatic and three are dance.

Rollback passes start with a roll (basically a powerful wheel with both feet landing at the same time), almost always followed by a backhand arc to build momentum for the main skill.

The most common transitions fall into several categories:

  • double back, an abbreviation for double reject. Flips can be done in three positions – stretching with knees bent; pike, legs straight and hips bent; or a torso straight layout – but in gymnastics language “double back” refers to the tucked version. Others are designated as “double pike” and “double layout”.

    You can expect to see straight double back (NS); full twist double back (TO); double twisted double back, aka double-doubles (H comes from Daniela Silivas); and one triple twist double back, aka triple-double (from J, Simone Biles). Full-twist double-backs can be full-ins (when the twist occurs on the first throw), full-outs (twist-on-second-throw), or half-outs, but in terms of scoring they’re all the same. .

  • double pike, including straight double pike (D) and full twist double pique (TO).

  • double layoutsincluding, double order (F); NS half twist double layout, or Biles (G, named after Simone Biles); NS full twisted pair layout (H); and double twisted pair layout, or the Moors (I called it the Victoria Moors). Jade Carey from the United States is training the surprisingly difficult triple twisted-pair layout in Tokyo, which will be named after her if she does it successfully.

  • kinksrefers to a single rear layout with one to 3.5 twists. Transitions that you’d usually see as stand-alone rolling transitions – as opposed to part of the combination transitions we’ll talk about later – double twist (NS), two and a half rounds (D, usually immediately followed by a front cover), triple fold (E is sometimes called triple full) and sometimes three and a half rounds (F).

Gymnasts tend to prefer to roll backwards because it’s easier to roll and build momentum from a backhand arc than from a front hand spring. Still, some excel at rolling forward.

Transitions include:

  • NS double front (E, compressed unless otherwise noted), half twist double front (F named after Lilia Podkopayeva) and pique double front (F is Brenna Dowell’s name).

  • NS couple arab (E), a double front where the gymnast starts as if doing a backflip but immediately makes a half turn. It’s more popular than the regular double front because it’s the same value but allows the gymnast to gain momentum with a roll and rear hand spring. A small handful of gymnasts, piked couple arab, or Dos Santos (F is named for Daiane Dos Santos).

  • front folds, for example front double full (NS).

Gymnasts can increase their difficulty score by performing two skills in a single rolling pass, directly or indirectly linked.

Direct connections are made in quick succession. Indirect connections are made by a rounding, hand-spring, or both in-between, and are defined as Skill 2 “between” Skill 1.

Each combination gets a bonus of 0.1 or 0.2 depending on the difficulty of the respective skills and whether the connection is direct or indirect. For example, a direct link of two C-grade skills (one one-half twist + pre-packed) has a value of 0.1 and is equal to one C skill and one E skill (one double arab with a half twist) has a value of 0.2.

Floor routines don’t need to include pirouettes, but you’ll still see many that differ in leg position and number of turns. Gymnasts can get a 0.1 difficulty bonus for combining two spins.

  • The simplest pirouettes are made with the unsupported leg bent, and if someone talks about a “turn” without further specification, it’s probably of this type. Full spins and double spins are too simple to be Olympic-worthy, but some gymnasts do triple turn (C) or rarely, quad turn (E is Elena Gómez’s name).

  • L turns are done horizontally with the unsupported leg forming a 90-degree angle with the supporting leg. The most common is a double L turn (NS).

  • Y-turns are done vertically with the unsupported leg forming a 180-degree split with the supporting leg. Double Y-turn (D, named Chellsie Mammel) is common; triple Y-turn (E, named after Aliya Mustafina) less so.

  • You know that ugly, wobbly swing beam where the gymnast rotates in a crouch position with one leg extended to the side? They are also on the ground. NS double wolf return a D and triple wolf return, named after Lauren Mitchell, an E. Nobody likes them. Anyway, everybody does it.

Jumps move forward from one foot, while jumps take off from both feet and only move up and down. Jumps are more common because they usually have higher difficulty values ​​and routines should include at least two sequences.

Common jumps include: full twist split bounce (C, sometimes called tour jeté half), transition jump (B, like a split jump, except that the gymnast changes the direction of her legs in the air) and transition ring bounce (C, a switch jump with hind leg bent upwards, back arched and head thrown back).

Jumps usually kick in at the end of rolling passes, as gymnasts can gain a 0.1 difficulty bonus for jumping immediately after landing a pass.

Some gymnasts apply acrobatics or break-dancing moves to their choreography – for example, Claudia Fragapane from Britain, roughly 0:53 to 1:10. this routine. This is not included in the difficulty score; it’s there for the art and performance value.

Gymnasts’ final grades are the sum of a “D score” (difficulty) and an “E score” (execution).

The D score has three components.

  • Composition requirements: Each of the four requirements – at least a full twist flip, double recoil with or without a twist, roll both backwards and forwards, and at least two consecutive jumps – is worth 0.5.

  • Skill values: Gymnasts get 0.1 value of A-grade skill, 0.2 value of B-grade skill, and so on. They receive credit for the difficulty of their eight most difficult skills.

  • Connection bonus: Gymnasts earn 0.1 or 0.2 for linking skills. The formulas listed in the Point Code indicate the bonus amount based on the nature of the skills and the difficulty value. For example, a C-grade acrobatic (stumbling) skill directly linked to a D-grade acrobatic skill is worth 0.2 beyond the skill’s own value, and an E-grading acrobatic skill linked to an A-grade jump is worth 0.1.

Skills may be dropped if gymnasts do not complete them properly. For example, if a gymnast completes only 2.75 spins despite attempting a triple twist, the judges may only rate the difficulty of two and a half twists.

Practice score starts at 10 and judges take deductions ranging from 0.1 for bent feet in a jump to 1.0 for a fall.

Because there are so many possible interruptions – landings, airborne body position, control on pirouettes, the subjective measure of admittedly inadequate art – and minor interruptions add up quickly, it’s normal for even a perfect floor routine to score a practice point. eights.

Gymnasts also receive “neutral” deductions, which are deducted from the sum of their D and E points, if they move outside the 40 x 40-foot floor limits marked by lines or a change in color. (The lines themselves are in bounds.) One foot is 0.1 deduction out of bounds and both legs are 0.3 deductions out of bounds.

If you want to see what you can expect from the best in the world, the 2016 Olympic medals on the floor Simone Biles united states, Ali Raisman of the United States and Amy Tinkler of England.


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