A floor routine is performed on a spring loaded floor that measures 40 ft x 40 ft. The area is usually marked by tape, and gymnasts are expected to fit all of their tumbling within that area. Going out of bounds results in a deduction.
A gymnast also needs to be aware of how much time he takes to do his routine. While there is no time limit in the collegiate and junior level (you can take as long as you want), a routine done at the Olympics, World or USA Championships must be completed in under 70 seconds. Going over the allotted time will result in a deduction from the gymnast’s final score. Also, some people make the mistake of thinking that male gymnasts perform their routines to music. Fortunately for us, we do not use music (only girls do). Another big different between men’s and women’s floor routine is that you will see several strength skills done in men’s routine since this is one of the five category that needs to be fulfilled.
The 5 categories that must be fulfilled for floor are:
- Non-acrobatic elements (strength elements, any skill resembling the pommel horse, etc.)
- Forward-moving acrobatic elements
- Backward-moving acrobatic elements
- Side-flipping acrobatic elements
- A dismount that is not from the first category (in other words, you cannot finish a routine with a strength skill, but it must be an acrobatic element)
Combination Bonus for Floor are:
- A + E or F = 0.1
- B + D or E or F = 0.1
- C + C or D = 0.1
- C + E or F = 0.2
- D + D or E or F = 0.2
Now that we know these things, let me run you through a sample routine so that you can get a better idea of how routines are constructed. The following is my floor routine from Winter Cup 2009:
- 1st pass – Thomas: This skill is valued at an “E” which means I receive 0.5 in bonus. I can also fulfill category 4 for doing this skill because it is a side-flipping acrobatic element
- 2nd pass – Front Layout to a Front Double Full: The front layout is a “B” skill and the double full is valued at “D”. This means I get 0.2 plus 0.4 for performing this pass. I also get an extra bonus of 0.1 because they are done in succession (refer to combination bonus explanation above). Also, you may have already guessed it but this pass fulfills category 2 because they are forward flipping movements.
- 3rd pass – Backwards Double Full: This fulfills category 3 because it is a backward moving skill.
- Corner Elements – Flairs + Other Breakdance Style Skills: These are non-acrobatic elements which fulfill category 1. Believe it or not, you get a fairly good amount of bonus for doing these.
- Final pass – Backwards 2.5 twist: Yes, you guessed it right, this fulfills the dismount requirement, which is category 5.