This post has been updated to reflect the 2022-2026 Code of Points.

Level 7 floor routines are some of my favorite routines to judge. Level 7 gymnastics is the second optional level in gymnastics. This means that the gymnast gets to use their own choreography. Level 7 floor music can be chosen by the gymnast and coach. I love judging these routines because they have basic requirements, and plenty of room for the gymnast to dance and perform. There are no composition deductions for not performing difficult skills.

All of this leads to Level 7 floor routines that are focused on basics, along with artistry and rhythm. There’s enough time for the gymnast to show off her personality, enjoy competing, and begin to progress her skill level. It’s a lot of fun for everyone!

Philosophy Behind Level 7 Floor

The idea behind Level 7 gymnastics (just like Level 6) is to ease gymnasts into the optional levels, without the need to perform difficulty beyond the level’s requirements. For this reason, there are no composition deductions in these two levels. Composition deductions are deductions taken at the end of the routine, based on the construction of the routine. They can include deductions for lack of difficulty, too many similar skills, or failure to include certain skills in the routine.

In Level 6 and 7, these deductions are NOT applied. The goal is to create routines that meet the requirements and are performed as cleanly as possible. Often, the highest scoring routines are those that include the bare minimum number of skills, performed very well. There are general deductions that are taken at the end of the routine, such as rhythm and dynamics, and these deductions are still applied. But there’s no need to worry about exceeding the difficulty requirements. Just do what you can do well, and be done!

back walkover in level 7 floor routine

Value Parts for a Level 7 Floor Routine

Level 7 gymnasts need 5 A skills and 2 B skills on each event (bars, beam, and floor). All skills in gymnastics are evaluated based on their difficulty level, and they are given a value from A through E. A skills are the easiest, while B skills are a bit more difficult. The gymnast is allowed to choose the skills that she can perform the best in each of these difficulty categories. Each A skill is worth 0.10, and each B skill is worth 0.30. Deductions are taken off the Start Value if a skill is missing.

In a Level 7 floor routine, gymnasts are allowed to perform A and B skills, along with unlimited C dance elements. Performance of acro C’s or any D/E skills will result in a 0.50 deduction from the Start Value for a restricted element.

Examples of B skills on floor include:

  • Switch leap
  • Side leap
  • Straddle jump
  • Pike jump
  • Tuck jump 1/1 turn
  • Straight jump 1 1/2 turn
  • 1 1/2 turn
  • Full turn with leg held at horizontal
  • Front pike
  • Front layout
  • Back layout full

Special Requirements for a Level 7 Floor Routine

There are four Special Requirements for a Level 7 floor routine. Each Special Requirement is worth 0.50. If a Special Requirement is missing, it is a deduction of 0.50 off the Start Value.

The Level 7 requirements for floor are as follows:

  1. Acro pass with backward salto, minimum 2 elements
  2. Acro pass with forward salto, minimum 1 element.
    The salto in EITHER Pass #1 or Pass #2 must be a layout to 2 feet.
  3. Dance passage x2, including one 180° leap
  4. Min. 360° turn on one foot

Here is more detail on each of these Special Requirements.

Acro Pass With Backward Salto, Minimum 2 Elements

An acro pass is a tumbling pass consisting of at least one acro element. The backward acro pass in a Level 7 floor routine must consist of at least two acro skills, directly connected. One of these skills may be a back layout, or a backward salto stretched, landing on two feet.

If a back layout is not performed in this pass, the forward acro pass MUST include a front layout.

A direct acro connection means that there can be no steps, hops, or loss of balance between the skills. Extra steps are common after a front handspring step-out, so if the gymnast uses this skill in her acro pass, make sure she takes a long step forward into the next skill to avoid “double stepping”.

All of the skills in the acro pass must have flight. Examples of flight skills are:

  • Roundoff
  • Back handspring
  • Front handspring
  • Whip back
  • Back tuck
  • Back layout
  • Front tuck
  • Aerial walkover

If the gymnast performs a back layout to meet the layout salto requirement, it must have a straight body position throughout the majority of the salto in order to be considered a layout. If the gymnast tucks her legs, or pikes >135° for the majority of the salto, it will not be considered a layout, and the gymnast will not receive Special Requirement credit.

Acro pass with forward salto, min. 1 flight element

Aerials will NOT meet this requirement. The pass must include a salto.

Examples of forward saltos are:

  • Front tuck
  • Front pike
  • Front layout
  • Barani

This requirement is IN ADDITION to the backward salto acro pass requirement. The gymnast must perform two acro passes to get credit for both of the acro Special Requirements.

The salto/aerial must land on the bottom of the feet first to get Value Part and Special Requirement credit. An example is a front tuck that lands on the back or the seat first will not get credit.

If the gymnast did not perform a back layout salto, she must perform a front layout in order to receive credit for the acro Special Requirement.

