At level 8 and above, the way a routine is constructed can incur compositional deductions. We have previously discussed compositional deductions for uneven bars. Today let’s take a look at floor exercise.
At each optional level, there is a basic level of skill requirements. These are called special requirements. At level 9 and 10 these special requirements are a very basic set of skills and to achieve a full 10.0 start value, the gymnast must add difficulty for bonus through connections and at level 10, very difficult skills. At level 8, 9 and 10 there are also requirement for routine composition. These add variety and balance in skills and difficulty to a routine. There are a lot of moving pieces in a high scoring, well constructed routine.
Compositional Deductions for Floor Exercise
Lack of variety in choice of elements
Failure to perform saltos or aerials in two different directions. Backward and Forward or Sideways – .1
Arabian’s, which start from a backward position and then twist into a front tuck, are considered front saltos.
I have known several gymnasts who have had to compete an all hands free forward tumbling routine during recovery from elbow or wrist issues. All front tumbling like this would incur this deduction.
Lack of variety in dance elements
overuse of dance elements with the same shape
more than two elements with a wolf or tuck position with or without turn – .1
more than two straddle jumps with or without turn – .1
more than one leap/jump/hop to prone position – .1 each
This rule ensures that a gymnast is not “resting on their laurels” so to speak. Just because you have a great straddle doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have to compete anything else. A well rounded gymnast is a better gymnast.
lack of a turn on one foot, minimum of B – .2
At levels 6 and 7, a 360 degree turn is a special requirement and a .5 will be deducted from the start value if one isn’t completed. At levels 8-10 a turn on floor is not a special requirement, but the gymnast still must complete one and at this level it must be of a B value.
B or higher value turns that are commonly seen would include a 1.5 or more turn with leg below horizontal (this is the one you see the most) or a full turn with leg above horizontal or in a Y position.
lack of balance between acro and dance elements – up to .2
The difficulty of dance and acro must be balanced. This would be used when either the acro or dance in a routine doesn’t match the difficulty of the other.
An example would be a D tumbling pass but no dance above a B in the routine or if all of the connection bonus in a routine comes from dance and none from acro. Interestingly enough, it specifically says that a lack of dance bonus does not necessarily indicate this deduction is in play. Just goes to show how subjective these deductions are.
Insufficient distribution of the value parts – up to .1
level of difficulty not maintained throughout the exercise. If all the difficulty is in the beginning of the routine with only simple skills at the ends, this may apply.
This would apply if most of the difficult elements are all in the same section of the routine. Let’s say your second pass and the dance pass that immediately follow that are difficult but then the whole rest of the routine is rather easy, this may apply.
Insufficient use of the floor exercise area
Spacially (floor pattern) – up to .1
Directionally (choreography must move forward, back and side) – up to .1
These deductions are really about choreography. The gymnast must use all parts of the floor. Imagine the floor is broken in to four squares. The gymnast must perform choreography and/or elements in each square, using as many of the corners as possible. The gymnast must also use choreography that travels forward, backward and sideways.
Choice of Elements
Acro elements throughout not up to competition level – up to .2
consider the level of difficulty at the culminating championships as a template
All levels should be achieving a 10.0 start value
If all bonus lies in dance elements, it may indicate that the acro skills are not up to competition level
The “not up to competition level” deduction is one of the most subjective and talked about deduction. It has been difficult to interpret and it looks like the committee is working on more defined parameters for this rule. For example they laid out some expectations for level 8 beam this year, which I will discuss in the compositional deductions for beam article, which is next on my list.
Lack of a minimum of “B salto in routine (level 8 & 9) – .3
Lake of a minimum of “C” salso in routine (level 10 only) – .3
Level 9 has a special requirement that state the final pass much include a B salto and for level 10 the final pass much include a C salto. So, if a routine not only doesn’t contain a B salto at level 9 or a C salto at level 10 in the final pass, but doesn’t contain these skill at all, this gives the judges even more deductions to apply, for a total of .8.
In addition the compositional deductions for floor exercise, there are also artisty deductions that apply that can add up to a maximum of three tenths (.3). These are applied across the performance. The judges look at originality and quality of choreography and how it reflects the gymnast’s personal style as well as the performance quality of the routine. As Abby would say, show me some face!