Scoring NCAA Gymnastics – Floor Exercise

Before the NCAA season begins, I promised to go into more depth about how NCAA routines are put together and how the judges arrive at their scores for those who want to understand it better. So here we are.

For the full experience, be sure to check out the previous posts about uneven bars and balance beam. Today, it’s the ever-inexplicable floor exercise.

Composing a routine

Routine requirements
  • At minimum, an NCAA routine must include 3 A-valued elements, 3 B-valued elements, and 2 C-valued elements.

You don’t have to worry about this part. It’s very, very basic and every routine you see in NCAA will have met this standard without having to think about it too much, especially on floor with all those round-offs and back handsprings.

Gymnasts must also, however, fulfill a series of special composition requirements, each worth 0.2. On floor, those four requirements are

1 – One acrobatic combination, featuring 2 saltos. The 2 saltos can be directly connected to each other or done as part of an indirectly connected tumbling pass, but they must appear in the same series of acrobatic skills.

2 – Three different saltos within the exercise. Because most gymnasts perform three tumbling passes, one of which is a combination pass, the majority of gymnasts have four different saltos in their routines anyway. Done and done.

Some won’t have four, because they’re performing just two passes or because they are repeating a skill. That can be a jarring experience for watchers of elite, the option of repeating a skill once for credit, but overall gymnasts must show three separate saltos at some point in the routine.

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