Examples of Floor Routines That Meet the Acro Requirements

Routine #1

  • Pass #1: Roundoff, back layout
  • Pass #2: Front pike

Routine #2

  • Pass #1: Roundoff, back handspring, back tuck
  • Pass #2: Front handspring, front layout

Routine #3:

  • Pass #1: Front tuck, roundoff, back handspring, back layout
  • Pass #2: Roundoff, back tuck

Routine #4:

  • Pass #1: Roundoff, back handspring, back layout-full
  • Pass #2: Front handspring, front layout

Routine #5:

  • Pass #1: Front tuck, front tuck
  • Pass #2: Roundoff, back layout

There are many different combinations to choose from, and I love that this rule allows gymnasts to select skills they can perform the best. Some gymnasts might be stronger back tumblers, and some may be better front tumblers, and now ALL of them should be able to meet the requirements!

Dance Passage

gymnast doing leap in Level 7 floor routine

The dance passage must consist of at least 2 skills from Group 1 (leaps, jumps, or hops). At least one of the skills in the dance passage must be a leap, which takes off from 1 foot, that achieves a 180° split.

There is an almost endless variety of combinations that a Level 7 gymnast can do to fulfill this requirement.

Some examples of 180° leaps are:

  • Split leap
  • Side leap
  • Switch leap
  • Tour jete
  • Switch-side
  • Switch-ring

The dance passage is also a common place for gymnasts to perform one or both of their required “B” elements. Some examples of dance “B” elements are:

  • Switch leap
  • Side leap
  • Straddle jump
  • Pike jump
  • Jump 1 1/2 turn
  • Tuck jump 1/1 turn
  • Split jump 1/2 turn
  • Shushunova
  • Tour jete
  • Ring leap
  • Cat leap 1/1 turn

If the gymnast performs a “C” dance element, it receives “B” credit. Only one dance “C” is allowed per routine.

Min. 360° turn on one foot

Level 7 floor turn

This requirement is pretty self explanatory. The gymnast must perform at least a full turn on one foot. The free leg position is optional.

This is another good place for a Level 7 gymnast to get one of her “B” Value Parts. Examples of “B” turns are:

  • 1 1/2 turn
  • Full turn with leg at horizontal
  • Full turn with leg held by the hand in 180° split (similar to Memmel turn – see photo above)
  • Full wolf turn

Caution: creative turns are more difficult, and are much more likely to be marked as incomplete. Incomplete turns (more than 90° incomplete) receive credit for the lower value part.

Also, if the gymnast does not hold her leg in the correct position throughout the entire turn, she will not receive “B” credit. This could result in a 0.30 deduction from the Start Value, if she was counting on that turn for her B.

Common Deductions for a Level 7 Floor Routine

In Level 7 gymnastics, the emphasis is on performing basic skills with excellent technique, to prepare for the higher levels. The routines that meet the requirements, with the cleanest execution, are the ones that will finish on top. In addition, these gymnasts will be the best prepared to move into Level 8 and beyond. What do I mean by “clean execution”? A gymnast with clean execution has minimal form deductions.

Here are some of the most common deductions that can occur during a Level 6 floor routine. These deductions are assessed each time they occur.

Common deductions include:

  • Foot form – 0.05
  • Concentration pause – 0.10 (2 seconds)
  • Legs not parallel to floor in split or straddle-pike leaps/jumps – up to 0.20
  • Insufficient split when required – up to 0.20
  • Insufficient height (dance skills, aerials, or acro flight skills) – up to 0.20
  • Insufficient height (saltos) — up to 0.30
  • Incomplete turn/twist – up to 0.20
  • Poor body position – up to 0.20
  • Incorrect posture on landings of elements and dismount — up to 0.20
  • Leg separation – up to 0.20
  • Bent arms – up to 0.30
  • Bent knees – up to 0.30
  • Insufficient open of tuck/pike position prior to landing acro elements — up to 0.30
  • Deep squat on landing — up to 0.30
  • Fall – 0.50
  • Coach on the floor — 0.50

General Deductions in a Level 7 Floor Routine

Gymnast ending pose on Level 7 floor

In a Level 6 floor routine, there are several categories of “general deductions”, which are evaluated by looking at the routine as a whole. These deductions are:

  • Rhythm – up to 0.30
  • Dynamics – up to 0.20
  • Footwork – up to 0.30
  • Posture/alignment – up to 0.30
  • Artistry – up to 0.30 (3 categories of artistry)

For more information on general deductions, see 6 General Deductions You’re Probably Getting.

Final Thoughts

The best Level 7 floor routines are clean, dynamic, and full of personality! As discussed above, it’s best to choose skills that showcase the gymnast’s abilities. For instance, if the gymnast has poor flexibility, she might opt to perform only the minimum elements that require a full split, and use other skills to fulfill the rest of the requirements. If her feet aren’t as flexible, the routine might use choreography that doesn’t rely on fully pointed feet. You get the idea!

The top Level 7 floor routines will also show great rhythm, artistry, and footwork. The gymnast should should have quick, high tumbling, and clean dance skills with good form and flexibility. It’s fun to see gymnasts really getting into it when selling their routines! There’s a lot of room to be creative in a Level 7 floor routine, so find an original piece of choreography and keep working to show it off!

Further Reading

Tips and Resources for Level 6/7 Vault

Level 7 Bar Routine Recommendations

Level 7 Beam Routine Recommendations

Level 6 Floor Routine Requirements

Making Sense of Composition: Level 8 Floor

Making Sense of Composition: Level 9 Floor

Making Sense of Composition: Level 10 Floor

References

USA Gymnastics J.O. Code of Points, 2022-2026.