Floor (gymnastics)

Floor (gymnastics)

In gymnastics, the floor refers to a specially prepared exercise surface, which is considered an apparatus. It is used by both male and female gymnasts. The event in gymnastics performed on floor is called floor exercise. The English abbreviation the for the event in gymnastics scoring is FX.

Dimensions

Measures of the apparatus are published by the FIG in the "Apparatus Norms" brochure.
* Length: convert|80|m|ft
* Width: convert|12|m|ft
* Additional safety border: convert|1|m|ft

Most competitive gymnastics floors are spring floors. They contain springs and/or a rubber foam and plywood combination which make the floor bouncy, soften the impact of landings and enable the gymnast to gain height when tumbling. Floors have clearly designated perimeters--the "out of bounds" area is always indicated by a border of white tape or a differently colored mat.

The allowed time for a floor exercise is up to 70 seconds for males and 90 seconds for females. Unlike men, women always perform routines to music. A Floor routine done by a female gymnast must have a variety of leaps, jumps, tumbles and turns. Where as, a male gymnast must have tumbles (front and back).

Scoring and rules

WAG

In women's artistic gymnastics, floor exercise routines last between 70 and 90 seconds. The routine is choreographed in advance, and is composed of acrobatic and dance elements. This event, above all others, allows the gymnast to express her personality through her dance and musical style. It is difficult for an athlete to choose an appropriate type of music to dance and tumble to. There are many different genres to choose from, but to pick out the best for each gymnastic is a matter of matching personality and ability. As well, the moves that are choreographed in the routine must be precise, in sync with the music and entertaining.

At the international elite level of competition, the composition of the routine is decided by the gymnast and her coaches. Many gyms and national federations hire special choreographers to design routines for their gymnasts. Well known gymnastics choreographers include Lisa Luke (USA), Adriana Pop (Romania, France, China), Nancy Roche (USA) and Geza Pozar (Romania, USA). Others opt to choreograph their FX routines in-house. Some gymnasts adopt a new FX every year; others keep the same routine for several competitive seasons. It is not uncommon for coaches to modify a routine's composition between meets, especially if it is used for an extended length of time. It is uncommon for gymnasts to use more than one different FX routine in the same season but it is not entirely unheard of: at the 1996 Olympics, for instance, Russian Dina Kotchetkova's routine in the FX event finals had completely different music, choreography and composition than that of her all-around exercise.

The music used for the routine is also the choice of the gymnast and her coaches. It may be of any known musical style and played with any instrument(s), however, it may not include spoken words, sung lyrics or vocalization of any kind. It is the gymnast and coach's responsibility to bring the FX music to every competition on CD or cassette.

Most routines include three, four, or five major tumbling passes and several major dance skills, turns and leaps. Under the Code of Points the gymnast must demonstrate skills from five required element groups, including a turn of at least 540 degrees, a double salto, and front and back tumbling.

Scores are based on difficulty, artistry, demonstration of required elements and overall performance quality. Deductions are taken for poor form and execution, lack of required elements, falls and other infractions. Unlike MAG, female gymnasts are permitted to end tumbling runs in a lunge position, with one foot in front of the other. The gymnast is expected to use the entire floor area for her routine, and to tumble from one corner of the mat to the other. However, steps outside the designated perimeters of the floor incur penalties. The gymnast may also get a large deduction if there are lyrics in the music, therefore, if wanting a lyrical song, the coach must take out the present lyrics.

Gymnasts are permitted to chalk their hands and/or feet and to wear wrist guards on FX. In some lower levels of competition, judges may permit "sting mats"--mats that lessen impact--to be used for tumbling runs. However, these are never allowed in international contests such as the Olympics or World Championships, and, most of the time, are not seen in national elite competitions either.

MAG

As with other gymnastic events, scores are based on difficulty, form, and overall performance quality. Judges look to ensure required elements (including a tumble of at least two "saltos", or somersaults) are completed. Tumbles are usually expected to go from corner to corner and make maximum use of the floorspace (however, a step outside the floorspace will incur a penalty). Tumbles should also end in a "stuck" landing: where both feet hit the mat at the same time and together with no steps, hops or strides made to keep the gymnastic upright.

ee also

* Wushu (sport), which also uses a floor.
* Acro dance, which incorporates many FX elements in a dance context.
* Gym Floor Cover

External links

* [http://www.fedintgym.com/rules/ The 2006 "Code of Points"]
* [http://www.fig-gymnastics.com/cache/html/12301-117-10001.html WAG apparatus description at the FIG website]
* [http://www.fig-gymnastics.com/cache/html/4909-116-10001.html MAG apparatus description at the FIG website]
* [http://www.usgyms.net/tumbling_skills.htm US Gym Net's glossary of floor skills]
* [http://www.usgyms.net/jumps_leaps.htm US Gym Net's glossary of hops, jumps and leaps]
* [http://www.flashmavi.com/gymnastics.shtml FM Online - Floor Instructions]


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